Oral antibiotics may attribute to kidney stones


Pediatric researchers have found out that adults and kids being treated with the same oral antibiotic medicines have a greater possibility of contracting the condition known as kidney stones. They are more at risk in these cases, so to say. This can be called the first time that a relation has been established between these medicines and this condition. The risk is the highest among the kids as well as ones who have been exposed recently to these medicines.

What are the experts saying?

The study has been led by Gregory E Tasian, MD (Doctor of Medicine), MSCE (Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology), and a pediatric urologist who works at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). In this context, it also needs to be said that Tasian has stated that previous the condition of children suffering from kidney stones was really rare.
Michelle Denburg, MD, MSCE, and a pediatric nephrologist at the same institute has acted as a co-author in the study. She says that the factors behind this increase are yet to be determined as such. However, she also mentions that as per their findings oral antibiotics do have a role to play in this. This could be especially due to the fact that these days the rate of antibiotics being prescribed for the children is higher than the adults.
The study was published on 12th May 2018 at the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

How was the research done?

The study team basically focused on electronic health records obtained from the United Kingdom (UK). These reports covered thirteen million adults as well as children who were examined by general physicians. These tests and examinations happened between the year 1994 and 2015 and the doctors in question were part of the Health Improvement Network. The team looked at the level of exposure to antibiotics for almost twenty six thousand patients who were suffering from kidney stones. They compared this to the condition of almost two lacs and sixty thousand control subjects.

What did they find?

They discovered that there was a relation between conditions where kidney stones were diagnosed and five kinds of oral antibiotic medicines.
These five classes may be mentioned as below:

  • oral sulfas
  • fluoroquinolones
  • cephalosporins
  • broad spectrum penicillins
  • nitrofurantoin

In their study the researchers also made adjustments for a number of categories that may be enumerated thus:

  • age
  • sex
  • race
  • urinary tract infection
  • other medicines being availed
  • other medical conditions being suffered from

In the study, it was found that subjects who had consumed sulfa drugs had 200 percent greater chance of developing the kidney stones condition as opposed to people who had not been exposed to antibiotic medicines.


Right now, the researchers are continuing with their work and investigating the ways the microbiomes of children, as well as adolescents, are affected. They are doing this at a single center study at CHOP. They aim to increase the scope of this research and make it a population-based broader study. This would help them get a better understanding of how the composition of micro-biome might affect the way kidney stones develop.

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