Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Et tu Cipro

Looks like another one bites the dust. The antibiotic drug class known by doctors as "The Quinalones" has just been awarded a "black box" warning from the FDA. Seems like these drugs can cause tendon ruptures and in one study tripled the risk of Achilles tendon rupture. Since these are first line antibiotics for various types of infections (including bladder and bone infections), this will have wide reaching impacts.

This general theme is also consistent with our research showing this drug class inhibits the growth of mesenchymal stem cells. In fact, our own research is suggesting a rather dismal picture for prescription drugs in general, many of which seem to inhibit adult stem cell growth. While it's been known for years that all of these drugs can have direct toxicity effects on the liver or kidney, or both organs, what has not been generally known is how they might impact the other side of the equation, namely how they might hamper the local repair effort. Until recently, modern medicine didn't understand that almost any tissue in the body is a balance between killing off cells in daily wear and tear and replacing those cells with local stem cells. While many drugs negatively impact cells of various types (organ cells or in this case cells that maintain tendons), what's also likely happening is a negative impact on the cells who replace these dead or stressed organ cells (adult stem cells). If this data holds up (we have been collecting this for the past few years), it will have wide reaching effects on modern allopathic medicine, namely many prescription drugs are not only directly hurting certain cells, but also killing off the repairmen who are supposed to fix that damage.