Amid increasing concerns about the alleged link between Cipro treatment and an increased risk of aortic aneurysm or peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage), a growing number of consumers across the country are pursuing product liability claims against Cipro maker Bayer Healthcare for side effects allegedly caused by the fluoroquinolone antibiotic drug. If you believe you have been harmed by nerve damage or aortic aneurysm side effects of Cipro, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are committed to protecting the rights of consumers nationwide who have suffered injuries caused by a defective medication, and we can help put you in touch with a product liability lawyer who has experience handling Cipro injury claims. You may have grounds to file a Cipro lawsuit against Bayer Healthcare, in order to seek fair and timely reimbursement for your injuries.
Cipro is the most widely-used of all the fluoroquinolone antibiotics, accounting for 80% of prescriptions and taken by approximately 20 million Americans every year. In some cases, Cipro may offer life-saving benefits for patients suffering from severe infections, but the drug has been linked to major side effects like peripheral neuropathy and tendon ruptures, and some researchers say Cipro and other drugs belonging to the same class of antibiotics are over-prescribed for minor health issues, like sinusitis and earaches. For many common bacterial infection ailments that can be treated with less powerful drugs or non-drug remedies, the following alternative therapies may be available:
Cipro (ciprofloxacin) belongs to a class of antibiotic drugs called fluoroquinolones, and is currently manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Bayer Healthcare. Cipro and other fluoroquinolone medications are designed to fight bacteria in the body, and Cipro in particular is commonly prescribed to treat different types of bacterial infections of the skin, bones, joints, urinary tract, lower respiratory tract, stomach, sinuses and prostate, as well as people who have been exposed to anthrax. Fluoroquinolones are the most widely used type of antibiotic drug in the United States, with more than 26 million Americans taking the medications to treat bacterial infections and other conditions every year.
There are six fluoroquinolone antibiotics that have been approved by the FDA – the more popular Cipro, Avelox and Levaquin, and the less well-known Factive, Floxin and Noroxin – and statistics show that this class of antibiotics accounts for roughly 16% of the world market for antibiotics. The draw to fluoroquinolones is that the drugs can be used to treat a wide variety of infections, by targeting a bacterium’s DNA and preventing it from replicating, which allows the body to fight the infection. However, serious concerns have been raised recently about the safety of Cipro and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics, in light of new information linking the medications to severe side effects, like permanent nerve damage and aortic aneurysm.
According to a growing body of research, patients taking fluoroquinolone antibiotic drugs like Cipro may have an increased risk of suffering peripheral neuropathy, a condition that can result in debilitating numbness and pain in the feet and hands, and aortic aneurysm, a bulging or enlargement of the largest blood vessel in the body. In many cases of nerve damage from Cipro, patients suffer from side effects like muscle weakness, general numbness, and problems with coordination, which can cause difficulties with balance, walking and fine motor tasks like fastening buttons. In patients with aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection, symptoms may include:
Research has shown that both current and past use of fluoroquinolone antibiotic drugs like Cipro may be tied to an increased risk of life-threatening side effects like aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection. Scientists suspect that Cipro and other fluoroquinolones may break down collagen in the body, which makes up the lining of the aorta, and at least two studies published in 2015 found a connection between these antibiotic drugs and collagen damage that may result in aortic dissection or aortic aneurysm. In a case-control analysis of data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2015, researchers found that adults who had recently taken a fluoroquinolone medication faced roughly double the risk of hospitalization for aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection complications. The researchers also found that use two months to a year prior to hospitalization appeared to be linked to an increased risk of the potentially life-threatening side effects. Unfortunately, according to reports, the incidence of aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection has increased dramatically over the past several decades, with an estimated 15,000 Americans dying every year from aortic aneurysm.
In September 2014, the FDA required the makers of fluoroquinolone antibiotic drugs like Cipro to update their warning labels to include the risk of potentially irreversible peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage. This warning came on the heels of a study published in the journal Neurology in August 2014, which found that patients taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Cipro had a two-times increased risk of experiencing peripheral neuropathy injuries. Although these Cipro nerve damage warnings are very recent, the potential connection between fluoroquinolone antibiotic drugs has been documented for more than a decade. In 2004, the FDA issued a drug safety communication to antibiotic manufacturing companies requiring new warnings regarding the potential for fluoroquinolone medications to cause serious nerve injuries. According to the FDA, patients taking Cipro and similar antibiotic drugs may experience symptoms of peripheral neuropathy like pain, tingling, burning, numbness, weakness, and alterations of sensations including pain, light touch and temperature.
December 2010 – An 82-year-old Minnesota man who suffered tendon damage allegedly caused by the use of a fluoroquinolone antibiotic is awarded $1.8 million in damages by the jury hearing his case.
October 2012 – A settlement agreement is reached in 845 lawsuits brought in federal court in Minneapolis, over tendon damage injuries from fluoroquinolone antibiotic drugs.
May 2013 – There are 1,879 cases pending in a federal MDL for fluoroquinolone antibiotic cases at this time, 1,182 of which have been settled and 153 of which are involved in settlement negotiations. There are also 1,228 active cases filed in New Jersey state court, roughly 898 of which are subject to dismissal due to settlement.
August 2014 – A lawsuit filed in California state court by a woman prescribed a fluoroquinolone antibiotic alleges that her nerve damage side effects were a “direct and proximate result” of the prescription medication.
December 2014 – Another product liability lawsuit is filed in California state court, on behalf of a woman who took a fluoroquinolone antibiotic drug and developed peripheral neuropathy injuries.
March 2015 – Approximately 100 fluoroquinolone antibiotic lawsuits are pending in the federal MDL in Minnesota, before U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim.
May 2015 – A North Carolina woman files a fluoroquinolone antibiotic lawsuit over failure to warn about the alleged risk of peripheral neuropathy side effects associated with the prescription drugs.
2004 – The FDA calls for new warnings on the labels of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, highlighting the potential risk of nerve injuries from the medications.
July 2008 – The FDA requires manufacturers of fluoroquinolone drugs to include a black box warning (the FDA’s strongest warning) on the drug labels, highlighting the risk of tendon ruptures in users, which the agency says continues to be an issue.
February 2011 – A warning by the FDA indicates that fluoroquinolone products may exacerbate muscle weakness in patients with myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease characterized by muscle weakness and fatigue, and that fluoroquinolone therapy should be avoided in these patients.
August 2013 – The FDA issues a drug safety communication warning against the over-prescription of fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Cipro, and indicates that current warnings about the alleged risk of peripheral neuropathy associated with the medications are not clear enough. The agency says that fluoroquinolone treatment should be discontinued immediately should symptoms of nerve damage arise.
December 2001 – A study published in the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy highlights the potential link between peripheral neuropathy side effects and the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, with reports of adverse events dating back to the 1980s.
2007 – Guidelines submitted by the American Thoracic Society indicate that fluoroquinolone drugs should not be used as a first line of treatment for pneumonia and other common ailments.
April 2010 – The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology publishes research linking the use of fluoroquinolones to an increased risk of tendinopathy and tendon rupture side effects.
April 2012 – The Journal of the American Medical Association publishes a study indicating that the risk of retinal detachment is nearly five times higher among current users of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, compared to non-users.
August 2012 – The Canadian Medical Association Journal publishes a study that establishes a potential connection between fluoroquinolone use and acute liver toxicity.
September 2012 – Dr. Mahyar Etminan, pharmacological epidemiologist at the University of British Columbia, tells The New York Times that prescribing fluoroquinolone antibiotics for minor health issues is like “trying to kill a fly with an automatic weapon.”
August 2013 – A study published in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases examines the potential connection between the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics among diabetic patients, and the risk of complications, such as dysglycemia, or disruptions in blood sugar metabolism.
August 2014 – Research published in the journal Neurology links long-term use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics to double the risk of developing peripheral neuropathy side effects. The researchers analyzed more than 30,000 men between 2001 and 2011 for the study, and also found that new users of fluoroquinolone drugs had a slightly greater risk of nerve damage.
November 2015 – JAMA Internal Medicine publishes a study in which the researchers establish a connection between the use of fluoroquinolones and an increased risk of aortic aneurysm and dissection.
November 2015 – A study published in the British Medical Journal identifies a nearly three-times increased risk of aortic aneurysm with the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
The makers of Cipro and some of the other more popular fluoroquinolone antibiotics prescribed in the United States are currently facing lawsuits filed on behalf of patients across the country who believe they have been adversely affected by peripheral neuropathy, aortic aneurysm, and other potential side effects of their medications. Lawsuits brought against the makers of Cipro (Bayer Healthcare), Avelox (Bayer Healthcare and Merck & Co.) and Levaquin (Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals) allege that:
As more information comes to light about the potential risk of aortic aneurysm and permanent nerve damage from Cipro treatment, patients across the country who believe they have been injured by the antibiotic drug are pursuing product liability claims against Bayer Healthcare, claiming that the drug maker failed to provide consumers and the medical community with adequate warnings about the potential for Cipro to cause life-threatening damage to the aorta. If you took Cipro in the past, and you have since been diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection, consult a qualified Cipro attorney today for legal help. With an experienced Cipro lawyer on your side, you may be able to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your drug-related injuries, medical bills, and pain and suffering.