UEMO at the EMA’s Public Hearing

19/06/2018 News UEMO 2158 Views
UEMO at the EMA’s Public Hearing

On 13 June 2018, the EMA (European Medical Agency) Public hearing took place in London, UK. 23 speakers from 11 EU different countries had the opportunity to share their experiences with quinolones and fluoroquinolones, a class of antibiotics widely prescribed in the European Union (EU).

UEMO was represented by Dr. McCarthy, UEMO’s Vice-President, as one of the healthcare professional speakers of the event.

Part of the meeting was aimed at hearing the side effects of quinolones and fluoroquinolones. The Chair, Dr. June Raine, showed evidences from patients and patient groups. All spoke of symptoms occurring from two hours to six months after ingestion, many of which lasted long after the drug had been stopped. There were statements that these drugs were unlike other antibiotics in that they attacked not just bacterial DNA but also mitochondrial DNA.

There were submissions from many different countries as well as from the industry and healthcare professionals and academia.

Dr McCarthy, UEMO Vice-President, stated that antibiotics should only be used for bacterial infections where they would be of significant benefit. Broad spectrum antibiotics should not be used first line and quinolones should be avoided because of their poor side effect profile and association with C Difficile infections.

Side effects may be long-lasting and all tendons may be involved. Lengthening of the QT interval provokes arrhythmias and aortic dissection has been recently reported. They should be reserved for isolates where sensitivity is confirmed and there is no lower-risk alternative. Publicity about side effects should be disseminated to prescribers and side effects should be reported through national online systems.

In conclusion, the use of quinolones and fluoroquinolones might be effective but it should be reserved only for severe infections. Moreover, many agreed on the need of a better communication, points of care testing and more teaching guidelines.

More information:

EMA Press Release

EMA’S Public Hearing Full Video


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