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A commonly prescribed antibiotic can increase risk of developing a heart attack

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Kamal Saini
Kamal S. has been Journalist and Writer for Business, Hardware and Gadgets at Revyuh.com since 2018. He deals with B2b, Funding, Blockchain, Law, IT security, privacy, surveillance, digital self-defense and network policy. As part of his studies of political science, sociology and law, he researched the impact of technology on human coexistence. Email: kamal (at) revyuh (dot) com

New research presented in PLOS Medicine, suggests that commonly used antibiotics could lead to an increased risk of heart attacks.

This is normally prescribed for the treatment of patients with chest infections is in turn linked to a potentially greater risk of a heart attack.

Clarithromycin makes up about 15% of all primary care antibiotic prescriptions in the UK and is prescribed for treating patients with chest infections.

In recent years, it has been claimed that people who use clarithromycin rather than other antibiotics are more likely to have a severe heart disease event, however research into this link has been equivocal.

In their work, scientists studied both medical prescribing records and genetic data to determine whether clarithromycin was really linked to an increased risk of heart problems.

According to the researchers, people who were taking clarithromycin were 31 per cent more likely to be hospitalized with heart conditions within 14 days of starting the drug compared to people who were on amoxicillin.

Furthermore, they discovered that individuals who were already taking specific medicines, such as statins, were more likely to develop a cardiac issue if given clarithromycin rather than amoxicillin.

Statins and clarithromycin, for example, function in the body via a route controlled by a protein known as P-glycoprotein.

Using genetic data, the researchers discovered that individuals with a genetic tendency to reduced P-glycoprotein activity had a 40% increased risk of cardiac issues up to a year after taking clarithromycin rather than amoxicillin.

The results of the study imply that patients who are using P-glycoprotein inhibitors, such as statins, or who have a certain genotype should be administered alternate antibiotics.

Image Credit: Getty

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