Antibiotics increase the risk of kidney stones

Antibiotics assembled to look like kidneys

United States pediatric researchers found that children and adults treated with certain antibiotics had a greater risk of developing kidney stones. Children and adolescents seem to be the most affected. They also mentioned that the risk of kidney stones decreased over time but remained elevated several years after antibiotic use. Kidney stones are more common in adults than in kids, but more children and teenagers are getting them lately and some doctors at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia think antibiotics may play a role.

For reasons that are not clear, nephrolithiasis (kidney stone) has increased by about 70% over the past 30 years, especially among children and adolescents, according to the Athens News Agency.

Taking certain oral antibiotics may come with an unpleasant side effect, according to new research.

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Kidney stones are pebble-like mineral deposits that can form in either or both of the kidneys. In such cases, a urologist may need to remove the kidney stones or break them into smaller pieces.

The study, in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, used health records of 13.8 million patients of general practitioners in Britain.

Exposure to any one of five different antibiotic classes 3-12 months before the index date was associated with nephrolithiasis. After adjustments for age, sex, race, urinary tract infection, other medications and medical conditions, patients who received sulfa drugs were more than twice as likely as those not exposed to antibiotics to have kidney stones, the researchers said.

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It's estimated that about 30 percent of antibiotic prescriptions are 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.

They believe that their findings should inform doctors' decisions when considering whether or not to prescribe antibiotics to children, as they are the greatest recipients of these drugs. "A change in prescribing patterns might decrease the current epidemic of kidney stones in children".

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.

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