Research shows the antibiotic levofloxacin—sold under the brand name Levaquin, as well as Tavanic outside the U.S. (or Oftaquix, Quixin, and Iquix in eye drops or eardrops, and oral solutions)—can cause a number of serious side effects, including peripheral neuropathy and permanent nerve damage.
The Rottenstein Law Group compassionately advocates for those who have suffered from the harmful side effects of potentially dangerous drugs. If you’ve taken Levaquin and believe it harmed you, contact RLG for a free, confidential legal consultation immediately. We will evaluate your case and remain on the lookout for Levaquin recalls and Levaquin class action lawsuits. We might be the Levaquin law firm you are looking for.
What Is Levaquin, and What Is It Prescribed For?
Levaquin is a brand name for the drug levofloxacin. Developed by Daiichi Sankyo, the Japanese pharmaceutical giant licensed the patent to Sanofi-Aventis outside the U.S. and to Johnson & Johnson (J&J) domestically via its subsidiary Ortho-McNeil. This prescription medication is used to treat severe and even life-threatening bacterial infections, including those that are resistant to other antibiotics.
European patent authorities granted the first levofloxacin patent in 1987, and on December 20, 1996, the FDA approved it for sale in the United States. Since then it has been sold in multiple forms such as oral tablets in 250mg, 500 mg, and 750mg doses, intravenously in 5mg/mL and 25 mg/mL, and eye, ear, and oral droplet solutions at 0.5% concentration.
Levaquin is a broad-spectrum fluoroquinolone antibiotic, meaning it can be used against many different bacteria strains. Broad-spectrum antibiotics effectively combat undetermined life-threatening bacterial infections (such as meningitis) and symptoms caused by multiple concurrent bacterial infections. Levaquin functions by disrupting DNA replication and cell division within bacteria. The drug is expensive and there are many cheaper and more effective antibiotics available. Other popular fluoroquinolones include Avelox and Cipro.
Johnson & Johnson depends on Levaquin sales as the drug was responsible for 6.5% of the company’s total revenue at $1.4 billion in 2007. In recent years, however, controversies have eroded consumer confidence in Levaquin. In 2008, for example, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) placed a “black box warning,” the agency’s most serious alert, on Levaquin regarding a potential for serious tendon injuries, including tendon ruptures. There were no known efforts to issue a Levaquin recall or ban the drug, despite these potentially debilitating complications. However, hundreds of Levaquin lawsuits were filed against the drug’s manufacturers by patients who allegedly experienced this painful side effects. In November 2012, Bloomberg News reported that Johnson & Johnson had settled hundreds of Levaquin tendon rupture lawsuits that had been filed in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, as part of a centralized Levaquin litigation.
Levaquin Might Cause Peripheral Neuropathy and Permanent Nerve Damage
In 2001, a study published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy reported on 45 patients who had developed peripheral neuropathy while undergoing treatment with Levaquin or another fluoroquinolone antibiotic. Over 80% of the cases were deemed “severe” and more than half of those affected experienced nerve damage symptoms for more than a year.
Peripheral neuropathy is a serious nerve disorder that occurs when the peripheral nervous system is damaged by injury, illness or exposure to toxic drugs. Symptoms of the disorder include:
- Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, arms and/or legs
- Burning sensation in the extremities
- Sensitivity to light touch
- Lack of coordination
- Muscle weakness or paralysis
- Intolerance to heat
- Bowel, bladder or digestive problems
- Changes in blood pressure, causing dizziness or lightheadedness
In December 2004, information about peripheral neuropathy was added to the Warnings or Warnings and Precautions label sections for all oral and injectable fluoroquinolone medications. However, the FDA ordered the drugs’ manufacturers to add stronger warnings in 2013, after an agency review determined that the potential rapid onset and risk of permanence were not adequately described.
While the FDA has not announced a Levaquin recall in response to the peripheral neuropathy risk, a growing number of Levaquin lawsuits have been filed in U.S. courts on behalf of individuals who allegedly developed this serious nerve disorder after using the medication. In July 2015, a new multidistrict litigation was created to house all federally-filed peripheral neuropathy cases involving Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro. (In Re: Fluoroquinolone Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2642)
RLG’s Lawyers Will Make Things Easier
The process of demanding compensation for the harm you’ve suffered can be complicated, even if it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to go through even more trouble to be made whole again. The Levaquin lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group believe that obtaining legal satisfaction from those who harmed you shouldn’t require more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process, and we will file a Levaquin lawsuit on your behalf if necessary. RLG will also keep you up to date on any Levaquin class action lawsuits, FDA Levaquin warnings, and Levaquin FDA recall announcements.
If you have taken Levaquin and believe it harmed you, contact RLG today.