The antibiotic Avelox is a powerful weapon to fight infections, but in rare cases it causes severe side effects. Some of the most serious risks include tendon ruptures, aortic aneurysms, nerve damage, and a life-threatening allergic skin reaction known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS).
What You Can Do & How We Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Avelox induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with a severe side effect, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
Common Side Effects of Avelox
The most common side effects of Avelox (>3% of patients) include nausea, diarrhea, headache, or dizziness. Other common side effects (>1%) include anemia, constipation, abdominal pain, indigestion, fever, low potassium (hypokalemia), and insomnia.
Avelox Black Box Warning
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 has been linked to deadly cases of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), and other life-threatening allergic skin reactions. Patients should stop taking Avelox immediately at the first sign of a rash, unless the rash is clearly not drug-related. A few case reports have been published, including one report from 2004 in which a 23 year-old woman developed TEN after taking Avelox for 3 days. She had a rash over 40% of her body and she died from organ failure. In another report from 2009, a 44 year-old man developed TEN after taking Avelox for one week.
Avelox and Aortic Aneurysms
Avelox and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics can damage collagen in connective tissue, which is why they are associated with tendon ruptures and retinal detachment. Collagen is also found in the wall of the aorta and recent studies suggest Avelox can increase the risk of aortic aneurysms.
Aortic aneurysms occur when a weak spot in the wall of the aorta allows it to bulge or “balloon” outward. It may cause no symptoms until the aorta rips open and causes severe internal bleeding. Without emergency surgery to repair the aorta, aneurysms can rapidly be fatal.
One study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in October 2015 found a doubled increased risk of aortic aneurysms associated with current use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Another study published in the British Medical Journal found a tripled increased risk.
FDA Warning for Nerve Damage
In August 2013, The FDA issued a Safety Communication and updated the label on Avelox to strengthen warnings about peripheral neuropathy, a severe type of nerve damage that is a side effect of Avelox. The label on Avelox has carried warnings about nerve damage since 2004, but the FDA was concerned that it did not adequately emphasize the rapid onset of symptoms (often within less than one week) and potentially permanent complications. In some cases, symptoms had been ongoing for more than a year despite discontinuing Avelox.
Avelox Nerve Damage Lawsuits
Bayer HealthCare, the manufacturer of Avelox, was hit with the first lawsuit involving nerve damage in September 2014. The plaintiff, a woman who was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, alleges: “Rather than warning patients and physician that the use of Avelox may result in permanent nerve damage, Defendants instead adopted a warning that misleadingly indicated such damage was rare and failed to make any mention of the risk of permanent nerve damage.”
Severe Side Effects of Avelox
The Prescribing Information (PDF) for Avelox warns about the following severe side effects:
- Nerve damage
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS)
- Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN)
- Aortic aneurysms
- Tendon damage or ruptures
- Worsening of myasthensia gavis (disease that causes muscle weakness and breathing problems)
- Children have a higher risk of bone, joint, and tendon problems
- Central Nervous System (CNS) side effects — contact a doctor if you develop seizures, dizziness, changes in mood or behavior, hallucinations, restlessness, anxiety, tremors, depression, problems sleeping, paranoia, suicidal thoughts or actions, or yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
- Allergic reaction – may be life-threatening
- Skin rash
- Heart rhythm disturbances (QT interval prolongation, torsades de pointes)
- Gastrointestinal infections
- Sensitivity to sunlight
Do I have an Avelox Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Avelox induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with nerve damage or an aneurysm, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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