Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic Nerve Damage
Nerve damage has been frequently reported as a fast developing, serious side effect of even temporary fluoroquinolone antibiotic use. Multiple studies and consumer reports have indicated that nerve damage including the development of peripheral neuropathy can occur even after taking only a few doses of the antibiotic drug class.
These side effects are not only debilitating but have also reportedly been permanent in some cases. While the development of nerve damage while taking these antibiotics does not always take on a severe form, it is recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to immediately contact the prescribing medical professional if you think you are developing nerve damage.
Those who have developed nerve damage while being prescribed fluoroquinolone antibiotics may be eligible to file a dangerous drug lawsuit against the manufacturer of your respective brand name drug. The most popular brand names include Cipro (Ciprofloxacin), Levaquin (Levofloxacin), and Avelow (Moxifloxacin).
Has The FDA Issued Any Warnings About Fluoroquinolones and Nerve Damage?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration began notifying consumers of fluoroquinolone antibiotic nerve damage side effects in the early 2000’s but did not begin taking extensive consumer protection measures until a 2008 news release.
The news release announced that due to an increase in consumer reported tendinitis and tendon rupture, all fluoroquinolone antibiotics would be required to carry a strengthened warning label detailing the tendon complication risk presented by the antibiotics.
The warning label announcement was followed by a 2013 Drug Safety Announcement in which the development of peripheral neuropathy was explicitly stated as a common antibiotic side effect.
The announcement explained that “serious nerve damage…may occur soon after these drugs are taken and may be permanent.”
The latest FDA announcement regarding this dangerous class of antibiotics was release in May 2016. This announcement stated that due to the serious side effects including permanent tendon, muscle, joint, nerve, and nervous system complications of fluoroquinolones, “fluoroquinolones should be reserved for those who do not have alternative treatment options.”
Additionally, the announcement required further antibiotic label changes to properly warn consumers that the risks posed by these antibiotics typically outweigh the benefits unless the infection cannot be defeated by any other method.
What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that is characterized by the damage of peripheral nerves – those in your hands and feet. The pain associated with this condition is often described as stabbing, burning or tingling.
Symptoms of developing peripheral neuropathy often include:
- Numbness, prickling or tingling of feet, hands, legs, or arms.
- Sharp, jabbing, throbbing, or burning pain
- Touch sensitivity
- Deteriorating coordination
- Body weakness
- Heat intolerance
- Digestive problems
- Alterations in blood pressure
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy often develop within days of beginning your prescription and can last months after you have halted drug use, some cases have even reported permanent nerve damage.
However, peripheral neuropathy has only been reported in those who used a form of antibiotic taken by mouth or injection; those who took their drugs through eye or ear do not appear to be at risk of peripheral neuropathy.
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