HealthDay News — A patient’s risk of type 2 diabetes may increase with repeated use of certain antibiotics, study findings suggest.

“Gut microbiota influence metabolic pathways relevant to the pathogenesis of obesity, insulin(resistance and diabetes,” noted Yu-Xiao Yang, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues in the European Journal of Endocrinology.

Antibiotic therapy can alter the microbiota and is commonly used in western countries.”

Continue Reading

To evaluate whether past antibiotic exposure increases diabetes risk, the investigators conducted a nested case-study control using a large population-based database from the United Kingdom.

Patients who were prescribed at least two courses of four types of antibiotics — penicillins, cephalosporins, quinolones, and macrolides — were more likely to develop diabetes. The risk of diabetes rose with the number of antibiotics prescribed, found the scientists.

Two to five courses of a penicillin increased the risk of diabetes by 8%, and more than five courses increased the risk by 23%. Two to five courses of quinolones increased the risk of diabetes by 15%, and more than five courses increased the risk by 37%,.

The higher risk of diabetes associated with the antibiotics was determined after adjusting for other diabetes risk factors such as obesity, smoking, coronary artery disease, and infections.

“While our study does not show cause and effect, we think changing levels and diversity of gut bacteria could explain the link between antibiotics and diabetes risk,” said Yang in a journal news release.


  1. Yang YX et al. European Journal of Endocrinology. 2015; doi: 10.1530/EJE-14-1163