Cipro and Levaquin Achilles Tendon Rupture Lawsuits

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted March 19, 2008


The antibiotics Cipro and Levaquin have been associated with an increased risk of tendon ruptures, particularly involving the Achilles tendon. Despite a disturbing number of reports of problems, the manufacturers have failed to adequately warn about the risk of tendon damage and many users have not been made aware that they should immediately report any early signals of tendon pain.

>>INFORMATION: Levaquin Achilles Tendon Rupture Lawsuits

The FDA has received hundreds of reports of tendon ruptures, tendonitis and other severe forms of tendon damage after using fluoroquinolones, a class of antibioitics which Levaquin and Cipro are a part of. About 60% of the reported tendon ruptures followed the use of Levaquin and the most frequently ruptured tendon was the Achilles tendon.

Also known as the calcaneal tendon or tendocalcaneus, the Achilles tendon attaches the calf to the heel bone. An Achilles tendon rupture is a very painful injury and it often requires surgery to reattach the tendon to its normal position. Months of rehabilitation and therapy are often necessary to regain use of the ankle, and it is not uncommon for there to be ongoing tendon problems and pain even after a repair.

The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential Levaquin and Cipro Achilles tendon rupture lawsuits. Although most of the people who have contacted our office after suffering tendon problems took either Levaquin (levoflaxacin) or Cipro (ciprofloxacin), tendon damage has also been associated with the use of other similar antibiotics, such as:

  • Penetrex (enoxacin)
  • Tequin (gatifloxacin)
  • Maxaquin (moxifloxacin)
  • Noroxin (norfloxacin)
  • Floxin (Ofloxacin)

If you, a friend or family member suffered an Achilles tendon rupture or other tendon damage after taking Levaquin or one of the other fluoroquinolone antibiotics, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

38 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Bill says:

    Five years ago, for no apparent reason and without pain, I discovered that I could no longer reach above my head with my left arm. An MD could not find the reason, except to say that tendons had pulled free of muscle at the upper arm area and that the “socket” itself was fine!
    About 6 months later I viewed my left shoulder blade on a home video and it just flopped about! again without pain…difficult to sleep on left side though, if at all.
    Just prior to this, about three months, during an employment physical, the examining MD stated that I probably cannot pivot my left foot up while the heel was on the floor while I was sitting! He was right! What caused him to make this observation? He would not discuss this with me, stating that he was responsible to the employer only..strange!
    I had been prescribed antibiotics for dental work and wonder if the antibiotics were at fault.

    Posted on July 16, 2008 at 6:22 pm

  • Lynn says:

    My husband took levaquin for bronchitis and now he is having symptoms of severe pain in his right shoulder with swelling in the deltoid muscle and pain radiates down to his elbow. I saw the commercial on TV this weekend. We had no idea. I told my husband and he just laughed and said it was coincidental.

    Posted on August 25, 2008 at 10:32 am

  • Traci says:

    I too took cipro and leviquin frequently for bronchitis. One day my thumb would not move and was very painful. It looked almost like it had dislocated. I went to the ER and the doctor also thought I had somehow dislocated my thumb. My x-rays came back with no dislocation or break. He was baffled and sent me to ortho. The orthopedic doctor told me that the tendon that attached to my thumb had “snapped” and would require surgery to repair. After suregery and PT my thumb is functional again and I returned to work only to have my rotator cuff and tendon in my shoulder tear, this to required surgery to repair. I had two surgeries and years of PT.

    Posted on October 3, 2008 at 11:44 pm

  • Kimberly says:

    I am 34, I took Levaquin this past spring for a sinus infection. After 7 days I needed help from a sitting position on the floor as my knees felt as though they would blow out. Every joint in my body hurt including the first knuckles on my fingers to my toes. My doctor later told me it was something called serum sickness, a rare side effect.I also had pain in my armpit and chest which required ultrasound and mammogram that found nothing. It has been months later and I still have pain in one knee and now have Achilles tendinitis, where some days it is almost unbearable chasing my 1 year old around. I am hoping this works itself out too.

    Posted on October 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm

  • antoinette says:

    both my achilles tendons snapped after taking 2 ofloxin caplets, within 24 hours.

    i have had no help, doctors denied ofloxin was involved, 8 years later am disabled and bitter.

    Posted on October 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm

  • beth says:

    I have had to take antibiotics for a couple of years now for a chronic staph infection in my nose. I have had cipro and leviquin and now I am in terrible pain everyday with pain in my achilles tendons in both lower legs, my shoulders at the rotator cuff, my right elbow, my left knee and my left arm to the thumb. I can’t hardly stand the pain sometimes. I still have my staph infection that won’t go away but now I feel like an old person that needs a walker and before I was very active. I couldn’t understand why I was in so much pain but now that I have read the reports on cipro and leviquin I know what is wrong with me but how do i go to my doctor and fill him in on what I think is wrong with me. I need help…..

    Posted on October 27, 2008 at 7:55 pm

  • Laura says:

    I unfortunately have shared a similar experience with my right hip. Having been perscribed Cipro for an agressive UTI within 2 days I was feeling terrible hip pain, but attributed it to overdoing it. I still continued to take my meds, the following night when I was cooking dinner, I bent down to get a casserole dish and stood to the most unbearable pain I have ever experienced. Felt like my hip had dislocated, I was alone with my three children and could not get help. I finally got it “back in to place” but continued to experience pain. I could not for the life of me figure out how this could happen to an athletic, healthy, retired ballerina. The only thing different was the use of the Cipro. I got out the insert and started to read the very fine print. There it stated as “rare side effect” was tendonopaty especially in populations with extreme range of motion (like gymnasts, ice skaters, dancers) and those who have experienced prior tendon injury. I went the next day to my FP, had x-rays, and was told the stay off of it for 3 month, he also told me that it was impossible to dislocate my hip. That was 3 years ago, I have been to four other medical professionals, everytime I ask if the Cipro could have caused it I get either claims that that is impossible, or that that is such a unusally rare side effect that it could not have happened to me. I began to research for myself and discovered an entire group on line of people with similar experiences. I have still not recovered to my level of normalcy and have just recently turned to Pilates hoping to rehab myself.

    Posted on April 2, 2009 at 12:43 am

  • Sally says:

    In August of 2008 I was put on 10 days of Cipro, 2x a day, 500 mg each. In October of 2008 I was again put on Cipro, same dosage and time. The doctor had put one refill on the prescription. The 9th day I got out of bed in the morning and experienced extreme pain in my left achilles tendon. I had sprained my ankle 10 years before and this pain was completely different. Not know yet what was the problem I had the refil filled and began taking it. I saw the doc 2 days later, but she didn’t think it involved the tendon. However, she arranged for an MRI and made an appt. for me to see the specialist 4 days later.

    The first think he asked me was had I been taking any antiobiotice recently. When I told him, he said that was what causing the problem. I was put in a removeable cast for 2 months, which I could remove to sleep. However, I also was having pain below my ankles, the tops of my feet and that entire area, in both feet. After 3 months I began ulltrasound treatments. I had 3, a week apart and after each one I experienced more pain. After the third time it was worse and 3 days later I began having terrible pains in my ankles and feet. DO NOT have ultrasound treatments, because the problem is caused by inflamation due to the Cipro. Nobody knows how long it takes for that kind of inflammation to leave. Believe me when I saw that inflammed tendons do not respond well to ultrasound. I am now back in the removable case and will be in it for 2-3 months.

    I continue having having strange pains and cramp like hot pains in my feet, especially my left foot. My doctor told me that even though I had been wearing a splint down the back of my leg and under my foot my ankle was allowed to twist some for turning around and back and forth while moving around my house. He said sone of the tendons in my ankles and feet had pulled apart from each other. I am so upset about this I can hardly stand it.

    I am not able to go more then 5 miles, each way, in a car because it causes the entire areas to hurt more and then it takes several days for it to subside. I am in constant pain and lost one job that pays me $400 a month. It was 60 mile RT from my house. I am retired with a very small pension and Soc. Sec. Without that I do not know how I could pay my rent or eat.

    I have filed a lawsuit with attorneys in Texas and hopefully will be able to recover at least the income I have lost. I can’t stay on my feet for more then 2 hours and the pain gets too bad, inspite of the pain meds I take. Then I have to elevate my feet for 2 hours and after lunch I take a nap for 2 hours and after supper I spend 4-5 hours watching TV and doing needlework to keep from going crazy.

    It has not been 6-1/2 months and I see 6-10 more months for recovery. Because of my setbacks I feel strongly that the tendons should be allowed to heal before rehab starts, except for mild stretching at home. One isn’t allowed to take a cast off a broken bone 2 weeks before the 6 week recovery, so I think the recovery and rehab for this type of tendintis begin. I have learned the hard way, so now I will allow them to heal.

    Also, even though the FDA issued an order to put a Black Box Warning on cipro in July of 2008, there was none on any of my prescriptions. I stopped taking the refil as soon as I found out what was causing my problems.

    Posted on April 30, 2009 at 7:04 pm

  • Dianne says:

    I recently (within 3 months) took the drug Levaquin for whooping cough. I have always been an avid hiker and backpacker and now am having extreme pain in my left hip and in my right achilles heel. My arms and legs ache on a regular basis and I have never had this before. I don’t know what to do.

    Posted on May 25, 2009 at 7:27 pm

  • ellen says:

    I was recently given Leviquin for Phenomia after having taken it intravenously and then in tablet form I started to have problems. My shoulders and upper arms hurt and I am not able to lift my left harm. My knees ache and it is very difficult to stand for long periods of time. My hands go numb for no reason. When I talked with my doctor she told me that it could not be the medication that it was used in thousands of cases without reaction. I never had any of these problems before taking this medication and at this point I have had to resign from my job because physically I am not capable of handling the responsibilities required.

    Posted on June 3, 2009 at 12:35 am

  • jane says:

    I was given Levaquin then Avalox then levaquin again within a 2 1/2 month period for a persistent sinus infection. Within a few weeks of having last dose I began to have pain in my left heel. i blew it off thinking I had pulled a muscle and iced it. After 3 weeks of coming and going pain, I saw the doctor. when he heard that I had been on Levaquin, he responded with /”oh no” several of my patients have had the same result with achilles tendon problems. After an MRI it was discovered I had 2 tears in my achilles and 1 elsewhere in that foot. I am now in a boot cast for at least 4 weeks. I reported this to my allergist who had prescribed drug and he was very concerned and told me he was going to report this. I will NEVER ever again abe on any Levaquin or that family of antibiotics again!

    Posted on June 12, 2009 at 9:00 pm

  • Margie says:

    I took Cipro for 2 days for UTI then my foot started to hurt so bad I called the doc and she gave me prednisone and it got worse ..I finished all the RX never realizing..I called and told her I looked it up and I could not walk at all without a cane.. she said it is not the drugs and she wished they would not give people info like that ..I went to a foot and ankle Doc and she said wear corrective shoes it was tendinnatis and off it ..I sould not walk for 2 mos ..It still swells and hurts some but now I have pain at night in both bicepts so bad I can hardly sleep and feel like someone is pressing on my chest ,,

    I am a widow m y husband was on dialysis and supposed to get a kidney in a couple of weeks ..He spilled hot water on his feet and had to take leviquin and he broke out on chest and had sores in mouth and he died and the neurologist said it was the leviquin ..

    I am at a loss as to what to do but I am worried ..

    Posted on August 11, 2009 at 11:18 pm

  • darla says:

    I am a 36 year verteren coach and phyical education teacher. Last March I was prescribed Levaquin for Bacterial Pneumonia. After several days on the antibiotic, I began to feel severe body and joint aches and pains, lethargy, and pain in both heels and achilles tendon area. My doctor said I has having a reaction to the Levaquin and took me off of it stating that my symptoms would go away. After I stopped taking the drug, I did begin to feel better, but the Achillies area in my right foot still hurt. I was of vacation for 2 1/2 months and went back to work in August, coaching Volleyball. My right achilles tendon hurts. The pain is getting worse, I am now favoring my right leg and having to ice everyday when I get home after work. I will be seeing a othodedic surgeon soon and hopefully will find out if I do indeed have some achillies tendonitis. I can not coach as well as I should because I am so aftraid to tearing the tendon, knowing that it could be detrimental to my job. I also have problems with my thumbs, for some reason. I saw the commercial on tv about the Levaquin situations and would like to talk to someone about options that I may have. I do have evidentiary medical information availability. I would appreciate feedback.

    Posted on September 4, 2009 at 9:43 pm

  • dcombs says:

    I am having achilles tendon problems that my be due to taking Levaquin for pneumonia in March 2009. I am afraid that I will rupture the tendon and be out of a job. I am a phyical education teacher and coach and my job performance is slowing down due to the pain. I also am having some immobility, swelling, and pain in my thumb joints. I would like to talk to someone. I heard the commercial on tv and did not know about the potential problems with Levaquin unitil I saw the adds on tv and information on the internet

    Posted on September 4, 2009 at 9:54 pm

  • Kim says:

    I took levaquin about 11 months ago. I’m having severe pain in my left achilles. I have been to several doctors and the last one put me in a cast for three weeks when they took the cast off they put me back in a boot and i no longer can put any weight on my foot. The tendon is not torn, but i can not get any help I’am seeing another doctor on Monday. I’m very frustrated.

    Posted on October 16, 2009 at 3:21 pm

  • elizabeth says:

    I went to see the doctor for sinusitus and bronchitis 24 days ago. He prescribed a 10 day course of 320mg FACTIVE. Whilst taking it I had various side-effects which at the time I didn’t attribute to the med, such as hallucinations, and bleeding. On the 8th day of treatment I developed a severe rash all over my body and face. I went to the A&E and they put me on steroids. I have been on them for two weeks now and they are tapering the dose down. The rash cleared after 10 days, However I am getting severe muscle and joint problems as soon as the steroid effect wears off. On the first night I had horrifying pains all over my joints, and pins and needles in both hands and feet. I was shaking uncontrolably and tought my end had come. I took two tablets of prednisolone and the symptoms eased off.. On the second night I had convulsions, all my muscles twiched uncontrolably, and I could not hold the phone in my hand, I took more prednisolone, against the advice of my new doctor. But there was nothing else that helped, so I had no choice. I am terryfied that as soon as I come off the predn. I will relapse into this horrfic attacs of joint and muscle pain and tremmor. It has been the most scary time of my life. Reading this forum, it seems that this can go on for quite some time. I have also suffered insomnia and have been taking sleeping pills just to get a nights rest. I have a two year old.. I feel devastated. These quinolones should be BANNED. They are a poison that no-one should be made to take. I wish I could turn the clock back.

    Posted on January 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm

  • Kelly says:

    My husband has been on Levaquin and Cipro many times over the few years. Last July he fell and broke his left ankle, he didn’t think it was broken,he has pain all the time due to his rheumatoid arthritis. The following week he was in our above ground pool,stepped in an uneven area and tore his achilles tendon on his right foot! He has not been able to work as a finish carpenter since last July,after the break he should’ve been able to work,but the pain from the torn achilles is horrible.He can stand for maybe 2 hrs at a time,we are living paycheck to paycheck now with my income only…this is so not fair! Something needs to be done! He’s on percocet for the pain, and I don’t want him to become addicted to drugs ontop of all this.

    Posted on March 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm

  • Susan says:

    When I took Cipro for UTI infections , I started to realize that on the 5th day of taking this kind of antibiotic my hips would become painful. I
    interpreted the ache as hip joint pain. I would also get this same reaction
    in my hip joint area when taking Zygmar. This is an antibiotic eye medication related to Cipro. I no longer take Cipro or Zygmar.

    I have hip pain that has been called hip bursitis that makes it difficult to
    walk sometimes and go upstairs. I am wondering if Cipro effects tendons in the hip joint area. Does anyone know? Does an MRI of that
    area show damage to tendons??

    Posted on September 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm

  • Karen says:

    on 8-17-11, I took levaquin for (6) days and (3) days later, my ankle was swollen with a red streak up the achilles tendon and in extreme pain
    unable to walk. I am presently in a cast and in continuous pain with
    tears in the achilles tendon. I have also had pain and swelling in the
    achilles tendon. I am scared. I don’t know what is going to happen.
    been saved. Let sve other people from this pain and leaving us with no quality of life.

    Posted on September 7, 2011 at 9:45 pm

  • Julie says:

    1/31/2012 I just finished taking levaquin for about a week for a cold and am now noticing pain in my left achilles tendon. I am so glad I read these reports. I will be very careful with my activities and hope that will keep me from the pain and misery these folks have experienced.

    Posted on January 31, 2012 at 10:13 am

  • lael says:

    Was given levaquin in the hospital as a preventative for infection during tracheal resection in October of 2009. Pain began in late November , in left shoulder and advanced to other shoulder, both collar bones, arms, elbows, wrists and hands. Increased intensity over the years and as of today Aug. 2012 , the pain remains .

    Posted on August 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm

  • tyler says:

    I took cipro twice a day for prostatitis. After four days, I experienced pain in my forearms near my elbow. So I stopped the cipro. My arms continued to hurt on and off for a couple of weeks, and I thought it would go away. But one day I had excruciating pain in my arms as I lifted an object. Weeks later, it persists and will not heal. I reported this to my doc, but he does not believe it was caused by cipro. I do. How do I find a physician who is familiar with the tendon effects of cipro?

    Posted on September 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm

  • John says:

    I took Cipro for 7 days and now I have Tendon issues. My ankles are killing me when I walk. What kind of garbage CIPRO is. How can they sell this and cause these side effects. Where the hell is the FDA when they know CIPRO causes these issues I did cure my infection I have to say, but now I have hard time walking. Don’t know how to cure my issue.

    Posted on October 31, 2012 at 4:31 pm

  • Nickie says:

    My husband is the type of person that won’t take an aspirin for a headache. He ended up with an infection and we went to the emergency room. the er doc gave him Cipro 500mg, and he was told to take them for 10 days 2x/per day. He took 2 caps and has started getting a “tingling” feeling in his foot. Also, his right Achilles tendon hurts so bad he can’t walk on it. He’s having aches and pains in his back and arms.

    Posted on March 24, 2013 at 5:12 am

  • Julie says:

    Day 3 of levaquin for sinus infection. woke today to very uncomfortable painful Achilles pain on both right and left ankle. Stopping this drug immediately. What the heck is wrong with the drug manufacturers. Absolutely not imagining the complete discomfort. Hoping dissipates quickly.

    Posted on June 30, 2013 at 2:51 pm

  • Alice says:

    I have asthma pretty severely, and so every flu season, I develop pneumonia when I catch a bad cold and/or the flu. I have had cipro prescribed because it is never pneumococcus in the sputum, usually something very resistant. The last time, I developed severe tendonitis. My achilles tendon on my right ankle bulged out by about an inch as a huge round lump. that has receded, though the pain still comes and goes. The biggest issue for me though is the pain in my deltoid tendons. That is brutal pain and severely limits the use of my right (dominant) arm. I am not sure why, but in reading these comments, it sounds as though the right side is preferentially affected. At any rate, I can’t assign a monetary loss to this pain. But I feel totally incapacitated on some days, and fine others. VERY annoying.

    Posted on January 18, 2014 at 1:27 am

  • Isaac says:

    In January I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with early stages of pneumonia and was prescribed Levoflaxacin. I played basketball on Feb. 9th and suffered a complete rupture of my Achilles. I found out from my orthopedic surgeon that this medication could cause ruptures. A big thank you to the DR. that prescribed it without warning me of such dangers.

    Posted on February 26, 2015 at 5:33 pm

  • Ann says:

    tendon problems and worsening mouth sores ever since cipro early 2014

    Posted on September 20, 2015 at 11:20 am

  • Regina says:

    Took levaquin for bronchitis almost immediately
    Was diagnosed with torn Achilles tendon

    Posted on October 5, 2015 at 2:22 pm

  • kelly says:

    Torn rotator cuff for no reason. Tendinitis in both Achilles tendons after using cipro for UTIs and IV use for infection.

    Posted on June 8, 2016 at 4:55 am

  • kelly says:

    Torn rotator cuff for no reason. Tendinitis in both Achilles tendons after using cipro for UTIs and IV use for infection.

    Posted on June 8, 2016 at 4:55 am

  • Paul says:

    During use of levoquin because of sensitivity to Bactrin… ruptured Achilles tendon on salvaged limb post BKA… below the knee… amputation. Still having surgeries to save limb.

    Posted on September 15, 2016 at 7:20 pm

  • Kevin says:

    Hi Liz it post was in 2010 just curious if it issue resolved?? I’m dealing with the same’s absolutely horrible, I dread every single day waking I know when I get out of bed, I’ll be in extreme pain all day, and not being able to walk..I got a day day Rx of cipro 1000mg I only took 2 pills..I couldn’t take the test even though the idiot dr insisted I finish..I couldn’t imagine if I took the 10 days worth..I doubt I’d be here now typing this…
    I hope u made a full recovery..toss me an email, I’d love to hear u story..

    Posted on November 14, 2016 at 5:28 pm

  • Iris says:

    I was placed on cipro and other drugs in the same family . And I had to have a very extensive foot surgery to repair disease tissue torn and damaged tendons . And it said it could take years to months for symptoms to show up I’m wondering how to file a claim

    Posted on December 28, 2016 at 1:16 pm

  • Glen says:

    8/2014 put on leviquin Dr.(THOUGHT)I might have pneumonia and no one at VA to do x-ray went back 3 days later for x-ray. No one called to say idid not have pneumonia. About 5 days later went to urgent care. I have tendon problems in both heels. In the long run the right Achilles tendon ruptured on 9/25/14 and our. They sent me to a. A orthopedic. PA. And she gave cortisone injections. Life has never been the same. Burning pain and nerve damages.

    Posted on February 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm

  • Brigitte says:

    I am recovering from stem cell therapy that I needed to hopefully repair my Achilles. I took levaquin in 2012 and 3 weeks later was in bad Achilles pain and limping around. Being a nurse I took care of it myself .. rest elevate ice … but the Achilles have never been the same and never healed. Getting a physician to believe levaquin casused this was just a horrible experience. I doubt my record even shows I was having Achilles pain.
    I took myself to a dr for prolotherapy in 2013 and that helped some .. but here I am again. And more $$$ out of my pocket. Stem cells harvested from my hip bone .. injected into both Achilles. It hurt. And it hurts now. And it may be 6 months to a year before I know if it helps.
    What Can I do?? Is there any legal action at this point?

    Posted on October 14, 2017 at 1:28 pm

  • K says:

    I was hospitalized early 2020 for bronchitis and prescribed Levaquin which I had side effects from and discontinued after pharmacist told me I should probably not be taking it with the problems I was having with it and recommended I talk with the Dr who prescribed it about changing to something else. I was not able to reach the Dr to discuss it so I went ahead and discontinued it with only 2 tablets left to take. I later researched it and found the side effects and problems I am having with hands, feet joints etc are known to be a problem after taking levaquin. It’s effecting my ability to walk, use my hands and do my job as a healthcare worker.

    Posted on December 2, 2020 at 10:54 am

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