Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Linked to
Health Risks

Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox are types of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, widely used to treat certain kinds of infections.(1) Unfortunately fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been linked to life-threatening medical complications, including severe damage to the aorta in the form of aortic dissection or aortic aneurysm, conditions that are responsible for killing thousands of Americans each year.(2)(3)
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Damage to the aorta can be life-threatening because the aorta is responsible for delivering oxygenated blood throughout the body. The aorta originates at the heart and then branches out to smaller and smaller blood vessels, providing oxygen to the body’s cells.(4)

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been linked to two major aortic complications: aortic dissection and aortic aneurysm. Aortic dissection means that layers within the aortic wall have separated due to weakening of the aortic wall. Aortic aneurysm refers to a localized bulging or ballooning out of the walls of the aorta due to weakening.(5) (6) (7)

Both aortic dissection and aortic aneurysm have the potential to rupture, which is a medical emergency. Symptoms may include:(8)

  • Pain
  • Shock
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Clammy skin

As the authors of a study finding fluoroquinolones taken by mouth to be linked with aortic dissection and aortic aneurysm note, “Aortic aneurysm and dissection are associated with high morbidity and mortality rates.” Patients may “experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest before” being diagnosed with aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection.(9)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Aortic aneurysms were the primary cause of 9,863 deaths in 2014 and a contributing cause in more than 17,215 deaths in the United States in 2009.”(10)

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Patients May Want To Contact Lawyers

If you or a loved one took a fluoroquinolone antibiotic and required emergency care or hospitalization due to aortic dissection or aortic aneurysm, we urge you to contact Weitz & Luxenberg. Or, if someone you loved took a fluoroquinolone antibiotic and died after developing an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For a free consultation and more information about your legal options, please contact us today.

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If you have a potential lawsuit due to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, our lawyers may be able to help. The lawyers at Weitz & Luxenberg have experience handling complex cases involving defective drugs and medical devices.  They have the skills and knowledge to help you evaluate possible and appropriate legal actions. Depending on your specific circumstances, we may be able to pursue compensation for you.

Treatment and recovery for aortic dissection or aortic aneurysm can be costly. Unfortunately, one quick visit to your doctor or the emergency room will not resolve the medical complications.

In addition, aortic dissection or aortic aneurysm treatment and recovery can take an economic, physical, and emotional toll on patients and family members alike. If you or a loved one has been seriously harmed by a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, having an experienced attorney by your side can make all the difference in helping you through this difficult time.

We encourage you to take that necessary first step. Our firm offers a free initial consultation for anyone who has been harmed by a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. We are prepared to handle complex cases involving defective drugs and medical devices.

You can reach us by calling (877) 631-2891 or by filling out the form available on this web page.  A representative with our firm will be in touch with you shortly.

Considering a Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic Lawsuit?

Weitz & Luxenberg is currently accepting clients who have suffered aortic aneurysm or dissection after taking Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, or another fluoroquinolone antibiotic.

We urge you to contact us if you took a fluoroquinolone antibiotic and required emergency care or hospitalization and were diagnosed as having an aortic dissection or aneurysm. In addition, if a loved one took a fluoroquinolone antibiotic and died as a result of an aortic rupture, aneurysm, or dissection, Weitz & Luxenberg may be able to help.

We are fully prepared to file fluoroquinolone antibiotic lawsuits on behalf of people who have been seriously injured by these medications. For three decades, Weitz & Luxenberg has played an instrumental role in verdicts and settlements worth billions of dollars to people harmed by defective drugs and medical devices.

Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys have the expertise and resources to pursue justice and compensation for clients involved in complex medical-related cases.

What Are Fluoroquinolones?

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are a type of broad spectrum antibacterial drugs widely used to treat respiratory and urinary tract infections, including pneumonia. In addition, doctors may prescribe fluoroquinolone antibiotics to treat “intraabdominal infections, joint and bone infections, soft tissue and skin infections, typhoid fever, bacterial gastroenteritis, urethral and gynecological infections, and pelvic inflammatory disease…”(11)

Drugs in this class include:(12) (13) (14)

  • Avelox (moxifloxacin)
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
  • Cipro XR (ciprofloxacin)
  • Factive (gemifloxacin)
  • Floxin (ofloxacin)
  • Levaquin (levofloxacin)
  • Maxaquin (lomefloxacin)
  • Noroxin (norfloxacin)
  • Proquin XR (ciprofloxacin)
  • Zagam (sparfloxacin)

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic Side Effects

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been linked to additional serious medical complications. Possible fluoroquinolone antibiotic side effects include:(15)

  • Tendon damage or rupture
  • Nerve damage
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved fluoroquinolone antibiotics for specific uses. The Centers for Disease Control and multiple “professional organizations all recommend fluoroquinolones not be used as first-line therapy … when other treatment options are available. Fluoroquinolones should be initiated only after other antibiotic classes have been tried and failed, or in such cases with a demonstrated drug resistance.”(16) (17)

In addition, in July 2016, the FDA approved labeling changes for fluoroquinolone antibiotics “to enhance warnings about their association with disabling and potentially permanent side effects and to limit their use in patients with less serious bacterial infections.”(18)

The FDA also “determined that fluoroquinolones should be reserved for use in patients…who have no alternative treatment options” for “acute bacterial sinusitis, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis and uncomplicated urinary tract infections” as “the risk of … serious side effects generally outweighs the benefits” in these patients.(19)

In addition to these possible fluoroquinolone antibiotic side effects, researchers have also focused on “a series of collagen-related disorders such as Achilles tendon rupture, tendinopathy at multiple muscle groups, and retinal detachment.”(20) For example, “A recent database study of 6.4 million patients found that use of fluoroquinolones was associated with a 4-fold increased risk of Achilles tendinopathy, and a 2-fold increased risk of tendon rupture.(21) The FDA added a Boxed Warning to fluoroquinolone labeling regarding increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture in 2008.(22)

We would feel privileged to assist you. For a free consultation and more information about your legal options, please contact us today.
(877) 631-2891

Fluoroquinolone Aortic Complications

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics have also been linked to life-threatening fluoroquinolone aortic complications. In their study, Lee and colleagues specifically examined the risks of developing aortic dissection or aneurysm in patients taking oral fluoroquinolone antibiotics.(23)

They concluded that use of fluoroquinolones was linked “with an approximately 2-fold increase in risk of aortic aneurysm and dissection within 60 days of exposure.”(24) Based on their findings they noted clinicians should “continue to be vigilant for the appearance of aortic aneurysm and dissection in high-risk patients treated with fluoroquinolones.”(25)

A Canadian study also found a statistically significantly increased risk of aortic aneurysm with fluoroquinolone use, a risk that was more than double that of the study’s patients who did not use fluoroquinolone antibiotics. “Although aortic aneurysms typically develop slowly,” the study’s authors wrote, their data suggests “that fluoroquinolone prescriptions can contribute acutely to aneurysm progression and rupture.”(26)

In fact, evidence suggests fluoroquinolone antibiotics may degrade collagen in the body generally, which may explain fluoroquinolone use increasing the risk of tendon ruptures as well as aortic dissections and aneurysms. The types of collagen that constitute most of the collagen in the Achilles tendon also make up most (80% to 90%) of the collagen in the aorta.(27)

“Overall,” these researchers found, “fluoroquinolones were associated with almost a tripling of the risk of tendon ruptures—a recognized collagen-associated adverse event induced by these medications.”(28) In addition, “Fluoroquinolones were associated with a similar increase in the risk of aortic aneurysms…”(29)

Consult your doctor before stopping any prescribed medication.

Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help Antibiotic Patients

If you have suffered an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection, or a loved one has died from one of these medical complications after taking Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, or another fluoroquinolone antibiotic, you may be entitled to compensation.

Weitz & Luxenberg has 30 years of experience litigating cases involving complex medical issues. To learn more about your legal options, the firm invites you to contact them for a free consultation.

Please call (877) 631-2891 or complete the form available on this web page. One of our firm’s representatives will respond to you shortly.

An experienced Weitz & Luxenberg attorney can help you evaluate your circumstances and discuss possible legal options. We want to provide you with any legal assistance you need during this difficult time.

While our past record doesn’t guarantee future success, it is important that you choose an attorney who has proven results litigations against the manufacturers of dangerous medicines.

  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. LiverTox. (2017, October 2). Drug Record. Fluoroquinolones. Retrieved from https://livertox.nih.gov/Fluoroquinolones.htm
  2. Lee, C-C., et al. (2015, November). Risk of Aortic Dissection and Aortic Aneurysm in Patients Taking Oral Fluoroquinolone. Retrieved from http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2451282
  3. Daneman, N., et al. (2015, November 18). Fluoroquinolones and collagen associated severe adverse events: A longitudinal cohort study. Retrieved from http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/11/e010077
  4. PubMed Health. (n.d.). Aorta. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0022262/
  5. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health. (2011, April 1). What Is an Aneurysm? Retrieved from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/arm
  6. Lee, C-C., et al. (2015, November). Risk of Aortic Dissection and Aortic Aneurysm in Patients Taking Oral Fluoroquinolone. Retrieved from http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2451282
  7. Daneman, N., et al. (2015, November 18). Fluoroquinolones and collagen associated severe adverse events: A longitudinal cohort study. Retrieved from http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/11/e010077
  8. American Heart Association. (2016, August 12). What is an Aneurysm? Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/VascularHealth/AorticAneurysm/What-is-an-Aneurysm_UCM_454435_Article.jsp#.Wd5ss4eWxgo
  9. Lee, C-C., et al. (2015, November). Risk of Aortic Dissection and Aortic Aneurysm in Patients Taking Oral Fluoroquinolone. Retrieved from http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2451282
  10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016, June 16). Aortic Aneurysm Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_aortic_aneurysm.htm
  11. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. LiverTox. (2017, October2). Drug Record. Fluoroquinolones. Retrieved from https://livertox.nih.gov/Fluoroquinolones.htm
  12. WebMD. (2013, August 27). Some Antibiotics Linked to Serious Nerve Damage. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20130826/fda-strengthens-fluoroquinolone-warning
  13. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2003, February). Zagam. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2003/020677s006lbl.pdf
  14. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2005, January). Maxaquin. Retrieved from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2005/20013s015lbl.pdf
  15. Medi-Cal. (2017, February 24). Improving the Quality of Care: Risks Associated with Use of Fluoroquinolones. Retrieved from https://files.medi-cal.ca.gov/pubsdoco/dur/Articles/dured_25667.pdf
  16. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2016, August 15) FDA updates warnings for fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm513183.htm
  17. Ibid.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Lee, C-C., et al. (2015, November). Risk of Aortic Dissection and Aortic Aneurysm in Patients Taking Oral Fluoroquinolone. Retrieved from http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2451282
  21. Ibid.
  22. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2016, August 15) FDA updates warnings for fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm513183.htm
  23. Lee, C-C., et al. (2015, November). Risk of Aortic Dissection and Aortic Aneurysm in Patients Taking Oral Fluoroquinolone. Retrieved from http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2451282
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ibid.
  26. Daneman, N., et al. (2015, November 18). Fluoroquinolones and collagen associated severe adverse events: A longitudinal cohort study. Retrieved from http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/11/e010077
  27. Ibid.
  28. Ibid.
  29. Ibid.

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