The antibiotic Avelox is a powerful weapon to fight infections, but it sometimes causes deadly side effects. Some of the most serious side effects include heart problems, aortic aneurysms, nerve damage, skin reactions, and tendon ruptures.
Severe Side Effects of Avelox
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Heart valve damage (aortic or mitral valve regurgitation)
- Aortic aneurysm (aortic dissection)
- Nerve damage
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Skin reactions
- Tendon ruptures and tendonitis
- Steven-Johnson Syndrome
- Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
Common Side Effects of Avelox
The most common side effects of Avelox (more than 3% of patients) include nausea, diarrhea, headache, or dizziness. Other common side effects (more than 1% of patients) include anemia, constipation, abdominal pain, indigestion, fever, low potassium (hypokalemia), and insomnia.
Avelox and Cardiovascular Side Effects
In September 2019, Avelox was linked to an increased risk of heart valve damage. This side effect, also called “aortic or mitral valve regurgitation,” is believed to occur when Avelox damages the delicate flaps that open and close the heart valves. The valves leak blood when the heart pumps, forcing the heart to work even harder to supply enough blood to the body.
Over time, valve problems can lead to heart failure, in which the heart is too weak to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Heart failure can cause dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen legs, irregular heartbeat, weakness, and confusion.
Avelox and Tendon Side Effects
Avelox belongs to a class of drugs known as fluoroquinolones, all of which carry a “Black Box” warning about the risk of tendonitis (tendon inflammation) and tendon ruptures. This complication can occur at any time during treatment with Avelox, and it may occur in the Achilles, shoulder, hand, or other tendons.
Avelox and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)
Avelox is linked to deadly cases of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS). This is a life-threatening allergic skin reaction in which the top layer of skin peels off. Patients should seek emergency medical attention at the first sign of a rash, unless the rash is clearly not related to Avelox.
Avelox and Aortic Aneurysms
Avelox can damage collagen in the wall of the aorta, which is the largest blood vessel in the body. In December 2018, the FDA warned that Avelox increases the risk of aortic aneurysms (or “aortic dissections”). This side effect occurs when a weak spot in the wall of the aorta bulges outward. It may cause no early symptoms until the aorta suddenly rips open and causes severe internal bleeding, organ failure, and death.
Avelox and Nerve Damage
Avelox was first linked to nerve damage in 2004, when drug-makers added peripheral neuropathy to the list of potential side effects. In 2013, the FDA ordered drug-makers to strengthen these warnings to emphasize that nerve damage can occur within days of taking the first dose of Avelox and persist for years after stopping Avelox.