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Reports Surface Detailing Levaquin Risks

Jul 15, 2008
Levaquin levofloxacin is part of the fluoroquinolone group of oral medications prescribed to treat acute bacterial sinusitis, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, noscocomial pneumonia, community-acquired pneumonia, complicated skin and skin structure infections, mild to moderate uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections, chronic bacterial prostates, urinary tract infections and acute pyelonephritis caused by Escherichia coli, also known as E. coli, which is an infection affecting the lower intestines of humans and highly associated with food poisonings in the United States.

The drug, which is manufactured by from pharmaceutical firm Ortho-McNeil, was approved in 1996, but the oral solution was introduced in 2004 and this was followed by a 750-milligrams (mg) five-day oral treatment becoming widely available in 2005, although it is also available intravenously as well.

While it is prescribed for an array of bacterial infections, it has also been approved to treat the effects of airborne anthrax. It was also recently approved for the use by in treating children as an anti-bacterial component and as a treatment of anthrax contamination among children as well. The drug is absorbed quickly, particularly after oral consumption and is usually allotted in 500 mg to 750 mg doses.

Tendon Rupture Risks

The most serious Levaquin side effect is the risk of Achilles tendonitis among current and former patients of Levaquin levofloxacin. Several studies published in accredited medical journals including the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, The Annals of Pharmacotherapy and Tthe Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology have all cited case studies in which individuals who have taken the drug have been adversely affected by levofloxacin-induced tendonopathy and tendon rupture.

According to the report from The Journal of American Board of Family Medicine, the onset of tendon ruptures among patients characteristically is abrupt in onset causing extreme sharp pains and swelling of legs when walking. The study also reports that while most of the tendonitis among Levaquin patients occurs within the first two weeks of taking the drug. However, it can occur in patients long after the drug's cycle has been completed.

In some patients, the Levaquin tendon ruptures occurred longer than six months after treatment administration of the drug. The study noted that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA ) first cited the link of tendon rupture to drugs in the quinolone drug class was in 1991.

Although it wasn't until 1996 when the FDA issued its first report of adverse effects on the fluoroquinolones. However, since then, it has been recorded that at least 200 reports of tendon rupture induced through the class of drugs has been reported within a 10-year period and no recall or major investigation has occurred to increase warning labelings on the drugs. Additionally, a report from the United Kingdom found that levofloxacin-induced tendonitis potentially affects approximately 3.2 out of every 1,000 patients who have taken Levaquin.

According to manufacturers, individuals who have kidney disease, diabetes, spinal or brain cord conditions are highly recommended to avoid the drug as it could cause serious side eaffects including:

* slow absorption of in kidney disease patients

* blood level spikes and irregularities of in diabetes patients

* uncontrollable seizures among spinal and brain injury patients

Controversial Irritants

According to manufacturers, the most common adverse drug reactions Levaquin side effects that occurred in U.S. clinical trials of Levaquin included headache, nausea and diarrhea, constipation, dizziness and insomnia. Additionally, the list of side effects continues to grow and patients thatwith exude any of the following symptoms should stop taking the medication and seek medical assistance immediately:

* abdominal tenderness, cramping or severe pain

* confusion, hallucinations or psychosis

* diarrhea (which may be bloody)

* fever

* blisters, redness and swelling of the skin

* sensation of burning skin

* trembling or seizures

* vomiting

* easy bruising or bleeding

* jaundice

* numbness in limbs, tingling in fingers

* swelling, pain in legs/muscles

Recent studies have also suggested that individuals with preexisting conditions (previously mentioned) as well as individuals taking specific types of medicine may increase their risk of these Levaquin side effects causing severe medical trauma.

The following medications that can cause complications, according to an article from the Mayo Clinic, include:

* blood thinners (warfarin/coumadin)

* cyclosporine

* insulin

* theophylline

* aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

* heart rhythm medications (Cordarone, Pacerone, etc.)

* antacids (Tums, Rolaids)

* ulcer medication (Carafate)

* didanosine (Videx)

* vitamins or supplements containing iron or zinc

Victims of Levaquin Risks

Individuals who have previously been exposed totaken Levaquin, whether through intravenous or oral methods, should speak with their physician to asses any potential risk. Additionally, patients may which to consult with an experienced Levaquin lawyer a pharmaceutical lawyer especially if any of the previous symptoms have occurred. Additionally, because of the severity of tendonitis and potential long-term damage done, it is important for an individual to consider seeking out compensation in the form of a lawsuit that may provide monetary relief from the extensive surgical and medical procedures likely associated with solving or easing the pain of tendonitis caused through a prescription of Levaquinby having taken Levaquin.
About the Author
Visit http://levaquin.legalview.com for more information on the Levaquin risks that have surfaced, also, peruse the LegalView library of legal issues, found at http://www.LegalView.com/. Learn about the latest on the Chantix and Singulair side effects or about the Digitek digoxin recall.
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