ntibiotics are of paramount medicinal importance. They are powerful chemical substances that are mostly produced by fungi and bacteria themselves, and primarily inhibit the bacterial growth. They either slow down(bacteriostatic) or kill(bactericidal) the bacteria.

Most of the natural antibiotics are produced by fungi and some bacteria like Actinomycetes. The mode of action of antibiotics depends on the type of bacteria, and the type of antibiotic. A specialized class of antibiotics - Quinolones (Fluoroquinolones) are synthetic or artificially produced antibiotics which have a broad-spectrum activity.

Quinolones includes the common ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Cipro XR), Levofloxacin (Levaquin) and moxifloxacin.

This class of antibiotics is favored for their high effectiveness, and usually, a single dose per day is recommended by physicians.

In a study led by a team of researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBA) and the Therapeutic Unit of PHSA, this particular group of antibiotics were associated and with increased risk of heart problems. Researchers found the patients under Quinolones (mainly Ciprofloxacin) were at 2.4 times higher risk of facing Mitral and Aortic regurgitation.

Mitral regurgitation is the condition when the blood leaks backward from the mitral valve towards the left ventricle when the ventricle contracts. Mitral valve allows the control of blood passage from the left atrium to the left ventricle. The aortic valve is present in the passage between left ventricle and aorta. 

Researchers analyzed data from more than nine million patients with valvular regurgitation who were under active antibiotic prescriptions (currently under antibiotics).

They also assessed the risk in patients with prescriptions up to 30 days before the valvular attacks and prescriptions in the past up to 365 days prior to the happenings. The results clearly stated that patients under active antibiotic use had the highest cardiac risks. Past prescriptions up to 30 days stood second for the risks. Consumption of drug in the distant past, however, didn't show any association with the regurgitation event.

Dr. Bruce Carleton, director of the unit and research investigator at BC Children's Hospital recommends health professionals to remain thoughtful while prescribing antibiotics.

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