Urgent warning over new deadly side effects of antibiotics for common bugs like UTIs | The Sun

BRITS who take certain antibiotics could be at risk of a life-threatening reaction, experts have warned.

Patients taking fluoroquinolones for common bugs like Urinary tract Infections (UTIs) are at increased risk of suicide, according to the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Millions of Brits take the medicines, which include ciprofloxacin,
delafloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, and ofloxacin, for a range of common infections.

Previous studies have found a "small increase in suicide risk" among those who take the drugs.

While the NHS estimates these side effects occur in less than one in 100 people who take them. 

The new warning published this week comes after a corners report revealed a GP died by suicide in May after being treated with ciprofloxacin.

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They had no previous history of depression or mental health problems.

Despite the small risk the health body is advising patients to be aware of symptoms of the condition, which include confusion, disorientation and suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.

An MHRA spokesperson said: "You may not notice some changes in your mood and behaviour so it is very important to tell your friends and family that you are taking these medicines, and that they have rare psychiatric side effects associated with them.

"Others may notice changes and help you quickly identify any symptoms that you need to talk to your doctor about."

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Writing to the MHRA in June, the coroner said doctors may not be aware of the potential side effect.

In response, officials also told medics to inform their patients on what symptoms to look for and said they may need to come off the drugs if the condition is suspected.

GPs dole out 38million courses of antibiotics each year – many of which will be fluoroquinolones.

Patient leaflets found in the medicine boxes suggested an increased risk of suicidal thoughts associated with the use of fluoroquinolones, often prescribed for urinary tract infections (UTIs), sexually transmitted infections (STIs), conjunctivitis and ear infections.

The medications are also associated with 'disabling and potentially permanent' side effects on the tendons, muscles, joints, and nerves.

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