By 2010 Levaquin or Levofloxacin was the most common type of fluoroquinolone antibiotics prescribed in America. If you had a bacterial infection between 1996 and 2017, then it is likely that you were given it. In fact, you could have still been given it by your pharmacist until 2020. However, many people who took fluoroquinolone drugs, and in particular, Levaquin, are now suffering from severe side effects such as tendon rupture and long-term, or in some cases, permanent nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can cause pain, impair muscle movement, and prevent normal sensation in the arms and legs.
At The Law Place, our personal injury lawyers understand the severity of your situation. We believe that people should not be suffering because money-hungry drug companies did not fairly warn of you of the risks involved in taking their drugs or attempt to properly test their drugs and make their medicines safer. We have a long history of helping people to fight for the justice they deserve after an injury that was ultimately caused by someone’s negligence.
If you or a loved one you know have suffered peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage from taking Levaquin, we are here to help. Give us a call on 941-444-4444, and we can schedule you a free case evaluation to support you to win the compensation you deserve.
In 2013 the Food and Drug Association (FDA) strengthened its warning that a popular class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones may lead to side effects such as permanent nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy.
Fluoroquinolones such as Levaquin, norfloxacin (Noroxin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), moxifloxacin (Avelox), and ofloxacin (Floxin), have all led to severe side effects. These drugs were sued to treat respiratory and urinary tract infections. In 2011 alone, more than 23 million people received a prescription for one of these types of drugs, often where safer options are available.
Side effects from Levaquin typically begin rapidly, usually within a few days. The FDA 2013 report even found that the risk of side effects is not related to age or even the duration of treatment. Therefore, even if you are young and healthy, if you have any of these symptoms after taking these antibiotics, seek medical treatment immediately.
Sensory nerves have a wide range of functions; some of them control your sense of touch and hearing. The side effects of the drug include sensory nerve damage; you may notice:
- Poor reflexes.
- Sudden pain or temperature.
- Loss of coordination.
- Severe touch sensitivity.
- Losses of sensation, such as not being capable of feeling temperature change or pain.
Motor nerves are also affected, your arms and legs rely on these nerves to control your movements- everything from walking to, writing, to get yourself dressed. When these vital motor nerves are disrupted, you may notice:
- Muscle cramps.
- Muscle twitching.
- Atrophy, or your muscles getting smaller in your arms and legs.
Levaquin can cause peripheral neuropathy, which damages the nerves that send signals to your brain. By disrupting the connection, it can cause numbness, tingling, burning, and shooting pains, usually in the arms and legs. This can be long-lasting and even cause permanent disability.
Peripheral neuropathy has been listed as a side effect of fluoroquinolones since 2004, and yet Levaquin was still being prescribed until 2017.
The peripheral neuropathy caused by Levaquin can leave you in an immense amount of pain; you could even struggle to walk. You or a loved one may unjustifiably be suffering because of this drug. The peripheral neuropathy may occur within days of taking the drug and can last for a year or could even be permanent. Damage to your nerves is incredibly serious; it will have a massive impact on your quality of life and has the potential to lead to further health issues such as depression. You should not have to suffer because of the drugs you have taken for minor illnesses. This is where The Law Place personal injury lawyers are here for you.
Levaquin also increases your risk of tendinitis (swelling of a fibrous tissue that connects a bone to a muscle); this can cause tendon rupture. This can affect your shoulders, hands, ankles, and other parts of your body. Although this side effect is less common, around 0.1%, if you suffer from any swelling in any parts of your body after taking antibiotics, contact a doctor immediately.
Can You Still Be Prescribed Levaquin?
Although the production of Levaquin was discontinued by Johnson and Johnson in 2017, it was still available in pharmacies until 2020. Furthermore, fluoroquinolone drugs are still prescribed, and many are still causing serious issues for people.
This is despite reports of nerve damage and other serious side effects. At The Law Place, we believe that this is clear negligence. If you have suffered negative side effects from antibacterial drugs, do not hesitate to contact us.
Who Produces Levaquin and Are They Aware of Its Dangers?
Levaquin is manufactured by a Johnson & Johnson company, Ortho-McNeill-Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The company is very much aware of the drug’s dangers, unbelievably there have been reports of nerve damage before Levaquin received FDA approval in 1996.
In 2013 the FDA created a report for all fluoroquinolone antibiotics, in which they suggested that all fluoroquinolone drugs should be substituted where possible because of the risk of serious nerve damage. They claimed that often, the risks of side effects heavily outweighed the benefits. This update also made it so that the risks had to be laid out on the labels. Despite this, they are still being prescribed. And the most infamous and drug, Levaquin was only discontinued in 2017 and was available in pharmacies until 2020.
Peripheral neuropathy was highlighted as a possible side effect very early on, but manufacturers of fluoroquinolone drugs simply pushed aside the concerns, claiming that they were rare occurrences.
Who Is Liable for Your Nerve Damage?
When a pharmaceutical company values profit more than the wellbeing of patients and sells a drug that they know has serious side effects, they can be held liable. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of Levaquin and similar drugs such as Cipro and Avelox.
Lawsuits often claim that:
- The company knew that the drug could have dangerous side effects but failed to sufficiently warn the public or doctors.
- The company hid the dangers and reports of side effects and consequently misled and manipulated the public and doctors.
- The company encouraged the benefits of the drug and claimed it to be a worthwhile treatment for minor bacterial infections, despite knowledge of the potential to cause peripheral neuropathy, even when they knew that there were safer options.
If the manufacturer, in your case, Johnson & Johnson, is found liable for your suffering, you are entitled to compensation to recover all of your expenses. These costs may include your lost wages, medical bills, loss, and reimbursement for you for your debilitating quality of life as a result of taking the drug. No amount of money will make up for your suffering, but it is the only plausible way to start putting your life back together and hold these shameful companies to account.
Talk to a Levaquin Nerve Damage Lawyer
It is essential that we hold pharmaceutical companies responsible when hey knowingly put people in danger. Defective and dangerous drugs should not be profitable. So long as they are profitable, they will continue to be made. By filing lawsuits, you could be preventing more people from suffering.
Speak to an attorney today. You do not need to suffer alone; your care is a high priority of ours. You need a law firm that can provide immense knowledge and support. Call our lawyers at The Law Place on 941-444-4444 at any time of day and arrange a free consultation, at no obligation to you. Get all the information, ask the questions you need to, and then decide how you would like to proceed with your case.