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Fluoroquinolone Warnings Updated Due to Dangerous Side Effects

November 2, 2016

In 2016, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated their strongest warning (the boxed warning) on certain antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones that are taken by mouth or by injection. The FDA’s safety review of these drugs has revealed that “disabling and potentially permanent serious side effects” can occur involving the central nervous system, joints, muscles, nerves, and tendons.

What Are Fluoroquinolones?

Fluoroquinolones are a family of broad-spectrum antibiotics. They are commonly used to treat respiratory and urinary tract infections, but they are also used for treating a wide variety of other bacterial infections. Well-known fluoroquinolones include the following medications:

  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Gemifloxacin (Factive)
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Moxifloxacin (Avelox)
  • Norfloxacin (Noroxin)
  • Ofloxacin (Floxin)

Over 20 million patients receive prescriptions for these drugs every year, and they are among the most commonly prescribed medications for bacterial infections.

Side Effects of Fluoroquinolones

Over time, the medical and scientific communities have gained a deeper understanding of the side effects associated with fluoroquinolones. The most recent safety announcement from the FDA from July 26, 2016 indicates that the risk of serious side effects outweighs the benefits of fluoroquinolones — especially for patients suffering from acute bacterial sinusitis, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the serious side effects below after taking fluoroquinolones, you need to contact a qualified health care professional immediately:

  • Tendinitis or tendon rupture
  • Numbness, tingling, or prickling sensations in the arms or legs
  • Muscle or joint pain or weakness
  • Joint swelling
  • Skin rash or sunburn
  • Worsening of myasthenia gravis
  • Abnormal, rapid, or strong heartbeat
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations

If these antibiotics are overprescribed or prescribed in a nonstandard way, patients can also suffer from other serious side effects, like aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection. These conditions can in turn lead to many other problems, such as stroke, paralysis, or even death.

The Law Office of William D. Cook: Protecting Victims of Bad Drugs

If you or someone you know has been harmed by or even lost a loved one who was prescribed a fluoroquinolone-type drug such as Cipro, Levaquin, or Avelox, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Law Office of William D. Cook right away. We offer free consultations so we can listen to the details of your situation and provide you with candid legal advice about what your best course of action is. Don’t wait — call our offices now at (800) 757-7757 or fill out our convenient online contact form.


FDA drug safety communication: FDA updates warnings for oral and injectable fluoroquinolone antibiotics due to disabling side effects. (2016, July 26). U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Retrieved from

Drug record: Fluoroquinolones. (2016, September 6). United States National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from


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