Cipro Side Effects May Be Linked To Tendonitis, TEN, Peripheral Neuropathy Lawsuits; FDA Finds Cipro Not Appropriate for Some Infections
The lawyers and attorneys at our firm are offering free consultations to individuals who experienced tendon ruptures and tendonitis after treatment with the antibiotic, Cipro. (ciprofloxacin) If you or a loved one suffered a tendon injury as a result of this antibiotic, we urge you contact one of our Cipro injury lawyers risk free.
Cipro is a member of the fluoroquinolone group of antibiotics prescribed to treat bacterial infections of the abdomen, bones, urinary tract skin, and lower respiratory system. Health officials prescribe Cipro to combat bronchial infections, typhoid fever, prostate gland infections, and tuberculosis. Cipro gained notoriety in 2001, when it was used to treat victims of the anthrax attacks. As of 2011, more than 23 million patients were prescribed a fluoroquinolone.
Following Committee Findings, Federal Regulators Say Fluoroquinolone Warnings Not Sufficient for Certain Infections
In November 2015, the FDA's Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee found that fluoroquinolones did not carry sufficient safety warnings for treating specific infections, including sinus infections, infections associated with chronic bronchitis, and urinary tract infections (UTIs). The Committee's focus was on the potential risks of such drugs, which include Cipro and which agency staff indicated might include the inflammation and tearing of tendons, and peripheral neuropathy, which is a condition caused by nerve damage and may affect the extremities of the body.
The Committee voted 21 to 0 that fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs, which include Cipro, do not contain sufficiently strong labels for the treatment of acute bacterial sinusitis, they voted 18 to 2 that the labels are insufficient for the treatment of acute bacterial problems that complicate chronic bronchitis in those who have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and 20 to 1 that the labels do not carry sufficient warnings for the treatment of UTIs, according to confirmation by FDA spokeswoman Lyndsay Meyer. "This meeting provided valuable information and perspectives to help inform the FDA's decision-making processes," Meyer said, adding that, "The FDA plans to consider the input from committee members and the public from the advisory committee meeting and determine what future actions may be appropriate."
Law360 pointed out that, antibiotics that fall under this category include Bayer Corp.'s Cipro, which was also the focus of a personal injury lawsuit brought by a patient and filed in Pennsylvania state court. The lawsuit alleged Cipro's warning label indicated that the development of peripheral neuropathy as a result of Cipro treatment is rare, despite scientific evidence that has established a clear association between Cipro and peripheral neuropathy. In the case of this lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that she was prescribed Cipro in September 2002, used it as directed, and developed irreversible peripheral neuropathy. Bayer and Merck & Co. Inc. are facing similar lawsuits in Pennsylvania federal court over nerve damage caused by Avelox, about which the lawsuit states that the companies spent "enormous amounts of money" to promote as the "heir apparent" to Cipro.
A Belgian doctor first established a link between the fluoroquinolones and permanent nerve damage in 1992. In 2002. The agency placed Bayer on notice that many reports suggested such a relationship, according to Law360.
Federal Regulators Warn that Fluoroquinolone Antibacterial Drugs, Such as Cipro, Should be Restricted for Certain Infections
In May 2016, the FDA issued a warning indicating that the serious and significant effects tied to fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs, such as Cipro, generally outweigh the benefits of these drugs for patients who have been diagnosed with sinusitis, bronchitis, and uncomplicated UTIs, and who have other treatment options for these infections. For patients who have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, fluoroquinolones such as Cipro, should be reserved for those patients who have no other alternative treatment options for these infections.
The FDA safety review found that when fluoroquinolones are used systemically-in tablets, capsules, and injectable forms-they are associated with disabling and potentially permanent serious side effects that may occur collaboratively and may involve tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and central nervous system.
The FDA now mandates drug labels and "Medication Guides" for all fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs be updated to reflect the new safety information. Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and Cipro extended release (ciprofloxin extended release), both of which are available as generics, are included in the May 2016 FDA "Drug Safety Communication."
Cipro and Tendon Ruptures
Since its approval, our Cipro injury lawyers have heard from many individuals who suffered serious tendon injuries-including ruptures-as a result of treatment with Cipro. On November 8, 2003, a study conducted in Germany on lab rats revealed that the rats' Achilles tendons suffered degenerative alterations shortly after being given Cipro. In the study, ruptures continued to occur even after the rats stopped taking Cipro.
In January 2008, the consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in an attempt to compel the agency to act on a petition it filed 16 months prior requesting that new warnings be added regarding side effects of Cipro and other antibiotics, which could increase the risk of tendonitis and tendon ruptures. At the time of the filing, Public Citizen said the FDA had received reports of at least 336 individuals who experienced a tendon rupture after using Cipro, one of the fluoroquinolone antibiotics. The most common tendon rupture involved the Achilles tendon.
Finally in July 2008, the FDA directed the maker of Cipro to add a Black Box warning-the agency's strongest warning-to the drug's label about is association with tendon damage. The FDA indicated that Cipro and other fluoroquinolones had been associated with tendonitis and tendon ruptures. The risk is greatest for those over age 60; those on concomitant steroid therapy; and those who received a kidney, heart, and/or lung transplant.
The FDA warned that Cipro treatment should be stopped if a patient experiences pain or inflammation in a tendon (symptoms that may precede rupture of the tendon), or tendon rupture. Health care professionals were told to advise patients, at the first sign of tendon pain, swelling, or inflammation, to stop taking Cipro, to avoid exercise and use of the affected area, and to promptly contact their health care provider about changing their medication.
Cipro and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis
Our Cipro injury lawyers are also offering free consultation to anyone who developed Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) following therapy with Cipro. In May 2005, a warning was added to the label of Cipro regarding its association to TEN. TEN-also called Lyle's Syndrome-is a life-threatening skin condition that is frequently induced by a reaction to medications.
TEN affects many parts of the body, but it most severely affects the mucous membranes, such as the mouth and eyes. These severe symptoms are often preceded by 1 to 2 weeks of fever, and many victims at first believe they are suffering from a common upper respiratory tract infection.
When the rash appears, it may be over large and varied parts of the body, and it is usually warm and appears red. In hours, the skin becomes painful and the epidermis can be easily peeled away from the underlying dermis. The mouth becomes blistered and eroded, making eating difficult and sometimes necessitating feeding via a tube through the nose or stomach. The eyes are affected, becoming swollen, crusted, and ulcerated.
TEN is often fatal. Patients with the disorder should be hospitalized and highly specialized nursing care is typically provided, often in an intensive care unit. In some situations, patients may be treated in a burn unit.
Cipro and Peripheral Neuropathy
People taking Cipro may experience Cipro neuropathy or Cipro peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy has been a listed adverse reaction of fluoroquinolone drugs since 2004, with reports of long-lasting nerve damage and disability in people who take these medications. Federal health officials issued a warning that they are updating the safety labels of antibacterial fluoroquinolone drugs, such as Cipro, to indicate serious side effects associated with the popular medications and announced that it ordered the makers of Cipro, and other antibacterial fluoroquinolone drugs, to update the medications' safety labels to "better describe" the side effect of peripheral neuropathy.
A prior FDA review revealed that the then-current warnings for fluoroquinolones were not adequate. The FDA's more recent alert mandates all drug labels and medication guides for fluoroquinolones be updated to better focus on the risk for serious and potentially irreversible peripheral neuropathy.
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy usually start rapidly and within just a few days of beginning a fluoroquinolone, such as Cipro, but may occur at any time. Nerve damage symptoms associated with peripheral neuropathy may last months and may become permanent, even if the drug is stopped. Peripheral neuropathy involves damage to the nerves that transmit information to and from the brain, spinal cord, and body. Peripheral neuropathy damage interrupts the connection, creating varying symptoms depending on the nerves affected. Generally, symptoms are seen in the arms and legs.
The FDA warns that patients who begin to develop signs of peripheral neuropathy should immediately speak to their physicians about alternate forms of treatment. Some signs of peripheral neuropathy, according to the agency's warning statements, include:
- Shooting pain
- A change in sensation to light touch, pain or temperature, or the sense of body position.
The FDA warning only deals with the oral and injectable forms of the drugs. These medications are also available in topical solutions that are applied to the ears and eyes. Risks of peripheral neuropathy in those applications are not present or do not necessitate a warning.
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