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Levaquin SJS & Tendon Rupture Injury Lawsuit

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)—causes sudden tendon ruptures and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

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.

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. Since 2005, though, controversies have eroded consumer confidence in Levaquin. Consequently, in July 2009, the FDA placed a “black box warning,” the agency’s most serious alert, on Levaquin. There are no known efforts to issue a Levaquin recall or ban the drug, but according to Bloomberg Businessweek as of January 2012 thousands of harmed users had filed Levaquin lawsuits against J&J and other manufacturers. All federal level Levaquin lawsuits are consolidated into a single multidistrict litigation proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota before District Judge John R. Tunheim. By January 2012, Johnson & Johnson had won two out of three Levaquin bellwether trials. It lost the first in December 2010 to a Minnesota man whom the jury awarded $1.8 million in compensation. In October 2011, it won a state-based Levaquin lawsuit in New Jersey.

Levaquin Might Cause Life-Threatening Side Effects

On September 8, 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required Ortho-McNeil to include a “black box” warning on packages of Levaquin, informing the public of side effects the drug causes. Like many other fluoroquinolones, Levaquin use correlates to muscle injuries, especially in tendons, the muscle tissue that binds muscles together. It also causes a horrible life-threatening skin condition known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. As of 2008, the FDA reported 262 tendon ruptures, 259 cases of tendonitis, and 274 other tendon disorders. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome causes its victims to develop blisters in their mucus membranes and often severe skin peeling. The disease’s fatality rates fall between 25% and 80%.

Sadly the tendon problems caused by Levaquin are not the results of new research. To the contrary, medical studies determined that existing fluoroquinolones caused muscle disorders back in the early 1970s. In 1995, the year before it approved Levaquin, the FDA claimed it would require fluoroquinolone manufacturers to update their packaging to include Levaquin warnings about tendon rupture, but it did not do so.

The FDA did not act quickly on its promise. In 2005 and 2006, a consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen, and the Attorney General of Illinois petitioned the FDA to require a black box Levaquin warning. In 2008, both petitioners finally sued the FDA to require the Levaquin warnings, and in September of that year it finally did so.

In August 2013, the FDA issued a drug safety communication advising the public that it was requiring a label-change to Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics to “better describe the serious side effect of peripheral neuropathy,” which is the medical term for potentially permanent nerve damage. Peripheral neuropathy can occur soon after Levaquin treatment begins. It is associated with oral and injectable fluoroquinolones but not topical formulations of the drugs that are applied to the eyes and ears.

Levaquin lawsuits number in the thousands. On June 13, 2008, a Judicial Panel consolidated the Levaquin proceedings to Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota. Recently one Levaquin lawsuit resulted in a $1.8 million damage award to the plaintiff. The Rottenstein Law Group does not know of any Levaquin recalls at this time, but at least one Levaquin class action lawsuit is pending against Ortho-McNeill in Texas.

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.

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Please note: Comments are encouraged in order to permit visitors to discuss relevant topics. Comments are moderated and might be edited by RLG before being published.

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rlg Previous Comments

  1. Guest
    on September 3, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I was in hospital for colon issue. Was given intravenous levaquin for 6 days and 10 days orally. On third day, I kept complaining of arm pain, nurses kept telling me it was the I.V. When I was released and at home, I realized my tricep was gone, my girlfriend said my arm looked like spaghetti.

  2. Guest
    on September 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I took levaquin for bronchitis in April 2012. Within 5 days I had Achilles tendonitis. Within two weeks the tendon was totally ruptured. Surgery was not done at that time, and I am in physical therapy. Surgery may be considered in the future. It is a 12 month recovery! While working it is hard to take 12 months off of a job and expect to have a job waiting for you when it is over.

    Also, I started having mouth sores in May and went to an ENT specialist who gave me 3 prescriptions. It got better but this is now the 12th week, after prescriptions, and it is not gone. Having read some other comments, I am worried to find out what might come next.

  3. Guest
    on August 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I was given Levaquin for pneumonia and it caused an a Gilles tendon tear.

  4. Guest
    on July 20, 2012 at 12:41 am

    About 4 to 5 yrs. ago, I was prescribed Levaquin for a severe sinus infection. I took it for 2 days only and on the 3rd morning I awoke in severe pain. I called the Dr. and was told to quit taking it. I still had severe pain and couldn't urinate. After 3 more days, I went in to the clinic. They used a catheter because I had no feeling from the waist down. After a week, I had to see a neurologist and after testing as well as a nerve test I was diagnosed with Sensory Neuropathy. I still suffer with it today and have many areas below the waist that I cannot feel. I also can NOT contain my bowels and/or urine if I wait too long which is humiliating when I'm away from home.

  5. Guest
    on July 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I have taken Levaquin for an upper respiratory infection. I could not sleep, I've had pain in my back like traveling through to my stomach. Both my heels have been excruciating pain. I have been woken up from the pain. I use ice packs for an hour or so and then go back to sleep, I am so tired with fatigue and fogged brain.

  6. Guest
    on July 2, 2012 at 3:14 am

    I just had levaquin prescribed for me after a nasty case of infections in my feet and surgery was done. I have had severe pain in my left leg, etc. Now it is all over my body. I hurt so bad my loritabs and morphine taken orally wont help at all. I took the last one tonight before looking this up. I also have a pain pump with morphine 24/7 running and I am still in pain all over my body not just my leg.

  7. Guest
    on June 24, 2012 at 6:43 am

    I have taken Levaquin, the last time was September 2011 and in December I started with hip/groan pain it turned out that I have a labral tear on the right side, and within a few months I started with the same pain on the left, I just had an MRI and I have the same tear. I haven't done anything, I'm 47 years old. I suffer from chronic pain as it is as I have T.O.S. due to an auto accident in '08. What else can go wrong? Now they tell me I need to have surgery on both side of my hips to repair the damage. When I asked the doctors about the med, as I thought this may have been the reason none of them said anything! This is really sad when you can't trust your own doctors.

  8. Guest
    on June 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I just had surgery on a spontaneous eruption of my tendon in my thumb on right hand and could not figure out how it happened until a pharmacist asked me had I ever taken levaquin. I have taken this on several occasions for chronic bronchitis.

  9. Guest
    on June 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I took Levaquin and it damaged me on all sorts of levels. It caused small fiber neuropathy, insomnia, stopped my testosterone production, damaged various glands, caused chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia-like symptoms along with osteoarthritis and all sorts of other things. This was recently confirmed by a doctor at a prestigious university. More test have been ordered to help determine the extent of the damage and my prognosis. It isn't very promising. I am doing everything I can to continue working, but it has been an unimaginable struggle everyday.

    1. Guest
      on June 16, 2012 at 12:52 am

      I have the same symptoms and can't find any doctor that can give me a diagnosis. I was on levaquin for 52 days.

    2. Guest
      on August 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      I was given levaquin twice with steroids, first time I got a frozen shoulder that never healed, I suspect it was a micro tendon tear. Second time again I took it for bronchial issues with steroids.. I woke up 3 months later and I can barely walk. My back, spine, legs, have terrible pain, nerve pain all over, memory loss, crying, I had so many tests done which show up fine. I can barely move or wash dishes.. no doctor will admit it is the levaquin but there is not one test that shows it is any other illness. It is getting worse daily, and pain in new areas. I am beyond despair and feel all alone trying to figure this out. My neuro said "IF it is there is nothing that can be done".

  10. Guest
    on April 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I took levofloxacin for 14 days and had a heart attack. I was taking it for a severe sinus infection. I have had to hire another practitioner to fill in for me in my practice for a month now.

  11. Guest
    on April 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I had loss of vision and was in a comma for 3 months because of this drug.

  12. Guest
    on January 22, 2012 at 12:13 am

    In Germany, we do not see any effective official activities dealing with the problems of tendon damages (incl. ruptures) caused by levofloxacin. A great problem is the fact, that the manufacturers (beside producing insufficient warnings concerning those side effects) never made a serious attempt, to develop any suitable advice for the medical staff particularly in hospitals, to help the victims of levofloxacin successfully.

  13. Guest
    on June 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    I was given levaquin for pneumonia a couple years ago. About the third day, I started having heart problems. Ended up in the emergency room. I was monitored for the next several hours. My heart rate would elevate to the point where I felt like I was going to pass out or have a heart attack. I was sent home, kept on medication for next 2 days, had several more episodes. Became convinced it was levaquin that caused this. Over the last couple of years, I have been fighting this condition. Have had my heart and cardio system checked, no physical problems exist. It causes me severe anxiety issues that affect my work and life in general. Would like to know if any other cases have been reported and if anything is going to become of this side effect.

    1. Guest
      on February 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      I have had the exact same reactions for the same problem -- pneumonia.

    2. Guest
      on July 21, 2012 at 1:41 am

      Yes, besides having an immediate reaction after one pill of levofloxacin by getting Achilles heel tendonitis (May 22 2012), I am also experiencing awful mental episodes where I think I am going insane. Stephen Fried, the author of "Bitter Pills" describes this state as ones "mental thermostat being broken."

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