FDA warns of mental health problems, low blood sugar risk for fluoroquinolone antibiotics

by Jay Pate

The Food and Drug Administration says that it will strengthen warnings about the risk of extreme low blood sugar and mental health problems associated with fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Although the labeling for most fluoroquinolone drugs contain warnings about the risk of blood sugar disturbances and changes in mental health, the FDA ordered the new warnings in light of increased concern about the side effects of these medications.

Fluoroquinolones (also known as FQ antibiotics) are a class of antibiotic drugs used to treat or prevent certain types of bacterial infections, including pneumonia, urinary tract infections, E. coli, salmonella, staph infections, and chlamydia. Some of the most commonly prescribed fluoroquinolone antibiotics including Levaquin (levofloxacin), Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Avelox (moxifloxacin), Noroxin (norfloxacin), Floxin (ofloxacin), and Factive (gemifloxacin).

The FDA’s new warning about fluoroquinolones will state that the drugs may cause severe low blood pressure, also known as hypoglycemia. In some cases, patients who experience hypoglycemia with fluoroquinolones may fall into a coma.

The updated warning will also contain information about potential mental health problems experienced by patients taking fluoroquinolones. These mental health side effects may include attention problems, disorientation, agitation, nervousness, memory problems, and delirium, a serious disturbance in the patient’s mental abilities.

The FDA has advised patients who are prescribed fluoroquinolones to tell their doctor if they are taking diabetes medications, which can make blood sugar problems with these antibiotics worse. The agency is also advising patients to report symptoms of low blood sugar to their doctor after they begin taking fluoroquinolones. These potential symptoms of low blood sugar may include:

  • Confusion
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Hunger
  • Trembling
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

The new FDA warning is not the first time the agency has warned about potentially serious side effects associated with fluoroquinolones. The FDA has also warned that patients taking fluoroquinolones may have an increased risk of developing peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage affecting signals between the nervous system and the rest of the body. The manufacturers of fluoroquinolones such as Avelox, Cipro, and Levaquin have faced lawsuits filed on behalf of patients who developed peripheral neuropathy after taking these drugs.

Lawsuits Filed Against Manufacturers of Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy after being prescribed Cipro, Avelox, Levaquin, or other fluoroquinolones, you may qualify to file a lawsuit. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an experienced pharmaceutical litigation attorney to learn more about whether you may be eligible to file a case.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed hundreds of lawsuits on behalf of patients who were injured by defective drugs, dangerous medical products, or other defective commercial goods. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we believe that when the actions of drug companies and medical devices manufacturers put health and safety of their patients at risk, they should be held accountable in a court of law.

For more information about filing a lawsuit over peripheral neuropathy or other side effects linked to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few simple questions about your case to get started.

by Jay Pate

John “Jay” Pate is a licensed attorney who focuses his practice on complex tort litigation involving catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and product liability cases.