Taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics, which include many popular options commonly prescribed for a variety of conditions, may increase one’s risk of developing certain heart conditions, a new study claims. The research comes out the University of British Columbia, joining past studies that have found links between taking antibiotics and increased risk for heart issues. Examples of antibiotics in this class include ciprofloxacin.
According to the latest study, individuals who are taking one of these popular antibiotics are 2.4 times more likely to develop two types of heart condition: mitral and aortic regurgitation. Both cases result in blood backflowing into the heart, both of which are fairly common.
Though mitral regurgitation may not require treatment, according to the American Heart Association, aortic regurgitation symptoms do not resolve and require a valve replacement. Regurgitation causes the heart to pump harder, potentially leading to heart failure.
The increased risk was compared to individuals who were prescribed amoxicillin, which belongs to a different class of antibiotics. Of note, however, the study found that the highest risk was experienced by people who were currently taking or had taken fluoroquinolone antibiotics within the past 30 days.
As well, there was an increased risk with ‘recent’ use, which was defined as having taken one of these antibiotics in the last 31 to 60 days. However, the team didn’t find any increased risk associated with past exposure, meaning anything from 61 days or beyond. The warning may encourage doctors to prescribe other types of antibiotics in cases where fluoroquinolone use isn’t required, such as in uncomplicated infections.