More than 2,000 people have filed medical malpractice lawsuits in connection to the improper prescription of a specific type of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones. Intended to treat life-threatening bacterial infections, the antibiotics are now being prescribed for relatively common ailments that could be effectively treated with less-potent medications. This has resulted in a significant increase in the number of people who suffer serious and lasting side effects after being prescribed and taking the drugs.
Traditionally, the fluoroquinolones have been reserved for the treatment of hospital-acquired pneumonia and other potentially-deadly strains of bacterial infections. Now, doctors in Connecticut and around the country are prescribing the drugs to treat less-severe ailments such as sinusitis, bronchitis and earaches.
The use of fluoroquinolones places people at risk for a host of unwanted side effects and lasting harm. These include retinal detachment and blindness, and a wide variety of injuries to the central nervous and gastrointestinal systems, heart, kidneys, liver, ears and skin.
Further, doctors often have trouble tracing those debilitating side effects to the fluoroquinolones use. In many situations, little can be done to reverse the harm.
In recent years, several fluoroquinolones were taken off the market after it was determined that their risks outweighed their benefits. However, three forms of the antibiotics - Levaquin (levofloxacin), Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and Avelox (moxifloxacin) - continue to be prescribed throughout the country. In fact, Levaquin was the best-selling antibiotic in the U.S. in 2010, which means that the number of lawsuits filed in connection with the drugs will likely only continue to rise in the coming months and years.
Source: NY Times, "Popular Antibiotics May Carry Serious Side Effects," Jane E. Brody, Sept. 10, 2012
The attorneys at our Connecticut personal injury law firm often handle cases like those discussed above. To learn more, please visit our medication errors page.