Levofloxacin and moxifloxacin may provide treatment alternatives for children who may have multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, but use of these medications in this age group should be carefully monitored, according to data reported online recently.
Jean-Vannak Chauny, of the Service de Pharmacie, Hopital Robert Debre, Paris, and colleagues reported data on six French children who were treated in a university hospital between 2005 and 2011 and received treatment with levofloxacin (Levaquin, Janssen Pharmaceuticals) and moxifloxacin (Avelox, Merck) for TB.
Four of the children were cured completely, one patient had pulmonary symptoms at the end of treatment and one child was lost to follow-up, according to the study findings.
Although fluoroquinolones are not licensed by the FDA or the European Medicines Agency for use in children, they can be used for children with severe infections, the researchers said. In other studies of fluoroquinolone use in children, arthralgia, musculoskeletal disorders and other adverse events have been noted. In this study, one child reportedly developed polyarthritis, but the symptoms resolved after cessation of treatment.
“Patients prescribed fluoroquinolones should be informed of the possibility of developing arthralgia, arthromyalgia or Achilles tendinopathies on treatment, together with the possibility of photosensitivity and peripheral neuropathies,” Chauny and colleagues said.
However, they said these treatments may provide a treatment alternative for children with severe infections.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.