The warning was issued for antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class, which includes:
- Levaquin (levofloxacin)
- Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
- Avelox (moxifloxacin)
- Factive (gemifloxacin)
These drugs should no longer be prescribed for run-of-the-mill bacterial infections of the sinus, throat, and urinary tract unless there is no other option.
They can seriously damage nerves and connective tissue, which is why they carry a “Black Box” warning about tendonitis and tendon ruptures.
In August 2013, the FDA also warned about peripheral neuropathy, which is a type of nerve damage that can occur rapidly (within days or weeks) and cause permanent muscle weakness, numbness, or pain.
Fluoroquinolones are some of the most powerful bacteria-killing medications on the market. When they are over-prescribed for minor infections, it contributes to antibiotic resistance and exposes patients to unnecessary risks.
Over 400 lawsuits have already been filed by patients who were injured tendon ruptures after taking Levaquin. A growing number of nerve damage lawsuits have also been filed in recent months. All of the lawsuits accuse drug-makers of downplaying serious side effects.