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The Limits of Antibiotics
Since penicillin was first discovered in 1928, antibiotics have been hailed as wonder drugs, killing bacteria that previously caused fatal diseases. However, while antibiotics can be extremely effective, they also have limitations. What’s worse, powerful antibiotics such as Avelox and Levaquin can have devastating side effects. Here are just a few of the reasons you need to think twice before taking these medications.
Fighting the Wrong Fight
As antibiotics became more and more available, their manufacturers began promoting them for more and more types of infections. However, antibiotics only work against fungal, bacterial, and certain parasitic infections. They don’t provide any help against an infection caused by a virus, such as the flu or a cold.
But that does not stop drug companies from promoting antibiotics, and it does not stop doctors from prescribing them. As a result, antibiotics are often introduced to healthy bacteria that can build up defenses against the medications. As bacteria become more resistant, treatments become more expensive, illnesses last for a longer period of time, and the risk of complications – and even death – becomes more pronounced.
Toxic Side Effects
Sometimes, though, antibiotic medications are not just ineffective, but dangerous. Avelox and Levaquin are part of a group of powerful medications known as fluoroquinolones, or FLQs. They are designed to treat extremely serious infections, but have been heavily promoted and often prescribed for relatively mild problems such as sinus and urinary tract infections.
FLQ drugs have been linked to many severe side effects, including tendon damage, heart problems and mental issues. There is growing awareness that the drugs are associated with a severe and disabling form of nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy. Many people report crippling injuries after taking just a few FLQ pills. In some instances, the damage can be permanent.
Manufacturers of Avelox and Levaquin and other FLQ drugs have a duty to thoroughly inform healthcare professionals and patients regarding the dangers of these medications. There is an increasing amount of evidence that indicates manufacturers failed to uphold that duty, causing harm to thousands of people as a result.