The Levaquin injury case attorneys at the Drug Law Center are currently reviewing, evaluating, and accepting cases where patients have suffered serious harm from the infection treatment medication.
Levaquin (levofloxan) is prescribed to fight bacterial infections of the prostate, bladder, kidneys, sinuses, or skin. Some doctors prescribe Levaquin and its generic form levofloxacin to treat bacterial infections including pneumonia and bronchitis. It has been proven to be highly effective against exposure to the plague and anthrax. Even though it is highly effective, the popular antibiotic can produce severe side effects including swelling or pain in the body’s tendons. The drug is also known to cause severe liver problems like hepatitis.
The History of Levaquin
Daiichi Seiyaku scientists first synthesized levofloxacin in 1985 to produce the second-generation fluoroquinolone, resulting in a less toxic antibiotic. By 1993, the antibiotic was marketed in Japan as Cravit. Johnson & Johnson worked with the drug manufacturer to bring the product to America to be sold as Levaquin. The FDA approved the sale of the antibiotic in the United States in 1996. Levaquin’s generic version levofloxacin is currently being marketed through an agreement by Sanofi-Aventis and sold as the brand-name Tavanic.
The approval by the FDA allowed doctors to prescribe the medication to treat bacterial related bronchitis, bacterial sinusitis, uncomplicated skin infection, community-acquired ammonia, acute pyelonephritis, and complicated UTIs (urinary tract infections).
Since its initial launch in Japan, many patients have suffered serious side effects and filed lawsuits in the hopes of obtaining financial recovery for their damages. These individuals have suffered mild to severe side effects including nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy), ruptured (aortic aneurysm), and tearing (aortic dissection). Both aortic dissection and aortic aneurysm claim the lives of thousands of individuals each year.
Who Should Avoid Taking Levaquin?
Levaquin, its generic form levofloxacin, and other antibiotics all produce serious side effects and adverse reactions. Because of that, there are certain individuals who should never take these products due to their contraindications. Individuals with one or more of the following conditions should speak with their physician first before taking any prescription antibiotic including Levaquin.
- Clostridium difficile infection
- Slow heartbeat
- Myasthenia gravis (rapid muscle fatigue)
- Detached retina
- Pain or tingling in the feeder hands
- Low seizure threshold
- Low bloodstream potassium levels
- Involuntary quivering
- Serious muscle damage
- Tendon inflammation
- Ruptured tendons
- Very rapid heartbeat
- Pseudotumor celebri (idiopathic intracranial hypertension)
- Q-T prolongation
- Diabetes mellitus
- Ventricular arrhythmias
- Lung, heart, or kidney transplant
- CNS disorder
- Tendon disorder
- Hypersensitivity to the ingredients and components of levofloxacin
Levaquin Side Effects
Even though many people need an antibiotic to treat various conditions, most medicines can cause numerous unwanted effects and adverse reactions. Although the patient might not experience every side effect, they can happen quickly and unexpectedly. The most common minor Levaquin side effects include:
- Insomnia (sleeplessness)
- Stomach or abdominal cramps
- Severe mental or mood changes
- Skin swelling or redness
- Swelling, inflammation or pain occurring in the hands, shoulders or legs
- Unusual behavior
More serious Levaquin side effects include:
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Skin infection
- Acute bacterial sinusitis
- Chronic bronchitis
- Chronic prostate infection (prostatitis)
- Septicemic and pneumonic plague
- The inhalation of anthrax
- Acute kidney infection
- Tendon rupture
- Central nervous system effects
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Upper respiratory tract infections
Doctors and patients are advised to reserve the antibiotic Levaquin when no alternative treatment is available for acute bronchial sinusitis, acute bacterial access to chronic bronchitis, and/or uncomplicated urinary tract infections.
Levaquin Black Box Warnings
- July 2016 – The FDA (Food and Drug Administration, as issued a public awareness announcement involving antibiotic Black Box Warnings that include Cipro and Levaquin. The warning involves long-term risks associated with taking the medication for serious infections. The FDA says that the product labeling added in 2008 already warns users of the potential risk of developing serious nerve damage, tendon ruptures, and tendinitis.For decades, the makers of all fluoroquinolone products including Levaquin (levofloxacin) have dealt with thousands of injury lawsuits filed by patients alleging their injuries were caused by the medications. Johnson & Johnson (J & J) alone has had to fight more than 3400 lawsuits that link Levaquin to serious tendon problems and peripheral neuropathy. Some plaintiffs have sued J & J alleging that they deliberately misbranded and mislabeled their antibiotic medication and conceal the harmful side effects they produced to ensure the company could continue generating profits.The FDA Director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research said that “Fluoroquinolones have risks and benefits that should be considered very carefully. It is important that both health care providers and patients are aware of both the risks and benefits of fluoroquinolones and make an informed decision about their use.”
The FDA stated that “fluoroquinolones antibiotics kill or stop the growth of bacteria. While these drugs are effective in treating serious bacterial infections, and FDA study review found that both oral and injectable fluoroquinolone [including Levaquin] are associated with disabling side effects involving tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system. The side effects can occur hours to weeks after exposure to fluoroquinolones and may potentially be permanent.”
At that time, J & J fought back claiming that “we… Believe our actions regarding the medicine have been appropriate, responsible and in the best interests of patients. We continually monitor the safety and efficacy of all of our medicines and, in cooperation with the US FDA and other health authorities, we update our product labels with new information so doctors and patients can make informed decisions.”
The Levaquin (levofloxacin) Black Box Warning label alerts users of the potentially irreversible serious reactions including tendon/tendinitis rupture, peripheral neuropathy, and CNS effects that may occur. The labeling also suggests that patients 60 years and older, those taking corticosteroids and those with a heart, kidney or lung transplant have an increased potential risk of its side effects.
Patients who took Levaquin and its generic form Levaquin generic are involved in thousands of fluoroquinolone lawsuits because of their linked to SJS (Stevens-Johnson syndrome). Nearly every lawsuit involves some type of nervous system disorder or skin reaction after taking the drug.
- J & J Facing Another Levaquin Lawsuit Alleging Permanent Nerve Damage
January 2015 – A plaintiff in California Federal courtroom has filed a Levaquin lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals alleging that their antibiotic medication caused her to develop permanent, painful nerve damage. The plaintiff was prescribed Levaquin and took the medicine for one year. Her attorneys have built a lawsuit on the companies’ failure to warn her, her doctors and the medical community of the peripheral neuropathy side effects the medication can potentially develop.The plaintiff claims that the Levaquin warning label misled her to believe that the side effects involving peripheral neuropathy were extremely rare and the effects would subside or stop once the drug was no longer taken. Her attorneys are alleging that Johnson & Johnson was aware, or should have been aware, for years of the link between Levaquin and quinolone peripheral neuropathy and chose to bury the information “at the bottom of a long list of adverse reactions” making it impossible to make an accurately informed decision over whether to take the product or not.
Lawsuit documents reveal that the cases based on Levaquin being “defective, dangerous to human health, unfit and unsuitable to market it and sold in commerce, and lacked proper warning and directions as to the dangers associated with its use.”
- Another Levaquin Peripheral Neuropathy Lawsuit Filed against Johnson & Johnson
April 2015 – Johnson & Johnson is facing one more Levaquin peripheral neuropathy lawsuit, this time filed by a California resident who alleges that the antibiotic medicine caused his peripheral neuropathy. The plaintiff claims he was first prescribed the drug in 2010 and used it properly according to instructions by his doctor. His lawyers are alleging that the drug company failed to provide proper warnings and directions to ensure users could avoid Levaquin side effects.Lawsuit documents reveal that the attorneys are saying that “the warning label for Levaquin during the period from September 2004 through August 2013 misled [the California plaintiff) and his treating physician by incorrectly advising patients and physicians that peripheral neuropathy associated with Levaquin was ‘rare.’” The plaintiff is seeking financial compensation for being misled and alleges that Johnson & Johnson conceal the information that peripheral neuropathy cannot always be prevented once the patient no longer takes the medication.
- Kentucky Plaintiff Files Levaquin Peripheral Neuropathy Lawsuit against J & JA Kentucky woman has filed a Levaquin lawsuit in a California Federal courtroom against Johnson & Johnson alleging the medication caused her nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy). Lawsuit documents reveal that the plaintiff developed nerve damage after taking levofloxacin as directed by her doctor and the drug’s Black Box Warning label. Her attorneys have built a case claiming that the drug manufacturer failed to provide proper warnings and adequate directions on all the potentially serious side effects when using Levaquin (levofloxacin).Her attorneys of said that “the warning label for Levaquin misled the Kentucky plaintiff and her treating doctors by advising patients and physicians incorrectly of the pharmaceutical product’s serious side effects.”
- Peripheral Neuropathy Damage Claim Filed against Levaquin Manufacturer
February 2015 – Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is facing one more Levaquin lawsuit, this time filed by a New Jersey resident who suffers from nerve damage allegedly after she took the antibiotic. Levaquin lawsuit was filed in December 2014. Her attorneys have based the case on the company’s failure “to appropriately inadequately inform and warn [the plaintiff, doctors, and the medical community] of the serious and dangerous risks associated with the use of Levaquin concerning peripheral neuropathy…”The plaintiff has made several allegations against Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and built the case on strict liability, negligence, failure to warn, fraud, breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty, fraudulent concealment, and negligent representation.
We Are Currently Accepting Levaquin Injury Compensation Lawsuits
The Levaquin injury case attorneys at the Drug Law Center are currently reviewing, evaluating, and accepting Levaquin injury compensation lawsuits for victims who have suffered severe injury or wrongful death by using the antibiotic. Our team of dedicated attorneys is currently offering potential clients a complimentary Levaquin lawsuit evaluation to discuss the merits of their case and provide numerous legal options on the best way to obtain financial compensation.
Our lawyers understand that even though there has been a link between severe side effects and taking Levaquin, both Janssen pharmaceuticals and ortho-McNeil have misrepresented their product to be a safe and effective antibiotic.
If you believe you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one due to the defective antibiotic medication, contact us today so we can begin the process of filing and resolving your Levaquin lawsuit. We are currently postponing payment of our legal services until after we have successfully resolved your lawsuit through a negotiated out-of-court settlement or after winning your financial award at trial.