FDA BLACK BOX
The Food and Drug Administration imposed the government's most urgent safety warning on Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox and many other flouroquinolone antibiotics. The FDA orders a prominent "black box" warning and the development of new literature for patients emphasizing the risks. The most prominent risk is tendon rupture causing long term disability, possibly permanent.
This is an important first step to ensuring these antibiotics are only used when the patient faces a potential fatal outcome, and only after the use of all other antibiotics have been ruled out. This is not due to the probability of risk, but rather severity.
To those who have been affected, prognosis is normally not good. There is no cure. Often repeat exposure through food and water cause a continual never ending cycle of symptoms. Many victims face the fact that their lives have been completely destroyed. Many face loss of job and income, some face breakup of the family. Some have even committed suicide because of the pain inflicted by these drugs.
Unfortunately, physicians currently give these prescriptions out like candy. To emphasize the ignorance of physicians, Cipro is often prescribed post-op for tendon repair surgery. The physician will often prescribe a drug known to cause tendon rupture as a preventive to infection after tendon repair surgery. There is an obvious neglect on the part of the physicians who simply do not known the potential dangers of the drugs they prescribe. So where is the breakdown of information? Unfortunately many physicians mistakenly rely on pharmaceutical drug reps to point out any potential side effects rather than investigating it themselves. Further implicating the physicians, they accept gifts from drug companies and in return will prescribe unnecessary and dangerous substances. Drug Reps, paid on commission, find themselves making more sales by not disclosing the dangers, or make light of potential side effects. Making the problem worse, the drug manufactures trivialize and distort the potential risks.
A pending U.S. Senate bill would require drug companies to report gifts to doctors of more than $25. New York State's legislature plans to hold hearings this year on the relationship between doctors and drug companies. One congressional critic has even compared the drug industry with the tobacco industry, and Senator John McCain has called drug makers the "bad guys."
Antibiotics known as flouroquinolones have been associated with some or all of the following adverse drug reactions:
Tendonitis, Tendon Rupture, Tendon, Ligament, Joint and Muscle Damage
Vision Damage, Hearing Loss, Taste Perversion
Peripheral Neuropathy (Tingling, burning sensation)
Insomnia, Nightmares, Anxiety Attacks, Depersonalization, Cognitive Disorders
Brain, Heart, Liver, Kidney, Pancreas, Blood and Endocrine Disorders
Severe Psychotic Reactions, Suicidal Thoughts or Actions
Compounding the problem, there are numerous drugs which should not be taken in combination with this class of antibiotics. There are increased risks of injury when they are taken in combination with corticosteroids (e.g.: Prednisone, Flovent, Nasarel, Azmacort, Advair Disku, Methylprednisolone Dospak, Elocon Cream, Desoximetasone Cream, and Sterapred) and when taken in combinations with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (e.g.: Motrin, Pamprin, Aleve, Advil, and Ibuprofen, among others). Physicians are frequently not aware of these contraindications and prescribe dangerous combinations of drugs which cause severe injuries to their patients. Physicians may also not be able to identify that their patient is suffering an adverse reaction and instruct them to continue to take more of the antibiotic resulting in very serious and perhaps preventable injuries.