Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Avoid Gatifloxacin in Diabetes

Gatifloxacin [Tequin,Gatt,Gatri,Gutsi] a Fluoroquinolone antibiotic is now discontinued or banned in most developed countries. The major problem with this antibiotic is Dysglycemia [meaning abnormal Glucose metabolism] resulting in either high or sometimes very low blood sugar in Diabetic patients.It can also produce cardiac rhythm disturbances in some patients.
Unfortunately it is widely available in India. As it attains good concentration in urine and eyes it is still widely prescribed by Ophthalmologists and Urologists.Lack of awareness among doctors about Gatifloxacin's above mentioned adverse effects reflects the sad state of drug information system in India.The situation is made worse by laboratory culture reports which show sensitivity of the organism only to one oral drug,Gatifloxacin.
I had some bad experiences with this drug.Many of my diabetic patients went in to either Hypoglycemic[low sugar] coma or dangerous hyperglycemia[high blood sugar] after taking Gatifloxacin prescribed by other doctors.
It is high time for the Drug Controller in India to either ban or display black box warnings on the label of Gatifloxacin so that no further harm is caused to the patients.

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