A Serious Issue
FLQs are antibiotics used to treat several different types of illnesses, such as sinus infections, urinary tract infections and respiratory infections. Tens of millions of people receive prescriptions for these drugs each year.
However, in 2013 the FDA strengthened its warning regarding FLQs, stating they could cause a potentially disabling and painful condition known as peripheral neuropathy as well as other nerve problems.
Peripheral neuropathy occurs when the nerves that transmit information to and from the spinal cord and brain are damaged. When this connection is interrupted, burning, tingling, shooting pain and numbness commonly occur. These are some of the other symptoms that may present with this nerve damage:
- Digestive problems
- Lack of bowel control
- Lack of sexual function
- Excessive or substantially reduced sweating
What You Need to Know
Patients who have been prescribed an FLQ medication need to be alert and realize how big of a risk this problem poses. These are just some of the things you need to know:
- Symptoms can occur very quickly, as soon as a day after starting to take an FLQ drug.
- Nerve damage symptoms can begin up to 6 months after taking FLQ antibiotics.
- Symptoms can last for a few months or be permanent, even after you stop taking the medication.
- If you are taking an FLQ medication and you begin developing symptoms, you must contact your doctor as quickly as you can.