Taking a commonly prescribed class of antibiotics can DOUBLE your chances of having a & # 39; leaking valve & # 39; study that leads to heart failure
- Fluoroquinolone antibiotics commonly used to treat breast infections and UTIs
- GPs prescribe more than 600,000 each year and love to fight bacteria
- American researchers have discovered that they have a double chance of a potentially deadly leaky valve
Taking a common antibiotic class can more than double your chances of getting a serious heart condition, a study suggests.
Researchers discovered that patients using fluoroquinolones had a greater risk of developing aortic and mitral regurgitation, which could lead to heart failure.
The drugs are often used to treat everything from breast infections to urinary tract infections.
The use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics more than doubles your chance of a potentially deadly heart disease, a study suggests. Ciprofloxacin (photo) is the most prescribed of these
Ciprofloxacin is the most prescribed of these, but other types are levofloxacin, moxifloxacin and norfloxacin.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) looked at 125,020 patients who had taken antibiotics in the past year.
Some had prescribed fluoroquinolones, while others had used amoxicillin or azithromycin – other types of antibiotics.
The research team discovered 12,505 cases of a leaky valve that can affect how blood flows through the body.
They discovered that current users of fluoroquinolone were 2.4 times more likely to develop the condition than those on amoxicillin.
In the meantime, patients taking fluorochinolone had a 1.8-fold greater risk than patients taking azithromycin.
WHAT IS A LEAKY MITRAL VALVE?
The mitral valve is a small flap in the heart that prevents blood from flowing in the wrong direction. If damaged, it can affect how the blood flows through the body.
A & # 39; leaking & # 39; Mitral valve is the nickname for a condition called mitral regurgitation, when it does not close tightly enough and blood goes in the wrong direction.
This burden the heart and often causes symptoms such as shortness of breath and tiredness, Harvard Medical School states.
In the long term, mitral regurgitation can lead to serious complications such as atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat) and heart failure.
It is often caused by mitral valve prolapse, when the flaps – called leaflets – swell back in the left atrium as the heart contracts.
However, a leaking mitral valve can also occur with age, due to general & # 39; wear & # 39; of the valve, the NHS says.
Other causes are cardiomyopathy (stiff heart muscles), an infection of the inner wall of the heart or congenital heart disease.
Statistics suggest that the NHS repairs around 2,200 mitral valves every year.
Those who had received fluoroquinolone in the last 60 days were 1.5 times more likely to develop a leaky valve compared to amoxicillin users.
Main author Dr. Mahyar Etminan suggested that fluoroquinolones were prescribed too much for convenience.
Associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at UBC said: & # 39; You can send patients home with a pill taken once a day.
& # 39; This class of antibiotics is very useful, but in most cases, especially community-related infections, they are not really needed.
& # 39; Incorrect prescription can cause both antibiotic resistance and serious heart problems. & # 39;
The researchers hope that their study helps inform the public and doctors that if patients with heart problems, where no other cause has been discovered, fluorochinolone antibiotics may be a cause.
The findings are published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Figures suggest that more than 675,000 fluoroquinolones were provided by general practitioners and other doctors in England alone, and about the same in hospitals.
But there are claims that the drugs – which are considered safe – can have side effects such as tendon rupture, joint problems and nerve pain.
It is thought that because fluoroquinolones act on the mitochondria – powerhouses in cells responsible for releasing energy – effects can be felt anywhere in the body, sometimes permanently.
Between 1990 and 2018, almost 11,000 adverse events and 107 deaths were reported for ciprofloxacin in the UK.
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