Fluoroquinolones: old drugs, putative new toxicities

Cecilia Bove, Robert Andrew Baldock, Oscar Champigneulle, Linda Martin, Charles L. Bennett

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Introduction: Fluoroquinolone (FQ) antibiotics were approved in 1986 for treatment of urinary tract infections, sinusitis, and bronchitis. Numerous putative FQ-associated adverse events have been recently reported.

Areas covered: We review international regulatory agency experience with these FQ-associated toxicities. A 2015 FDA Advisory Committee meeting led regulatory agencies in Canada, Australia, the European Union, New Zealand, and Japan between 2017 and 2021 to evaluate FQ-associated long-term disability and aortic aneurysm/dissections. Regulatory agency guidance in the United States in 2016 warn that FQs should not be used as first-line therapies for urinary tract infections, sinusitis, and bronchitis if other antibiotics are available because of potential long-term and disabling toxicity. Regulatory agencies in European Union countries warn that FQs should not be used to treat mild infections. Product labels in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Canada do not have warnings related to FQ-associated disability. Revised product labels and public health advisories in the United States, the European Union, and Japan warn against FQ administration to persons at aortic aneurysm/dissection risks, while product labels and regulatory agency notifications from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand do not include these warnings.

Expert opinion: Harmonization of warnings related to FQ-associated disability in particular should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1378
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Safety
Issue number11
Early online date21 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2022


  • Adverse drug reactions
  • fluoroquinolones-associated disability
  • fluoroquinolones
  • drug policy


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