On July 26, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Safety Announcement for antibacterial drugs containing fluoroquinolone. This includes popularly prescribed antibacterial drugs (and their generic brands) including:

  • Avelox
  • Cipro
  • Cipro Extended-Release
  • Factive
  • Levaquin
  • Ofloxacin

Fluoroquinolones have been approved by the FDA for use in treating certain bacterial infections, including UTIs (urinary tract infections), bacterial sinusitis, and bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis. These drugs work by stopping the growth of bacteria or killing the bacteria. Fluoroquinolones do not work to treat viral infections, including the flu, colds, and bronchitis.

In 2014, approximately 22 million patients were prescribed the oral version of fluoroquinolone. The FDA now advises that fluoroquinolones should be reserved to treat these conditions only in acute cases where the patient does not have another treatment option.

What Are the Common Side Effects of Fluoroquinolone?

Common side effects associated with drugs containing fluoroquinolone include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lightheadedness

What Are the Serious Side Effects of Fluoroquinolone?

Serious side effects associated reported by some patients using drugs containing fluoroquinolone include:

  • Tendinitis
  • Tendon rupture
  • Numbness, tingling, or pricking sensation in the arms or legs
  • Muscle weakness and/or pain
  • Joint pain and/or swelling
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Confusion
  • Skin rash and/or sunburn
  • Worsening of myasthenia gravis
  • Rapid, strong, or abnormal heartbeat
  • Severe diarrhea

According to the FDA’s Safety Announcement, it has revised its strongest warning (Boxed Warning) for fluoroquinolones to address the potential for serious side effects that can cause disabling and permanent conditions related to the central nervous system, tendons, joints, nerves, and muscles.

What Should You Do If Your Doctor Prescribes An Antibacterial Containing Fluoroquinolone?

According to the FDA, the side effects associated with drugs containing fluoroquinolone “outweigh the risks for treatment of serious infections caused by fluoroquinolone-susceptible bacteria, such as pneumonia or intra-abdominal infections.” However, in cases of acute bacterial sinusitis, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, and uncomplicated UTIs, the risks of using fluoroquinolone-based drugs outweigh the potential benefits if the patient has other treatment options.

If your doctor prescribes Cipro, Avelox, Levaquin, or other antibacterial drug containing fluoroquinolone, you need to ask if there is another treatment option and discuss the benefits and risks of using the antibacterial drug. If you are currently taking a fluoroquinolone-based drug and you experience any side effects, contact your physician immediately to report the side effects. You should also report side effects to the FDA through MedWatch.

Have You Been Injured By A Defective Drug Or Dangerous Drug?

If you have been injured by a defective drug or dangerous drug, you may have a claim against the drug manufacturer or other party. You could receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, physical pain, emotional suffering and other compensable damages. However, you have a limited amount of time to file a drug injury claim.

Contact The Olinde Firm for a free case evaluation by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 with an experienced drug injury attorney.