A certain class of antibiotics used to treat serious bacterial infections has recently become the focus of a strong public warning issued by regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
These antibiotics – known as fluoroquinolones and sold under various brand names (including Levaquin) – have been linked to “disabling and potentially permanent side effects,” as regulators have explained.
That’s why FDA officials are now warning that fluoroquinolone antibiotics should only be used for patients who have no other treatment options because the potential for “serious side effects generally outweigh the benefits” of taking these drugs.
Dr. Edward Cox, a research director at the FDA, has pointed out that:
Fluoroquinolones [like Levaquin] have risks and benefits that should be considered very carefully… It’s important that both health care providers and patients are aware of both the risks and benefits of fluoroquinolones and make an informed decision about their use.
Revealing more about this new FDA warning – and what it can mean for people battling serious bacterial infections, below, we have answered some commonly asked questions about the warnings and risks associated with fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
The Risks Linked to Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics: FAQs
Q – What are the serious side effects associated with fluoroquinolone antibiotics?
A – To date, medical research and patient reports have indicated that taking fluoroquinolones can be associated with a significantly higher risk of developing severe and potentially irreversible side effects, including (but possibly not limited to):
- Nerve damage
- Tendon and joint injuries
- Muscle damage.
According to the FDA, “these side effects can occur hours to weeks after exposure.”
Q – When are these antibiotics typically prescribed?
A – This class of drugs is generally reserved for the treatment of severe bacterial infections, including:
- Acute bacterial sinusitis
- Acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis
- Uncomplicated urinary tract infections.
Although fluoroquinolones may have been a go-to treatment in the past, however, the FDA is now urging doctors to explore any and all other treatment options before prescribing these drugs (due to their potentially serious risks).
Q – Has the FDA issued previous warnings about Levaquin and other fluoroquinolones?
A – Yes. Since 2011, the FDA has issued at least a handful of warnings regarding the possible risks linked to this group of drugs.
The most recent FDA warning for these medications was released this past May, when regulators announced that they were requiring labeling updates for fluoroquinolones as they continued to investigate the possible dangers associated with these medications.
Q – What should I do if I’m currently taking one of these types of antibiotics?
A – Consult your doctor immediately to find out if there may be a safer alternative treatment for your condition.
Get More Answers Now: Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden Attorneys at Law
If you have been harmed after taking a fluoroquinolone antibiotic or any risky/dangerous drug, contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden for clear answers about your rights and recovery options.
Since 1993, our lawyers have been dedicated to helping injured people protect their rights and interests as they pursue the justice – and the financial recoveries – they deserve for their injuries and losses.
Call our firm at (800) 531-9780 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.
From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.