Side Effects of Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro and Other Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics

Fluoroquinolone are a popular class of antibiotics, which include well-known drugs like Levaquin (levofloxacin), Avelox (moxifloxacin), Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Factive (Gemifloxacin) and others.

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In recent years, these antibiotics have been prescribed to millions of Americans for a number of uncomplicated and common infections. However, a number of studies suggest that the potential side effects of Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro and other fluoroquinolones make the drugs unreasonably dangerous for many of uses.

It appears that the manufacturers placed their desire for profits before consumer safety by failing to warn about a number of different health risks, including:

  • Aortic Aneurysm
  • Aortic Dissection
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Tendon Ruptures
  • Retinal Detachment
  • Other Serious Side Effects

The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential Levaquin lawsuits, Avelox lawsuits and Cipro lawsuits for individuals throughout the United States who have suffered an injury caused by side effects of the antibiotics, which may have been avoided if a different treatment alternative had been used. Request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

Antibiotic Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection Side Effects

For years, fluoroquinolone-based antibiotics have been known to degrade collagen and connective tissue throughout the body, leading to a potential risk of tendon ruptures and retinal detachment.

In 2008, the FDA required a black box warning about the antibiotic risks, indicating that users may suffer tendon damage or an Achilles tendon rupture while using the medications. That new warning urged users to notify their physicians if they experience tendon pain, swelling or inflammation, as those may be signs of tendon damage, and stopping the antibiotic may prevent an actual rupture.

Although the manufacturers knew or should have known that these same side effect of the antibiotics may cause other, more serious collagen disorders, it appears that the manufacturers of Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro and other similar drugs chose to ignore the danger.

Insufficient studies were conducted and users were not informed that this collagen degradation may cause serious and life-threatening internal injuries, including aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection. As a result, many individuals continued to receive these dangerous antibiotics without being adequately informed about the potential health risks.

In October 2015, a study published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine highlighted the aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection side effects of the antibiotics, finding that users of fluoroquinolones may face a two-fold increased risk of suffering these serious, painful and life-threatening injuries.

In March 2018, a study published in the medical journal The BMJ supported the link between fluoroquinolones and acute aortic disease, finding that there were 1.2 cases of aortic anuerysm or dissection for every 1,000 person years among users of Levaquin, Avelox or Cipro. That compares to only 0.7 cases among those taking amoxicillin, a competing antibiotic. When examining the risk of aortic aneurysm alone, researchers confirmed that the risk was nearly doubled.

The aorta is the main artery in the human body, traveling from the left ventricle of the heart to the abdomen. An aortic aneurysm occurs when the walls of the artery weaken, resulting in an abnormal bulge as the pressure in the aorta causes the weakened area to balloon outward. An aortic dissection is a similar condition, expect it occurs between the layers of the aorta itself, cutting off blood flow and causing a more serious and often deadly risk.

If the makers of Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro had provided aortic aneurysm and 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

The antibiotic injury lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential aortic aneurysm lawsuits and aortic dissection lawsuits for individuals and families who have experienced these side effects after using Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro or another fluoroquinolone.

Antibiotic Peripheral Neuropathy Risks

Potential peripheral neuropathy lawsuits are also being investigated by our lawyers for individuals diagnosed with this form of nerve damage following use of Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro or another fluoroquinolone-based antibiotic.

Even though it was known that users of the antibiotic may experience debilitating nerve damage, for years the manufacturers provided false and misleading information for consumers and the medical community, suggesting that the problems with peripheral neuropathy were rare and typically resolved when the drug was no longer used. However, this is not the case.

In August 2013, the FDA required the drug makers to update the warning label provided about the nerve damage side effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. These warnings now indicate that users have reported suffering peripheral neuropathy following use of Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro or other similar drugs, and symptoms may continue long after the drug was used.

Lawsuits being pursued for individuals who used the drugs prior to the 2013 warning update allege that information should have been provided earlier about the importance of monitoring for symptoms of nerve damage from Levaquin, Cipro or Avelox side effects, which may include:

  • Numbness, Burning, Sharp or Electric-Like Pain
  • Extreme Sensitivity to Touch or Heat Intolerance
  • Changes in skin, hair or nails
  • Loss of Coordination, Muscle Weakness or Paralysis
  • Bowel and bladder problems
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness

Antibiotic nerve damage cases are pending in courts throughout the U.S., seeking financial compensation for individuals who have been left with a permanent peripheral neuropathy injury.

Other Antibiotic Side Effects: Tendon Ruptures, Retinal Detachment Risks

UPDATE: At this time, the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are only reviewing lawsuits for individuals diagnosed with aortic aneurysms, aortic dissection, peripheral neuropathy or permanent nerve damage. Although prior claims have been pursued involving individuals who experienced tendon ruptures or retinal detachment, no cases are no longer being accepted

In recent years, the makers of Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox have faced a number of prior lawsuits over failure to warn about specific side effects or risks associated with the antibiotic.

In 2009, the FDA required Levaquin to add a black box warning, alerting patients to the risk of tendon ruptures linked to use of the antibiotic. Thousands of Levaquin tendon rupture lawsuits were filed as a result, and most of those cases were resolved through Levaquin settlements.

Some reports have also suggested that the same effects on connective tissues that result in tendon ruptures may also cause retinal detachment to be a side effect Levaquin and similar antibiotics.

A study published in April 2012 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that Levaquin users were five times more likely to suffer a retinal detachment. These detachments occur when the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support and is considered a medical emergency.