Tags: antibiotics | liver | damage | senior

Antibiotics Tied to Liver Damage

Wednesday, 15 Aug 2012 10:44 AM


Two commonly prescribed antibiotics have been found to increase the risk of severe liver injury in seniors and are drawing new warnings about their routine use.
A new study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found moxifloxacin and levofloxacin – two widely used broad-spectrum "fluoroquinolone" antibiotics prescribed for bacterial infections – more than double the risk of acute liver damage in people who take them.
The European Medicines Agency and Health Canada have issued warnings about the risk of liver injury from moxifloxacin, even though few studies have been conducted on the safety of fluoroquinolones, which are typically prescribed for respiratory infections, sinus problems and other conditions.
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"Although our results require confirmation in other settings,” the researchers concluded, “the findings suggest that both moxifloxacin and levofloxacin be considered for regulatory warnings regarding acute liver injury."
For the study, researchers from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, the University of Toronto and McMaster University in Hamilton tracked acute liver injury in patients taking moxifloxacin, compared with those taking other antibiotics. They examined nine years of health records for people aged 66 years or older who were admitted to hospitals for liver problems within 30 days of receiving a prescription for these antibiotics.
"Compared with clarithromycin, moxifloxacin was associated with a more than two-fold increased risk of admission to hospital for acute liver injury," said Dr. David Juurlink. "Levofloxacin was also associated with a statistically significant but lower risk of hepatotoxicity than…moxifloxacin."
The authors note that, although these cases are serious, they are relatively rare, with about six cases for every 100 000 patients treated with the antibiotics.
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Commonly prescribed antibiotics have been found to increase the risk of severe liver injury in seniors.
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2012-44-15
Wednesday, 15 Aug 2012 10:44 AM
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