Which medications increase the risk of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS)?

Updated: Jul 14, 2021
  • Author: Michael T Andary, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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In a case-controlled study, patients with GBS reported more frequent penicillin and antimotility drug use and less frequent oral contraceptive use. However, no definite cause-effect relationships have been established. [69]

Case reports exist in the setting of tumor necrosis factor antagonist agents used in rheumatoid arthritis. [70, 71, 72, 73] Case reports also exist regarding streptokinase, isotretinoin, danazol, captopril, gold, and heroin, among others.

A study by Ali indicated that antibiotic therapy with fluoroquinolones also is associated with the development of GBS. Using cases reported between 1997 and 2012 to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Reporting System, he determined that of 539 reports of peripheral neuropathy associated with fluoroquinolone treatment, 9% were for patients with GBS. [74]

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