Taking a particular class of antibiotics, often used to treat respiratory and urogenital infections, can double the risk of kidney disease, according to a new study.
The research, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found fluoroquinolones — including ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and moxifloxacin — can cause acute kidney injury and kidney failure.
"We found a twofold increased risk of acute kidney injury requiring hospital admission with the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics among adult men, using two analytic techniques," said Mahyar Etminan, M.D., of the Child & Family Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, and the Provincial Health Services Authority.
"The twofold differential in risk in current users suggests that acute kidney injury secondary to fluoroquinolone use is an acute adverse event."
For the study, researchers tracked the rate of kidney damage among adult men who took the antibiotics between 2001 and 2011. The results showed 1,292 cases of acute kidney disease and and a significant connection between those cases and the use of oral fluoroquinolones.
The risk was highest with ciprofloxacin, followed by moxifloxacin.
The investigators suggested physicians need to be more aware of the risks of kidney injury when prescribing these drugs.
"Although it is clear that the risk of death due to serious infections outweighs the risks associated with the use of fluoroquinolones, the potential for acute kidney injury raises the importance of vigilant prescribing," they said.
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