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JJ Allegedly Aware of Nerve-Damage Risks with Levaquin

Aug 18, 2016

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is being sued by plaintiffs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey who claim that the pharmaceutical company promoted and marketed the antibiotic Levaquin despite knowing the drug could cause peripheral neuropathy.

Peripheral neuropathy is a painful nerve condition and, in this most recent lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania federal court, the plaintiff alleges that Levaquin caused the condition that was revealed to be permanent. The lawsuit alleges that Levaquin is a defective product, and J&J neglected to sufficiently warn doctors and their patients about the neuropathy associated with Levaquin.

Levaquin, in a class of fluoroquinolones, has been on the market since 1996 and is prescribed to over 26 million Americans per year to treat bacterial infections. However, new research has found that Levaquin may cause peripheral neuropathy as well as aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection. This could lead to potential cardiac damage and severe chronic injuries which may be irreversible.

Since early August 2016, over a dozen lawsuits against Levaquin have been filed in New Jersey with 10 more to come, according to the New Jersey Law Journal.

Symptoms experienced by patients with Levaquin peripheral neuropathy, or other fluoroquinolones, include tingling or numbness in hands or feet, burning pain, sharp jabbing or electric shock pain, extreme sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness, paralysis, heat intolerance, bowel, bladder or digestive problems, dizziness or fatigue.

New labeling on Levaquin’s packaging recommends not using the medication in “uncomplicated” infections such as bronchitis or sinus infections. The same label warnings apply to other fluoroquinolones including Avelox and Cipro made by Bayer. An effort is being made to join the suit with a multi-district litigation procedure in Minnesota, where the neuropathy allegations also include the Bayer medications.

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