Overuse Of Antibiotics May Be Linked To IBD In Children

September 25, 2012

        WebMD (9/25, Boyles) reports, "Overuse of antibiotics may help explain why more children are being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)," according to a study published in Pediatrics.

        HealthDay (9/25, Doheny) reports that investigators "looked at data on more than one million children 17 years old or younger in nearly 500 health practices participating in a United Kingdom health network." These "children were followed for two or more years between 1994 and 2009." The investigators "found that 64 percent of the children had taken some sort of antibiotic at least once, and about 58 percent had taken antianaerobic antibiotics, which target bacteria that do not need oxygen to grow." 

        MedPage Today (9/25, Phend) reports, "Childhood exposure to...drugs that kill the anaerobic bacteria found in the gut were associated with an overall 84% elevated risk of developing IBD." The researchers reported that "the risk was highest - elevated more than fivefold - when the exposure was in the first year of life and declined with age." MedPage Today points out that "antianaerobic antibiotic agents included penicillin, amoxicillin, ampicillin (Principen), penicillin/b-lactamase inhibitor combinations, tetracyclines, clindamycin (Cleocin), metronidazole (Flagyl), cefoxitin (Mefoxin), carbapenems, and oral vancomycin (Vancocin)."