Antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial infections such as bronchitis, tonsillitis and sinusitis. While these drugs are often necessary to clear up an infection and even save lives, they carry certain risks. One of the most commonly known is that too much antibiotic use can lead to the drugs eventually becoming ineffective.

However, certain antibiotics can have serious adverse side effects that can cause more harm to patients. Levaquin and its family of antibiotics, fluoroquinolones, can lead to peripheral neuropathy that may even be permanent.

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a form of nerve damage. The nerves that are responsible for sending messages to the body from the brain and spinal cord suffer damage, which leads to a variety of symptoms. When the nerves cease to function normally, the individual is left with pain signals when there is no pain or no pain when there should be a painful sensation.

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For example, people with diabetes develop the condition, which causes them to not be able to feel pain when they have developed an infection from a wound. This often leads to the necessity of a limb being amputated.

The nerve damage that can occur due to taking Levaquin can affect one of the three peripheral nervous systems: the autonomic nerves, motor nerves or sensory nerves or even a combination of all three.

FDA Warning of Levaquin

The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, issued a warning and strengthened that warning about Levaquin and its family of antibiotics. The warning stated that the drug could lead to serious and even sudden nerve damage that could even be permanent.

Peripheral neuropathy was listed as a side effect of these medications since 2004. It has been reported that patients who have taken the drug or one of its counterparts have suffered severe nerve damage and disability.

The FDA determined that warnings about the drug were inadequate and reissued new alerts as a result. More recently, the FDA required that all drug labels for Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone be updated to put a stronger emphasis on the potentially dangerous and permanent side effects of peripheral neuropathy.

Side Effects of Peripheral Neuropathy

There are certain side effects that are common for peripheral neuropathy. The most common symptoms include the following:

● Excessive sweating
● Sharp and stabbing pains
● Digestive problems that include diarrhea
● Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
● Lowered blood pressure
● Sexual dysfunction, especially in men
● Thinning of the skin
● Shocking or buzzing sensations
● Tightness in the hands and feet
● Weak or heavy sensation in the arms and legs
● Inability to hold or grasp objects without dropping them

 

Generally speaking, when a person experiences only one of these symptoms at a time, it may seem inconsequential. However, when these symptoms appear more frequently and more of them occur simultaneously, the individual’s quality of life can be drastically altered.

Lawsuits Regarding Levaquin

Over the past few years, attorneys have investigated lawsuits against the pharmaceutical company that manufactures and sells Levaquin due to the problems it can cause with nerve damage and other adverse side effects like aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection.

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Multiple lawsuits stating that the company should have known about the harmful side effects of Levaquin have been filed in the past several years. Since Levaquin was the  most popular antibiotic in America, problems are widespread (Source: thelawplace.com). If you have taken the drug and suffered adverse side effects that include nerve damage, you have a right to file a claim as well. You are entitled to claim the following damages:

● Medical bills and ongoing treatment expenses
● Lost wages and loss of future earnings
● Pain and suffering
● Loss of enjoyment of life

 

If you have suffered from peripheral neuropathy, you should contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. A lawyer can help you to start your claim against the party responsible for your injuries and damages.