Avelox Nerve Problems Result in Peripheral Neuropathy Lawsuit Against Bayer
Bayer Healthcare and Merck & Co. face a product liability brought by a North Carolina women, who claims that she suffered permanent nerve problems from Avelox, a popular antibiotic that has been linked to a risk of peripheral neuropathy.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Aimee King in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina on May 1, alleging that the pharmaceutical companies knew or should have known for more than two decades about the risk of permanent nerve damage from Avelox and other similar antibiotics, yet failed to adequately warn consumers and the medical community.
Avelox (moxifloxacin) was introduced in 1999, as a new member of the popular class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones, which also includes the widely used drugs Cipro and Levaquin. While all members of the class have contained warnings about reports of nerve damage, King indicates that the warnings misleadingly indicated that the problems were rare and failed to disclose that users may suffer peripheral neuropathy that is permanent.
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Peripheral neuropathy involves damage to the nerves that may impair sensation, movement and other aspects of health. Symptoms may include pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness and sensitivity to light touches, temperature and motion in the arms and legs.
King’s case joins a growing number of Avelox peripheral neuropathy lawsuits being filed by individuals nationwide, as well as Levaquin lawsuit and Cipro lawsuits, which all raise similar allegations that the drug makers withheld information about the link between nerve problems and the antiobiotics.
In August 2013, the FDA required the makers of all fluoroquinolones to provide stronger warnings about the peripheral neuropathy risk from the antibiotics, indicating problems may last for months or years after an individual stops taking the drug. The new label now warns patients to contact their doctors and consider switching to a different class of antibiotics if they experience symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
According to allegations raised by King and other plaintiffs, the first signs of long-term peripheral neuropathy came in a study published in 2001, after 45 patients reported suffering long-term peripheral nervous system damage after taking fluoroquinolones.
King accuses Bayer and Merck of failing to warn, violating North Carolina’s Product Liability Act, negligence, breach of warranty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and fraudulent concealment, seeking both punitive and compensatory damages.
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