Antibiotics Raise Kidney Stone Risk, Especially in Young People

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Five common antibiotics raise the risk for kidney stones, according to a study conducted at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. These include broad-spectrum penicillin, sulfa drugs, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, and nitrofurantoin/methenamine. In all, the researchers looked at 12 types of antibiotics, finding that seven types do not raise kidney stone risk.

The highest risk for developing kidney stones after using oral antibiotics occurred in children and teens, in whom the risk remained higher than normal for several years but decreased over time. This increased risk ranged from 27 percent with broad-spectrum penicillins to more than 50 percent with sulfas.

Although previous studies have linked changes in the intestinal and urinary microbiomes to kidney stones, this is the first to suggest there’s a link between antibiotics and kidney stones, according to the researchers. The study did not show cause and effect, however, and some people may have had undiagnosed kidney problems before taking antibiotics, inflating their kidney stone risk.

Sourced from: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology