Fluoroquinolones and Peripheral Neuropathy

The Food and Drug Administration is requiring the manufacturers of antibiotic drugs known as fluoroquinolones to update the warning labels of these medications due to the risk of serious nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy. Nerve damage in the arms or legs from peripheral neuropathy can occur within just a few days of starting treatment with fluoroquinolone antibiotics, and can be permanent.

What are fluoroquinolones?

Fluoroquinolones (or FQ antibiotics) include medications such as Levaquin (levofloxacin), Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Avelox (moxifloxacin), Noroxin (norfloxacin), Floxin (ofloxacin), and Factive (gemifloxacin). These medications can be prescribed either as a prescription pill or in the form of an injectable solution, usually administered in a hospital setting.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are used for the treatment or prevention of certain bacterial infections, including respiratory infections like pneumonia, and urinary tract infections, E. coli, salmonella, staph infections, and chlamydia. Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox and other fluoroquinolone medications are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S., accounting for nearly 27 million prescriptions in 2011 alone.

Fluoroquinolones and Peripheral Neuropathy

According to the FDA warning, patients taking fluoroquinolones orally or through injection may face an increased risk of developing peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that affects the signals between the brain or spinal cord and the rest of the body. This nerve damage interrupts these signals, causing symptoms that can vary depending on the nerves which are affected.

Most patients who are affected with peripheral neuropathy experience symptoms in their arms or legs. Common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include:

  • Shooting pain
  • Burning
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Changes in sensitivity to touch, pain, or temperature
  • Changes in the sense of body position

Peripheral neuropathy can occur at any time during treatment with fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Symptoms usually begin rapidly, within a few days after a patient begins treatment, and can last for years after a patient has stopped taking the drug. In some cases, nerve damage caused by peripheral neuropathy from FLQ antibiotics can be permanent.

Because of the serious and long-lasting nerve damage that can be caused by fluoroquinolones, the FDA has advised patients taking these drugs to talk with their doctor immediately if they experience any symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

Get Help With Your Case from an Experienced Attorney

Patients who have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy or other nerve damage after taking Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox, or other FQ antibiotics may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for their injuries. The first step in taking action to protect your legal rights is to talk with an attorney with the experience to handle pharmaceutical liability cases such as those involving fluoroquinolones.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have spent years holding drug companies and medical device manufacturers responsible for the injuries and deaths caused by their reckless conduct. From lawsuits involving dangerous fentanyl pain patches, defective hip and knee implant devices, or drugs such as Yaz, Actos, Avandia, and Accutane, we have made it a career priority to hold the manufacturers of defective drugs or medical devices accountable for the harm caused by their products.

Our attorneys have tried hundreds of cases to verdict and reached settlements on behalf of our clients in hundreds more. In 2010 alone, we settled personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits totaling more than $50 million. Heygood, Orr & Pearson has the financial resources to take on personal injury cases from start to finish. In many instances, our firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to take a case to trial. We are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.

For more information about the link between fluoroquinolones and peripheral neuropathy and to find out whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001 or by following the link on this page to our free case evaluation form.