Each year, tens of millions of prescriptions for fluoroquinolones (FLQs) are written for patients suffering from a variety of bacterial illnesses ranging from bronchitis to skin infections. The popular drugs, Avelox, Cipro and Levaquin, are antibiotics that inhibit the growth of bacteria by unwinding their DNA. These antibiotics are widely prescribed and trusted by patients and physicians across the nation, but just how safe are they? Although these drugs’ labels do not include warning of the risk of aortic aneurysm, there is a significant and proven risk for those taking the medication. Dangerous side effects associated with FLQs include nerve damage, heart attacks and strokes.
Aortic Aneurysms and Aortic Dissections
There have been two large epidemiological studies that have concluded that the use of FLQs increases the risk of aortic aneurisms and aortic dissections by more than 100 percent. Thousands of people are being put at risk for these dangerous and deadly conditions each year. An aortic aneurysm can cause the aorta to burst, causing catastrophic blood loss and, in about half of all cases, swift death from blood loss. An aortic dissection happens with the inner layer of the aorta tears, causing blood to rush into the space between the inner aortic wall and the outer aortic wall. This condition most often results in death.
FLQs and Treatment of Infections
In most cases, FLQs are not the first treatment choice for a variety of infections. While they are used for bacterial illnesses including bronchitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, gastroenteritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, typhoid fever, sinusitis and skin infections, they’re not always the first course of treatment. That being said, they are typically used to treat pneumonia, especially if it was acquired in the hospital.
Dangerous and Defective Drugs
At this time, a number of lawsuits have been brought against big pharmaceutical companies due to the dangerous and deadly side effects of FLQs. Unfortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t updated the warning labels, in spite of the consumer complaints and reports of dangerous and deadly side effects. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one due to a dangerous or defective drug, contact the experienced product liability attorneys at Alexander Law Group, LLP at 888.777.1776 for a free case consultation.