Fluoroquinolone antibiotics Cipro, Avelox, Levaquin linked to increased peripheral neuropathy risk

by Eric Pearson

A new study published by the American Academy of Neurology has found that patients who begin treatment with a popular class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones may double their risk of developing peripheral neuropathy, a serious and potentially permanent form of nerve damage. The study also found that current users of fluoroquinolones—which include Cipro, Avelox, and Levaquin— also face a serious risk of nerve damage from these medications.

Fluoroquinolones (also known as FQ antibiotics) are some of the most widely prescribed medications in the U.S. More than 23 million patients were prescribed fluoroquinolone antibiotics in 2011 alone. These drugs have been approved by the FDA to treat a wide variety of infections, including pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, sinus infections, urinary tract infections (UTI), and other conditions.

According to the Neurology study—which examined the side effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics over a period of 10 years—new users of Cipro, Avelox, Levaquin, and other FQ antibiotics were twice as likely to develop symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Researchers also found that current fluoroquinolone patients were about 80% more likely to develop signs of peripheral neuropathy nerve damage.

The Neurology study is not the first publication to highlight the potential side effects of fluoroquinolones. After several previous studies were published regarding the risk of serious and permanent side effects from these medications, the FDA issued a warning that required the manufacturers of all FQ antibiotics to inform patients about the dangers of peripheral neuropathy or other nerve damage that could be caused by these drugs.

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics and Peripheral Neuropathy Lawsuits

In Fall 2014, the first lawsuits over nerve damage caused by fluoroquinolones were filed in California. Patients who have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy after taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics—or who have developed symptoms that may be a sign of nerve damage to the extremities—may be eligible to file a lawsuit. The first step in determining whether you might qualify to take legal action is to talk with an attorney who is experienced in handling lawsuit involving serious injuries dangerous and defective drug.

The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed many cases involving pharmaceutical liability and other personal injury cases. Our firm is AV-rated—the highest legal and ethical rating available—and all our partners Michael Heygood, Jim Orr, and Eric Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Heygood and Mr. Orr are also Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our partners been voted by their peers as “Super Lawyers” in the state of Texas for several years in a row.*

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy after being treated with Cipro, Avelox, Levaquin, or other FQ antibiotics, or if you have developed symptoms of peripheral nerve damage after taking one of these drugs, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries. For a free legal consultation from an attorney and to find out more about filing a fluoroquinolone antibiotics lawsuit, contact the law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form.


* Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2014.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.