Avelox, Levaquin Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection Problems Add to List of Antibiotic Risks

Recent studies that suggest there may be an increased risk of aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection problems associated with the use of Levaquin, Avelox and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics, adding to the mounting health concerns associated with the popular class of medications, which experts now indicate are too dangerous to treat many of the common infections for which they have been prescribed in recent years.

Fluoroquinolones have been among the most widely used antibiotics in the U.S., including popular drugs like Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox, Floxin, Noroxin and generic equivalents, which have been used by millions of Americans. The drugs have commonly been prescribed to treat a variety of infections, including acute sinusitis, acute bronchitis, urinary tract infections and other conditions.

Last year, an FDA advisory hearing was held to evaluate the problems with fluoroquinolone antibiotics, including the risk of heart complications, tendon ruptures, retinal detachments and a form of debilitating nerve damage, known as peripheral neuropathy.

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After evaluating the recommendations made by the advisory panel, the FDA issued a drug safety communication last month warning that the side effects of Levaquin, Avelox and other fluoroquinolones make them too dangerous to treat uncomplicated infections, indicating that the antibiotics should only be used for those that do not have alternative treatment options.

The importance of this warning is highlighted by the fact that the FDA statement and advisory panel did not include an evaluation of recent data that suggests users face also an increased risk of suffering an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection while using Avelox, Levaquin or another fluoroquinolone.

Aortic aneurysm is a painful and potentially serious condition involving a bulge in the aorta, where the walls of the artery have weakened. They can cause severe chest pain, as well as carry the risk of rupturing. Aortic dissections are similar, but potentially more serious and life-threatening condition, involving degradation within the layers of the aorta. Both pose a serious health risk and usually require invasive surgery to treat.

In October 2015, only weeks before the FDA advisory meetings on fluoroquinolones, a study published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that current use of Levaquin, Avelox or a similar antibiotic was associated with a two-fold increased risk of suffering an aortic aneurysm or dissection injury.

Researchers suggested that the same side effects of the antibiotics that result in tendon ruptures and retinal detachments may be causing the problems with aortic dissections and aneurysms, as the medications appear to cause collagen and connective tissue in the body to degrade. It does not appear that these findings were considered by the FDA advisory panel, or weighed in the recent warnings that called for restricted use of the medications.

In recent years, thousands of Levaquin lawsuits, Avelox lawsuits and Cipro lawsuits have been filed by individuals throughout the United States who have suffered debilitating injuries while using the medications, including peripheral neuropathy and tendon ruptures. The complaints allege that the drug makers failed to adequately warn about the risks associated with the medications, withholding information from consumers and the medical community.

With the emergence of this recent new risk information, potential aortic aneurysm lawsuits and aortic dissection lawsuits are also being pursued by lawyers for individuals and families of those who may have died after using a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.

The lawsuits allege that individuals throughout the U.S. were unnecessarily exposed to the serious health risks due to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, indicating that the drug makers placed their desire for profits before consumer safety by promoting the drugs for a variety of common infections, while failing to warn about the risk of aortic aneurysm, aortic dissection, peripheral neuropathy and other problems.

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2 Comments

  • PaulAugust 28, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    I had a AAA with dissection after taking 2 or 3 of these drugs. I also had 2 stents put in my arteries. I now take daily meds for the rest of my life and I'm only 48 years old. The issue happened 6 years ago.

  • CaroleJune 4, 2016 at 11:26 am

    My husband had been on Levaquin and Cipro both for infections. He did have an aorta Aneurysm, emergency surgery. He died sometime later and was in constant pain. The Drs put stents in on 2 different occasions. He died on Christmas Day in 2012. I do have all his medical files. And I thank you for alerting the families about this very serious matter. Please keep me informed. I do not have an attor[Show More]My husband had been on Levaquin and Cipro both for infections. He did have an aorta Aneurysm, emergency surgery. He died sometime later and was in constant pain. The Drs put stents in on 2 different occasions. He died on Christmas Day in 2012. I do have all his medical files. And I thank you for alerting the families about this very serious matter. Please keep me informed. I do not have an attorney at this time as I just read about it yesterday. Sincerely, Carole

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