In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety review after finding the fluoroquinolones (FLQs) were associated with disabling nerve damage side effects. FLQs are also associated with aortic aneurysms—which can be fatal. As a result of these conditions, thousands of people have filed lawsuits against FLQ drugmakers. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy (PN) or suffered an aortic aneurysm, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We have a qualified fluoroquinolones lawsuit attorney ready to assist you on your journey to recovery.
The Carlson Law Firm has more than 40 years of experience representing victims of dangerous drugs. Our firm believes that your story matters, even if it’s the lone voice against a powerful industry. We can help you take on major pharmaceutical companies and producers of medical implants and devices. A caring and compassionate fluoroquinolones lawsuit attorney from our firm will fight to help you and your family overcome difficulties. We help clients nationwide. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a leading fluoroquinolones lawsuit attorney.
What Are Fluoroquinolones?
Fluoroquinolones (FLQ) are fluorinated quinolones. They are a powerful type of broad-spectrum antibiotic drug used to treat bacterial, antibiotic-resistant and hospital-acquired infections. The antibiotic contains the neurotoxin fluoride, which can enter the brain or nervous system through sensitive tissues. Drugs such as Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox are intended to either kill or stop the growth of certain bacteria. Scientists first discovered the family of antibiotics in the 1960s. However, it wasn’t until the late 1980s that Cipro and other FLQs hit the market. At the time, doctors largely prescribed them to treat urinary tract infection. Presently, they are the go-to antibiotic for many infections.
Patients may take FLQs by mouth or intravenously. The antibiotics work by interfering with DNA inside bacteria, resulting in the death of the bacteria.
There are currently six fluoroquinolones available in the U.S. They include the following drugs:
- Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
- Gemifloxacin (Factive)
- Levofloxacin (Levaquin, Quixin, Iquix)
- Moxifloxacin (Vigamox, Avelox, Moxeza)
- Norfloxacin (Noroxin)
- Ofloxacin (Floxin, Ocuflox)
Generally, FLQs are broken down into an older group and newer group. The older group consists of ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, and ofloxacin. In the newer group are gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, and moxifloxacin.
Cipro is the most commonly prescribed fluoroquinolone—accounting for 66 percent of all FLQ prescriptions each year. Approximately 21 million take the drug annually. Cipro is followed in popularity by drugs from the Levofloxacin and Moxifloxacin groups.
If you received an FLQ prescription and suffered peripheral neuropathy or an aortic aneurysm, contact The Carlson Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with a qualified fluoroquinolones lawsuit attorney.
What do Fluoroquinolones treat?
Fluoroquinolones are common prescriptions for respiratory and urinary tract infections. However, the drugs are useful for treating nearly any kind of infections. General thinking today makes treating infections with FLQs a last resort. But the FDA recommends in serious bacterial infections such as anthrax, bubonic, pneumonic and septicemic plague and bacterial pneumonia the benefits of fluoroquinolones outweigh the risks. The drugs should be reserved for patients with conditions that have no alternative treatment options.
Infections commonly treated with fluoroquinolones include the following:
- Hospital acquired pneumonia
- Bloodstream infections
- Staph infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Methicillin-resistant S aureus (MRSA)
- Klebsiella pneumonia.
If you were given a fluoroquinolones prescription for any of these conditions and developed peripheral neuropathy or are experiencing PN symptoms, contact us. A knowledgeable fluoroquinolones lawsuit attorney can help you prove that your condition or the condition of a loved one is directly related to fluoroquinolones use.
Dangerous Adverse Side Effects
Several links between fluoroquinolone antibiotics and a number of adverse, debilitating and potentially irreversible health risks have been discovered. Those adverse effects include the following:
- Tendon injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Joint injuries
- Injuries to the nerves and the central nervous system
If you’ve experienced nerve damage, contact a fluoroquinolones lawsuit attorney from The Carlson Law Firm. We will fight tirelessly on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
The peripheral nervous system is the division of the nervous system that contains all the nerves outside of the central nervous system. Peripheral Neuropathy is the result of damage to your peripheral nerves. The condition is often the result of traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic problems, diabetes, genetics or exposure to toxins.
Peripheral neuropathy may affect one nerve (mononeuropathy) or two or more nerves in different areas (multiple mononeuropathies). An example of mononeuropathy is carpal tunnel syndrome. However, if the condition affects many nerves, it is polyneuropathy. Most people with peripheral neuropathy have polyneuropathy.
What are the symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy?
Every nerve in the peripheral nervous system has a specific function. Because of this, symptoms of PN can vary. Where symptoms appear depends on the nerves affected. Typically a sufferer will develop weakness, numbness, and pain in the hands or feet, however, the condition can affect any part of the body. Additional signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include the following:
- Gradual onset of numbness
- Pickling or tingling in the limbs that may spread upward into legs and arms
- Sharp, jabbing, throbbing, freezing or burning pain
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Lack of coordination and falling
- Muscle weakness or paralysis if the condition affects motor nerves
When peripheral neuropathy affects the autonomic nerves, signs, and symptoms include the following:
- Heat intolerance and altered sweating
- Bowel bladder or digestive problems
- Changes in blood pressure which may lead to dizziness or lightheadedness
If you suspect you have the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, visit a doctor right away. Early diagnosis and treatment is the best chance you’ve got for controlling your symptoms. Early intervention will prevent further damage to your peripheral nerves.
If your doctor diagnosed you with peripheral neuropathy, contact a fluoroquinolones lawsuit attorney.
How do Fluoroquinolones affect the Cardiovascular system?
In addition to peripheral neuropathy, fluoroquinolones are linked to cardiovascular conditions aortic aneurysms and aortic dissection. An aortic aneurysm is an abnormal bulge that occurs in the major blood vessel (aorta) that carries blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Equally dangerous, aortic dissection is a condition where the inner layer of the aorta tears. Aortic dissection causes blood to surge through the tear, causing the inner and middle layers of the aorta to separate, or dissect.
An aortic aneurysm can occur anywhere in your aorta. A Swedish study found that fluoroquinolones were associated with a 66 percent increase rate in aortic aneurysms. Additionally, the increase in developing the condition was within 60 days of beginning the treatment. Moreover, a secondary analysis showed that fluoroquinolone exposure did not increase the risk for an aortic aneurysm or dissection after 61 days.
Aortic dissections are not common. The condition typically occurs in men in their 60 and 70s. However, the condition may occur in anyone who uses to fluoroquinolones antibiotics to treat an infection. Like most ailments, chances of survival improve significantly if there is early detection.
Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms
Typically, people don’t realize that they have an aortic aneurysm. This is because symptoms don’t usually show up until an aneurysm becomes large or bursts. However, as it grows, you may notice signs. See your doctor immediately if you begin experiencing any of the following:
- Chest or back pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallow
- Shortness of breath
Your doctor will likely run tests such as an x-ray, echocardiogram, CT scan or ultrasound to diagnose an aortic aneurysm. If you developed or a loved one died from an aortic aneurysm after using FLQs, contact The Carlson Law Firm. We have a qualified fluoroquinolones lawsuit attorney ready to discuss your case.
Aortic Dissection Symptoms
Aortic dissection symptoms are similar to those of other heart conditions. The symptoms overlap with those of a heart attack. Many people experience sudden and severe chest or upper back pain. Additionally, they describe the feeling as a tearing, ripping or shearing sensation that radiates to the neck or down the back. Other signs and symptoms include the following:
- Sudden and severe abdominal pain
- Loss of consciousness
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden difficulty speaking, loss of vision, weakness or paralysis on one side of your body, simlar to those of a stroke
- Weak pulse in one arm or thigh compared with the other
- Leg pain
- Difficulty walking
- Leg paralysis
If you have severe chest pain, fainting, sudden onset of shortness of breath or other symptoms, call 911 immediately. If you or a loved one have taken fluoroquinolones, contact a fluoroquinolone lawsuit attorney. We can help you recover compensation for your medical bills associated with cardiovascular conditions related to your fluoroquinolone use.
FLQ Manufacturers Failed to Warn of the Risks
More than 50,000 reports of adverse events and 2,600 reports of deaths associated with FLQ were reported to the FDA through June 2015. Fluoroquinolone lawsuits against manufacturers claim that drug manufacturers failed to warn patients of the dangers associated with their products. As a result of this negligence, thousands of people suffered from an aortic aneurysm or dissection and peripheral neuropathy. Patients were often hospitalized, required surgery or died within one year of taking the antibiotics.
What does the FDA say about Fluoroquinolones?
In July 2008, the FDA concluded that there is an association between fluoroquinolones and tendinitis and tendon rupture. As a result of the finding, the agency notified drug makers that they needed to add a black box warning to all FLQ medication information. It outlined the increased risk of developing these conditions.
In February 2011, the FDA added myasthenia gravis to the black box warning. The agency also added peripheral neuropathy, a form of permanent nerve damage, to the warning in August 2013.
If the FDA determines that an approved drug carries significant risks, the agency requires that drug manufacturers add a black box warning to the product. A black box warning alerts both doctors and patients to risks associated with using the medication. A black box warning is a serious step. It is typically just one step away from removing a medication from the market. However, following an FDA advisory committee in 2015, the agency opted not to pull the drug but rather restrict the use of the antibiotics. In May 2016, the agency advised doctors to use FLQs under certain conditions such as:
- Bacterial sinusitis
- Acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis
- Uncomplicated urinary tract infections
If you or a loved one suffered aortic aneurysm, aortic dissection or peripheral neuropathy, contact the Carlson Law Firm. We have a qualified Fluoroquinolones lawsuit attorney ready to assist you.
An internal FDA safety review found an association between this particular drug class with “disabling and potentially permanent, serious side effects.” Lawsuits are alleging that the drug manufacturer failed to warn consumers and the medical community. Further, various lawsuits allege that doctors and patients were not provided with the appropriate warning about the risk of Peripheral Neuropathy from FLQs. The drug manufacturers were negligent when they promoted, distributed, marketed and labeled as fluoroquinolone products.
Peripheral Neuropathy occurs as a result of damage to the peripheral nervous system, which sends information from your brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body, usually causing weakness, numbness, and stabbing or burning pain. Symptoms can also develop almost immediately after taking FLQs. Symptoms include the following:
- Loss of motor skills, diminished reflexes or difficulty walking
- Acute/Shooting pains or otherwise severe pain
- Tingling sensation that begins in the toes and spreads upwards
- Abnormal or sudden changes in the sense of temperature, texture or body position and or balance or the extreme sensitivity to touch
- Muscle weakness or loss of muscle coordination
Can Fluoroquinolones Lawsuit Attorney Help Me?
A Carlson Law Firm fluoroquinolones lawsuit attorney can help if you suffered from fluoroquinolones associated disabilities. You may qualify for a Fluoroquinolone injury or wrongful death claim if you or a family member took one of the following drugs: Avelox, Cipro, and Levaquin and later received a peripheral neuropathy diagnosis or suffered an aortic aneurysm.
The fluoroquinolone lawsuits allege that patients suffered an aortic aneurysm, aortic dissection and peripheral neuropathy that resulted in hospitalization, surgery or death within 6-8 months of taking the antibiotics. Also, if doctors are currently testing you for PN, we can help. Together, we can prove that FLQ manufacturers did the following:
- Knew or should have known that FLQs increase the risk of aortic aneurysms or dissections and PN.
- Failed to adequately inform and warn patients and healthcare providers of increased risks.
- Misled the public or concealed information regarding the drug’s defects; and
- Continually marketed their product as the best and safest first-line response for bacterial infections.
The Carlson Difference
A fluoroquinolones lawsuit attorney at The Carlson Law Firm can meet with you for a free and confidential review of your potential Peripheral Neuropathy or Aortic Aneurysm lawsuit. Please don’t hesitate to contact us as soon as possible.
Our firm is dedicated to helping consumers and previous users of fluoroquinolones. If you are suffering from serious injuries including ruptured tendons, tendon damage, nerve damage or cardiovascular injuries from FLQ use, we can help. If a loved one passed away because of FLQ use, we can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit.
We serve clients nationwide and are available to you, 24/7.