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    Sunday, May 31, 2009


    We have reviewed antibiotic associated diarrheas [AAD] in a previous article.

    We have also reviewed the bacterial resistance that evolves with the use of antibiotics-especially the resistant C.difficle arising from the (over) use of fluoroquinolones.

    Levaquin (levofloxacin) is an antibiotic that is part of a group of drugs known as fluoroquinolones. Approved by the FDA in December 2006, Levaquin has become one of the more commonly prescribed antibiotics. In 2005, annual sales exceeded $2.3 billion. The use of Levaquin, however, has been associated with an increased risk of tendon ruptures, tendon damage and tendonitis, which has left some users permanently disabled after taking the drug.

    The risk of tendon ruptures has been associated with all fluroquinolone antibiotics, but the risk appears to be greater with Levaquin. According to reports received by the FDA, tendon ruptures, tendon damage and tendonitis accounted for 61% of all fluoroquinolone-associated ruptures between November 1997 and December 2005.A tendon rupture is a very painful injury that often requires surgery to repair the tendon damage. Symptoms associated with a Levaquin induced tendon rupture could include swelling, inflammation or pain.

    The most frequent rupture is the Achilles tendon found in the heel. However, reports have also indicate Levaquin side effects could cause tendon ruptures of the shoulder, biceps, hand and thumb.

    The risk of Levaquin tendon rupture side effects is said to be higher among those who are 60 years of age or older
    In August 2006, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen filed a petition with the FDA requesting that these stronger warnings be provided, but the drug makers and FDA failed to take steps at that time to warn users.

    In July 2008, the FDA announced that the makers of all fluoroquinolone antibiotics, including Levaquin, will add more prominent language about this risk. In addition, the manufacturers will provide a medication guide which better informs users about the potential side effects of the drugs, and that they should consult with a doctor at the first sign of tendon pain. Meanwhile as with all antibiotics-the rule is do not use unless necessary. Doctors are placed under a lot of pressure by patients for antibiotics to knock out a cold or flu. A cold or viral upper respiratory infection or allergy does not warrant antibiotics. Do not pressure your medical provider to supply antibiotics –especially fluoroquinolones. Take his advice when he tells you antibiotics are not indicated for your “infection,”

    Please remember, as with all our articles we provide information, not medical advice.

    For any treatment of your own medical condition you must visit your local doctor, with or without our article[s]. These articles are not to be taken as individual medical advice.

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