Generically known as levofloxacin, Levaquin is an oral fluoroquinolone antibiotic that, when taken as directed, is effective at treating a range of bacterial infections, including eye, skin, sinus, ear, lung, kidney and urinary tract infections. Additionally, Levaquin may be prescribed in the treatment of infections resulting from anthrax exposure.
Levaquin is produced by PriCara, a division of Ortho-McNeil Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since December 1996. In 2007, Levaquin was the most prescribed fluoroquinolone medication in the world.
Levaquin Side Effects
Despite being an effective treatment for bacterial infections, Levaquin is known to cause a number of severe, debilitating side effects, including:
- Acute pancreatitis
- Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (in which the immune system attacks healthy blood cells)
- Fatal hypoglycemia
- Irreversible loss of vision, double vision and/or loss of color vision
- Kidney damage
- Myasthenia gravis (a neuromuscular disease)
- Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage to the hands and/or feet)
- Rhabdomyolysis (muscle deterioration)
- Severe allergic reaction
- Severe central nervous system (CSN) disorders
- Spontaneous tendon rupture
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a less severe but still deadly form of TEN)
- Toxic epidermal necrosis (TEN, a separation and death of the skin cells)
Though rare, these Levaquin side effects can be fatal if left undiagnosed and untreated. In many cases, Levaquin side effects require life-long treatments, such as medication, physical therapy and palliative care.
Who Is At Risk?
Those with the highest risk of developing serious Levaquin side effects include individuals who have a history of kidney damage, or liver disease, or those who take certain medications, such as insulin, oral steroids and/or nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). People who overdose on Levaquin may be at risk of suffering severe injuries. Additionally, pregnant women should not take Levaquin because its effects on an unborn baby are currently unknown.
If you’ve been harmed by Levaquin, contact our defective drug attorneys to find out if you have a legitimate claim. Our attorneys have experience in thoroughly evaluating a specific case to determine whether it is valid. If your case has true merit, we will fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure you recover the compensation you are entitled to.