Antibiotics linked to increased risk of kidney stones

Antibiotics assembled to look like kidneys

Antibiotics assembled to look like kidneys

In a paper published to the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, a team from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has searched through more than 20 years of data to find a possible link between the taking of oral antibiotics and the development of kidney stones.

U.S. pediatric researchers found that children and adults treated with certain antibiotics had a greater risk of developing kidney stones. Young people also seemed to be most susceptible to developing kidney stones after taking these medications, they add. Antibiotics alter the microbial composition in the human body.

Kidney stones are pebble-like mineral deposits that can form in either or both of the kidneys.

Gregory E. Tasian, pediatric urologist who conducted the study, said in a statement that the overall prevalence of kidney stones has increased 70% over the last thirty years, with particularly strong increases in teenagers and young women.

"Everyone thinks you're older when you get them, so no one believed it when I said I had kidney stones", said Gaal.


The scientists analyzed the electronic health records of 13 million adults and children in the United Kingdom who saw their doctor between 1994 and 2015. The team matched 25,981 patients with nephrolithiasis to 259,797 controls by age, sex, and practice at the date of diagnosis (termed the index date).

After adjusting for mitigating factors such as other medication use and being diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, diabetes or gout, they found that sulfas, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, nitrofurantoin/methenamine and broad-spectrum penicillins were all associated with a heightened risk of kidney stones, when taken three to 12 months before diagnosis.

He says the theory is that antibiotics disrupt healthy bacteria in the intestinal or urinary tract which then leads to the formation of kidney stones.

The study authors highlight that, in other studies, up to 30 percent of antibiotic prescriptions have been found to be inappropriate. Just because children are prescribed more of them as compared to adults, researchers suggest that the clinicians need to be more honest and mindful while prescribing medication especially when they are dealing with young patients.

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