Relative mortality risk from antibiotic use compared

Much time is spent discussing the development of antimicrobial resistance and changes to the microbiome but perhaps should we should also focus on the potential for patient mortality.  Based on best current estimates, trimethoprim, macrolides and quinolones may be less safe than chloramphenicol in certain patient populations.

A future posting will provide a practical approach to the prolonged QT issue that may arise with macrolides and quinolones.



Image : aplastic anaemia from Tulane University public image.


  1. Reblogged this on Infectious Diseases and Microbiology postgraduate teaching and commented:

    The relative safety of antibiotics is a critical issue to consider- it is apparent that chloramphenicol which most of the world has stopped using systemically owing to the risk of idiosyncratic and fatal aplastic anaemia may in fact be safer than some agents that are used very widely for relatively minor indications! Food for thought!


  2. […] of concern include (  (see also this AIMED recent posting concerning comparative mortality […]


  3. […]  Sudden death due to prolonged QT syndrome/torsades:   significant incidence with some FQ and macrolide antibiotics. […]


  4. […] We’ve previously addressed this topic here.   It’s certainly the case that chronic skin ulcers (leg or elsewhere) drive an enormous amount of antibiotic prescribing, perhaps because these ulcers are so hard to heal and a degree of therapeutic impatience occurs. The annual survey of chronic wounds last year in our health district indicated that 28% of inpatients with wounds had received antibiotic treatment in the preceding 2 weeks, unnecessary exposure that leads to increased individual and community risk from antibiotic resistance, C. difficile infection and other unintended consequences, including mortality. […]


  5. […] unpacked ANTIBIOTICS AND THE QT INTERVAL (Jan 2016) following on from our topical analysis of  RELATIVE MORTALITY RISK FROM ANTIBIOTIC USE COMPARED in Dec […]


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