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Cipro, Levaquin Antibiotics Linked to Possible Serious Damage to Aorta

Jun 13, 2016

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are commonly used to treat infections such as respiratory and urinary tract infections, bacterial bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, septicemia, joint and bone infections, urethral and gynecological infections, among other infectious conditions. Over 20 million fluoroquinolone prescriptions are written every year to treat bacterial infections, reports Top Class Actions.

Recent studies have revealed that people taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox, are two to three times more susceptible to life-threatening damage to their aorta. The aorta carries oxygenated blood from the heart so that blood may be distributed throughout the body and is the body's main artery.

Dangerous side effects of Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and similar antibiotics include aortic dissection and aortic aneurysm. If the aorta tears, blood can flow through the tear, causing "the inner and middle layers of the aorta to dissect. If the blood-filled channel ruptures through the outside aortic wall, aortic dissection is often fatal," according to the Mayo Clinic.

An aortic aneurysm is "an abnormal enlargement or bulging of the wall of the aorta." If the aneurysm becomes large enough, "it can burst and cause dangerous bleeding or even death," reported a study in BMJ Open. Aortic aneurysm symptoms include: tearing pain in the chest, abdomen, middle of the back between shoulder blades, shortness of breath, hoarseness, cough, and difficulty swallowing. If an aortic aneurysm has ruptured, possible events may be loss of consciousness, stroke, shock, or heart attack, reports Top Class Actions.

Some typical Cipro side effects include skin rash and allergic reactions, gastrointestinal problems, and headaches. Less common, but more serious Cipro side effects may be seizures, hallucinations, tendon rupture, or nerve damage.

Despite the numerous potential risks, the labels for these drugs still do not contain a warning, according to Top Class Actions.

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