FDA Acknowledges Scope of Fluoroquinolone Problem, Issues Safety Communication
Thanks largely to the public testimony of victims of these drugs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now realizes just how widespread the problem of antibiotic fluoroquinolone overuse is in the United States.
On May 12, the FDA issued a Safety Communication advising doctors that the risks of fluoroquinolone use for the relatively minor problems of bronchitis, sinusitis and urinary tract infections (UTIs) outweigh the benefits. The agency also recommends that doctors should immediately stop prescribing fluoroquinolones if patients report serious side effects, and instead move to non-fluoroquinolone antibiotics for the remainder of treatment.
A Major Problem
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Avelox, Levaquin and Cipro are extremely powerful medications designed to treat the effects of life-threatening infections. However, they are commonly prescribed for much less severe infections such as the ones mentioned above.
The problem with these drugs is that they can result in severe – often-debilitating – health complications such as peripheral neuropathy, characterized by numbness and tingling in the arms and legs. Patients have also reported serious damage to their tendons, muscles, joints, central nervous system and much more. In many cases, these complications have been permanent.
Taking A Stand
More than 30 patients who suffer from fluoroquinolone-related complications addressed an FDA joint panel in November 2015. They shared their stories of how their lives were affected, and the panel listened. Panel members overwhelmingly voted to change fluoroquinolone labeling in regard to sinusitis, bronchitis and UTIs.
One of those testifying was Rachel Brummert, with the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation. She was interviewed by Charlotte television station WSOC shortly after the Safety Communication was released. She said while she was pleased with the FDA’s decision, she believes the warnings could go even further.
Baron & Budd proudly supports the work of patient advocacy groups the QVF, and we applaud the work these groups have done to bring this epidemic of fluoroquinolone health complications to light. We may be able to help if you or a loved one suffered complications after being prescribed one of these powerful medications. To learn more, call 866-508-7081 or complete our contact form to contact us online.