An elderly patient with fluoroquinolone-associated achilles tendinitis

Am J Geriatr Pharmacother. 2008 Dec;6(5):264-8. doi: 10.1016/j.amjopharm.2008.11.002.


Background: Due to their broad-spectrum activity and oral bioavailability, fluoroquinolone antibiotics are commonly prescribed to adults aged >60 years for many common community-acquired infections. The association between fluoroquinolone use and Achilles tendinitis is well established but sometimes missed in clinical practice. Older patients and patients with renal dysfunction are at particularly increased risk for this complication.

Case summary: We present a case of Achilles tendinitis in a 77-year-old patient with renal dysfunction and a urinary tract infection (UTI) treated with ciprofloxacin 250 mg PO QD. Tendinitis developed within several days of the start of treatment and improved within 2 days of treatment cessation, without the need for intervention. The likelihood of ciprofloxacin having caused this reaction was probable (Naranjo score, 7). Early diagnosis and treatment cessation might have prevented tendon rupture, and the tendinitis resolved completely with subsequent physical therapy.

Conclusion: Based on this outcome in this patient with UTI, fluoroquinolones should be used with caution, particularly in patients with risk factors predisposing to tendinitis, including advanced age and renal dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Ciprofloxacin / adverse effects*
  • Ciprofloxacin / chemistry
  • Ciprofloxacin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / complications
  • Kidney Diseases / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Tendinopathy / chemically induced*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / complications
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Ciprofloxacin