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Everything you need to know about the Levaquin Lawsuits

One of the most inescapable aspects of life is illness. Young or old, rich or poor, strong or weak it affects everyone irrespective of other factors and can only be controlled depending on the number of precautions taken. Some illnesses are common while others are rare. Of the common ones, most are caused by bacteria. Of these bacterial diseases, sinus infections, pneumonia, kidney infections and anthrax can be treated by antibiotics like Levaquin. The basic principle of an antibiotic is this: These drugs attack harmful microorganisms in the body and kill it instantly by triggering an increased immune response from the body. This is why people instantly feel better after having taken an antibiotic. However, all antibiotics have some or the other side effects. This article talks about the Levaquin drug and the lawsuits that arose due to its usage.

(Everything you need to know about the Levaquin Lawsuits. Source: Pixabay)

Uses

As far as Levaquin is concerned, it is an antibiotic that can be used against a wide range of bacteria including E. Coli, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. Thus, it is capable of treating diseases like pneumonia, bronchitis, urinary tract infections, kidney infections, prostate infections and so on. Sometimes, Levaquin is also prescribed for certain kinds of plague, post-exposure anthrax, intra-abdominal infections, diarrhoea caused by E. Coli and skin infections. It has also shown some amount of benefit in treating Sexually Transmitted Diseases as well. However, Levaquin can only treat bacterial infections and not viruses. Therefore, it does not help in the treatment of common cold, flu or other such viral infections.

Side effects

As with the case of any drug, Levaquin has its own set of side effects. However, as compared to the other drugs, Levaquin has side effects that are quite intense and subsequently dangerous. These side effects can be seen in a matter of hours or weeks and can become permanent. Some of the most common side effects include Gastrointestinal and neurologic organs. Other side effects include Nausea with or without vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, and dizziness. Constipation, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping. Now one might think that these are not that serious. All drugs come more or less with these same side effects. However, the list of side effects for Levaquin does not end there. Some of the dangerous side effects include:

  1. Tendinitis. This is a condition that results in swelling of the tendons. This is mostly accompanied by bruising, tearing and rupture in the Achilles tendon which is at the back of the ankle. Patients with any history of tendinitis or other such tendon related issues must be extremely careful before consuming this drug.
  2. Nerve damage. This is another dangerous side effect of Levaquin. It can affect the nerves in the arms, legs, hands and feet that can lead to pain, weakness, numbing sense, burning sensations and so on. If the Central Nervous System is affected, it can lead to headaches, seizures, tremors, confusions, hallucinations, light-headedness and even mental problems.
  3. Heart problems. Levaquin can lead to an increased heart rate, tears, abnormal rhythms of the heart, and something called aortic aneurysms. Aortic aneurysms are basically balloon-like bulges in the aorta (the large artery of the heart that pumps blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The swelling can lead to ruptures in the walls of the artery leading to a leaking of blood. A study done in 2015 by JAMA showed that the patients taking the antibiotics of which Levaquin is a part, showed an increased risk of aortic aneurysm. Blood pressure and blood sugar increase is also a possibility so make sure you are taking the right decision while consuming this drug.

(Everything you need to know about the Levaquin Lawsuits. Source: Pixabay)

  1. Sensitivity to sunlight. All humans have a certain amount of resistance to sunlight. Consuming Levaquin can lead to a decrease in this resistance to sunlight and can lead to severe sunburn, blisters, and skin rashes. It is better to avoid going out in the sun while using this drug. If unavoidable, use large hats and cover all parts of your skin that are exposed to sunlight.
  2. Liver problems. This side effect is characterised by a yellowing of the skin and eyes much like jaundice. It also leads to dark urine, stomach-aches, light coloured stool, and vomiting.

FDA and Levaquin

Now before any drug is released for public usage, it has to be approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). As far as Levaquin was concerned, the US FDA in July 2008 issued an order requiring manufacturers of this drug to include a warning on the labels to warn the consumers of the possible side effects. This is called a black box warning and is a very serious situation when it comes to the selling of a drug. In fact, in most cases this step is taken before the FDA issues a complete recalling of the drug. The dangers of this drug have been so much so that the FDA issued a statement warning consumers that the drug should only be taken if there are no other alternatives. The Levaquin warning was first issued by the FDA in 2008. In 2016 the warning was intensified based on an increasing number of complaints by the customers. In 2018, aortic aneurysms came into the picture and the labels were all changed thereafter.

 (Everything you need to know about the Levaquin Lawsuits. Source: Pixabay)

Lawsuits

Levaquin was manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. The manufacturer faced the first serious lawsuit in 2010. In that case, the plaintiff was given 1.8 million dollars as compensation for the damages caused due to the side effects. In the same year, 845 more such lawsuits took place. Some of the lawsuits are still pending even today. In all of the lawsuits, a common allegation was that the warnings were not clear enough with respect to the frequency and the intensity of the side effects.

Keeping all of this in mind, if you suffer from bacterial infections, you don’t have to worry. There are a lot of other options to treat bacterial infections. Drugs like Cipro, Avelox, Bactrim, Zithromax and so on have shown to be able to treat bacterial infections with great results. According to singlecare.com, Janssen Pharmaceuticals pulled Levaquin out of the markets in December 2017. The decision took place due to the serious side effects and due to the large number of lawsuits that were filed. However, at the time that it was discontinued, enough of Levaquin had already been produced and shipped, and lasted till 2020.

That brings us to the most important question. When does one file a lawsuit? A lawsuit can be an option if you experience any serious side effects. Schmidt and Clark LLP offer excellent legal advice when it comes to Levaquin. In case you are not able to avail of their help, it is better to find a legal expert and get the help of an able attorney as soon as possible with a good knowledge of the defective product injury. Considering the tremendous number of lawsuits that have been filed against it, there is a high chance that you might be able to get justice.