Runners Must be Wary of Achilles Tendon Injuries and Certain Antibiotics


Achilles tendon injuries are known to be caused by intense activities, but not many know that antibiotics are also a cause for concern. In fact, the FDA has warned that a certain class of antibiotics, fluoroquinolones, could cause problems with the Achilles tendon and can be a problem for runners.

Fluoroquinolones attack a variety of destructive bacteria and often work to fight infections, but they can also disturb tendons by increasing the number of enzymes that harm soft-tissue cells. This can prove disastrous for runners as they place heavy loads of pressure on their Achilles tendons, which can lead to the tendon rupturing. The likelihood of a runner sustaining an injury from this type of antibiotic depends on several factors, including the duration the medication is used, the runner’s age, and having kidney complications or corticosteroids use. Moreover, the effects on the tendon from this medication can last for years. Therefore, doctors are realizing that they must try to avoid prescribing fluoroquinolones for patients that participate in high-intensity activities such as running.

Treatment for this condition includes:

·         Avoiding intense training when taking these types of antibiotics. Even after the course of antibiotics is finished, runners should have a podiatrist monitor their tendon strength to avoid an Achilles tendon rupture.

·         Decreasing the need for antibiotics by changing clothes that they run infrequently, keeping the immune system strong, and eating a healthy diet to support the body in fighting off any lingering infections.

The Achilles tendon is important to mobility. If there is any chance that fluoroquinolones can have a negative effect on your Achilles tendon when running, you must take the necessary precautions and obtain required treatment to avoid serious injury. Please contact us at Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute, located in our West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida offices to get needed care for your feet. Our podiatrist, John Schilero, DPM, will do his best to help your Achilles tendon stay in good health. So, make an appointment by calling our office at 561-694-7776 EXT. 41 and don’t hesitate to review our Patient Education section.