January 20, 2019

Oral antibiotic use may increase risk of developing kidney stones, shows study

13 May 2018, 03:57 | Randall Craig

Antibiotics May Raise the Risk for Kidney Stones

Antibiotics assembled to look like kidneys

The lead author, Dr. Gregory E. Tasian, a urologist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said the mechanism is unclear, but that the most likely explanation is a complex interaction of the drugs with the urinary or gut microbiome.

What's more, after analyzing health records of 13.8 million patients, researchers found that children and adults treated with oral antibiotics have a significantly higher risk of developing kidney stones, marking the first time these treatments have been linked to this condition.

"Sulfa drugs include medications like Septer or Bactrim some of the other antibiotic classes include fluoroquinolones which would be something like ciprofloxacin or levofloxacin and Levaquin", said Tasian. Their goal is to develop a bigger and a population-based research that will help people understand the process easily of how the changes in microbiomes in the body effect in the production of kidney stones. While antibiotics are essential for stopping serious infections, Dr. Tasian says: "We should be using antibiotics appropriately and judiciously". The risks for children under 18 were significantly higher than for adults.

Tasian says, there is no certified way to reduce the risk of conditions related to antibiotics intake today but there will be a solution very soon.

Sulfas, which are often used to treat urinary tract infections and burns, were associated with the greatest uptick in risk: a 2.3-fold increase, compared to people who had not taken the medication.

Now, that the link has been established between antibiotics and stones.

The findings were published May 10 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Results Exposure to any of five different antibiotic classes 3-12 months before index date was associated with nephrolithiasis. Ingestion of broad-spectrum penicillins, for example, yielded a 27 percent increase in kidney stone risk. They analyzed the previous exposure for nearly 26,000 patients who suffered from kidney stones, along with 260,000 control subjects. The risk of kidney stones decreased over time but remained elevated several years after antibiotic use.

About 30 percent of prescribed antibiotics are inappropriate, Tasian noted, and because children receive more of them than any other age group, the researchers' findings reinforce the need for clinicians to be more mindful of prescriptions, especially if the recipients are children.

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