In May of 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they were considering harsher warnings for popular fluoroquinolone antibiotics. This family of antibiotic medications include brands like Cipro, Avelox, and Levaquin. These antibiotics are traditionally used for urinary tract infections, bronchitis, respiratory diseases, and sinusitis.
Approximately 26 million Americans use these antibiotics each year, and the serious side-effects associated with them are now outweighing the benefits of taking the medications. There are other treatment options available with less side-effects, so the FDA feels that the prescription antibiotics may not be necessary for treating patients.
This is not the first warning issued by the FDA about this family of antibiotic medications. In 2008, there were warnings added to the medications because of serious side-effects associated with their use.
The new warnings issued by the FDA state that these antibiotics could lead to permanent damage to the patient’s joints, muscles, tendons, nerves, and the central nervous system. Patients with minor infections are now encouraged to use other antibiotics instead of these.
For some patients, the warnings were issued too late and they have now filed a lawsuit against J&J, the maker of Levaquin, as well as Bayer, which manufactures Cipro and Avelox.
The FDA has issued their warnings about tendon and joint damage, but they are also investigating studies which suggest that these antibiotics may be associated with aortic dissections and bulges. To date, two studies – which were both published in 2015 – have stated that the antibiotic family can break down collagen within the body. The largest and most critical artery in the body is comprised of collagen.
Despite the studies, both Bayer and J&J did not say that their medications cause the side-effects reported. They are currently working with the FDA to find a solution for their medications, but state that they feel the medications are safe.
If you or a loved one took an antibiotic medication and suffered serious side-effects, you may have a claim against the pharmaceutical company or physician who prescribed the medication. These types of cases are extremely complex – it is in your best interest to contact a medical malpractice attorney with experience in these malpractice and defective drug medication claims.