Peripheral Neuropathy

Published on June 30, 2015 by Sandy Liebhard

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Did you or a loved one develop peripheral neuropathy while using Levaquin or another fluoroquinolone antibiotic? Numerous patients have reportedly experienced permanent nerve damage following treatment with fluoroquinolones, prompting the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to issue two public health alerts regarding this potential complication. Now, dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox, all of which claim that the risk of irreversible peripheral neuropathy was known years before patients and doctors were warned of the danger.

What is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy occurs as a result of damage to the nerves that carry information from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. This type of nerve damage may be due to traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic disorders, genetics, or toxic exposures. The effects of peripheral neuropathy will depend on which nerves are involved. For example, if sensory nerves are damaged, victims may experience painful sensitivity to touch or temperature. If the disorder impacts the motor nerves, a patient many have trouble with movement or coordination. Patients may suffer vision problems, as well as issues with blood pressure, heart rate, digestion and bladder functions if the autonomic nerves are damaged.

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include:

  • Tingling or burning in the arms and legs
  • Sensitivity to touch or temperature
  • Loss of sensation, numbness in arms and legs
  • Muscle weakness, lack of coordination
  • Digestive issues
  • Bowel and bladder problems
  • Changes in blood pressure, causing dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Heat intolerance and altered sweating
  • Blurry vision or other vision problems

FDA Fluoroquinolone Peripheral Neuropathy Warnings

In 2001, the first study linking fluoroquinolone to peripheral neuropathy was published in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy, which looked at 45 patients who had experienced serious nerve damage while using the medications. More than 80% of the cases were considered to be severe, while over half of patients experienced symptoms lasting more than a year.

In 2004, the FDA issued its first peripheral neuropathy warning for Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox and other fluoroquinolones. While the drugs’ labels were updated at that time, the new information suggested that nerve damage associated with the antibiotics was rare, and failed to disclose that peripheral neuropathy could be permanent.

In August 2013, the FDA announced that new and stronger warnings would be added to Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics. The agency acted after its review of adverse event reports indicated that the current labeling was inadequate. Among other things, the FDA noted that the serious nerve damage potentially caused by Levaquin and similar antibiotics may occur soon after the drugs are taken and may be permanent.

Fluoroquinolone Nerve Damage Lawsuits

Dozens of peripheral neuropathy victims are now pursuing product liability claims against the manufacturers of Avelox, Levaquin and Cipro, and accuse these drug companies of concealing the danger posed by their products. Had patients and doctors been provided with appropriate warnings regarding the possibility of permanent nerve damage, plaintiffs claim that they may have avoided painful and debilitating injuries.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is now offering free, no-obligation legal reviews to individuals who were diagnosed with permanent peripheral neuropathy following treatment with Levaquin, Cipro or Avelox. To learn how you might be able to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering, please contact our Firm by calling .

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