Have you or a loved one been harmed by a fluoroquinolone (FOQ) antibiotic?
We are now investigating cases all over the United States of victims who may have been harmed by fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
You may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries if your symptoms occurred within 14 days of taking the medication and you have suffered nerve damage ranging from tingling in the fingers to full peripheral neuropathy.
FLQs are popular, broad spectrum antibiotics, most commonly known as Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox, that have been linked to aortic dissection and peripheral neuropathy.
Common Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are commonly prescribed for respiratory infections or urinary tract infections but are often overprescribed for other conditions that do not require an antibiotic of this strength. Commonly prescribed fluoroquinolones include:
- ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
- gemifloxacin (Factive)
- levofloxacin (Levaquin)
- moxifloxacin (Avelox)
- norfloxacin (Noroxin)
- ofloxacin (Floxin)
Who Should File an FLQ Lawsuit?
THERE ARE TWO SEPARATE ISSUES WITH FLQ’S. ONE DEALS WITH A CONDITION KNOWN AS PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY AND THE OTHER ISSUES IS WITH AORTIC DISSECTION.
This is a life threatening and often fatal condition in which a tear develops in the aorta. A tear in the aorta can lead to a dissection, aortic rupture and death. If you have suffered an aortic dissection either while taking a fluoroquinolone antibiotic or shortly after finishing the dose, you would be wise to contact us immediately.
If you or a loved one suffered an aortic dissection, it would definitely be known. FLQ’s have also been associated with aortic or thoracic aneurysms. Sometimes these have no symptoms until they rupture, in which case there is a medical emergency. An aortic or thoracic aneurysm which ruptures may be fatal, but can sometimes be repaired with emergency surgery to place an aortic stent.
PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY is characterized by damage to the nerves that send information to and from your brain and spinal cord and the rest of your body. The damage can interrupt these vital connections and symptoms can vary depending on which specific nerves suffer damage. In general, the symptoms usually appear in the arms and legs and include any or all of the following:
- anxiety and panic
- loss of memory
- shooting pain
Symptoms usually occur rapidly, within only a few days of starting on the medication. These symptoms can linger for months, even after stopping the medication. Peripheral neuropathy occurs mostly in patients who take the medication orally or by injection, as opposed to when fluoroquinolones are used in the eyes or ears. If you experienced any of these symptoms within 180 days or less after taking an FLQ, you may be able to receive compensation from the manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer:
- Used the antibiotic prior to August of 2013
- Have no prior diagnosis of diabetes, HIV, or Alcoholism
- Have not had chemotherapy within the last year
Time Line of Symptoms
Sometimes people make the mistake of assuming that negative reactions to these medications are simply allergic in nature. The pathology of a fluoroquinolone adverse reaction is not entirely clear since many cases have presented different data.
What is known is that adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones can appear not only immediately after taking the first pill but also long after the course of medication has been completed. Making the mistake of assuming that taking an antihistamine to stop the adverse reaction from the medication may leave you in worse condition.
Some people who are adversely affected by taking fluoroquinolones are surprised because they have taken these medications before and seemingly had no symptoms. That’s why it’s extremely important to be aware of possible symptoms of nerve damage sooner, rather than later.
Sometimes poisoning may not occur until the second, third or fourth round of taking these antibiotics.
Symptoms Sometimes Overlooked
It is quite common for people who suffer adverse reactions from these medications to discover that it takes them longer to recover after a period of exercise.
This symptom can be so mild that many people don’t find it alarming and blame it on something else. They are not aware it is being caused by their antibiotic, or that it may be irreversible, and they simply fail to become concerned when it happens.
Likewise, some users may be afflicted with a strange case of tendinitis. Suddenly discovering that one part of your body is affected by tendinitis with no other possible reason can clue you into possible fluoroquinolone toxicity problems.
You may also experience general stiffness in certain parts of your body or find that areas that used to be flexible are no longer quite as flexible.
Peripheral Neuropathy Nerve Damage
In August of 2013, the Food and Drug Administration warned against a popular class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones (FLQs), announcing that they may be linked to sudden, serious, irreversible and potentially permanent nerve damage.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotic poisoning symptoms can also include trouble sleeping. Or, during the night, you may experience a mild itching that appears to migrate throughout your body.
This can be just one of many symptoms of peripheral neuropathy nerve damage, a serious side effect of fluoroquinolone antibiotic poisoning. While the itching may only last for a couple of minutes, it’s important to take note of this when it occurs.
Holding Drug Makers Responsible
It is quite possible that the drug makers of FLQ antibiotics were aware of the dangers and did not adequately warn the medical community or consumers about them.
The initial labeling on the drug packaging failed to warn doctors and patients of the rapid onset of nerve damage that strikes very soon after beginning to take a fluoroquinolone (FLQ) antibiotic prescription. In 2011, more than 23 million patients received a prescription for one of these antibiotics.
Many unfortunate victims who were unaware of the possible adverse effects of FLQs have reported long-lasting and irreversible nerve damage and disability as a result of taking them. People who once led healthy, normal lives are now bed-ridden and can no longer work. They also may have large medical bills due to hospitalizations and doctor visits.
Because of this, the FDA required all drug labels to be updated to reflect and emphasize these risks, warning that they are potentially irreversible and can be quite serious.
Many fluoroquinolones have already been removed from the market and those that haven’t are riddled with black box warnings of possible serious injury that can occur. These labels are now required by the FDA and should have been from the beginning.
Tens of thousands of people have taken these medications and been seriously injured as a result, and lawsuits continue to be filed. The number of injured patients is growing as prescriptions continue to flow out of doctors’ hands and into the hands of unaware patients.
If you or a loved one have been harmed, and you believe there may be a connection to taking an FLQ antibiotic, don’t wait to speak to an experienced FLQ attorney.
You can contact Van Wey Law for a free case evaluation to determine if you may be entitled to receive compensation from these irresponsible pharmaceutical companies who place profit over public safety.