[Joint cartilage lesions caused by quinolones in young animals--can we generalize to children?] Academic Article uri icon


  • A number of new generation fluoroquinolone antibiotics are currently available for use in hospital and community-based settings. This antibiotic class possesses a broad anti-bacterial spectrum of activity, can be administered orally as well as intravenously, and is, generally, well-tolerated, causing few adverse drug reactions. Lesions in articular cartilage were observed in animal studies conducted in young animals, mostly Beagle dogs and rats. For this reason the use of fluoroquinolones is contraindicated in pregnant women, infants, children and adolescents up to the age of 18 years. Nevertheless, the rate of fluoroquinolone use in children has increased over the last decade. Use of fluoroquinolones has been associated with reversible musculoskeletal events in both children and adults. The putative mechanism of fluoroquinolone damage to articular cartilage is believed to be related to their tendency to form stable complexes with magnesium ions, resulting in decreased concentrations of this ion in cartilage. Magnesium is known to play an essential role in several biochemical processes that take place in cartilage.

publication date

  • September 1, 2011