The Quinolone Vigilance Foundation: Fighting for Safer Pills

When we go to the doctor, and we get a prescription for an antibiotic, we expect to start feeling better. But did you know that you could become disabled after taking an antibiotic?

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Levaquin, Cipro, and Avelox have disabled countless patients all over the world, and there have been reported deaths as a result of taking them.

Fluoroquinolones are one of the most commonly prescribed classes of antibiotics. They are very powerful medications often wrongly given as a first line of defense against a wide variety of routine infections.

Approximately half of the fluoroquinolones that were once on the market have now been removed from clinical practice due to their severe toxicities. Although warnings and cautionary information exist, doctors continue to prescribe this class of antibiotics for infections they were never intended to treat. As a result, many patients continue to unnecessarily suffer devastating disabilities.

Inserts from the pharmacy that accompany these drugs often say ‘Stop taking immediately if you suffer a reaction’. It’s not that simple when it comes to this class of drugs because they cause long-term adverse effects long after the drug is stopped. Some people suffer adverse reactions after one pill; others suffer weeks or even months later.

We put our faith in our doctors and the FDA to look out for patients, but the sad fact is that doctors often rely on data from the pharmaceutical industry who end up downplaying the adverse reactions. The FDA allows the drug companies to pay money to fast-track drugs through the review process which result in flawed clinical trials and the dispensing of medications that are not safe.

To date, a Black Box warning was handed down about the tendon rupture dangers in 2008. A second warning came out in August 2013 about the peripheral neuropathy, which can be permanent.

More needs to be done.

Quinolone Vigilance Foundation exists to educate the public and the medical community about the dangers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, as well as to fund vital and necessary research on the damage that fluoroquinolones cause. We advocate for stricter warnings, to have these medications prescribed as they were supposed to be- for life threatening infections. Further, we advocate that these drugs are not to be given to children, and to have patient consent after being educated about the risks.

For more information about the work we do and for a comprehensive list of fluoroquinolones and the risks involved with taking them, please visit our website www.SaferPills.org.

Rachel Brummert, Executive Director

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