The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said today, until and unless other treatment options are available, patients with uncomplicated infections should not receive fluoroquinolones, given the risk for disabling and potentially permanent adverse events.
Fluoroquinolones are very productive antibiotics with better coverage against the Gram Negative organisms. It is active against the Gram positive organisms as well. But with the progression of time, the adverse effects related with fluoroquinolones outweigh their beneficial effects.
Fluoroquinolones cause adverse effects like, tendonitis, tendon rupture, central nervous system effects, peripheral neuropathy, exacerbation of myasthenia gravis, QT prolongation and torsades de pointes, phototoxicity, and hypersensitivity. These adverse events can also occur together.
In Bangladesh, we use fluoroquinolones like: Ciprofloxacin, Levofloxacin, Ciprofloxacin Extended release and Ofloxacin quite effectively. I have also seen the pharmaceutical companies to promote fluoroquinolones like Gatifloxacin, Sparfloxacin, Gemifloxacin and Moxifloxacin. Frankly speaking, I have not seen the adverse effects associated with these drugs to crop up in an ugly fashion. But we physicians, always keep ourselves updated about the recent studies of diseases and medicines and follow the new guidelines available. In that sense, we should be cautious enough regarding the use of fluoroquinolones.
These antibiotics have been proving their worth for more than twenty years in Bangladesh, but at the moment, I guess we need to be careful about using these antibiotics until and unless we don’t have any other options left.