In a new study, issued in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and conducted by scientists from the University of British Columbia and the Provincial Health Services Authority’s (PHSA) Therapeutic Evaluation Unit, established a link between common antibiotics and heart conditions.
According to the researchers, patients who usually take Ciprofloxacin or Cipro, antibiotics based on fluoroquinolone, presented risks of developing heart conditions by 2.5 times higher than people who don’t take antibiotics or administer amoxicillin-based medication.
Two heart conditions might appear due to fluoroquinolone-based antibiotics – aortic and mitral regurgitation. These diseases mean that the blood backflows into the heart. The risk is higher in patients who take Ciprofloxacin or other similar antibiotics in cures of 30 days or more.
The situation is more dangerous than it seems because some doctors prefer prescribing fluoroquinolone-based antibiotics thanks to their broader spectrum antibacterial activity and its high absorption level when orally administered, similar to IV treatments.
Common Antibiotics Could Trigger Heart Conditions
“You can send patients home with a once-a-day pill. This class of antibiotics is very convenient, but for the majority of cases, especially community-related infections, they’re not really needed. The inappropriate prescribing may cause both antibiotic resistance as well as serious heart problems,” explained Mahyar Etminan, the study’s leading author and a researcher at the University of British Columbia.
For their study, the researchers reviewed two large databases, one from the FDA, and another from a private health insurance company. From a random sample of about 9 million patients, the scientists discovered more than 12,500 cases of valvular regurgitation. They linked that condition to long-term use of fluoroquinolone-based antibiotics.
“This study highlights the need to be thoughtful when prescribing antibiotics (…) We will continue working with the BC Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee to ensure the appropriate prescribing of this class of antibiotics to patients across British Columbia,” said Dr. Bruce Carleton.
Accordingly, the researchers hope that their study on how common antibiotics can trigger heart conditions would change the wat the physician prescribe fluoroquinolone-based medications, especially in patients prone to heart diseases.