Levaquin Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Risk of Tendon Injury

A Texas woman has filed a class action suit over Levaquin, claiming that the popular antibiotic increases the risk of tendon ruptures and other tendon injuries. 

The Levaquin class action lawsuit was filed on April 8 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas by plaintiff Lisa Presley. The complaint names Johnson and Johnson and its subsidiary Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals as defendants, alleging that the Levaquin side effects led to Presley suffering from Achilles tendonitis, which she says led to severe and permanent injuries.

Presley charges the defendants with negligence, strict product liability, failure to warn, breach of warranties, fraud, and violation of consumer protection laws, among others. The Levaquin suit is seeking damages for economic losses, disability, disfigurement, pain, suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment and medical expenses on behalf of Presley and seeks class action status on behalf of other similary situated individuals.

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Levaquin (levofloxacin) is part of a class of medications known as fluoroquinolones, which was approved by the FDA in December 1996. It is prescribed to prevent infection by stopping the reproduction of bacteria. However, it has also been found to be toxic to the tendons, leading to an increased risk of tendon damage, including debilitating ruptures of the Achilles tendon.

In July 2008, the FDA required that a “black box” tendon damage warning be added about the side effects of Levaquin and other similar antibiotics. However, consumer advocates called for stronger warnings about the Levaquin tendon rupture problems at least two years earlier, with Public Citizen filing a petition with the FDA in 2006 insisting that consumers and the medical community be provided with clearer warnings about the risk of tendon damage from the class of antibiotics.

There are several hundred individual Levaquin tendon rupture lawsuits already filed in federal courts throughout the country, which have been consolidated and centralized in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL). There are also more than 100 other cases pending in various state courts throughout the country. All of the lawsuits involve allegations that the drug makers failed to adequately warn about the increased risk of tendon ruptures and other tendon injuries that can occur from the side effects of Levaquin.

In February, U.S. District Judge John Tunheim identified the first six Levaquin suits to go to trial in the federal MDL. The cases will act as “bellwether” trials, helping parties involved in the litigation gauge how juries will respond to evidence and testimony.

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23 Comments

  • CherylAugust 6, 2022 at 3:02 am

    I had taken Levaquin numerous times for sinus infections and was not told about the risk with the exception of two years ago. That doctor told me that I was at risk of tendon damage. Unfortunately I told him I had taken it many times and had no problem with it. Well about two weeks after I stopped the medication I couldn't hardly walk when I got out of bed. It has steadily gotten worse. This is so[Show More]I had taken Levaquin numerous times for sinus infections and was not told about the risk with the exception of two years ago. That doctor told me that I was at risk of tendon damage. Unfortunately I told him I had taken it many times and had no problem with it. Well about two weeks after I stopped the medication I couldn't hardly walk when I got out of bed. It has steadily gotten worse. This is so awful and what I have been told is that it is very hard to treat or heal. Do Not take this drug.

  • Patricia J.April 7, 2019 at 12:14 am

    I was hospitalized for colitis in November, 2016. I was IV antibiotics for this hospitalization. Following discharge I had trouble walking and still do. My family dr immediately knew it was from the meds administered while I was in the hospital. She said I may have it the rest of my life. It's 2019 and I still have it.

  • MicheleSeptember 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    I was prescribed levoquin for bronchitis - 2 wks dosage twice. I had a slight irregular heartbeat prior to the medication and it went crazy after the medication. I ended up having a heart ablation which just about killed me. A year later a tendon in my shoulder needed surgery and now I am recovering from achilles tendon surgery. This drug needs to be pulled from the market! NOW !

  • JonathanSeptember 14, 2011 at 1:02 am

    I was prescribed Levaquin for a bacterial infection in late May 2011 and in early June I was having extreme difficulty climbing the stairs in my house. It took every ounce of strength I had to manage each step. I thought it was unusual because I did not feel any pain. I wrote it off as being fatigued from my illness. In July I discovered I had been walking around with a dislocated fibia and I had [Show More]I was prescribed Levaquin for a bacterial infection in late May 2011 and in early June I was having extreme difficulty climbing the stairs in my house. It took every ounce of strength I had to manage each step. I thought it was unusual because I did not feel any pain. I wrote it off as being fatigued from my illness. In July I discovered I had been walking around with a dislocated fibia and I had a dislocated ulna in my right arm. It is now September and things aren't any better. I can not run, I can not jump, I can not stand with my legs straight for fear of over extending my knees. I have pulled my hamstring every week since July 31, 2011, have trouble getting out of my car without severe pain above the left knee and can not use a hammer or screwdriver. I am a 38 year old healthy man and considered myself physically fit and active. Right now though, I am moving like I am 80 years old. My doctor is currently running some blood tests, he is intersted mostly in checking testosterone levels because of the severe muscle fatigue. I have not yet reminded him of the levaquin Rx. I am waiting for him to rule out all other possibilities.

  • TroyApril 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I was prescribed Levaquin for pneumonia. I took it for four days. On the 4th day I began having severe pain in all joints (ankles, knees, hips, elbows) and developed a rash on my face, neck, and arms. I stopped taking the medication. The pain continued for several days. I then had severe pain in my abdominal area. I went to ER and was diagnosed with accute appendicitis. While waiting in the [Show More]I was prescribed Levaquin for pneumonia. I took it for four days. On the 4th day I began having severe pain in all joints (ankles, knees, hips, elbows) and developed a rash on my face, neck, and arms. I stopped taking the medication. The pain continued for several days. I then had severe pain in my abdominal area. I went to ER and was diagnosed with accute appendicitis. While waiting in the ER my appendix ruptured. I had an appendectomy and was hospitalized for 2 days. I believe the Levaquin played a part in my appendix rupturing. I also still have some joint pain and am concerned about affects down the road.

  • EileenApril 4, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    I took 750 Levaquin for five days for pneumonia. I was walking out onto my patio when I heard a pop in the top of my leg and felt something move. I have been unable to walk for two and one half months without the help of a walker. Had a back and hip X ray and a lower back MRI and steroid shots in my back. The doctor thought it was a pinched nerve due to the pain. On my last visit he said I do[Show More]I took 750 Levaquin for five days for pneumonia. I was walking out onto my patio when I heard a pop in the top of my leg and felt something move. I have been unable to walk for two and one half months without the help of a walker. Had a back and hip X ray and a lower back MRI and steroid shots in my back. The doctor thought it was a pinched nerve due to the pain. On my last visit he said I don't know what is wrong with your leg. I am presently having physical therapy which still has not worked. Pleas do not take this medicine.

  • B GreenMarch 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I took Levaquin 750mg for five days for a sinus infection in November 2010. By mid-December I was noticing pain and swelling in finger joints and wrists and palpitations at bedtime. By January palpitations (actually arryjthmia/skipped beats) even during the day. Numerous blood tests, X-rays, cardiac work-up. Beacuse of the time elapsed between Levaquin and symptoms, at first I didn't think abo[Show More]I took Levaquin 750mg for five days for a sinus infection in November 2010. By mid-December I was noticing pain and swelling in finger joints and wrists and palpitations at bedtime. By January palpitations (actually arryjthmia/skipped beats) even during the day. Numerous blood tests, X-rays, cardiac work-up. Beacuse of the time elapsed between Levaquin and symptoms, at first I didn't think about drug side-effect. Now wondering how much permanent joint damage I will have, when (if) the cariac symptoms will dissipate and worry about tendon rupture that could still happen in the future. There should be better disclosure before this drug is prescribed.

  • S DiRodricoMarch 13, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Only question is this: What is the timeframe one had to take this medication in order to note long-term effects? I probably have not taken it for MANY years but am having an achilles tendon (possible cyst) problem now. Could there be an affect from a med taken so long ago?

  • PamMarch 9, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I took levaquin for pneumonia. Five days after I took it I could hardly walk. I have since been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. Bone spurs on both knees and left hip. No cartilage in my right knee. I di d not have any of these diagnosis' before taking the levaquin. I have been to a medical doctor, bone and joint doctor and a rhumatologist. They all have their heads in the same sack. No one w[Show More]I took levaquin for pneumonia. Five days after I took it I could hardly walk. I have since been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis. Bone spurs on both knees and left hip. No cartilage in my right knee. I di d not have any of these diagnosis' before taking the levaquin. I have been to a medical doctor, bone and joint doctor and a rhumatologist. They all have their heads in the same sack. No one will admit to it being caused by the levaquin. Class Action Law Suit- YOU BET! My quality of life has been diminished GREATLY!!!!!!

  • gayleFebruary 22, 2011 at 12:01 am

    in reading the symptoms listed on this site. I have almost all of the side effects. I am very upset over this lawsuit. Now I am stuck with all of these health issues with no future of fixing or getting better from them. Yes I want to put my name on this lawsuit.

  • RobertFebruary 16, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    I was given levaquin along with steriods. After 4 days of taking it, I couldn't walk. It ruptured both my achilles tendons, with a two inch gap in my achilles. I have had surgery which was excruciating. I am looking to join a class action lawsuit. This drug should be taken off the market. While it has helped some people, it has destroyed the lives of many.

  • DebJanuary 9, 2011 at 4:50 am

    September 2010 I was given Levaquin when I was hospitalized for Pneumonia and Pericarditis. I received two bags via IV. Had to remain in the hospital just to receive two dosages. Then was given 7 days of pill form. After getting out of hospital I began having pain in my knees. Doctor wanted me to take complete series, so I did. . .Week after hospitalization had issues walking, by two weeks I coul[Show More]September 2010 I was given Levaquin when I was hospitalized for Pneumonia and Pericarditis. I received two bags via IV. Had to remain in the hospital just to receive two dosages. Then was given 7 days of pill form. After getting out of hospital I began having pain in my knees. Doctor wanted me to take complete series, so I did. . .Week after hospitalization had issues walking, by two weeks I couldn't walk hardly at all the pain was so bad. I had to call and get pain meds and they still didn't help. Was on Darvon, till they took it off the market. Was in tears continually. Dr. gave me steriods to help with pain. Helped a bit, but nothing helps. Pain is still in knees,hands and have had it in my chest. Biggest gripe I have know is I am cold all the time. Cold weather makes everything hurt and I can't ever get warm. Don't know what else to do. I just turned 57 and feel like I'm 87. . .anyone have any ideas? THank you. That was the only time I've ever taken this drug.

  • MaryJanuary 5, 2011 at 2:41 am

    6days after taking Levaquinn my leg swelled up so very large, I was in the hosp. 5 days. ended up having blood clots . Now on Coumadin for the rest of my life. I was allergic to Cipro & my Dr. gave me this drug which is in the same family. This this an honest mistake ? I have not felt the same since.

  • TamaraDecember 29, 2010 at 4:40 am

    I began taking Levaquin 500 mg on 12-15-10...I took the last on on Sunday 12-26...for the past 6 days my hands have swelled and I went from a size 7-8 ring size to size 11which I had to have friend take off me because I couldn't....my fingers are locking up and have to have someone lift my fingers to straighten them out and the pain is excruciating...and I also cannot walk without the help of a ca[Show More]I began taking Levaquin 500 mg on 12-15-10...I took the last on on Sunday 12-26...for the past 6 days my hands have swelled and I went from a size 7-8 ring size to size 11which I had to have friend take off me because I couldn't....my fingers are locking up and have to have someone lift my fingers to straighten them out and the pain is excruciating...and I also cannot walk without the help of a cane...I cannot believe how fast I have gone down hill with this medicine...My doctor informed me that this can affect my joints and my achilles' tendon...He told me to rest for a few days while he searches for a treatment...there is a possibility I will have to have the achilles tendon repaired for tonight I felt a pop and a lot of pain...my knees are now going through pain and stiffness...I am only 51....this was given to me from another doctor to help with my bacterial pneumonia....

  • JessieDecember 10, 2010 at 2:47 am

    My husband was in a rehab facility in Patchogue, NY, and was given Levaquin for and upper respiratory infection and urinary tract infection. He took it for 9 days. All the while, he was slurring his words, did not make sense talking gibberish; was having hallucinations. He was also losing his balance. I kept telling the nurses that something was wrong with my husband. His mouth was drooping on[Show More]My husband was in a rehab facility in Patchogue, NY, and was given Levaquin for and upper respiratory infection and urinary tract infection. He took it for 9 days. All the while, he was slurring his words, did not make sense talking gibberish; was having hallucinations. He was also losing his balance. I kept telling the nurses that something was wrong with my husband. His mouth was drooping on the right side. I thought he was having or had a stroke. The nurses would not listen to me. They said he was fine. But I know my husband. I continued to pester them. Finally when I wanted to know what meds he was on, they gave me Levaquinn as one of them for the infection. But I did not think thats what it was until I spoke to someone else that had gotten Virtigo from this medication. Finally, I get a call this past Tuesday 12/7/10, they are rushing him to the hospital because he was totally out of control and they could not handle him. It turns out they did all testing and a CAT scan of the brain to make sure it was not a stroke and it was not, but a chemical inbalance due to the drug Levaquinn. This could have killed my husband. He has many health issues. This was not necessary. Today 12/9/10, is the first day in about 2 weeks that he is back to himself. We are filling him in on the past days that he does not know what happened to him.

  • TulaDecember 8, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    I took Levaquin on numerous occasions from 2000 on and have suffered ruptures of tendons in both thumbs in 2004 and 2007. I also take oral steroids daily for arthritis. I think I'll be looking into joining this lawsuit, since this has caused me pain and loss of dexterity. If the drug is in any way responsible for this, then they should pay up.

  • libbyDecember 5, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    I took Levaquin 500mg for ten days in July of this year for an ear infection. I just had my first achillies tendon repair and will have the other ankle done as soon as this ankle heals.

  • PedroNovember 29, 2010 at 6:26 am

    i took a couple of pilss which the doctor prescribe me which is levaquin and i feel pain in my knee most of the time i even had to have surgery

  • maryJuly 31, 2010 at 11:09 am

    This is the worst drug on the market. It impaired my mobility after taking it in hospital fifteen months ago. It has ruined my life as it affected my achilles tendon and I am a widow living alone and cannot even go shopping. It has wrecked my whole life. I was a very young 66 year old before taking Tavanic. I am housebound because of it and want help. I complained to the Irish Medical Board and th[Show More]This is the worst drug on the market. It impaired my mobility after taking it in hospital fifteen months ago. It has ruined my life as it affected my achilles tendon and I am a widow living alone and cannot even go shopping. It has wrecked my whole life. I was a very young 66 year old before taking Tavanic. I am housebound because of it and want help. I complained to the Irish Medical Board and they told me there have been a lot of complaints but yet they continue to use it.

  • doloresJune 27, 2010 at 1:57 am

    changed pcp.asked new doc why drug is stillon the market ,said clinical studys have to be numerous, to be taken off. just not satisfied with that either.still not myself yet!!!!dolores

  • SUSANJune 5, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    i HAVE BEEN ON Levaquinn for pneumonia, and chronic sinus for months I now have developed massive joint pain and stiff joints in my hands and red hands!!! I am taking a Hmeopathic to help clear this junk out of my system, I feel somedays like i have been hit by a truck and have to go to bed and sleep! Docs dont want to tell you that it is the drug, why, I cant imagine! I am thankful that I am a Al[Show More]i HAVE BEEN ON Levaquinn for pneumonia, and chronic sinus for months I now have developed massive joint pain and stiff joints in my hands and red hands!!! I am taking a Hmeopathic to help clear this junk out of my system, I feel somedays like i have been hit by a truck and have to go to bed and sleep! Docs dont want to tell you that it is the drug, why, I cant imagine! I am thankful that I am a Alternative Practitioner and have lots of Resources!! The only way is to get it out I feel sorry for people whom dont know the danger this drug can do!!! good luck everyone!! Susan

  • doloresMay 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    took 5 750 MG levaquin for upper respitory infection. took the last pill on may 5. two days later my entire body started aching. went back to dr. he said his recptionist had the same symptoms, her blood tests were negative, that i must be getting another bug.my body still aches constantly. i have to live on pain pills . i am a widow,must work to support myself.and keep my health insurance. righ[Show More]took 5 750 MG levaquin for upper respitory infection. took the last pill on may 5. two days later my entire body started aching. went back to dr. he said his recptionist had the same symptoms, her blood tests were negative, that i must be getting another bug.my body still aches constantly. i have to live on pain pills . i am a widow,must work to support myself.and keep my health insurance. right now im extremey upset, after reading numerous comments on the side effects of this terrible drug, and am appauled that it has not been taken off the market.

  • R PAULApril 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    MY DOCTOR PRESCRIBE THIS MED LEVAQUIN 500MG FOR MY KIDNEY INFECTION. TOOK ONE PILL LAST NIGHT GOT UP WITH PAIN RIGHT ELBOW, AND TENDON PAIN IN MY HAND. AFTER TWO HR. OF TRYING HEAT AND COLD, TOOK TWO PAIN MED. FINALY GOT RELEIF. THIS MORNING LOOKED UP THIS MEDICATION. THIS IS BAD MEDICATION. NOT TAKING ANY MORE OF THIS MED ASKING MY DOCTOR FOR SOMETHING ELSE. THIS MED IS ALMOST AS BAD AS MY KI[Show More]MY DOCTOR PRESCRIBE THIS MED LEVAQUIN 500MG FOR MY KIDNEY INFECTION. TOOK ONE PILL LAST NIGHT GOT UP WITH PAIN RIGHT ELBOW, AND TENDON PAIN IN MY HAND. AFTER TWO HR. OF TRYING HEAT AND COLD, TOOK TWO PAIN MED. FINALY GOT RELEIF. THIS MORNING LOOKED UP THIS MEDICATION. THIS IS BAD MEDICATION. NOT TAKING ANY MORE OF THIS MED ASKING MY DOCTOR FOR SOMETHING ELSE. THIS MED IS ALMOST AS BAD AS MY KIDNEY PAIN. HOW COME IT STILL ON THE MARKET,? AND DOCTORS ARE PRRESCRIBING IT.

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