WHAT ARE FLUOROQUINOLONES AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
Fluoroquinolones are bactericidal agents widely used to treat upper and lower respiratory tract infections such as tuberculosis, mycobacterial infections, sinusitis, bronchitis and pneumonia, and urinary tract infections. Fluoroquinolones are effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
Fluoroquinolones work by inhibiting the action of enzymes such as type II DNA topoisomerases, DNA gyrase, and topoisomerase IV (enzymes that participate in cutting and supercoiling of double-stranded DNA) that are required for the synthesis of bacterial mRNAs and DNA replication. The DNA formed is incomplete and defective, therefore it breaks down leading to cell death.
HOW ARE FLUOROQUINOLONES USED?
In addition to upper and lower respiratory tract infections and urinary tract infections, fluoroquinolones are used to treat:
- Infections of soft tissue, bones, and joints
- Typhoid fever
- Intestinal and biliary tract infections
- Intra-abdominal infections
- Septicemia (serious infection in the blood that may be life-threatening)
- Bacterial diarrhea
- Skin infections
- Prostatitis (inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland in men)
- Pyelonephritis (inflammation and infection of kidney)
- Chlamydial urethritis (inflammation and infection of the urethra) and cervicitis (inflammation and infection of cervix in women)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (infection and inflammation of female reproductive organs)
WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF FLUOROQUINOLONES?
The most common serious side effects of fluoroquinolones include:
- Peripheral neuropathy (conditions that result when nerves that carry messages to and from the brain and spinal cord from and to the rest of the body are damaged or diseased)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Tendinopathy (a type of tendon disorder that results in pain, swelling, and impaired function)
- Swelling and pain of joints and muscles
- Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Suicidal thoughts
- Exacerbation of myasthenia graves (an autoimmune disease that causes abnormal weakness of muscles)
Other rare but serious side effects of fluoroquinolones may include:
- Leukopenia (decrease in white blood cells)
- Anemia (decrease in red blood cells)
- Nephrotoxicity (decrease in kidney function caused because of the poisonous effect of the drug)
- Hepatotoxicity (decrease in liver function caused because of the poisonous effect of the drug)
- Hypersensitivity reaction (overreaction of body immune system that is harmful to the body and cause allergies)
- Aortic dissection (tearing of aorta)
- QT prolongation
The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.