What's more, after analyzing health records of 13.8 million patients, researchers found that children and adults treated with oral antibiotics have a significantly higher risk of developing kidney stones, marking the first time these treatments have been linked to this condition.
According to Gregory E. Tasian who is a pediatric urologist and the leader of this research, the entire prevalence regarding kidney stones has seen an increase of around 70% in the last 30 years. Tasian noted that kidney stones were previously rare in children.
"We're dealing with a risk-benefit relationship, and we want to make sure that antibiotics are prescribed without unnecessarily increasing adverse health outcomes", he said. After adjustments for age, sex, race, urinary tract infection, other medications and other medical conditions, patients who received sulfa drugs were more than twice as likely as those not exposed to antibiotics to have kidney stones; for broad-spectrum penicillins, the increased risk was 27 percent higher.
They found that five classes of oral antibiotics were associated with a diagnosis of kidney stone disease. Risks were increased 2.3 times, 1.9 times, 1.7 times, 1.7 times, and 1.3-times for sulfas, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, nitrofurantoin/methenamine, and broad-spectrum penicillins, respectively.
Drawing on health records from the United Kingdom, the team analysed prior antibiotic exposure for almost 26,000 patients with kidney stones and compared them with almost 260,000 control subjects.
Scientist are already aware that antibiotics alter the composition of the human microbiome, or the community of microorganisms in the body. 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.
It is still unknown why kidney stones are on a hike these days but according to the study, consuming antibiotics certainly play a major role when it comes to prescribing them to children more than that of adults.
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