Although studies have found that side effects of a popular class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones may cause peripheral neuropathy, many individuals remain unaware that long-lasting pain and nerve problems they suffer may have been caused by use of Levaquin, Cipro or Avelox, since inadequate warnings were provided by the drug makers.
The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential nerve damage lawsuits against the makers of Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox as a result of their decision to withhold important information about the risk of painful and permanent problems that may be caused by the widely overused class of antibiotics.
Initial information and warnings provided by drug makers misleadingly suggested that peripheral neuropathy was a rare antibiotic side effect and falsely suggested that the nerve problems will resolve when the medication is no longer used. However, many former users of Levaquin, Cirpor and Avelox continue to suffer problems from the nerve damage years after their last use of the antibiotics.
Types of Nerve Problems from Antibiotics
Peripheral neuropathy is a serious form of nerve damage that attacks the peripheral nervous system. Most treatments are aimed at managing the symptoms of the nerve problems, and many individuals may suffer from the issues for the rest of their lives.
Three different types of nerve problems may be caused by peripheral neuropathy from Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox, including the sensory nerve problems, motor function problems, and the autonomic nerve issues.
Antibiotic Nerve Damage Lawyers
The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk are investigating potential lawsuits for individuals who have suffered nerve problems following use of Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox or another antibiotic that is part of a class of medications known as fluoroquinolones.
Sensory nerve problems appear to be one of the most frequently reported, or at least most quickly noticed, symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Damage to those nerves can result in long-term numbness to limbs, as well as regular and debilitating nerve pain, tingling and burning sensations.
Long-term sensory nerve damage numbness poses a risk of other problems as well, because the reduced feeling may prevent individuals from recognizing injuries suffered to their feet, legs or other limbs. This may result in delayed treatment, infections and other complications.
Motor nerve problems from peripheral neuropathy can also result in long-term health risks and damage the overall quality of life. The motor nerves affect movement and muscle control, impacting nearly all aspects of an individuals life.
When the motor nerves are damaged, this can lead to permanent loss of fine motor skills, increasing the risk of falls and leading to difficulty with many everyday tasks, such as writing or continuing to work.
Falling is of a particular problem associated with motor nerve damage. When combined with sensory nerve problems, individuals may not immediately recognize potentially serious injuries suffered during a fall.
Autonomic nerve problems may also effect former users of Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox or other fluoroquinolones, affecting involuntary functions and fooling the body into feeling things or responding to things that are not actually happening.
One of the more common long-term side effects of peripheral neuropathy autonomic nerve damage is a feeling of fullness even when the person has only eaten a small amount of food. This often leads to significant and potentially unhealthy weight loss. This side effect can be compounded by motor nerve damage that affects the ability to swallow, further reducing the victim’s desire to eat and increasing weight loss.
Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox Nerve Damage Lawsuits
If proper warnings and information had been provided for consumers and the medical community about the risk of nerve problems from Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox, many individuals may have been able to avoid painful and debilitating injury by switching to a different antibiotic at the first sign of peripheral neuropathy.
It was not until August 2013 that the FDA required the drug makers to update warning labels about the risk of nerve problems (PDF), providing information for the first time about the fact that symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may surface at any time following treatment and could last for months or even years.
Although the medications have been on the market for years, the pharmaceutical companies turned a blind eye to these problems, ignoring evidence about the risk of permanent nerve damage.
An independent study published in the medical journal Neurology in August 2014 found evidence that use of Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox and other oral fluoroquinolones could double the risk of peripheral neuropathy.
The makers of Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox knew or should have known about the risk of nerve problems, yet decided to withhold warnings out of concern about the impact that it would have on sales and use of the popular antibiotics. As a result individuals throughout the United States are now left with permanent and long-lasting nerve problems that leave them with severe and debilitating pain, as well as other complications.
To review whether you, a friend or family member may be entitled to financial compensation for permanent nerve problems experienced following the use of Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox or another antibiotic that is part of the fluoroquinolone family of drugs, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.