Those antibiotics might raise the risk of an aortic dissection. “A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review found that fluoroquinolone antibiotics can increase the occurrence of rare but serious events of ruptures or tears in the main artery of the body, called the aorta. These tears, called aortic dissections, or ruptures of an aortic aneurysm can lead to dangerous bleeding or even death,” the FDA said in a statement. People at increase risk, including high blood pressure, certain genetic disorders that involve blood vessel changes, Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and the elderly should not use fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
High blood pressure is the main cause of aortic dissections, which involves the inner layer of the wall or the aorta tearing away from the middle wall. Fluoroquinolones include ciprofloxacin, also known as Cipro; levofloxacin, or Levaquin; gemifloxacin, or Factive; and moxifloxacin, or Avelox. They are prescribed to treat upper respiratory infections and urinary tract infections.