Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox Aortic Dissection Lawyers
Aortic dissection is a painful and potentially life-threatening condition, which may be caused by side effects of Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro and other antibiotics that are part of a class of medications known as fluoroquinolones.
As a result of the failure to adequately warn about this potential risk, aortic dissection lawsuits are being reviewed by the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. for individuals who experienced problems while using any of the following antibiotics:
- Levaquin (levofloxacin)
- Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
- Avelox (moxifloxacin)
- Noroxin (norfloxacin)
- Floxin (ofloxacin)
- Factive (gemifloxacin)
It appears that the drug makers knew or should have known about the aortic dissection risk from the antibiotics, yet withheld information from users and the medical community. To review a potential claim for yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.
Antibiotic Aortic Dissection Problems
Fluoroquinolones are one of the most widely used class of antibiotics in the United States, with more than 26 million patients each year receiving a prescription for the drugs either as pills or injections. Many experts agree that Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro are unreasonably dangerous for many of the common infections they have been prescribed for in recent years.
While the side effects of the antibiotics are known to cause problems with connective tissues in the body, resulting in injuries like tendon rupture and retinal detachment, the drug makers failed to warn about other problems that may be caused by the degradation of tissue.
In October 2015, study in published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine first highlighted the risk that the widely used antibiotics may cause an aortic dissection or aortic aneurysm.
These serious conditions are extremely dangerous and can cause severe pain and even wrongful death.
An aortic dissection is similar to an aortic aneurysm, except they occur between the layers of the aorta itself. Aortic dissections cause a separation of the middle and inner layers of the artery, cuffing off blood flow. Unlike aortic aneurysms, which may not cause serious problems when small, aortic dissections can quickly result in a fatal rupture.
While an aortic dissection from Levaquin, Avelox or Cipro may lead to an aortic aneurysm, the condition does not always. As a result, this makes it difficult to detect and diagnose aortic dissection in some cases, which can decrease the chance of survival.
There are two types of aortic dissections; Type A, which occur in the upper aorta and are the most common and most dangerous; and Type B, which occur in the lower aorta and often have a far lesser risk of becoming a fatal rupture.
If the makers of Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro had provided aortic dissection warnings, users and the medical community would have been aware to be on the look out for symptoms like:
- Sudden and Severe Upper Chest or Upper Back Pain
- Loss of Consciousness
- Shortness of Breath
- Trouble Speaking
- Vision Loss
- Weakness or Paralysis On One Side Of the Body
- One Arm Having A Weaker Pulse Than The Other
Medical experts recommend anyone suspected of having an aortic dissection immediately seek medical attention or call 911. In cases where the aorta ruptures, the results can be devastating, including:
- Loss of Consciousness
- Heart Attack
- Wrongful Death
Aortic dissection diagnosis usually comes following the report of symptoms, a diagnosis of differing blood pressure in the arms, a widening of the aorta seen through a chest x-ray, a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), CT scan, or magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA).
The manufacturers of Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox and similar antibiotics have not placed warnings of aortic dissection on the labels of these drugs, so many doctors and patients are likely unaware of the potential risks. In addition, they can be misdiagnosed as a stroke or other heart problem.
Avelox, Cipro and Levaquin Aortic Dissection Side Effects
According to allegations raised in Levaquin lawsuits, Cipro lawsuits and Avelox aortic dissection lawsuits, the makers of these popular drugs failed to adequately research the side effects and the impact the antibiotics may have on connective tissue and cartilage throughout the body.
In 2008, the FDA required the pharmaceutical companies selling fluoroquinolone-based antibiotics to add black box warnings about the risk of tendon ruptures. Subsequent studies have also raised concerns about the risk of retinal detachment, which is caused by the same mechanism of action where the drugs impact connective tissue and cartilage throughout the body.
Researchers in this 2015 study evaluated the aortic dissection and aneurysm risks with Fluoroquinolones, finding that users may face more than double the risk of experiencing the problems. The longer Levaquin, Avelox or Cipro are used, the higher the risk of aortic dissection and aneurysm injuries users may face, according to the findings.
The study noted that this risk may be linked to the same mechanism of action that causes tendon ruptures and retinal detachment. The drugs may decrease the strength of the structural integrity of extracellular matrix proteins. These proteins are regulated by proteolytic enzymes, including metalloproteinases (MMPs). The researchers theorize that Fluoroquinolones may decrease production of MMPs and lead to extracellular matrix degradation, which could cause all three of these conditions.
In March 2018, another study published in the medical journal The BMJ provided further evidence on the link between antibiotics and acute aortic disease, including aortic dissections and aortic aneurysm. Researchers evaluated data on 360,088 treatments with fluoroquinolone antibiotics, finding that within 60 days, the rate of aortic dissection or aortic aneurysm was 1.2 cases per 1,000 person years. This suggested a 66% increased risk compared to users of amoxicillin.
If the manufacturers had conducted proper studies to better determine the risks of these drugs, many users may have been able to avoid severe pain, injury or even death by using another antibiotic.
Treatment of aortic dissection in the upper aorta typically involves invasive surgery to remove and replace the dissected sections with an artificial graft. The aortic valve often needs to be replaced as well. Type B dissections can sometimes be treated with a wire mesh stent, and in some cases can be mitigated with drugs known as beta blockers, like Nitropress.
Similar drugs are given to patients with Type A aortic dissections before surgery, but Type A dissections cannot be treated by medications alone.
They must then be placed on an often restrictive and lifestyle-altering diet generally prescribed to heart surgery and heart disease patients.
Antibiotic Aortic Dissection Lawyers
The makers of Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox and other Fluoroquinolones appear to have placed their desire for profits before the safety of consumers by failing to properly study or warn the medical community about the risk of aortic dissections. As a result financial compensation may be available through an aortic dissection class action lawsuit or individual claim for individuals and families who have experienced problems.
Many severe and life-threatening injuries caused by an aortic dissection may have been avoided if adequate warnings had been provided, including expensive medical tests, invasive surgery, restrictive lifestyle changes and wrongful death.
The aortic dissection lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. provide free consultations and claim evaluations for individuals and families throughout the United States. There are never any out-of-pocket costs to hire our law firm, and we only receive an attorney fee or reimbursed expenses if a recovery is obtained in your case.
Contact our office today to determine if you or a loved one may be entitled to a financial settlement for an aortic dissection or aortic aneurysm injury after using Levaquin, Cipro or Avelox.