Can Antibiotics Cause Jaundice in Newborns?


Yes, certain antibiotics can potentially cause jaundice in newborns as a rare side effect. One example is sulfonamides, which can sometimes lead to a condition called kernicterus in newborns. Kernicterus occurs when high levels of bilirubin accumulate in the blood, leading to yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) and potentially causing neurological damage.

However, it’s important to note that antibiotic-induced jaundice in newborns is relatively rare and typically occurs in specific circumstances, such as when there is an underlying condition that predisposes the baby to jaundice or when antibiotics are used inappropriately or in high doses.

Newborns are particularly vulnerable to jaundice due to factors such as immature liver function and increased breakdown of red blood cells. While jaundice is relatively common in newborns and often resolves on its own without treatment, severe cases may require medical intervention, including phototherapy or, in rare cases, exchange transfusion.

If a newborn develops jaundice while receiving antibiotics or any other medication, it’s essential for healthcare providers to monitor the baby closely and adjust treatment as necessary to ensure their safety and well-being. Parents should also promptly report any concerning symptoms or changes in their baby’s condition to their healthcare provider.

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