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, 14 (4), e0216029

Fluoroquinolone-related Adverse Events Resulting in Health Service Use and Costs: A Systematic Review


Fluoroquinolone-related Adverse Events Resulting in Health Service Use and Costs: A Systematic Review

Laura S M Kuula et al. PLoS One.


Background and objectives: Adverse events (AEs) associated with the use of fluoroquinolone antimicrobials include Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea (CDAD), liver injury and seizures. Yet, the economic impact of these AEs is seldom acknowledged. The aim of this review was to identify health service use and subsequent costs associated with ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin and ofloxacin -related AEs.

Methods: A literature search covering Medline, SCOPUS, Cinahl, Web of Science and Cochrane Library was performed in April 2017. Two independent reviewers systematically extracted the data and assessed the quality of the included studies. All costs were converted to 2016 euro in order to improve comparability.

Results: Of the 5,687 references found in the literature search, 19 observational studies, of which five were case-controlled, fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Hospitalization was an AE-related health service use outcome in 17 studies. Length of hospital stay associated with AEs varied between <5 and 45 days. The estimated cost of an AE episode ranged between 140 and 18,252 €. CDAD was associated with the longest stays in hospital. Ten studies reported AE-related length of stays and five evaluated costs associated with AEs. Due to the lack of published literature, health service use and costs associated with many high-risk FQ-related AEs could not be evaluated.

Conclusions: Because of the wide clinical use of fluoroquinolones, in particular serious fluoroquinolone-related AEs can have substantial economic implications, in addition to imposing potentially devastating health complications for patients. Further measures are required to prevent and reduce health service use and costs associated with fluoroquinolone-related AEs. Equally, better-quality reporting and additional published data on health service use and costs associated with AEs are needed.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Fig 1
Fig 1. Flow chart of the study selection process.
Fig 2
Fig 2. Quality assessment of the included studies.
The included studies were assessed according to STROBE checklist and awarded scores, which are presented in percentages.

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The authors received no specific funding for this work.