We’re spreading the word about women’s health & pharmaceuticals in honor of Women’s Health Week.
If you didn’t know already, women keep this world running. The only catch is women suffer some of the worst injustices — like a pharmaceutical world that neglects to perform clinical testing equally in both men and women. It’s called “Disproportionate Harm,” as in: Women suffer more unnecessary health complications due to pharmaceutical negligence than men.
It’s time to change that. We’ll start by speaking up and sharing this information with our friends, starting with the very popular, “last-line-of-defense” fluoroquinolone antibiotic (brand names include Avelox, Levaquin and Cipro) that may be over-prescribed to women, even though it has an associated risk of permanent nerve damage.
This is “her” story.
She was told that taking Avelox, Levaquin or Cipro — brand names for a popular type of antibiotic called a fluoroquinolone antibiotic — would help nip her urinary tract infection in the bud. She was told the antibiotic was strong and that she would start feeling better in no time… but what she wasn’t told, and what she really should have been told from the start, was necessary information about the potential associated risks, the lasting consequences, the potential dangerous side effects that may come with taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Avelox, Levaquin and Cipro.
Had she been told, she could have figured out another option, or taken an antibiotic that wasn’t so strong right off the bat. But she was never told… instead, a couple of weeks passed after her first dose and, while her urinary tract infection was long gone, new symptoms popped up, symptoms that pointed to signs of nerve damage. It started in her hands and feet, a tingling mixed with occasional shooting pains that made her rightfully very, very scared.
Had she been told, she could have figured out another option. But she was never told, she was left completely in the dark when the nerve damage started happening, and it was up to her to go from doctor to doctor to finally get to the bottom of what was going on, to the fluoroquinone antibiotic that was to be blamed after all.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Avelox, Levaquin and Cipro are a very popular form of antibiotic that are supposed to be used in very worst-case scenarios, like severe recurrent infections, hospital-acquired pneumonia or bacterial infections in individuals who already have a severely weakened immune system due to age or sickness or a combination of the two. Cipro was even used during the Anthrax scare, to give you a glimmer of just how serious and strong this class of antibiotics is.
Which makes us wonder… urinary tract infections? Time and again, we’re hearing from women who were perfectly healthy, women with strong immune systems whose bodies were very like to be able to fight a more routine infection like urinary tract infections on their own, or with the help of another, less strong antibiotic.
These women weren’t given an option, though. They were prescribed a fluoroquinolone antibiotic instead — an antibiotic like Avelox, Levaquin and Cipro — and then their whole life changed.
Unfortunately, nerve damage is an associated risk that comes with taking this class of antibiotic. Suffering from a severe infection that has the potential to kill you or hurt your organs? A fluoroquinolone could save your life. But suffering from a urinary infection, something that most women experience a few times in their life with no lasting complications — is that worth the risk?
We tend to think not — and so do the women who we represent with fluoroquionlone lawsuits. If only they were able to know this information BEFORE they filled the prescription and began taking the medication, though.