Levaquin Settlement Update
April 11, 2017 – Johnson & Johnson has been settling many lawsuits alleging nerve damage and peripheral neuropathy from Levaquin out of court, in some cases just days before trial. It stands to reason that J&J would try to settle as many of the complaints as possible, to avoid a lengthy trial the company would likely lose anyway. Many claimants have already received settlements without ever having to set foot inside a courtroom.
Levaquin belongs to a class of medications called fluoroquinolones that fight bacteria in the body. The drug is prescribed to treat bacterial infections of the skin, sinuses, kidneys, bladder and prostate. Levaquin is also used to treat infections that lead to bronchitis or pneumonia, and to treat patients who have been exposed to anthrax or plague. Levaquin is made by Ortho-McNeil-Janssen (a Johnson & Johnson company), and was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in December 1996.
Levaquin and Peripheral Neuropathy
Information linking Levaquin to peripheral neuropathy first surfaced decades ago. However, lawsuits allege that the product’s labeling does not adequately warn of this potential side effect, instead suggesting that nerve damage and associated problems are rare. Signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:
- Pins-and-needles sensation
In September 2004, the Levaquin warning label was updated to include information regarding a potential increased risk of peripheral nerve damage associated with its use. However, the information was hidden in the small print of the prescribing information, and failed to adequately warn of the risk.
In Aug. 2013, FDA required a new warning update for Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotic medications. In a Drug Safety Communication (PDF), the agency warned that nerve problems may arise any time during fluoroquinolone treatment and may last for months or even years.
“If a patient develops symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, the fluoroquinolone should be stopped, and the patient should be switched to another, non-fluoroquinolone antibacterial drug, unless the benefit of continued treatment with a fluoroquinolone outweighs the risk,” FDA said. “Peripheral neuropathy is a nerve disorder occurring in the arms or legs. Symptoms include pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, or a change in sensation to light touch, pain or temperature, or the sense of body position.”
Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Linked to Aortic Aneurysm
In late 2015, two studies published in reputable medical journals linked fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Levaquin to an increased risk for aortic dissection and aortic aneurysm. These conditions are life-threatening and can lead to death if left untreated.
The studies, published in BMJ Open and JAMA Internal Medicine, note earlier research that suggests the mechanism for the risk of tendon injury occurring with use of fluoroquinolones may include “degradation,” or deterioration, of type I and type III collagen. The aorta is also made up of these kinds of collagen, leading the researchers to suggest that fluoroquinolones may be linked not only to tendon ruptures, but also aortic dissection and aneurysm.
What is Aortic Aneurysm?
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a medical condition characterized by an enlargement of the aorta, the main blood vessel that delivers blood to the body, near the abdomen. An AAA typically grows slowly without symptoms for months or even years. Over time, certain patients may notice a pulsating feeling near the navel. Pain in the back, belly, or side may be signs of impending rupture. When the aorta ruptures, it can cause death from internal bleeding.
Levaquin Side Effects
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Nerve damage
- Aortic aneurysm
- Aortic dissection
- Collagen disorders
- Muscle weakness
- Tendon ruptures
- Central nervous system disorders
- Cardiovascular collapse
- Life-threatening skin reactions
- Toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS)
- Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea
- And more
Has a Class Action Been Filed?
To date, no class action lawsuit has been filed in the Levaquin litigation. Instead, our lawyers are reviewing potential individual claims on behalf of people who have been severely injured by the drug. If we find that you have a legitimate claim, you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, pain and suffering and other damages. Contact us now to learn more about your legal rights.
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.
FDA Strengthens Levaquin Warning Labels
July 26, 2016 – An FDA Drug Safety Communication issued today announced stronger label warnings for Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics because they may lead to disabling side effects, including long-term nerve damage and ruptured tendons. The agency also cautioned that the bacteria-fighting drugs shouldn’t be prescribed for sinusitis, chronic bronchitis or simple urinary tract infections (UTIs) unless patients have no other treatments options.
Levaquin Lawsuit Filed in Pennsylvania
June 27, 2016 – An Arkansas man who claims he was permanently injured after using Levaquin and Avelox (generic: moxifloxacin) has filed a lawsuit against Bayer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Plaintiff John Reed alleges that in 2008 he suffered serious side effects including irreversible peripheral neuropathy from Levaquin and Avelox. Reed holds the defendants responsible because they allegedly failed to provide adequate warnings on the drugs, resulting in him sustaining physical injuries which required medical treatment and monitoring. 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.