According to a recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, exposure to fluoroquinolone antibiotics is linked to a heightened risk of left-sided valvular regurgitation. Fluoroquinolones overall held a significant 45 percent higher likelihood of valvular regurgitation events reported to the FDA Adverse Events Reporting Systems (FAERS) than did other drugs from 2004 to 2018, reported Mahyar Etminan, PharmD, MSc, of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
According to the authors, patients with aortic regurgitation should not be prescribed a fluoroquinolone unless absolutely necessary where benefits outweigh risks. Additionally, further studies are needed to fully characterize the incremental risk of valvular heart disease and other adverse events in patients treated with fluoroquinolones. According to the authors, until this work is complete, there should be a considerable reduction in fluoroquinolone use, and these prescriptions should only be used as a last resort, he added. For more information on antibiotic stewardship, please contact Meg Kilcup.