Levaquin is the brand name for an antibiotic in the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics. It is a strong antibiotic that is frequently used after other antibiotics have failed to clear up an infection, or in life-threatening and severe cases. However, Levaquin’s effectiveness is marred by a serious side effect: an increased risk of tendon ruptures, especially rupture of the Achilles tendon or the shoulder, and tendonitis. That’s why Missouri Dangerous Drug Attorneys increasingly help families pursue injury cases against the manufacturers.
A Levaquin tendon rupture is most common in people over the age of 60 and in people who are taking corticosteroid drugs for conditions like arthritis, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease or asthma. Unfortunately, those two groups tend to overlap, which means older Americans may be at serious risk when they use Levaquin. In response to studies showing a strong connection between Levaquin and tendon problems, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008 added a “black box” warning to Levaquin’s label about the risk of tendon rupture.
This tendon rupture is spontaneous, which means it doesn’t happen in response to overuse or misuse &mdash: it happens without warning. This can be literally crippling. Tendons connect muscles to bones, and those connections are needed for the affected area to work properly. When the tendon snaps, the patient loses the ability to do things with the affected body part. In the case of ruptured or painful Achilles tendons, that means the ability to walk: the rupture makes patients unable to lift their foot from the floor. Patients may need surgery to fix the tendon, or they may be able to treat it with physical therapy and restraint in a special boot. In either case, the patient’s movement will be restricted to some degree for weeks.
A tendon rupture is a serious problem for people of any age. But for older people, it can be a trigger for fears of losing independence, or cause actual loss of independence. Levaquin’s maker, Johnson and Johnson, has faced thousands of Levaquin lawsuits in recent years from older people alleging that they suffered serious injuries from taking the drug. These cases allege that Johnson and Johnson failed to adequately warn patients of the risks of taking Levaquin, by attempting to downplay them in both the drug’s label and in the medical literature. The advocacy group Public Citizen called on the FDA to include the black box warning about tendon rupture risk for two years before it was added, and St. Louis Defective Drug Lawyers have claimed that Johnson and Johnson failed to tell patients that Levaquin was more likely to cause tendon ruptures than other fluoroquinolones.
If you believe Levaquin caused your ruptured tendon or tendonitis, you should contact the Missouri Levaquin lawyers at E. Ryan Bradley today to discuss a legal case. From offices in St. Louis, we represent clients around the state who have suffered serious health problems as a result of a dangerous or defective drug. We trust that doctors wouldn’t prescribe drugs that actually do harm &mdash: but doctors and patients can only make decisions with the information they’re given. When a pharmaceutical company fails to make important safety information known or even takes steps to suppress it, victims of pharmaceutical injuries have the right to hold that company legally liable for its actions. In a Levaquin injury lawsuit, you can claim compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of quality of life and all of the costs related to your treatment, including time off work if you were unable to work.
E. Ryan Bradley offers free, confidential case evaluations, so you should never hesitate to call and tell us your story. You can reach us at 314-400-0000 or contact us at Ryan Bradley for an evaluation.