On 11th April 2018 the Pharmaceutical Journal (Vol 300, No 7912, p 201) reported that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is to hold a public hearing on the safety of quinolone and fluoroquinolone antibiotics, as part of an ongoing Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) review of these medicines.
As the above chemical names might suggest, the main distinction between these two classes of compound is that the fluoroquinolone compounds contain a fluorine atom, attached to the all-carbon ring in these heterocyclic molecules, and compounds in quinolone group do not.
Concern has been growing about serious long-lasting side effects in patients after taking a quinolone or a fluoroquinolone antibiotic especially for mild infections.
The date of the hearing has been set for 13 June 2018 and the Agency has invited applications to attend from patients, researchers and health professionals — including pharmacists. Hopefully some carers have been included too, a group often overlooked.
Keep your eyes open for the findings of the hearing, which we will try to report on when the outcome is available. Will both classes of compound be of equal concern or not?