Peripheral neuropathy, this is an often devastating condition in which people develop pain and numbness in their hands and feet. Basically they’re told on the evening news that they should be taking this or that medication so that they can get through life. That’s treating the smoke and ignoring the fire. Those medicines that you’re seeing advertised don’t treat the neuropathy, they only treat the symptoms. But what’s causing peripheral neuropathy Well we know that in America, one of the biggest causes of peripheral neuropathy is being diabetic, which is clearly related to the foods that you eat by and large. Becoming.
A type 2 diabetic dramatically increases your risk for having peripheral neuropathy and in fact being devastated by it. This is a disease that effects 1 in 15 Americans. Let’s take a look. So again this is 1 in 15 Americansthis is 20 million Americans afflicted by this disease, that aside from diabetes, we’re told the cause is unknown. Well maybe that’s not exactly true. Last month, in the journal Neurology, an incredible study was published describing a relationship between what are called fluoroquinolones, and the risk of developing a peripheral neuropathy.
You may not know what fluoroquinolones are, but chances are you may have actually been exposed to fluoroquinolone. These are antibiotics used for treating things like upper respiratory infections and even urinary tract infections. Things like Levaquin and Cipro are commonly used in walk in clinics. If you have a urinary tract infection, you may have received these mediations. Well, here’s what the study showed us So this is a study published in September 2014 that looked at men between age 45 to 80 years of age followed for a 10 year period and in this group there were over 6,000 cases.
Fluoroquinolones and Peripheral Neuropathy
Of peripheral neuropathy. And they compared these individuals to about 25,000 aged match controls, and what they found was that risk for developing this devastating condition called peripheral neuropathy was doubled in those individuals exposed to this class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. And what the researchers also told us is that, and I quote, Fluoroquinolones have been shown to neurotoxic. Oral fluoroquinolones have also been associated with reported cases of psychosis and seizures, which similar to peripheral neuropathy have been shown to be acute events occurring within days of fluoroquinolone use.
In light of strong evidence of unnecessary prescribing of oral fluoroquinolones in the United States, clinicians must weigh the risk of PN against the benefits of prescribing FQ when prescribing these drugs to their patients. We’ve got to practice medicine under the dictum of above all do no harm. One of our most well respected peer review journals is now telling us that the use of these medicationsthese fluoroquinolone antibiotics is associated with doubling of the risk of peripheral neuropathy. A disease which often is not treatable. So keep that in mind the next time you think.