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Health Canada Issues Tequin Antibiotic Warning for Diabetics PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 10:32
Health Canada Issues Tequin Antibiotic Warning for Diabetics

CBC News - The antibiotic Tequin can have life-threatening side-effects in people with diabetes, a study by Canadian researchers has found. The antibiotic gatifloxacin is sold under the brand name Tequin by its manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. Health Canada is urging doctors to stop prescribing the antibiotic for patients with diabetes as a precaution.

www.cbc.ca

People with diabetes warned of antibiotic's side-effects
CBC News


Last Updated Wed, 01 Mar 2006 19:26:24 EST



Tequin treats respiratory infections, urinary tract and bladder infections, and sexually transmitted diseases.

People taking Tequin showed more than a four-fold increase in the risk of being treated in hospital for low blood sugar compared to people who were on an older class of antibiotics, the researchers found.

Others showed nearly 17 times more risk of developing high blood sugar. Both conditions can be fatal, although falling blood sugar levels can cause death quicker.

Muhammad Mamdani of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto and his colleagues studied patients over 65 admitted to hospital in Ontario.

Risks were similar regardless of the presence or absence of diabetes, the team reported.


Gatifloxacin belongs to a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, the most prescribed antibiotics in North America. The low blood sugar side-effect didn't appear to apply to other fluoroquinolones, the study said.

Health Canada has asked for more safety data on the antibiotic to investigate its possible link to blood glucose disorders.

In the meantime, the regulator recommends people with diabetes should be prescribed alternative antibiotics.

People with diabetes who are taking Tequin should talk to their physician if they have any concerns, Health Canada advised.

Bristol-Myers Squibb also recommends doctors should keep a close eye on non-diabetic patients taking Tequin, especially if they are over 75, have kidney problems or are taking diabetes medications.

Mamdani's study was to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine later this month, but it was released early online on Wednesday because of the public health implications.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 March 2006 10:32
 

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