New studies have found that people taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Cipro, Levaquin and Avelox are 2 to 3 times more susceptible to life-threatening damage to their aorta. The aorta is the body’s main artery that carries oxygenated blood from the heart so that blood may be distributed throughout the body.
The dangerous side effects of these antibiotics include aortic dissection, or a tear in the aorta, and aortic aneurysm, which is a bulge in the aorta. 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.
The study published in BMJ Open found a more than twofold increased hazard of aortic aneurysm with the present use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. 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.”
Aortic aneurysm symptoms include: tearing pain in the chest, middle of the back between shoulder blades, shortness of breath, hoarseness, cough, difficulty swallowing. If an aortic aneurysm has ruptured, it may cause: loss of consciousness, stroke, shock, heart attack, or death.
Fluoroquinolones antibiotics are widely used to treat bacterial infections such as respiratory and urinary tract infections, bacterial bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, septicemia, joint and bone infections, urethral and gynecological infections, and several other infectious conditions, reports Top Class Actions. Over 20 million fluoroquinolone antibiotic prescriptions are written every year to treat common bacterial infections.
In spite of this serious risk, these drug’s labels do not contain a warning, according to Top Class Actions.