Seniors Should Steer Clear of Fluoroquinolones

Recently, Kim, a friend of mine who was suffering from an infection, mentioned that her physician prescribed an antibiotic for her.  During the course of their conversation, her physician explained to her why he chose this particular antibiotic rather than a stronger one from the family of Fluoroquinolones.  You may not be familiar with Fluoroquinolones but perhaps you’ll recognize some of the the more common names:  Cipro, Levaquin, Tequin, Avelox, Ocuflox and Noroxin among others. 

Kim went on to explain that her doctor did not want to put her at risk for one of the many side effects of these antibiotics, particularly the potential of developing tendinitis and of rupturing a tendon, or two, or three!  Kim has had surgery on the tendons in her feet with terrific results – why mess with success!  This information peaked my interest, so I did some research and found that older adults need to be especially astute when prescribed meds from this family of antibiotics.



Risks to Seniors

Photo by from Pexels


The Food and Drug Administration has issued several warnings about prescribing fluoroquinolones, especially for seniors.  One startling warning stated that “certain conditions made people twice as likely to have an aortic dissection, or rupture”. (see link from below)


Furthermore, the FDA has warned that it can:


Ask Your Doctor

In  May 2016 the FDA issued yet another  safety communication for doctors to restrict the use of fluoroquinolones for certain uncomplicated infections,  Be sure to have a conversation about any antibiotics your physician may prescribe for you. It’s common knowledge that antibiotics are overprescribed.    Make sure your condition calls for a prescription. Ask if you can get better through other means.  Explain  your concerns about side effects especially if prescribed a Fluoroquinolone.  Above all, listen to your doctor as they explain their medication preferences to you.


For more information about Fluoroquinolones and for sources cited in this blog:



For more by Virginia Tortorici, click here.

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