Dangouers Antibiotics News & Info

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics May be Overprescribed, Experts Say

When you’re sick, a prescription for an antibiotic can seem like a life saver. In many cases, though, antibiotics do more harm than good. In 2011, the United States’ antibiotic use reached a fever pitch, with more than 23 million fluoroquinolone antibiotics prescribed. Not coincidentally, thousands of antibiotic lawsuits were also filed that year.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics

These antibacterial drugs inhibit the enzymes that are necessary for DNA replication. Typically taken orally, the medicines metabolize in the liver and are excreted in the urine or bile. Commonly prescribed versions include gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, and moxifloxacin.

Why take fluoroquinolone antibiotics?

Everything from anthrax exposure to diarrhea is treated with fluoroquinolone antibiotics, which doctors say could explain why there have been so many negative reactions to the drug. Instead of being reserved for only the most serious health problems, prescriptions are written for every minor problem a patient might have. And while the antibiotic may help in the short run, long-term effects can be devastating. Illnesses like bronchitis or ear aches might heal on their own in due course. One expert likened the scenario to killing a house fly with a machine gun, rather than a fly swatter.

Serious Side Effects

Gastrointestinal irritation is the most common side effect when using these antibiotics. Mild central nervous system issues have also been reported, including headache, insomnia, dizziness and drowsiness. The FDA reports that there have been nearly 3,000 deaths and 20,000 serious affects associated with fluoroquinolone antibiotics. This number is likely on the conservative end, since the FDA typically records just 10 percent of actual incidents.

Recently, studies have linked fluoroquinoline antibiotics to aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection. Both of these aortic risks can be life-threatening. 

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics lawsuits

There are several pending fluoroquinolone antibiotics lawsuits. 225 lawsuits in one multidistrict litigation, or MDL, are currently underway. The plaintiffs all experienced nerve damage or peripheral neuropathy while taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

In 2012, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson settled 845 fluoroquinolone antibiotics cases after their drug Levaquin caused tendon damage. Because the settlements occurred out of court, no one knows exactly what each plaintiff was compensated. In 2010, the company was ordered to pay $1.8 million after a fluoroquinolone antibiotics courtroom loss.

Did You Suffer an Aortic Aneurysm or Dissection?

The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC are currently investigating potential claims for anyone who has suffered an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection after taking a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. We are also investigating claims related to the loss of a loved one due to these side effects. Contact our office to discuss your situation 877-544-5323.