Repeatedly Taking Certain Antibiotics May Increase Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

By: Agata Blaszczak-Boxe
Published: March 25, 2015 02:41am ET

People who have taken certain antibiotics repeatedly may be at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

Researchers found that people in the study who had ever been prescribed two or more courses of specific types of antibiotics were more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than people who had never been prescribed these antibiotics, or had taken just one course. The antibiotics in the study came from one of four categories: penicillins, cephalosporins, quinolones and macrolides.

The study “raises a red flag about the overuse of antibiotics, and it should make us much more concerned about this overuse,” said Dr. Raphael Kellman, a New York City internist who was not involved in the study. “We should certainly be more judicious, more cautious when we use antibiotics.”

Physicians should keep in mind that one of the complications of prolonged use of antibiotics may be diabetes, Kellman told Live Science.

In people with type 2 diabetes, the cells of the body stop responding to the hormone insulin, which normally causes cells to take in sugar from the blood. People with the condition tend to have levels of sugar in their blood that are too high.

In the study, the researchers looked at a database of people in the United Kingdom. The researchers examined the number of antibiotic prescriptions that were given to about 200,000 people with diabetes at least one year before the individuals were diagnosed with the condition. The scientists then compared that total with the number of antibiotics prescribed to 800,000 people who didn’t have diabetes, but were the same average age as the patients. The ratio of men to women in the two groups was also the same.

The researchers found that the more courses of —> Read More