If you have been diagnosed with a serious bacterial infection, there is a strong possibility that you received a prescription for a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones. This prescription drug product is sold under the brand names Cipro, Factive, Levaquin, Avelox, Noroxin, and Floxin.


An increasing amount of data over the past ten years suggests that in some patients, fluoroquinolones can cause abnormal aortic bulges and tears. These conditions, which physicians refer to as aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections, are life threatening and, unless treated promptly, can be fatal. The drug liability lawyers at Showard Law Firm are now pursuing fluoroquinolone antibiotic lawsuits on behalf of injured patients seeking to recover financial compensation from the drug manufacturers and marketers that failed to warn them of the risks associated with using fluoroquinolone antibiotics.


What Are Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics?


Fluoroquinolones (FLQ’s) are a class of medications that physicians prescribe to treat bacterial infections. They are often used to attack bacterial infections that are resistant to less potent antibiotics.

Several different drug manufacturers produce or distribute fluoroquinolone antibiotics, including:

  • Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Bayer Corporation
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Janssen Research & Development, LLC
  • McKesson Corporation
  • Shering Corporation


How Dangerous are Aortic Aneurysms and Aortic Dissection?


An aortic aneurysm is a bulge in the aorta, which is the primary blood vessel that carries blood from your heart to the rest of your body. An aneurysm can form when something causes the walls of the aorta to weaken or thin out. An aortic dissection occurs when those walls tear and blood leaks into the layers of the wall. Over time, those leaks can disrupt the flow of blood from your heart and may lead to a fatal aortic rupture.


A cardiac physician will diagnose aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections with imaging tools, such as echocardiograms, cardiac tomography, and MRI scans. An aortic dissection diagnosis almost always leads to emergency surgery followed by regular medications, including beta blockers and nitroprusside to reduce blood pressure and heart rate.


Fluoroquinolones and FDA History, Actions, and Recalls


Fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been the most commonly-prescribed class of prescription drugs to fight  bacterial infections since at least 2002.  More than 40% of those prescriptions were for diagnoses not authorized by the FDA, including bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infections.


In December 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) issued a warning regarding the increased risks associated with the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics and aortic aneurysms and dissections. The FDA specifically cautioned physicians not to prescribe fluoroquinolones to patients who already had a heightened risk of heart problems. This warning followed several other warnings that the FDA has required to be included with fluoroquinolone drug products since at least 2008.


The Link Between Fluoroquinolones and Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections


In its December 2018 warning, the FDA stated that it did not yet fully understand the link between fluoroquinolones and aortic aneurysms and dissections. The agency did note that certain populations, including the elderly and other individuals who were more susceptible to heart problems, were twice as likely as other parties to experience aortic aneurysms and dissections following fluoroquinolone usage.


Patients are advised to seek medical attention immediately if they experience sudden, severe, and constant pain in the stomach, chest or back.


FLQ Antibiotics Lawsuits


Because of the volume of lawsuits that have been filed seeking redress for injuries caused by fluoroquinolone antibiotics, a U.S. judicial panel created a consolidated multi-district litigation (MDL) in Minnesota for lawsuits filed against the manufacturers. Plaintiffs whose cases have been centralized in the MDL allege that drug makers issued inadequate warnings about fluoroquinolone toxicity and its side effects. MDL cases are moved to one court for purposes of streamlining pre-trial processes such as discovery. Bellwether trials for exemplary cases will give both sides a good idea of how their arguments play out in front of a judge and jury. The outcomes of bellwether trials do not determine how other MDL cases will resolve, however, and each lawsuit will eventually return to its own court of origin to be tried on its own merits, if pre-trial settlements are not reached.


Call Showard Law Firm for Answers to Your Fluoroquinolone Lawsuit Questions


Please call the dangerous drug lawyers at Showard Law Firm if you have experienced aortic aneurysms and/or aortic dissections during or following the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. If you delay taking legal action against the manufacturers of these drugs, your claims may be barred under applicable statutes of limitation, which generally require you to file your lawsuit within two or three years after you began to experience symptoms. Our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys will advise you of the applicable statutes of limitation deadline in your state.  We have decades of experience fighting Big Pharma in the courts, and we vow to do everything in our power to secure maximum compensation for the victims of drug makers who put profits over people. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation.


Additional Resources:

  1. amjmed.com: Fluoroquinolone prescribing in the United States; 1995 to 2002. https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(04)00711-9/fulltext
  1. forbes.com: FDA Warns About What Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics May Do to Your Aorta. https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2018/12/21/fda-warns-about-what-fluoroquinolone-antibiotics-may-do-to-your-aorta/#5862b8fb5e7e
  1. mnd.uscourts.gov. Fluoroquinolone MDL | 15-MDL-2642. http://www.mnd.uscourts.gov/MDL-Fluoroquinolone/index.shtml

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