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FDA Warns Some Antibiotics Can Cause Fatal Heart Damage

Posted at 9:33 AM, Dec 21, 2018

(NBC) – The US Food and Drug Administration warned on Thursday that the benefits of fluoroquinolone antibiotics do not outweigh the risks — which include aortic aneurysm — for certain patients.

Certain antibiotics can cause painful and sometimes fatal damage to the body’s main artery, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are often used to treat serious respiratory infections, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and even plague and exposure to anthrax. They include drugs sold under the names ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin) and ofloxacin (Floxin).

“A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review found that fluoroquinolone antibiotics can increase the occurrence of rare but serious events of ruptures or tears in the main artery of the body, called the aorta. These tears, called aortic dissections, or ruptures of an aortic aneurysm can lead to dangerous bleeding or even death,” the FDA said in a statement.

“Fluoroquinolones should not be used in patients at increased risk unless there are no other treatment options available. People at increased risk include those with a history of blockages or aneurysms (abnormal bulges) of the aorta or other blood vessels, high blood pressure, certain genetic disorders that involve blood vessel changes, and the elderly.”