Levaquin Side Effects
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are associated with a risk of tendon rupture and rotator cuff tears, but the risk seems to be significantly higher for Levaquin than others, according to data compiled by the FDA.
Other known side effects resulting from Levaquin use are myasthenia gravis (a neuromuscular disorder), liver damage, peripheral neuropathy, and insomnia Recently, Canadian researchers have found a possible link between Levaquin and detachment of the retina.
Levaquin (levofloxacin) is usually prescribed for bacterial sinus and respiratory infections, pneumonia, and chronic bronchitis, as well as infections of the skin, kidneys, prostate, and urinary tract.
Levaquin tendon rupture
Tendon rupture (tearing) is an extremely painful injury that usually requires surgery and a recovery time of several months. Some patients never fully recover from Levaquin Achilles tendon tears, experiencing permanent, lifelong reduced mobility. Tendon ruptures most commonly occur in the Achilles tendon, but can also occur in hand or shoulder tendons.
Levaquin rotator cuff tears
Another side effect of Levaquin is rotator cuff tears. The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that keep the shoulder stable and enable ease of movement.
The rotator cuff can tear when raising an object overhead or falling and trying to break the fall with one’s hand. Like tendon ruptures, rotator cuff injuries can be extremely painful and require surgery, but in some cases, they are not immediately obvious.
Symptoms can include minor shoulder aches and pains or discomfort when the shoulder is moved. The use of Levaquin or other fluroquinolones increases the risk of rotator cuff injuries.
In 2008, the FDA required a “black box” warning to be added to Levaquin’s label, warning of the drug’s side effects, particularly tendon rupture and rotator cuff tears.
Levaquin side effects lawsuits
More than 2,600 Levaquin lawsuits have been filed against manufacturer Johnson & Johnson by patients who claim to have suffered injuries due to the drug’s side effects.
Many lawsuits have resulted in large settlements for plaintiffs. For example, in 2010, a Minneapolis man who ruptured both Achilles tendons after taking Levaquin sued Johnson & Johnson and was awarded $1.1 million at trial by a jury.