Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is the most popular antibiotic in the fluoroquinolone class. The first warning about the link between Cipro and peripheral neuropathy was published in 2004. In August 2013, the FDA required updates to the Cipro label to include information about the risk of rapid, permanent nerve damage that can occur within days.
UPDATE: Nerve Damage Risk Doubles for Users of Some Antibiotics
August 25, 2014 — A study published in Neurology has found a doubled increased risk of peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) from the use of antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone (FQ) class. Click here to read more.
What is Cipro (ciprofloxacin)?
Cipro (ciprofloxacin) is an antibiotic medication created by Bayer AG. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987 and is now available in oral, intravenous (IV), and topical formulations that are sold in dozens of countries.
In 2011, over 23 million Americans received a prescription for an oral antibiotic, and 70% were prescribed Cipro. It is primarily used to treat bacterial infections of the skin, respiratory tract (pneumonia), urinary tract, abdomen, and gastrointestinal system. It can also be used to treat anthrax.
Ciprofloxacin products include:
- Cipro — Cipro Label (PDF)
- Cipro XR — Cipro XR Label (PDF)
- Cipro Intravenous (IV) — Cipro IV Label (PDF)
- Cipro XL
FDA Warning for Cipro and Peripheral Neuropathy
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published this Safety Warning for Cipro and Peripheral Neuropathy in August 2013. The new warnings specifically tell doctors to discontinue treatment if patients develop symptoms of nerve damage. The FDA was concerned about the following problems:
“The onset of peripheral neuropathy after starting fluoroquinolone therapy was rapid, often within a few days. In some patients the symptoms had been ongoing for more than a year despite discontinuation of the fluoroquinolone. Several patients were continued on the fluoroquinolone drug despite the occurrence of neuropathic symptoms.”
What is Peripheral Neuropathy (Nerve Damage)?
Peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that causes injury to peripheral nerves between the brain, spinal cord, and body. There are over 100 different types of neuropathy. Cipro is associated with sensory and motor neuropathy affecting the following nerves:
- Motor nerves: Damage to these nerves can cause problems with coordination and using the hands and feet. Motor nerve damage can lead to muscle weakness, difficulty walking, arm cramps, or muscle spasms.
- Sensory nerves: Damage to these nerves in the skin and body can make it difficult to feel if an object is rough, smooth, hot, or cold, or in motion. It can also cause tingling, numbness, pain, and extreme sensitivity to touch.
Symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy
- Paresthesia (tingling, prickling, etc.)
- Burning sensation or freezing pain
- Sharp, jabbing pain
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Sense of wearing an invisible glove or sock
- Muscle weakness
- Decreased muscle coordination
- Problems walking
Cipro Class Action Lawsuit
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is nationally recognized as a class action law firm and many people have been injured by Cipro. However, our law firm is not filing a Cipro class action lawsuit at this time. Instead, we are focusing our efforts on individual lawsuits on behalf of people with the most serious injuries. We believe individual lawsuits are the best way we can advocate for each of our clients.