Most people believe that taking antibiotics is relatively harmless compared to the benefits. But like every drug there are serious side effects associated with taking antibiotics. For instance, Levaquin and the generic drug Levofloxacin are the most popular antibiotics prescribed in the United States. Johnson and Johnson, the makers of Levaquin, reported sales in excess of $1.5 billion last year.
Levaquin is part of a class of antibiotics known as Fluoroquinolones. Other Flouroquinoloes include Cipro and Avelox. These drugs are commonly given to treat bacterial infections of the sinus, urinary tract, kidney, prostate and skin. They are also given to treat anthrax poisoning.
Our Florida medication injury lawyers are advising our clients about the dangers of taking Levaquin and other antibiotics. Studies have found an increased risk of tendinitis, tendon ruptures and rotator cuff tears. At the highest risk are patients over 60 years old, or those who have had kidney, heart or lung transplants. Sometimes the tendon injuries occur during Levaquin treatment and or can develop months later.
The FDA has issued a Black Box Warning for Levaquin . Black Box Warnings are designed to highlight the risks associated with particular prescription drugs but is not the same as a recall. Most consumers are unaware of Black Box Warnings because doctors rarely tells their patients.
So far, thousands of Levaquin patients have filed lawsuits for tendon and rotator cuff damage. A Minnesota man, just won a $1.8 million jury verdict including punitive damages against Johnson and Johnson for Levaquin. And a New Jersey jury found J&J wasn’t liable for tendon injuries suffered by two men treated with the drug.
Many experts believe that antibiotics are too easily and frequently prescribed by doctors. Therefore, creating an antibiotic immunity to more serious infections, like hospital acquired pneumonia and antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In an interview by the New York Times, Dr. Mahyar Etminan,a pharmacological epidemiologist at the University of British Columbia, said that these… “drugs were overused by lazy doctors who are trying to kill a fly with an automatic weapon.” His published study in The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found that Fluoroquinolones users had a risk of developing a retinal detachment.
As a Miami lawyer who sues drug companies I suggest that antibiotic use should be carefully considered by patients who have an increased risk for antibiotic-related complications such as children, pregnant women and patients over 60 years old. Our Florida antibiotic injury lawyers recommend that when a doctor prescribes you an antibiotic, you should ask the following questions:
1. What is the name and class of the drug?
2. Is it really necessary?
3. What are the side effects?
4. If a side effect or complication occurs what should I do and when?
If you have taken Levquin and have developed an injury to a tendon, rotator cuff or other medical condition, you may have a right to file a claim. Please contact an experienced prescription medication attorney for information and advice on how to protect your potential legal rights.