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Association of higher-dose fluoroquinolone therapy with serious adverse events in older adults with advanced chronic kidney disease

Muanda FT, Sood MM, Weir MA, Sontrop JM, Ahmadi F, Yoo E, Kim RB, Silverman MS, Knoll GA, Garg AX. JAMA Netw Open. 2022; 5(8):e2224892. Epub 2022 Aug 2. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.24892


Importance — Population-based data are needed to inform the safe prescribing of fluoroquinolone antibiotics to patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Objective — To quantify the 14-day risk of a hospital visit with nervous system and/or psychiatric disorders, hypoglycemia, or a collagen-associated event in patients with advanced CKD newly prescribed a fluoroquinolone at a higher vs a lower dose.

Design, Setting, and Participants — This population-based cohort study in Ontario, Canada (January 1, 2008, to March 17, 2020) used linked health care data to identify new users of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Participants included adults 66 years or older with advanced CKD (an estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] <30 mL/min/1.73 m2 but not receiving dialysis). Data analysis was performed from January 1 to April 30, 2021.

Exposures — A new prescription for a higher-dose fluoroquinolone (ciprofloxacin, 501-1000 mg/d; levofloxacin, 501-750 mg/d; or norfloxacin, 401-800 mg/d) vs a lower-dose fluoroquinolone (ciprofloxacin, 500 mg/d; levofloxacin, 250-500 mg/d; or norfloxacin, 400 mg/d).

Main Outcomes and Measure — The primary outcome was the 14-day risk of a hospital visit with nervous system and/or psychiatric disorders, hypoglycemia, or a collagen-associated event. Secondary outcomes included a hospital visit with sepsis, retinal detachment or other tendinopathies, all-cause hospitalization, all-cause mortality, and sudden cardiac death. Inverse probability of treatment weighting on the propensity score was used to balance comparison groups on baseline health. Weighted risk ratios and risk differences were obtained using modified Poisson regression and binomial regression, respectively.

Results — Of 11 917 patients (median age, 83 years [IQR, 77-89 years]; 7438 women [62.4%]; median eGFR, 25 [IQR, 21-28] mL/min/1.73 m2) included in the analysis, 5482 (46.0%) received a higher-dose and 6435 (54.0%) received a lower-dose fluoroquinolone. After weighting, the primary composite outcome—a hospital visit with nervous system and/or psychiatric disorders, hypoglycemia, or a collagen-associated event—occurred in 68 of 5482 patients (1.2%) treated with a higher-dose fluoroquinolone and in 47 of 5516 (0.9%) treated with a lower-dose fluoroquinolone (weighted risk ratio, 1.45 [95% CI, 1.01-2.08]; weighted risk difference, 0.39% [95% CI, 0.01%-0.76%]). The risk of sepsis, retinal detachment, all-cause hospitalization, all-cause mortality, and sudden cardiac death did not differ significantly between groups.

Conclusions and Relevance — These findings suggest that older patients with advanced CKD who were prescribed a fluoroquinolone at a higher-than-recommended dose were significantly more likely to experience the composite outcome of a hospital visit with nervous system and/or psychiatric disorders, hypoglycemia, or a collagen-associated event, although the absolute risk of these events was less than 2%.

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