Avelox Aortic Aneurysm

Aortic aneurysm is a life-threatening complication that may be associated with Avelox and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics. One recent study suggests that patients taking these drugs may face double the risk for an aortic aneurysm in the months after treatment is initiated.

Fluoroquinolones and Aortic Aneurysm

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are known to be associated with a number of serious side effects, ranging from heart rhythm disturbances to peripheral neuropathy. Some of these complications, such as tendon injuries and ruptures, are thought to be associated with collagen degradation. Now, research is suggesting that collagen degradation related to the use of fluoroquinolones may extend to the collagen that lines the walls of the aorta. Such a phenomenon could increase a patient’s risk for aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection.

Two studies published in 2015 reported a potential link between the use of drugs like Avelox and aortic aneurysm:

  • October 2015: A study in JAMA: Internal Medicine  reported current use of fluoroquinolones was associated with a roughly 2-fold increase in the risk of aortic aneurysm within 60 days of exposure. The authors of the report analyzed records involving 1,477 patients hospitalized for aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection from 2000 through 2011. Each of those cases was compared to 100 controls who were not hospitalized for these complications. Read More
  • November 2015: A paper published in the British Medical Journal reported a possible three-fold increase risk of aortic aneurysm in people treated with fluoroquinolones. Of the 1.7 million patients involved in the study, a third had received one of the antibiotics. The authors concluded that reducing unnecessary use of the drugs may have prevented more than 200 aortic aneurysms among the people involved in the study.

Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms

The aorta is the major artery in the body. It is the pathway by which oxygen-rich blood makes its way from the heart to the rest of the body. An aneurysm is the excessive localized enlargement of an artery caused by a weakening of the artery wall.

An aortic aneurysm that occurs around the stomach is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Symptoms include:

  • Pain in the chest, abdomen, lower back, or flank pain that might spread groin, buttocks, or leg. It may last hours or days, and could be described as deep, aching, gnawing, and/or throbbing.
  • A pulsating feeling in the abdomen.
  • Sensation of a “cold foot,” or a painful toe that is black and blue. This indicates that the aneurysm caused a blood clot that has broken free and traveled to the leg.
  • An inflammatory aortic aneurysm may cause fever or unexplained weight loss.

A thoracic aortic aneurysm occurs in the chest area. Symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Back pain
  • Cough or shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty or pain while swallowing

If an aortic aneurysm ruptures, death can quickly follow. Symptoms of a rupture include:

  • Severe pain
  • Sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Symptoms of shock

Legal Help for Victims of Avelox Aortic Aneurysm

Avelox users who suffered an aortic aneurysm while using this antibiotic may be eligible for compensation. To learn more about filing an Avelox lawsuit, please call (888) 994-5118 to discuss your case with an attorney at Bernstein Liebhard LLP.

  1. FDA (2015) “Fluoroquinolone Antimicrobial Drugs Information” http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/ucm346750.htm
  2. JAMA Internal Medicine (2015) “Risk of Aortic Dissection and Aortic Aneurysm in Patients Taking Oral Fluoroquinolone” http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2451282
  3. BMJ (2015) “Fluoroquinolones and collagen associated severe adverse events: a longitudinal cohort study” http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/11/e010077.full
  4. Web MD (2014) “Aortic Aneurysm-Symptoms” http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/tc/aortic-aneurysm-symptoms
Last Modified: June 20, 2016

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