Association of #Fluoroquinolone Use With Short-term Risk of Development of Aortic #Aneurysm

Although fluoroquinolones are commonly prescribed antibiotics in the US, recent international studies have shown an increased risk of aortic aneurysm and dissection after fluoroquinolone use, leading to US Food and Drug Administration warnings limiting use for high-risk patients. It is unclear whether these data are true for the US population and who is truly high risk..

..Of 47 596 545 prescription fills, 9 053 961 (19%) were fluoroquinolones and 38 542 584 (81%) were comparator antibiotics. The median (interquartile range) age of adults with fluoroquinolone fills was 47 (36-57) years vs 43 (31-54) years with comparator antibiotic fills. Women comprised 61.3% of fluoroquinolone fills and 59.5% of comparator antibiotic fills. Before weighting, the 90-day incidence of newly diagnosed aneurysm was 7.5 cases per 10 000 fills (6752 of 9 053 961) after fluoroquinolones compared with 4.6 cases per 10 000 fills (17 627 of 38 542 584) after comparator antibiotics.

After weighting for demographic characteristics and comorbidities, fluoroquinolone fills were associated with increased incidence of aneurysm formation (hazard ratio [HR], 1.20; 95% CI, 1.17-1.24). More specifically, compared with comparator antibiotics, fluoroquinolone fills were associated with increased 90-day incidence of abdominal aortic aneurysm (HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.25-1.37), iliac artery aneurysm (HR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.33-1.91), and other abdominal aneurysm (HR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.39-1.79), and adults were more likely to undergo aneurysm repair (HR, 1.88; 95% CI, 1.44-2.46). When stratified by age, all adults 35 years or older appeared at increased risk (18-34 years: HR, 0.99 [95% CI, 0.83-1.18]; 35-49 years: HR, 1.18 [95% CI, 1.09-1.28]; 50-64 years: HR, 1.24 [95% CI, 1.19-1.28]; P = .04).

Conclusions and Relevance This study found that fluoroquinolones were associated with increased incidence of aortic aneurysm formation in US adults. This association was consistent across adults aged 35 years or older, sex, and comorbidities, suggesting fluoroquinolone use should be pursued with caution in all adults, not just in high-risk individuals.