Researchers are warning about an increased risk of severe liver injury among senior citizens using the broad-spectrum fluoroquinolone antibiotics Avelox (moxifloxacin) and Levaquin (levofloxacin), according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. “Compared with clarithromycin,” writes a team headed by David Juurlink, MD, of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, referring to an antibiotic belonging to another broad-spectrum class, “moxifloxacin was associated with a more than 2-fold increased risk of admission to hospital for acute liver injury.” In the study conducted by the researchers, which looked for instances over a nine-year period of people aged 66 years or older being admitted to the hospital for acute liver injury within a month of receiving Avelox or Levaquin, 88 (61.1 percent) of the 144 patients included in the analysis died. The authors of the study conclude that while their results require confirmation in other settings, “the findings suggest that both moxifloxacin and levofloxacin be considered for regulatory warnings regarding acute liver injury."

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