Avelox Neuropathy Lawsuit Filed Over Side Effects of Antibiotic

Bayer Healthcare and Merck face another product liability lawsuit that alleges side effects of Avelox left a user of their popular antibiotic with a permanent form of nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy. 

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Stephanie Heller on November 19, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbuia.

According to allegations raised in the Avelox neuropathy lawsuit, Heller was prescribed the antibiotic for use over a ten day period in April 2013. However, only four days into the treatment, she alerted her doctors that she was experiencing pain and weakness throughout her body. As a result of the symptoms, she was told to stop using Avelox.

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Despite no longer using Avelox, the complaint indicates that Heller suffered worsening pain and cramping in her legs the next day. The problems continued to progress over the next few days, leading to weakness in her wrists and ankles, as well as persistent tingling and vibrating that caused her experience extreme difficulty engaging in normal daily tasks, such as walking, standing, sleeping or driving.

The lawsuit indicates Heller was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy from Avelox, which involves damage to the nerves that carry signals to and from the spinal cord to the rest of the body, impairing sensation, movement and other aspects of health. Symptoms typically involve pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness and sensitivity to light touches, temperature and motion in the arms and legs.

Heller indicates in the complaint that she continues to suffer from peripheral neuropathy symptoms, indicating that the Avelox side effects are causing her to suffer significant pain and suffering, and are greatly diminishing her overall quality of life.

Avelox Peripheral Neuropathy Side Effects

Avelox is part of a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones, which have been linked to a risk of peripheral neuropathy that can cause nerve problems to last for months or even years after an individual stops taking the drug.

Fluoroquinolone are among the most widely used antibiotics in the United States, with other members of the class including Levaquin and Cipro.

In August 2013, the FDA required new, more stringent warnings about the peripheral neuropathy risk with Avelox, Levaquin, Cipro and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics, providing information for the first time about the potentially permanent nature of the nerve damage.

Prior warnings suggested that reports of neuropathy were rare and typically resolved when the antibiotics were no longer used. The FDA required the drug makers to add information about the risk of permanent problems, warning patients about the importance of contacting their physicians immediately that if they experience symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, so that they can be switched to another antibiotic from a different class of drugs.

Over the past year, a number of similar Avelox lawsuits, Levaquin lawsuits and Cipro lawsuits have been filed on behalf of former users of the drugs who allege the drug makers placed their desire for profits before consumer safety by withholding adequate warnings about the risk of peripheral neuropathy for years.

Heller indicates that Bayer and Merck knew or should have known about the risks of Avelox neuropathy problems as early as 2001, when one of the first post-marketing studies on the drug was published that found it was associated with long-term nerve damage.

“The Cohen paper was published in December 2001 and revealed that adverse events reported by forty-five patients suggested a possible association between fluoroquinolones and long-term peripheral nervous system damage,” according to the complaint filed by Heller. “The study noted in particular the presence of severe and/or persistent nerve problems. Over one-half of the patients surveyed said their symptoms lasted for more than a year, and eighty percent characterized their symptoms as severe.”

Heller’s complaint presents claims for failure to warn, negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, strict liability, violation of consumer protection laws and negligent infliction of emotional distress, seeking both compensatory and punitive damages.

3 Comments

  • mableJanuary 3, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I have taken these antibotices several times and have all the systoms.

  • TerryDecember 27, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Fluoroquinolones also ADDUCT to the DNA with a Covalent Bond. I had my blood tested fro this. Everyone needs to get this test done.

  • TerryDecember 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    They knew in the 80'and 90's it causes nerve damage. They are also hiding the fact it is linked to cancer. These Fluoroquinolones are ATOMIC BOMBS to the body! It is a chemo before it is an antibiotic! Please come join us on on Facebook

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