Update: Fluoroquinolone MDL Moving Forward in Minnesota
March 22, 2017 – Product liability lawsuits alleging peripheral neuropathy from Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox are moving forward in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, with at least 10 bellwether cases being prepped for trial. Per a recent update, there are at least 738 lawsuits pending in the fluoroquinolone multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2642), most of which involve Levaquin.
What is Avelox?
Avelox contains the active ingredient moxifloxacin, which belongs to a group of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. The drug works by killing bacteria that cause infections. Avelox is prescribed to treat infection of the sinuses, sudden worsening of long term inflammation of the airways or infection of the lungs (pneumonia) acquired outside the hospital.
What’s the Problem?
More than 26 million Americans fill a prescription for a fluoroquinolone antibiotic like Avelox each year. Yet despite their effectiveness at treating bacterial infections, these medications have been linked to a number of serious side effects including nerve damage, aortic aneurysms and dissections. People who suffered these side effects after taking Avelox are filing lawsuits against Merck & Co., the company that manufactures the drug.
One of the most serious side effects associated with fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Avelox is peripheral neuropathy. This condition occurs when the nerves of the peripheral system become damaged and begin confusing messages and sensations that are normally sent along these channels. Many patients will experience pain in response to sensations that should not be painful, or will lose feeling in their fingers and toes. Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include pain, a pins-and-needles sensation, numbness and weakness.
In August 2013, FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication regarding fluoroquinolone antibiotics and their potential to cause peripheral neuropathy. The agency made recommendations to update safety warnings on the labeling of these medications, including information about peripheral neuropathy and damage caused by the condition which may be permanent. The announcement also includes information about symptoms of neuropathy and instructs patients to discontinue fluoroquinolone use if they experience any symptoms.
Aortic Aneurysm & Dissection
In October 2015, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that fluoroquinolone antibiotics could place users at risk for developing aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection. The researchers looked at 1,477 patients who were hospitalized with these conditions from January 2000 through December 2011 and compared them to 147,700 controls.
“After propensity score adjustment, current use of fluoroquinolones was found to be associated with increased risk for aortic aneurysm or dissection (rate ratio [RR], 2.43; 95% CI, 1.83-3.22), as was past use, although this risk was attenuated (RR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.18-1.86),” the researchers wrote. “While these were rare events, physicians should be aware of this possible drug safety risk associated with fluoroquinolone therapy.”
Avelox contains a “black box” warning regarding its potential to cause tendinitis and tendon rupture. The risk of these side effects is increased in patients who are over 60, in those who have had organ transplants, as well as in those who have undergone concomitant steroid therapy.
“Physicians should advise patients, at the first sign of tendon pain, swelling, or inflammation, to stop taking the fluoroquinolone, to avoid exercise and use of the affected area, and to promptly contact their doctor about changing to a non-fluoroquinolone antimicrobial drug,” according to the FDA.
Has a Class Action Been Filed?
Our lawyers have decided against the filing of an Avelox class action lawsuit, and are instead reviewing individuals claims on behalf of people who were injured by the drug. The problem with class actions is that resolution of the cases often takes much longer than conventional lawsuits due to their procedural complexities, and because class members play a lesser role in directing the litigation, typically only being compensated with a minimal recovery. At Schmidt & Clark, LLP we understand that our clients are suffering emotionally and economically due to loss of wages and/or high medical bills and we plan to maximize each client’s recovery by filing individual Avelox lawsuits on their behalf.
FDA Strengthens Warnings on Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics
July 27, 2016 – FDA has updated the boxed warnings on fluoroquinolone antibiotics to include information about “disabling and potentially permanent side effects of the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and central nervous system” associated with the drugs. The agency cautions that fluoroquinolones should only be used by patients with no other treatment options for acute bacterial sinusitis, acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections because their potential health risks generally outweigh any benefit.
Arkansas Man Alleges Serious Side Effects From Avelox
June 27, 2016 – Arkansas resident John Reed is suing Bayer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, alleging permanent injuries from Avelox and Levaquin (generic: levofloxacin). Reed alleges he experienced serious side effects including irreversible peripheral neuropathy after taking the drugs in 2008, and blames the companies for failing to adequately warn about the potential health risks associated with their use. The complaint was filed May 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania under case number 2:16-cv-02615-GAM.
Do I Have an Avelox Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Avelox lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting investigating potential settlements in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you were harmed by Avelox, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.