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Commonly used antibiotics may lead to heart problems

Although favoured by many medical professionals for their broad spectrum of antibacterial activity and high oral absorption, new research has found that one of the most commonly prescribed classes of antibiotics may more than double the risk of two potentially serious heart conditions.

The study, led by researchers at the University of British Columbia and recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that users of fluoroquinolone antibiotics were 2.4 times more likely to develop aortic and mitral regurgitation than those taking amoxicillin.

The riskiest period for these heart problems are within 30 days of use, with some risk between 31-60 days but none beyond this period.

Other recent studies have linked fluoroquinolones to different heart problems, and this added to the class’ contribution to antibiotic resistance and the fact that it is not needed in most cases mean that the study authors hope that medical professionals consider other classes of antibiotics for uncomplicated infections if their results are confirmed.

The results may also be helpful in determining whether fluoroquinolone antibiotics are the cause of cardiac problems in individual cases.

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Source: Eurekalert!