Oral antibiotics may increase likelihood of developing kidney stones

A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology examined if antibiotics are a risk factor for nephrolithiasis, the process by which kidney stones are formed.

Researchers studied the association between 12 classes of oral antibiotics and nephrolithiasis in a population-based, case-control study. They examined EHR data from more than 13 million children and adults treated at 641 general practices between 1994 to 2015 in the United Kingdom.

Researchers matched 25,981 patients with nephrolithiasis to 259,797 control patients by age, sex and practice at date of diagnosis.

The study shows exposure to any of five different antibiotic classes three months to one year before the date of diagnosis was associated with nephrolithiasis.

The adjusted odds ratio between antibiotic classes and likelihood of developing nephrolithiasis was:

• 2.33 for sulfas
• 1.88 for cephalosporins
• 1.67 for fluoroquinolones
• 1.70 for nitrofurantoin/methenamine
• 1.27 for broad-spectrum penicillins

"These results have implications for disease pathogenesis and the rising incidence of nephrolithiasis, particularly among children," study authors concluded.

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