Fluoroquinolones (FLQs) are a category of FDA approved antibiotics used to treat severe bacterial infections, including Ciprofloxacin (brand name Cipro), Levofloxacin (brand name Levaquin), Moxifloxacin (brand name Avelox), Ofloxacin (brand name Floxin), Gemifloxacin (brand name Factive), and Norfloxacin (brand name Noroxin).
At its peak, doctors were prescribing more than 23 million fluoroquinolone antibiotic prescriptions a year. However, reports of serious side effects such as peripheral neuropathy, ventricular arrhythmias, and cardiac death began surrounding the medication. The FDA issued a warning in August 2013 that required manufacturers to add peripheral neuropathy as a risk on all FLQ labeling. The new black box warning labels stated that nerve damage can occur almost immediately upon taking the drugs — with permanent effects.
An FDA review panel from the Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee A large number of patients reported “a constellation of symptoms” known as Fluoroquinolone-Associated Disability (FQAD) – which may include peripheral neuropathy, skin disorders, sensory disturbances, cardiovascular events, neuropsychiatric disorders and musculoskeletal issues. Most patients were previously healthy and took the antibiotics for urinary tract infections, bronchitis or sinusitis – which could have been treated with other types of drugs – and now suffer “a substantial disruption of their normal life functions” with pain, difficulty moving and issues with involuntary functions like breathing, digestion and circulation.
Litigation is pending against manufacturers of FLQs for selling a drug that posed an unreasonable risk, failing to adequately warn patients of the risks of using the medication, and for concealing the dangers the drugs pose to those who are prescribed the medication. If you or a loved one has suffered ill effects after taking Fluoroquinolone antibiotics, contact the experienced dangerous drug attorneys at Neumann Law Group for a free consultation.