Levaquin Side Effects

Levaquin Side Effects
Levaquin, an antibiotic that has been prescribed to millions of people, may be associated with a number of very serious side effects, including tendon injuries, peripheral neuropathy and permanent nerve damage. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed in recent years by patients who are alleged to have suffered painful and debilitating Levaquin side effects.

Levaquin Investigation

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is investigating serious neurological side effects that may be associated with Levaquin, including peripheral neuropathy. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with this condition and took Levaquin, please call (888) 994-5118 to contact our legal team.

Litigation News for Levaquin

  • August 2015: A multidistrict litigation has been established in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota for peripheral neuropathy lawsuits filed over Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics, including Cipro and Avelox. Read More
  • July 2015: The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has heard oral arguments regarding the centralization of all federally-filed fluoroquinolone antibiotic lawsuits involving peripheral neuropathy and nerve damage. Plaintiffs who favor the creation of a multidistrict litigation assert that centralization will promote judicial efficiency. However, the drugs’ manufacturers are opposed to an industry-wide litigation. Read More
  • November 2012: Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary reach a settlement with 845 plaintiffs who had allegedly suffered tendon injuries due to their use of the antibiotic. At the time, the company was facing about 3,400 Levaquin lawsuit filings in state and federal courts.

ISMP Flags Levaquin Side Effects

According to a QuarterWatch report issued by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices in June 2016, two fluoroquinolones, Levaquin and Cipro, were linked to more persistent side effects reports than any other medication monitored by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015.  Levaquin was named in 489 reports, while Cipro was associated with 366 cases. The persistent side effects described most often were painful joint, muscle and tendon disorders. Read More

Levaquin Alerts & Label Changes

Levaquin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. In recent years, these medications have been the subject of a number of safety reviews and alerts, as concerns over their potential side effects and complications have grown.

  • September 2004: Peripheral neuropathy is listed as a side effect on all fluoroquinolone labels. However, the language included on the labeling characterized reports of peripheral neuropathy associated with the drugs as “rare cases.”
  • July 2008: A Black Box Warning – the strongest possible safety alert – regarding serious tendon injuries, including tendinitis and tendon rupture, is added to the labels for all fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
  • August 2013: The FDA orders fluoroquinolone manufacturers to revise label language pertaining to peripheral neuropathy so that it better describes the rapid onset and potential for permanence. The agency also requires that language describing this side effect as rare be removed.
  • November 2015: A panel of FDA advisors recommends stronger warnings for fluoroquinolone antibiotics in treating sinusitis, urinary tract infections and certain types of bronchitis. The recommendations come amid increased concern over the side effects that may be associated with the drugs. While the FDA is not required to follow the recommendations of its advisory panels, it usually does. Read More

Levaquin and Peripheral Neuropathy Complications

Peripheral neuropathy occurs when the nerves that communicate with the central nervous system are damaged. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can develop rapidly, even within just a few days of starting Levaquin. In some patients the symptoms continued for more than a year despite discontinuation of the fluoroquinolone.

The FDA has advised doctors to end Levaquin treatment in patients who experience peripheral neuropathy symptoms. Individuals taking this or another fluoroquinolone antibiotic should contact their doctor if they experience:

  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Change in sensation to light touch, pain or temperature, or the sense of body position.

Levaquin Eye Injury

A study finds that current use of Levaquin and other fluoroquinolones may increase the risk of retinal detachment by nearly 50%. Retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates from the layer of support tissue and blood vessels at the back of the eye. Concerns over this potential Levaquin side effect prompted Health Canada to issue a public health alert in 2016. Read More

Levaquin Side Effects Lawsuits

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is investigating Levaquin lawsuits on behalf of patients who were diagnosed with permanent peripheral neuropathy while using this or another fluoroquinolone antibiotic. To schedule a free, no-obligation review of your case, please call (888) 994-5118.

    1. Bloomberg (2012) “Johnson & Johnson Settles 845 Levaquin Lawsuits” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-11-01/johnson-johnson-reaches-settlement-in-845-levaquin-cases
    2. Department of Health and Human Services (2004) http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/appletter/2004/20634s033,034,20635s033,034ltr.pdf
    3. FDA (2008) “Information for Healthcare Professionals: Fluoroquinolone Antimicrobial Drugs” http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm126085.htm
    4. FDA (2013) “FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA requires label changes to warn of risk for possibly permanent nerve damage from antibacterial fluoroquinolone drugs taken by mouth or by injection.” http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm365050.htm




Last Modified: July 11, 2016

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