Fluoroquinolone antibiotics appear to increase the risk for arrhythmia and cardiovascular mortality, according to a study published in the journal Drug Safety.
To investigate the risk of cardiovascular adverse effects associated with this antibiotic class, researchers conducted a systematic review, meta-analysis, and network meta-analysis using studies identified through a search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library; 13 studies were selected for inclusion. “Outcomes were pooled using random effects models,” the authors explained. “Direct and indirect comparisons in network meta-analysis were performed using frequentist methods.”
Results showed fluoroquinolone use increased the risk for arrhythmia by 85% (odds ratio [OR] 1.85; 95% CI, 1.22–2.81) and cardiovascular mortality by 71% (OR 1.71; 95% CI, 1.39–2.09). Of the fluoroquinolones included in the analysis, moxifloxacin was found have the highest probability for cardiovascular adverse events (arrhythmia [P-score 0.99]; cardiovascular mortality [P-score 0.95]).
“Our findings show a significant association between fluoroquinolone use and an increased risk for arrhythmia and cardiovascular mortality,” the authors concluded. They added, “Further study is required to determine how to reduce the risk for fluoroquinolone-associated cardiac toxicity.”
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