Cipro, also known as ciprofloxacin, is a popular antibiotic that’s often prescribed to treat bacterial infections of all types. This includes bone and joint infections, abdominal infections, respiratory tract infections, skin infections, urinary tract infections, and more.
While the antibiotic has been commonly prescribed for years and successfully treats most infections, it hasn’t been until recent years that all of its side effects have been made public by the manufacturers. In particular, some of the side effects of Cipro can be extremely dangerous and may lead to painful, permanent nerve damage and can increase the chances of a tendon rupture or aortic dissection or aneurysm.
In the state of Kentucky and elsewhere throughout the U.S., lawsuits are currently being filed against the manufacturer. If you or someone you love has suffered due to side effects from taking Cipro, you should contact a Louisville, KY Cipro lawsuit lawyer today.
What is Cipro and Why is it Potentially Dangerous?
Cipro is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is prescribed for many purposes. Most frequently, it’s prescribed for intra-abdominal infections, respiratory tract infections, typhoid fever, certain types of infectious diarrhea, skin infections, urinary tract infections, and bone and joint infections. It’s also frequently used to treat patients who have been exposed to anthrax.
It belongs to the class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones. This class also includes the popular drugs Levaquin and Avelox. Millions of Americans continue to be prescribed Cipro every year, and generic versions of the drug are readily available which contain the same active ingredients.
The most common side effect of Cipro is diarrhea. The drug can also cause other side effects which are significantly more serious. Some of these include:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Nerve damage
- Tendon injuries including tendon ruptures
- Muscle weakness
- Joint stiffness/pain in the joints
- Swollen or painful lymph nodes
- Skin reactions such as hives, rashes, welts, swelling, or painful, red lumps that may lead to serious skin conditions like Stevens-Johns Syndrome
- Difficulty breathing, chewing, or talking
- Aortic aneurysms (bulges) or dissections (tears)
What Are the Early Symptoms?
There are numerous early symptoms of the side effects listed above. In particular, the most dangerous side effects to watch out for are those related to peripheral neuropathy, tendon rupture, or an aortic aneurysm.
- Peripheral neuropathy occurs when irreversible nerve damage causes the patient to lose complete or partial feeling where those nerves are located. While there are treatments available to help reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, there is no way to completely reverse the nerve damage. Neuropathy symptoms sometimes take years to fully develop.
- Tendon rupture occurs when the tendons between muscles are swollen and damaged to the point where the tendon tears or ruptures. Common areas of the body include the Achilles tendon of the heel, shoulder, hand, bicep, or thumb. Ruptures generally have to be repaired with surgery.
- An aortic aneurysm or dissection is a bulge or tear that develops on the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body which carries blood to the brain and heart. An aneurysm or dissection can lead to a stroke, heart attack, or even death. Symptoms may not even develop until years after the patient has finished taking Cipro.
While taking Cipro, you will want to stop taking the drug and call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Numbness in extremities, especially of the arms, legs, hands, or feet
- Burning pain when accompanied by inflammation in the extremities
- Sharp, jabbing, or electric-like pain in the extremities or joints
- Joint stiffness to the point of limiting mobility
- Excessive bruising around the joints
- Muscle weakness and/or immobility
- Extreme dizziness or lightheadedness
- Extreme sensitivity to temperature or touch
- Changes in skin, nails, or hair
- Loss of coordination
- Fever or chills when accompanied by muscle aches, headaches, sore throat, malaise, and mouth sores
Can a Kentucky Cipro Lawsuit Lawyer Help?
In 2013, the FDA started requiring the manufacturers of Cipro and its generic variants to place better warnings on the drugs which stress the serious side effects that may lead to peripheral nerve damage and tendon rupture. Manufacturers were forced to remove the word “rare” from the list of serious, occurring side effects due to how many nerve damage cases were being reported.
Despite the improved warnings, however, doctors across the United States continue to commonly prescribe Cipro and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics without making their patients aware of the warnings and the common occurrence of serious, nerve-related side effects. With multitudes of safer antibiotics on the market, doctors need to better inform patients of their options.
The manufacturers of Cipro and other similar antibiotics should also be doing more to inform doctors about the occurrence of peripheral nerve damage, tendon rupture, and aortic complications in relation to taking Cipro. Due to the delayed nature of many of these conditions, the drug’s manufacturers should not hesitate to take the drug off the market until the frequency of the side effects can be tested. There has even been evidence suggesting that some veterans of the Gulf War are only now experiencing serious nerve damage and neuropathy after taking Cipro during the war.
If you or someone you love has suffered from side effects you believe were caused by Cipro or any of its generic alternatives or cousins in the fluoroquinolone classification, your family has a right to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the drug. Pharmaceutical corporations need to prioritize the health of their customers.
Give Thomas Law Offices a call today to see if you may be eligible to open a case and potentially receive financial compensation for your hardships. Louisville, KY Cipro lawsuit lawyer Tad Thomas and his team of expert attorneys will do everything they can to fight for your case and prevent Cipro manufacturers from continuing to cause harm.