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Fluoroquinolones associated with retinal detachment

Health Canada warns against the risks of retinal detachment associated with oral fluoroquinolones.

 

Five oral fluoroquinolones are available in Canada: ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin, and ofloxacin. These are large-spectrum antibiotics prescribed to treat infections caused by sensitive strains of microorganisms.

 

A pharmacoepidemiological study published in 2012 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) identified 445 cases of retinal detachment associated with oral fluoroquinolones in a cohort of 989,591 patients in British Columbia, who consulted an ophthalmologist between January 2000 and December 2007.

 

For its part, Health Canada had only a single reported incident of suspected retinal detachment associated with this type of antibiotic as of December 31, 2012. The difficulty in establishing solid evidence establishing a link between retinal detachment and fluoroquinolones could account for this low level of reported cases.

 

Health Canada invites health-care professionals to be watchful and encourages them to report any adverse reactions suspected of being associated with these antibiotics.

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