Levaquin, Other Antibiotics May Cause Serious Side Effects

According to The New York Times, fluoroquinolones, which are a class of antibiotics, may cause serious side effects. The most well-known of these meds are Avelox, Cipro, and Levaquin, which have been named in over 2,000 drug injury lawsuits.

Often, fluoroquinolones are not prescribed correctly and are used to treat bronchitis, sinusitis, earaches, and other illnesses that don’t require such strong medications instead of combatting more potentially fatal bacterial infections. According to pharmacological epidemiologist Dr. Mahyar Etminan, who is affiliated with the University of British Columbia, one reason for this is that some doctors opt to prescribe a more powerful drug when a much milder one is even warranted. Dr. Etminan was involved in a study that can be found in The Journal of the American Medical Association‘s April edition.

Per the study, patients who take fluoroquinolones have a five times greater chance of suffering from potentially blinding retinal detachment than those not taking this type of antibiotic. Etminan was also involved in another study in which he documented that fluoroquinolones users experienced an increase risk of kidney failure.

The Times article talks about one patient, Lloyd Balch, who experienced serious complications from Levaquin, which his doctor prescribed for him even after he brought up concerns about the possible side effects. Balch reportedly experienced weakness and pain after one dose and was instructed to take a second one, which led to joint pain and vision problems. He also has experienced problems walking, dry mouth, eyes, and skin, urine problems, eye burning, uncontrollable shaking, and muscle spasms.

Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has been the defendant in numerous Levaquin injury lawsuits over has tendon ruptures and permanent tendon damage. Many of the plaintiffs are alleging a failure to warn of this side effect. (Fluoroquinolones do come with a “black box” warning about the tendinitis and ruptured tendon risks but some people believe such warnings aren’t always read.) Also, concerns over failure to warn have also been associated with retinal detachment.

Other serious injuries linked to fluoroquinolones include injuries to the central nervous system, heart, liver, gastrointestinal system, the musculoskeletal system, the renal system, and the visual system. They may even impact one’s blood sugar metabolism. Depression, psychotic reactions, hallucinations, phototoxicity, disfiguring rashes, Staphylococcus aureus, C. difficile infections, and severe diarrhea are also among the possible side effects.

Popular Antibiotics May Carry Serious Side Effects, New York Times, September 10, 2012

American Medical Association

FDA requires black-box warnings for fluoroquinolones

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Altman & Altman, LLP is a drug injury law firm that represent clients injured because a medication caused serious side effects, did not warn about potential risks, was improperly marketed or packaged, or proved too dangerous for other reasons. We have the experience and pursue even the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world in an effort to obtain the compensation owed to victims and their loved ones.

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