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Editorials |

The Quinolones

ROBERT J. FASS, M.D.
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The Ohio State University College of Medicine; Columbus, Ohio


Ann Intern Med. 1985;102(3):400-402. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-102-3-400
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Nalidixic acid is a quinolonecarboxylic acid that was introduced into medical practice in 1963. As an orally given drug, it had a spectrum of activity as broad as that of kanamycin; most enterobacteria were susceptible, but Pseudomonas aeruginosa and enterococci were resistant. Its use was limited to the treatment of urinary tract infections because of low achievable blood concentrations. Although gastrointestinal, dermatologic, and neurologic (visual disturbances, confusion, hallucinations, seizures) effects were occasionally seen, therapy with the drug was relatively well tolerated (1).

Because of problems with bacterial resistance, nalidixic acid was never a very popular therapeutic agent. In one study

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