Have You Experienced an Aortic Aneurysm or Aortic Dissection?
If you or a loved one experienced aortic aneurysm, aortic dissection or died while taking a fluoroquinolone or within 60 days of discontinuing a fluoroquinolone, you may be eligible for compensation.
Fluoroquinolone drugs that may qualify include:
FDA Safety Warning – Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a new safety warning regarding the use of fluoroquinolones or “floxins” and an increase in the risk of a serious side effect. The new alert states that with the use of quinolone antibiotics, the risk of aortic aneurysm may double.
Manufacturers of fluoroquinolones have already faced thousands of lawsuits for tendon rupture, aortic dissection and other injuries but may be facing a new round of lawsuits for due to the new warning aortic aneurysm.
A recent study referenced by the FDA indicates that the doubling of the risk of aortic aneurysm begins shortly after beginning the medication and may last for up to 60 days after discontinuing it. The agency has suggested that the risk may be too great in some patients to risk using fluoroquinolones and that alternative treatments should be considered.
Patients who are at greatest risk for aortic aneurysm include the elderly and those with a history of:
- blood vessel blockage
- high blood pressure
- Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danos syndrome or genetic conditions affecting the formation of collagen
Side Effects of Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics work to treat bacterial infection by interfering with bacterial DNA formation and repair, thus preventing bacteria from dividing. They have been used to treat a large number of different infections caused by bacteria.
Common side effects of fluoroquinolones include:
- Nausea and vomiting
Side effects which are more severe include:
- Symptoms of allergy such as rash, facial swelling or difficulty breathing
- Severe or watery diarrhea
- Changes in color of urine, stool or skin
- Swelling of abdomen or extremities
- Changes in heart rhythm
- Tingling or unusual feelings in skin
- Confusion or unusual behavior
- Extreme anxiety
- Sudden dizziness or fainting
Side effects which are severe or bothersome should be reported to a medical professional as soon as possible. Sudden changes or worsening condition may warrant emergency treatment.
Fluoroquinolones and Aortic Aneurysms
Fluoroquinolones have been shown to increase the risk of fatal cardiac complications including aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection. As part of the way they work, fluoroquinolones act as “chelators” which may affect the formation of collagen and interfere with cells that make and repair cartilage. This may lead to weakened cartilage in the body.
The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the circulatory system and carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the body tissues. It is a rigid vessel which is formed and supported by a collagen structure. When collagen is weakened by fluoroquinolone use, the aorta wall may thin and bulge or tear.
Aortic aneurysm occurs when a bulge or balloon develops in the wall of the aorta and may rupture. Aortic dissection occurs when a tear develops in the inner lining which then splits away from the middle layer. In either case, aortic rupture and cause a massive hemorrhage or blood loss, quickly resulting in death.
Fluoroquinolones and Tendon Ruptures
Fluoroquinolone use has also been linked to an increased risk of tendon rupture due to disruption of cartilage formation and repair. Tendons which connect bone to muscle are constructed of cartilage and may be negatively affected by fluoroquinolone use, resulting in tendinopathy or tendon rupture.
The risk for tendon rupture may be 3 or 4 times higher in those who take fluoroquinolones and similar to the increased risk of aortic aneurysm, may increase immediately after starting fluoroquinolone medication and may continue for up to 60 days after the medication is discontinued.
More Fluoroquinolone FDA Warnings
The FDA has issued a number of warnings about the dangers of fluoroquinolones. In 2008, a “black box warning” was issued regarding the risk of tendon rupture. A black box warning is the strongest warning that is issued by the agency and is required to be printed at the top of prescribing information.
In 2015, the FDA began recommending that fluoroquinolones use be restricted in children and used only for infections that did not respond to other medications. It was first used as medication for uncomplicated urinary tract infections, sinus infections or bronchitis. Prescribing information was changed to reflect new prescribing guidelines. In addition, information about the potential risk of nerve damage was added to patient information guides for each medication.
In December 2018, a new FDA safety alert was issued to warn that fluoroquinolone use may double the risk of aortic aneurysm. It also recommended that other medications be used where possible, particularly in sensitive patients who are already at risk for aortic injuries including those who are elderly, have high blood pressure, have a history of blood vessel blockages or in those who have certain genetic conditions which affect collagen in the body.
Aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection are life-threatening injuries which are generally fatal within a short time period, often immediately.
Do I need a Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Lawyer?
Manufacturers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox and others, have already faced thousands of lawsuits for tendon injuries and other problems caused by their medications. Many fluoroquinolone lawsuits were settled in prior years but the recent announcement by the FDA about aortic aneurysm may indicate that new lawsuits can be expected.
There are no guarantees and each case must be considered separately. Past medical injury lawsuits have provided compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering or for wrongful death, and in some case may provide punitive damages.
If you or a loved one experienced aortic aneurysm, aortic dissection or died while taking a fluoroquinolone or within 60 days of discontinuing a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, you may be eligible for compensation.
Fluoroquinolone drugs that may qualify include: