luoroquino, or fluoroquino-lones, are a class of antibiotic drug that is very commonly prescribed in the US and is FDA approved; and yet, it is also relatively common for those who have used fluoroquino to develop harmful, severe, and even deadly side effects.
If you have been prescribed and have begun to take a fluoroquinolone drug, are considering taking one, or believe you have been harmed by fluoroquino, it is important that you be as fully informed as possible about these antibiotics, their dangers, and how to get expert legal help so you can be compensated for any losses.
Consumer Alert Now exists to assist you in better understanding high risk drugs and medical devices and to facilitate finding a class action or mass tort lawyer (or other defective product tort lawyer) to ensure you are not permanently financially devastated on top of the physical and emotional impacts of being harmed by a defective or dangerous drug.
The FDA Reigns in Fluoroquinolones
lthough fluoroquinolones used in the US, such as Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, Noroxin, and Maxaquin, have been used to treat severe infections, the FDA advised against their being prescribed for sinus conditions, UTI, bronchitis, and other common ailments in May of 2016. Due to harmful side effects affecting the heart, nervous system, tendons, muscles, joints, and more, noted in a safety review, the FDA issued the more restricted recommendations for fluoroquino.
Rare but extremely serious side effects of this class of drugs were found to harm the heart or liver with toxins, cause tendons to rupture, and create irregular heartbeats and seizures in some patients. A few forms of fluoroquino have even been removed from the drug market after such side effects occasionally even led to the death of the patient. Nonetheless, fluoroquino continues to be commonly prescribed to outpatients and poses a major risk to consumers.
The FDA action designed to curb over-prescription of fluoroquino, in accord with the advisory panels recommendations, could save many thousands of US patients from needless suffering. Warning labels on fluoroquinolones now reflect this more restricted recommended use, helping to avoid prescriptions of it where potential risks outweigh potential benefits.
A Closer Look At The Side Effects
luoroquino was first discovered in 1962 inadvertently while working on a drug designed to treat malaria. The powerful antibiotic properties of the drug were soon recognized and put to use, with a plethora of "analogs" of fluoroquino going to the market under various brand names.
All prescription drugs have possible side effects, and when they are rare or not particularly severe, it is considered "normal" and not a reason to recall or restrict an otherwise helpful drug. But when side effects become too severe or too common, then a drug needs to be restricted in use or entirely pulled from the market.
Here are some of the most common side effects that fluoroquino has been known to have in some patients:
- Sudden onset of pain or a tingling sensation.
- An unusually heavy or high-rate heart beat.
- Seizure or chest pains.
- An allergic reaction, with rashes, itchiness, or swelling.
- Becoming dizzy or fainting.
- Unexplained depression or anxiousness.
- Extremely painful headaches.
- Hallucination or disorientation.
- A change of skin color.
- Watery diarrhea or discolored urine or stools.
- Nerve damage.
- Joint or muscle pain.
- Tendon rupture.
Any such side effects should be taken seriously and quickly reported to your physician. You will likely have a different medication prescribed to take the place of fluoroquino if it is causing these kinds of reactions. The fact is, if your fluoroquino prescription was aimed at treating sinusitis, UTI, or bronchitis, there are better, safer options anyway. And it's not worth the risk to continue using antibiotics that create these kinds of severe complications.
The fact is, fluoroquino is the number four most commonly prescribed antibiotic in the US, with more than 30 million prescriptions per year. And it is notoriously over-prescribed. In some cases, fluoroquino related disabilities have proved a serious obstacle to "living a normal life." That is part of the reason why the FDA strengthened the warning labels on fluoroquinolones in 2016 at the advice of the 2015 advisory panel investigating its safety level.
The Risk Of Tendon Rupture
uring the first decade of the new millennium, fluoroquino tendon injuries began to be reported in droves. It soon became clear that fluoroquino can compromise the strength of collagen and cartilage, which in turn can cause the weakened tendon to finally give way.
Subsequent studies concluded that fluoroquino is actually "toxic" to collagen, which is the main substance forming cartilage in larger tendons, such as the Achilles tendon. It causes collagen to "chelate" by helping various minerals to adhere to it, and it also interferes with repair and growth of cartilage. In the hours and days after taking a fluoroquino, you can be at four times the normal risk of tendon rupture. Those 60 and older, who've had an organ transplant, or who are taking certain other medications, will have an even higher risk of tendon rupture while taking fluoroquino.
Since 2008, FDA rules have required the risk of tendon ruptures due to fluoroquino to be printed on a black box warning label, which is the most serious warning label level. And those manufacturing fluoroquinolones must provide patient information guides to help explain the risks.
Risk Of Aortic Dissection/Aneurysm
luoroquino use has also been linked to a heightened risk of various heart problems, including aortic dissection and aortic aneurysm. The increased risk begins as soon as you take the drug and usually lasts about 60 days, but high risk can sometimes linger for up to 12 months. These two heart conditions are closely related in that they both involve damage being done to the aorta's cartilage.
Since the aorta is the pump that provides blood circulation to the whole body, it is obviously a very serious matter when it is in any way damaged. The same kind of collagen that is found in tendons is also found in the aorta, and so it's clear there is a connection between the ability of fluoroquino to cause aorta problems and its causing of tendon ruptures.
With aortic aneurysm, the aorta's cartilage wall thins out, bulges out, and may rupture. This would cause intense and life threatening bleeding of the heart. With aortic dissection, a tear in the aorta allows blood to seep in and divide different layers of the aorta wall, which can also lead to the rupture of the aorta and quick-ensuing death.
Risk Of Neuropathy
luoroquino can also cause sudden, sever, and permanent peripheral nerve damage, or "neuropathy." Note that only if you take Fluoroquino orally or intravenously does it create a higher risk of neuropathy -fluoroquino is not known to cause this risk when taken on the eyes or in the ears.
Peripheral neuropathy damages nerves responsible for sending and receiving information between the brain and other parts of the body. The exact effects it has depend on which particular nerves are damaged, but usually it's the arms and legs that are affected by fluoroquino use. You may feel shots of pain, a tingling/burning sensation, or just feel numb in the arms/legs.
It has been known that fluoroquino can cause nerve damage as a side effect since 2004. The damage can last for a few months or it can be permanent. Usually, if it does occur, peripheral neuropathy starts within a few days of beginning to take fluoroquinolones.
What to Take Instead Of Fluoroquino
arning labels on fluoroquino now make it clear that this drug is relatively high-risk and should be taken only as a last resort when other antibiotics have failed, if at all. For anthrax and a few other rare conditions, it may be taken as a first resort.
In particular, it has been stressed by the FDA revisions that fluoroquinolones should not be prescribed to treat common conditions like sinusitis, UTI, and bronchitis. But what should be taken, then, as an alternative?
Sinusitis, or sinus infection, is normally caused by viruses instead of bacteria - so antibiotics won't help anyway in that case. But even if it's a bacterial infection of the sinuses, these kinds of conditions go away on their own after a week in most instances. Amoxicillin is a good choice of sinus infection antibiotic for cases that persist beyond a week or that are severe (with high fever and pain and sensitivity on your face over the sinus cavities.)
Urinary tract infection (UTI) causes painful and frequent urination, clouded or bloody urine, fever, and other sometimes severe symptoms. But it is a rather common condition and there are many other antibiotics better suited to treat it (in uncomplicated cases) than fluoroquino. Only in instances where UTI is very severe, has resisted other antibiotics, or has spread to the kidneys would it make sense to possibly prescribe fluoroquinolones to treat it.
Bronchitis, or chest cold, is usually a viral infection which would not be helped by fluoroquino since fluoroquino only fights against bacteria. But if bronchitis is caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and symptoms are so severe that it is difficult to breathe and the patient is forced to stay at a hospital for care, then an antibiotic may help. Even then, whether fluoroquinolones are the best choice varies based on which type of bacteria are involved and whether other options have been exhausted.
Lawsuits Based on Fluoroquino Caused Injuries & Diseases
here are already numerous fluoroquino personal injury lawsuits in motion in the US, many of them mass tort or class action - though purely individual suits also exist. It is not hard to find a lawyer who has some experience in handling these kinds of cases and has won major settlements for those hurt by fluoroquino in previous cases.
If a loved one lost his or her life due to fluoroquinolone side effects, then the survivors can pursue a wrongful death suit against the drug manufacturer. Otherwise, a personal injury, defective or dangerous product (drug) lawsuit is the path to compensation. Note that you don't have to have suffered from a life threatening condition from fluoroquino use to file a lawsuit. Many times, ramifications may be extremely painful, debilitating, and life altering even if not life threatening.
All of the injuries mentioned above, such as aortic aneurysm or dissection, tendon rupture, peripheral neuropathy, and more can qualify you to join a lawsuit or begin a new lawsuit in pursuit of full and fair compensation for all losses suffered.
As high-risk medical products, consumers have a right to know the truth about fluoroquinolones. But many lawsuits allege that drug manufacturers, in order to better boost the sale of their products, did not adequately warn consumers of the dangers even though they were fully aware of the potential side effects. Thus, with fluoroquino, lawsuits are often based on the "failure to warn" premise.
If it was a life threatening disease that was being treated with the fluoroquino, there is not normally a basis for a lawsuit, but when common conditions like sinus infections, chest colds, and ordinary UTI were treated with fluoroquinolones - and there were better, safer drugs available, then either the drug manufacturer or the prescribing physician (or both) might be liable.
Fluoroquino is really just a toxic chemical(s) that are able to kill off harmful bacteria. Similar toxic chemicals are used in chemo treatment for cancer, and this is why fluoroquino is often best used only as a last resort and with life threatening conditions.
Also, if a doctor misdiagnosed you with a condition that would make sense to treat with fluoroquino, and then that drug damaged your body, perhaps permanently and in severe ways, you also have a basis for a valid lawsuit - and one that you can almost certainly win with the help of a good lawyer.
Additionally, it may also be possible in some cases to file a lawsuit based on defective manufacturing or on sale of a "dangerous" drug (inherently dangerous), depending on the specific drug at issue and the details of your story. Consumer Alert Now can help you find and contact the best fluoroquino injury lawyers in the industry for a free case evaluation. We are NOT a law firm, but we assist our readers in connecting with a law firm and/or existing lawsuit that can help them get the compensation they deserve.
Why Does Fluoroquino Affect Some Negatively but Not Others?
here are many pieces of the puzzle and many theories that attempt to explain what exactly makes one patient susceptible to extreme and even life threatening side effects of fluoroquinolones, while the large majority of users experience only minor side effects of no noticeable side effects at all.
According to one prominent theory, recently published in Nature magazine, fluoroquino causes mitochondrial damage of some sort (very possibly oxidative stress) which cannot be tolerated well by those who are unable to metabolize fluoroquino as efficiently as the average user. This, in turn, may allow the drug to build up in one's system until it reaches dangerous levels. And it is also suspected that fluoroquino left in the system this way can cause damage to DNA.
If true, then this theory would explain why fluoroquino toxicity can linger in the body for weeks or even months after one ceases to take the offending drug. Numerous studies suggest that fluoroquino build up can damage or deplete mitochondrial DNA, which then has a kind of "domino effect" leading to a variety of other severe health conditions.
It sounds "crazy" to many that antibiotics as commonly prescribed as are fluoroquinolones could not only cause an acute, immediate toxic reaction in the body but also result in long term or permanent damage, but the list of injured patients is too long to shrug this off. There have been reports of tendon ruptures months after no longer using fluoroquino, for example. Even if we don't know exactly why fluoroquinolones do the damage they sometimes do, the evidence of the connection is far too strong to ignore - and is strong enough to form the basis of a winning lawsuit.
6 Common Fluoroquinoles To Be Aware Of
There are literally dozens and dozens of fluoroquinolone drugs on the market today, and the specific risks levels of each drug vary. Here is some basic information on the top 6 types of fluoroquino antibiotics commonly prescribed to US patients:
- Ciprofloxacin. Cipro is easily among the most common of all fluoroquinolones. It is also available as a generic drug. It is prescribed to treat a wide variety of infections caused by bacteria, including UTI. Milder side effects like diarrhea, headaches, vomiting, or blurred vision are common. But allergic reactions can cause rashes or difficulty breathing. Severe side effects include tendon rupture or swelling and nerve damage.
- Levofloxacin. Also known as Levaquin and Quixin, is prescribed for much the same reasons as Cipro and has the same basic array of mild side effects. It is known to cause or contribute to tendonitis, tendon rupture, and colon problems. It may also create extreme sensitivity to sunlight, which can allow you to sunburn more easily.
- Gatifloxacin. Also branded Zymar or Tequin, gatifloxacin is used to treat bacterial eye infections. It can, however, cause watery eyes, blurry vision, headaches, irritation in the eye, puffy eyelids, or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. More serious side effects include persistent redness of the eyes and swelling of the eye or eyelid.
- Moxifloxacin. Moxifloxacin, or Avelox, is especially used to fight bacteria that can cause pneumonia or bronchitis. Common side effects include: vomiting, diarrhea, mouth sores, skin irritation, or vaginal discomfort. Rarer and more alarming side effects include: severe diarrhea, tendon rupture, joint issues, and acute allergic reactions.
- Ofloxacin. Ofloxacin, also called Ocuflox or Floxin, is used to fight infections causing bronchitis, pneumonia, gonorrhea, UTI, skin infection, and prostate infections. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, loss of sleep, and changes in the sense of taste. Severe side effects include difficulty breathing, severe skin reactions, tendon rupture, and nervous system damage. Also, Floxin is rarely to be prescribed to those who are pregnant or nursing - it is excreted into mother's milk.
- Norfloxacin. Norfloxacin, or Noroxin, is typically prescribed to treat infections of the prostrate or urinary tract. It can cause nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, rectal pain, back pain, and vaginal itching or discharge. It is not usually best to use Noroxin while pregnant or nursing. Severe side effects of Noroxin include sun burn due to hypersensitivity to sunlight, liver problems, seizures, irregular heartbeats, and hallucinations.
What We Do at Consumer Alert Now
onsumer Alert Now is dedicated to bringing you helpful information about all manner of high risk drugs and medical devices in the US. We equip you to become an informed consumer and to weigh your decisions on which drugs to take with caution. We also help you find legal help if you have been hurt in any way by fluoroquino or any other medical product.
We cannot stress enough two things that we are not: we are not a replacement for your doctor or a provider of professional medical advice, and we are not a law firm. We are here to help consumers both before and after taking particular high risk drugs in every way possible as a source of information and a place where you can come to connect up with a lawsuit or lawyer that will meet your needs.
Finding Help for A Fluoroquino Lawsuit Near Me
f you or a loved one have been injured or may have been injured in any way by taking fluoroquino antibiotics, don't assume you have to simply bear the burden alone and uncompensated. You don't! There are many others like you who have been hurt by this class of prescription drugs, and many of them are already pursuing damages in class action or mass tort lawsuits.
If you are interested in joining a lawsuit based on a fluoroquino defective or dangerous drug personal injury, or in started a new solo lawsuit, contact Consumer Alert Now by calling (800) 511-0747 today.
We are not a law firm, but we can connect you to one, and we operate a nationwide campaign to help fluoroquino victims find experienced attorneys who know how to pursue this kind of case and win.