A class of antibiotics called Fluoroquinolone is under scrutiny from the FDA. Antibiotics fight off infections and save lives. That’s some pretty powerful stuff! But this common class of antibiotics could cause aortic aneurysm, warns the FDA.

What Are Fluoroquinolones For?

Would you believe they are used to fight off the plague? Yes, as surprising as it sounds, the plague is still around and can be treated with Fluoroquinolones. They are also used to treat illnesses like respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia. It’s sold under different names, so be sure to check your medicine cabinet for:

  • moxifloxacin (Avelox)
  • ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • gemifloxacin (Factive)
  • ofloxacin (Floxin)
  • levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • norfloxacin (Noroxin)

What’s An Aortic Aneurysm?

The aorta is the main artery that carries blood away from your heart to the rest of your body. So, when you have an aortic aneurysm, what you have is an abnormal ballooning or bulge in the wall of the aorta. This can be both extremely painful and extremely dangerous. If it grows large enough it can burst, which can cause dangerous bleeding or even death.

Who’s At Risk?

By focusing on recent studies from 2015 – 2018, the FDA found that when patients were prescribed a fluoroquinolone drug, they were twice as likely to have an aortic aneurysm. The most vulnerable include the elderly, those with a history of aneurysms or blockages of blood vessels, those with peripheral atherosclerotic vascular diseases, those with high blood pressure, and those with genetic disorders like Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Should I Stop Taking My Fluoroquinolone Medication?

As with any prescription medication, do not discontinue use before discussing it with your doctor. Its possible Fluoroquinolones are the only antibiotic treatment to fight the illness it was prescribed for. However, if you start showing symptoms like sudden, severe, and constant stomach, chest, or back pain, get emergency help immediately.

The risk of developing an aortic aneurysm from a Fluoroquinolone medication is low, and we’ve been using them for 30 years. So, if you’re not one of the high-risk patients listed above, this antibiotic may be your best option for fighting bacterial infections.

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