Research from the University of Dundee has shown that a commonly used class of antibiotics may increase a patient’s risk of suffering a serious and potentially permanent form of nerve damage by almost 50%.
They found that current use of systemic fluoroquinolone antibiotics appeared to increase the risk of peripheral neuropathy by 47%, causing an additional 2.4 cases per 10,000 patients per year of treatment. A person prescribed with amoxicillin-clavulanate were not significantly more likely to experience peripheral neuropathy.
The risk was higher for men and rose with age and with the length of fluoroquinolone treatment. A peripheral neuropathy diagnosis remained more likely to be diagnosed for up to six months after the fluoroquinolone prescription.