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Side Effects of Common Antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin, Used to Treat Typhoid Fever, Outweigh Benefits

* Doctors who receive gifts from drug companies more likely to prescribe their products, study finds 
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ratcheted up its warning about the potential side effects of a class of commonly prescribed powerful antibiotic, including the drug known by the brand name Cipro.
Cipro is marketed in Nigeria under the generic name Ciprofloxacin, which is often used to treat typhoid fever. Typhoid is a common disease that could turn deadly, if not well treated.
Common unpleasant side effects of Ciprofloxacin that has reported in Nigeria include muscles rapidly waste away, tendons tear and rupture (sometimes even in one’s sleep), retinas spontaneously tear, carti-lage erodes from the joints.
The FDA, in a safety announcement, said the potential side effects of fluo-roquinolone anti-bacterial drugs often outweigh their benefits when it comes to treating people with bronchitis or basic sinus or uri-nary tract infections. As a result, the FDA says doctors should use these types of drugs only if they have no alternatives.
The drugs have been sold for more than 20 years, and are now sold mainly as generics.
Also, a new study pub-lished in JAMA Internal Medicinehas indicted med-ical doctors who receive payments or gifts from pharmaceutical companies, saying that they are more likely to prescribe brand name medications.
The researchers found that the rate at which doc-tors prescribed brand name drugs increased with the amount of money or gifts like dinners they received from drug companies.
Lead author, Dr. James Yeh, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, United States (U.S.), said doctors are taught how and what to prescribe dur-ing medical school.
Hee told Reuters Health: “After you leave, sometimes that kind of knowledge is derived from pharmaceutical salespeople.”
Along with communications with pharmaceutical salespeople, doctors may also receive meals, subsidies or grants for continuing education and speaking fees from pharmaceutical
Meanwhile, according to nies. derived from pharmaceutian FDA report from late last year, about 23 million patients per year between, 2010 and 2014 received prescriptions for these types of drugs, most commonly for urinary tract infections.
According to the FDA, potential serious and disabling side effects related to the drugs can include tendon, muscle and joint pain, a “pins and needles” tingling sensation, confusion and hallucinations.
The FDA issued previous warnings about the drugs in 2008 and 2013, but didn’t go so far as to advise doc-tors to restrict their use.
Yeh and his colleagues write in JAMA Internal Medicine that some states require doctors to report what they receive from drug companies. In 2013, under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. created the Open Payments database to collect those reports from across the country.
For the new study, the researchers analyzed 2011 data from Massachusetts payment reports and the prescription drug programme of Medicare, the U.S. public health insurance programme for the elderly and disabled.
The Guardian News


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