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“Why Is This Still Being Prescribed?” A Look at Avelox and the FDA
Given just how many patients have suffered at the hands of fluoroquinolone antibiotics — one of the most commonly prescribed class of antibiotics in America — like Avelox and Levaquin, and given the work that many of these patients have done to speak up about the injuries attributed to these drugs, it’s hard to understand why antibiotics like Avelox and Levaquin are still commonly prescribed today for routine infections.
We can’t say why exactly because, the truth is, we don’t know. What we can say is our Avelox and Levaquin lawyers are working to protect patients from these dangerous antibiotics and, despite the hard work that we’re putting in, there is a significant amount of inertia that keeps these antibiotics in widespread use for routine and non-life-threatening infections.
Again, we don’t know the answer. And we certainly would not suggest taking Avelox and other fluoroquinolones off the market entirely. That is because we recognized that they can serve a purpose in treating the most severe and life-threatening infections.
But far too many patients with minor infections are being prescribed this heavy-duty antibiotic. We wish we could take all of these patients aside and say, “try something else first!” But we can’t: That’s a role that belongs to the medical community, and will only happen when this community has been fully and properly informed about the serious risks that accompany the use of these drugs.
And this is the crux of the problem. Up to this point, the FDA has worked with the manufacturers to place a number of warnings on Avelox and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics. The warnings, including those addressing the risk of serious and irreversible nerve damage, have been updated a number of times. However, for the vast majority of patients, these warnings came too late.
History shows that countless doctors and patients alike had reported their concerns and adverse side effects from taking Avelox and other fluoroquinolones to the FDA and to the manufacturers of Avelox, but it took far too long for the highlighted warnings to be put in place.
That’s the shame of it, and it’s a large part of the reason why Avelox and other fluorouqinolone antibiotics caused so much damage to patients and their families around the country.