Levaquin Aortic Aneurysm and Peripheral Neuropathy Lawsuit Filed Against J&J

According to allegations presented in a product liabililty lawsuit filed last week against the makers of Levaquin, side effects of the popular antibiotic caused a Florida man to suffer an aortic aneurysm that required surgical repair, and left him with debilitating nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Ronald Vaughn in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on June 8, alleging that Johnson & Johnson and it’s Janssen subsidiary failed to warn users and the medical community about a host of potential health risks associated with the antibiotic.

Vaughn indicates that he was prescribed Levaquin in December 2007, and again in January 2008. The lawsuit alleges that Vaughn suffered an aortic aneurysm from Levaquin, which resulted in the need for surgery to treat the weakening of the walls of the aorta. The complaint also claims that Vaughn suffers permanent peripheral neuropathy from Levaquin, which has left him with numbness and tingling in his feet, as well as hearing and vision loss.

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Levaquin is part of a widely used class of antibiotics, known as fluoroquinolones, which also includes Avelox and Cipro. The drugs have been linked to a risk of permanent nerve damage for years, but until 2013 warnings provided by the drug maker suggested that the problems were rare and usually resolve when the antibiotic is no longer used. However, that is not the case.

More than 400 similar Levaquin lawsuits, Avelox lawsuits and Cipro lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system over nerve damage caused by the antibiotics.

The case filed by Vaughn is one of the first to also involve allegations of a link between Levaquin and aortic aneurysm, which is a recent risk associated with the class of medications.

Late last year, a study published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine suggested that users of Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro may face a two-fold increased risk of suffering an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection, the later of which is a more serious condition that occurs when the interior layers of the aorta weaken, resulting in tearing inside the artery.

Researchers suggested that the antibiotics cause collagen and connective tissue in the body to degrade, impacting the aorta. It was previously known that the same collagen degradation issues cause users to face an increased risk of tendon damage, but no warnings were provided about the risk of aortic aneurysm or dissection.

“Defendants’ failure to adequately warn physicians resulted in: (1) patients receiving Levaquin instead of another acceptable and adequate non-fluoroquinolone antibiotic, sufficient to treat the illness for which patients presented to the provider; and (2) physicians failing to warn and instruct consumers about the risk of long-term peripheral nervous system injuries associated with Levaquin,” the lawsuit filed by Vaughn states. “The failure of Defendants to include appropriate warnings in their products’ labels as published to the medical community also resulted in an absence of adequate warnings in patient information presented directly to consumers, either as part of samples packages or as part ofthe prescription they received from retail pharmacies.”

In May, the FDA issued a drug safety communication that urged doctors not to prescribe fluoroquinolones for many common infections that are uncomplicated and have other available treatment options, indicating that the risks associated with the antibiotics outweigh the benefits.

As more individuals and families learn about the potential link between aortic aneurysm and dissection injuries and Levaquin, Avelox or Cipro, additional complaints are likely to be filed in the coming months and years.

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4 Comments

  • JohnJune 22, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Had AAA in 2005, non diabetic neuropathy. Would have to check medical records for dates given levoquin buy pcp.

  • MorrisJune 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    My husband has abdominal aortic aneurysm and perhpheril neuropathy in hands and feet. Crestor, plavix,cipro and other antibiodics have been given to him. It cured the infections but muscel weakness in legs and pain then crestor was stopped. Could this be caused by these meds listed?

  • JohnJune 16, 2016 at 4:42 am

    I was given levofloxicin for pneumonia (?) dr never said what I had, just gave me a RX for five one a day pills. Cleared me right up. a few weeks later I did a blood test for blood pressure and cholesterol meds, was told my creatinine levels were off and had me take another blood test. Pcm told me my creatinine level was better, didn't say specifically what it was. I asked if I could be tested for[Show More]I was given levofloxicin for pneumonia (?) dr never said what I had, just gave me a RX for five one a day pills. Cleared me right up. a few weeks later I did a blood test for blood pressure and cholesterol meds, was told my creatinine levels were off and had me take another blood test. Pcm told me my creatinine level was better, didn't say specifically what it was. I asked if I could be tested for a AAA because a friend of mine had one that had ruptured, and my pcm said sure, and do another blood test too. So I did, few weeks later (it's Christmas time) they called me about the third of Jan and said I had a small AAA, little over three cm, and that we should check it again in a year. Nothing said about blood work. On Valentine's day, I went to ER because of back pain I'd been having for at least a week I couldn't explain, thinking I might have a kidney problem. After five hours in ER, the dr ordered a CT scan, and came back to tell me I had a ruptured infrarenal AAA that had clotted around itself, preventing me from bleeding out. So from there it was open repair, and now three and a half years later I have a incisional hernia needing repair, but so big nothing is trapped, I have pain in both hands and wrists and my left achilles is bothering me and my right outside ankle hurts, either can make me limp when I'm not careful with how I use them, if I rest them they are better, but sitting for more than thirty minutes or so the achilles will hurt when I get up to walk till it loosens up. I wake up with one or the other or both arms asleep most days. I'm not sure what neuropathy is but the pains and numbness seem similar anyway. I was given the drug by an active duty military hospital emergency room, and recently was given another 10 days of levofloxicin as a second ten days for a sinus infection. Shortly after that I saw my first commercial about levoquil causing aneurysms. So now not sure what I should do, besides watching and waiting to see what else breaks down. Twenty two months prior to the first levofloxicin, I had an ultrasound for my gall bladder to be removed so should be a record if my AAA existed then. I also have reduced kidney function now, was never told I had kidney issues prior to my taking levofloxacin.

  • JohnJune 16, 2016 at 4:39 am

    I was given levofloxicin for pneumonia (?) dr never said what I had, just gave me a RX for five one a day pills. Cleared me right up. a few weeks later I did a blood test for blood pressure and cholesterol meds, was told my creatinine levels were off and had me take another blood test. Pcb told me my creatinine level was better, didn't say specifically what it was. I asked if I could be tested for[Show More]I was given levofloxicin for pneumonia (?) dr never said what I had, just gave me a RX for five one a day pills. Cleared me right up. a few weeks later I did a blood test for blood pressure and cholesterol meds, was told my creatinine levels were off and had me take another blood test. Pcb told me my creatinine level was better, didn't say specifically what it was. I asked if I could be tested for a AAA because a friend of mine had one that had ruptured, and my pcm said sure, and do another blood test too. So I did, few weeks later (it's Christmas time) they called me about the third of Jan and said I had a small AAA, little over three cm, and that we should check it again in a year. Nothing said about blood work. On Valentine's day, I went to ER because of back pain I'd been having for at least a week I couldn't explain, thinking I might have a kidney problem. After five hours in ER, the dr ordered a CT scan, and came back to tell me I had a ruptured infrarenal AAA that had clotted around itself, preventing me from bleeding out. So from there it was open repair, and now three and a half years later I have a incisional hernia needing repair, but so big nothing is trapped, I have pain in both hands and wrists and my left achilles is bothering me and my right outside ankle hurts, either can make me limp when I'm not careful with how I use them, if I rest them they are better, but sitting for more than thirty minutes or so the achilles will hurt when I get up to walk till it loosens up. I wake up with one or the other or both arms asleep most days. I'm not sure what neuropathy is but the pains and numbness seem similar anyway. I was given the drug by an active duty military hospital emergency room, and recently was given another 10 days of levofloxicin as a second ten days for a sinus infection. Shortly after that I saw my first commercial about levoquil causing aneurysms. So now not sure what I should do, besides watching and waiting to see what else breaks down. Twenty two months prior to the first levofloxicin, I had an ultrasound for my gall bladder to be removed so should be a record if my AAA existed then.

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