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Following up on the announcement earlier this year, the FDA recently issued a press release updating the warnings on fluoroquinolone antibiotics, which, until now, were very commonly prescribed. These antibiotics, including levofloxacin (Levaquin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin, and gemifloxacin (Factive), have been associated with disabling and potentially permanent side effects.
Due to the way the drugs were marketed to doctors and patients alike, patients have filed suit against the manufacturer as a result of falling victim to side effects that the manufacturer knew about but did not disclose. While lawsuits have been filed against the drug manufacturers, the medication is still being prescribed, despite the dangers. The new warnings from the FDA make clear that the drug's use "should be reserved for these conditions only when there are no other options available."
A doctor generally won't be liable for malpractice as a result of a drug's side effect, unless the doctor failed to warn you about the side effects before administering the medication. Usually, however, doctors do not administer medication. The medications are distributed by a pharmacy that is required to provide patients with a notification of the side effects, which are provided by the manufacturer. As such, typically, it is the manufacturer that gets held liable in prescription side-effects cases.
However, after this warning from the FDA, a doctor could potentially be liable for malpractice for administering, or prescribing, this drug in a situation when it should not be prescribed due to an available alternative.
The manufacturer is alleged to have not disclosed their knowledge of a side effect causing peripheral neuropathy, which is a result of nerve damage that causes a loss of sensation, pain, weakness, sensitivity, as well as other symptoms. They are alleged to have known that the results could be permanent, but advised everyone that the results could be stopped once detected by stopping the medication.
In 2012, the manufacturer faced over 3,000 lawsuits and settled close 1,000 in a single month. Another side effect that was discovered nearly a decade ago from these antibiotics was the risk of tendonitis or ruptured tendons.
If you have been injured by fluoroquinolone antibiotics or other medication, contact an attorney right away to determine if you might have a legal claim.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.