Antibiotics: depression, weakness, and other side effects

Today, antibiotics, including those from the group of fluoroquinolones, are widely used in the treatment of various pathologies. But it has been repeatedly described that fluoroquinolones can cause rare, but very serious side effects that can be delayed and permanent. One of the most serious problems was the effect on the psyche with the provocation of depression and suicidal attempts, as well as the formation of tendon inflammation and muscle weakness. Another frequent and serious side effect of taking this type of antibiotic, scientists call a decrease in blood sugar, sometimes leading to life-threatening conditions.

Antibiotics in the treatment

Since the first antibiotics were discovered, a lot of time has passed, but the drugs have not lost their relevance today. Moreover, they are being improved, new drugs are being opened and introduced, several groups of antibiotics having different chemical structures and activity against pathogens have been identified. The drugs are used to suppress the activity of bacteria that provoke purulent-inflammatory processes of various localizations.

They treat respiratory, ENT pathologies, infections of the urinary system and skin, pathologies of the digestive system and much more. However, over many years of using antibiotics, not only positive, but also negative effects from their administration, complications from their treatment were revealed. In particular, the use of fluoroquinolones, widely prescribed in the treatment of respiratory, genitourinary infections and some others, is actively discussed.  

Depression and Mental Disorders

Not so long ago, data were published that antibiotics of the fluoroquinolone group can provoke depression and mental disorders in patients who have not previously had such problems. Moreover, a rather large number of suicidal attempts among patients previously treated with these drugs is described. Depression and mental disorders belong to the group of rare but serious side effects that can occur when taking this group of antibiotics.   

They are currently recognized in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration, but after several years of lawsuits from patients, the FDA has proposed a warning of potential risks in the drug annotation. Side effects in the form of depression can last months and years, or be permanent. Among the leading manifestations of mental disorders are described anxiety and panic attacks, as well as suicidal thoughts. Moreover, depression or mental disorders before treatment with fluoroquinolones in patients were not registered.  

Side effects: lowering blood sugar

So, in July this year, the FDA announced that it was necessary to update the information in the instructions for use of fluoroquinolones. Correction of data on side effects and complications, including the development of low blood sugar and side effects from mental health, is necessary. Specialists point out that this is especially important for diabetics, as low blood sugar can lead to serious problems, including coma, especially in older people and patients who take medications to control their blood sugar.

Thus, such comments will be important in the selection of therapy in people of advanced age, if their blood sugar fluctuates or hypoglycemia is frequent. The presence of indications will be one of the reasons for refusing to take fluoroquinolones in favor of safer antibiotic groups.

Movement disorders and tendon inflammation

This is not the first correction of side effects and complications during treatment with fluoroquinolones; in 2008, a remark was added that the risk of developing tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons) and movement discomfort may be increased .

Complaints regarding complications of the musculoskeletal system are controversial, many researchers believe that ligament inflammation can be triggered not by taking an antibiotic, but by the infections and their consequences against which it is used. At the same time, other scientists emphasize the connection between tendon inflammation and antibiotics because the infections treated with fluoroquinolones vary widely, while the side effects are very similar with respect to tendons. In addition, not all patients see a doctor and report similar side effects such as tendon inflammation, taking them for one of the symptoms of the disease or age-related features.

Rare syndrome complex: weakness, rash, neurological complications

In some patients, especially prone to depressive disorders while taking drugs, a special set of symptoms was described. First of all, severe muscle weakness, which did not allow to actively move and lead a familiar life. Due to weakness, patients are forced to travel only short distances. Against the background of weakness, pain in the tendons, joints and their swelling, problems of the peripheral nervous system, such as burning and tingling, are detected.

In addition, weakness was also a symptom of problems with the central nervous system, which were supplemented by blurred consciousness, decreased cognitive functions, and memory disorders. In addition, skin problems were identified due to its slight vulnerability, frequent itchy rashes, digestive disorders, vision, insomnia, palpitations.

Is everyone in danger?

Clinicians emphasize that fluoroquinolones are highly effective and can save lives and overcome severe infections that cannot be treated with other antibiotics. These drugs are extremely important for certain groups of people, for example, in kidney transplantation or urological pathologies.

But often, experts say, the risks of antibiotics are not fully assessed, since side effects can be associated with their combination with other types of drugs. Therefore, the risk of therapy should be weighed against the potential benefit.

For most patients, fluoroquinolones are safe and effective. For its part, the FDA has recommended that doctors use fluoroquinolones more rationally in recent years, especially when other 

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