Haynesville, GANot only is Levaquin linked to ruptured tendons, its serious side effects also include nerve damage, as listed on the Ortho McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceutical medication guide. But Levaquin's black box warning came too late for too many people such as Lucille, who were prescribed this "last resort" antibiotic for respiratory problems.
The FDA required the Levaquin maker to add a black box warning about the increased risk of developing tendinitis or tendon rupture in 2008. And in 2011, another black box warning was added, stating that levofloxacin may cause worsening of myasthenia gravis symptoms, including muscle weakness and breathing problems??"a potential life-threatening event. Before these warnings, on June 25, 2007, the FDA required the Levaquin maker to add an additional warning to the package inserts, stating that "Other serious and sometimes fatal events have been reported in patients receiving therapy with quinolones, including levofloxacin." One of those events (and there are several) includes irreversible peripheral neuropathy, a condition that Lucille knows too well.
Although Levaquin lawsuits are mainly involved with tendonitis and tendon ruptures, Lucille is certain that Levaquin caused her condition, and she is filing a claim stating as much.
"I had a nasty 'flu bug' in 2006; it was pretty bad so I went to ER," says Lucille. "The hospital doctor prescribed Levaquin and I took the 10-day treatment. It cured the flu but on January 27 (I remember the exact date) I was at work??"I am a correctional officer??"and my legs had swollen so much I thought they would burst out of my uniform. And I had a stabbing pain, like a knife. The warden told me to go back to ER."
Doctors at the ER couldn't figure out what was wrong with Lucille; they advised her to see her primary care doctor or a rheumatologist. The following week, her doctor did some blood work and determined that she didn't have arthritis; all he could do was prescribe pain meds. "The pain was so bad that the painkillers didn't even work," says Lucille. "He kept changing the prescription, and I even took those recalled pain patches. My doctor even thought I might have had a Vitamin D deficiency. 'You really have me stumped,' she said.
"My legs are so swollen and the pain has been so bad that I have even thought of suicide. They get so hot sometimes, like I am on fire. I asked my doctor to cut them off. I was so miserable, to the point that I had to quit work and my life has been a wreck since this happened.
"I totally forgot that I even took this drug! This is how I found out about taking Levaquin. This year, my insurance company didn't want to pay for one of my pain meds so I had to request from my pharmacy a list of all the meds I have taken since 2006. They had to be sure I had taken morphine, patches, the works, before I was prescribed Oxycontin, which doesn't help the pain either.
"I opened a letter from the pharmacy and Levaquin was at the top of the list. I remember that my cousin asked me if I took Levaquin because she met a lady at the hospital with the same problem as me??"swollen and painful legs. She said that Levaquin does this for some people.
"I decided that I was going to kill myself one way or the other. I was in so much stress that I saw a psychiatrist. 'I am not crazy,' I said. 'Pain can make you do things,' he replied. I started smoking again because of the pain and sometimes I stay up days at a time because the pain won't let me sleep."
There have been thousands of Levaquin lawsuits in federal court that have recently been consolidated into multi-district litigation (MDL) in Minnesota. The first bellwether trial resulted in a $1.8 million award to the injured plaintiff.
If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a drugs & medical lawyer who may evaluate your Levaquin claim at no cost or obligation.
Posted by Rodger Worthen
I took 5-days of Levaquin for an pneumonia infection and by day two started feeling right hand weakness and pain in my right arm/shoulder. Now I have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy with no solution in sight. I would hope the pain and muscle weakness in my right arm would heal over time being 3 months since usage...so far no such fortune.
Posted by Ron Shelley
I took Levaquin for an ongoing prostate infection - after 4 years I am now certified disablaed with Peripheral Neuropathy - I read about the FDA updating their warning in 2013 by leaving out "rare"" cause etc.
I live 5 minutes from the courthouse in NJ where the Levaquin mass tort is located. The judge supplies most of the paperwork required to file Pro Se....but it is a lot of detailed work filling out Plaintiff's Fact Sheet etc. Cost of filing and various mailings copies etc is about $300. I filed against J&J et al Pro Se because I could not find a law firm - most of them only take cases of the Steven etc syndrome.
I am putting a blog together on the forms and procedures - you have to watch for J&J filing to dismiss for statue of limitations, and failure to prosecute your case. You can email me for any info I can help with firstname.lastname@example.org I am not a lawyer or expert in this - just can give you my experience in filing against J&J et al. It sure does help if you have a good computer and printer - most can be done online.
Posted by Beverly Brown
Was prescribed Levaquin for a really bad cold,knees started tighten up in the back of my knees,then my knees started hurting. I work an clean an live a active life an thought nothing of this but kept getting worse.I set down at my computer an that's when I seen all the side affects of this drug,this was back around February of 2015 an still today 4/21/2015 my knees hurt me so bad. Theres so much I cant do anymore that I could before an theres not a day that goes by that I don't feel pain.
Posted by Marilyn Cox
I was prescribed Levaquin one time only for a urinary tract infection in 2007. I took it for a total of 10 days. In 2011, I began to experience neuropathy in my legs and feet. The neuropathy in my feet is so severe that I cannot not sleep. I am having trouble walking or even getting out of a chair.
Driving is difficult because my feet and legs become numb after a short period of time. I had to retire from my job early because of rude co-workers complaining that I could not walk fast enough. It has taken me some time to
realize why this happened. I was examined by a neurologist but she was from Ukraine and evidently does not know about the side effects of Levaquin. Maybe she needs to go back to Ukraine. I had big plans for my life but now all of those plans are gone. Levaquin has taken my life away and there is nothing I can do. I am so sad about this but I am a fighter and I will keep going as long as I can.
Posted by Dawn Seaman
I have taken Levaquin for years for severe sinus infections but it wasn't until this last time that I suffered severe side affects from taking it. It has always caused some sleeplessness and sore muscle affects but side affects were so severe this time I had to stop taking it. My body was on fire, felt like me skin was going to melt off it was that painful.
Now after reading all of this I am concerned that Levaquin may be the cause of the tumor in my nerve I had surgery on last year in my foot. Doctor couldn't tell me what caused it and I still have severe pain in my right foot.
Also suffer with pain in my right hip, shoulders and neck never thought it could be from this........
Definitely think this medication should be removed from the market.
Posted by David Abel
In 2010 had surgery on right wrist 1st did not work.2nd surgery was done and I got staph inf.i was put on Levaquin etc and Vanco thru a pic line.august -September 2010 had numbness,dizzy plus all the other symptoms of peripheral neurapathy.as of now I am totally disabled at 62 years
Old.looking for help
from anyone who thinks they can.
Posted by elaine hiers
had intraveinous Levaquin + a number of prescriptions of Levaquin. result; terrible nerve neuropathy in feet, ankles and back. need info on how to file lawsuit?
Posted by Gaynelle White
I took Levaquin in April of 2014 for a respiratory infection. Immediately, I suffered with diarrhea, headaches, and sleeplessness. I continued to take the medicine because I wanted to get better. A few days later my body started to ache as if I had the flu. I stopped taking the medicine before the ten days were up because I was afraid of the side affects. Soon the tendon in my foot started to hurt very badly. I went back to the doctor and she sent me to a podiatrist. I was treated a few months but I still have foot pain nine months later. About that same time, I began having severe pain and burning under my skin in my back. My doctor sent me for x-rays and treats me constantly with various pain pills.
Posted by Barbara Ireland
I was given IV levaquin by an ER physician and then put on Levaquin pills for 10 days. After 1 week, my body started hurting from top of my head to my toes. Got up during middle of the night and looked Levaquin up on the computer and saw all the problems it can cause. I quit taking it immediately but apparently the damage was already done. I'm hoping it gets better with time. I have to sleep with heat pad on my hands at night to help control the pain. Sometimes I have to move heat pad to my feet and ankles to help with pain there.
Posted by LJ Webber
Doctor says I have torn rotator cuff. I believe I have nerve damage as well. Lots of pain in neck and right shoulder and right are muscle weakness. I was prescribed 750 mg levaquin by a ER doctor although I did not have any infections only a. Slightly elevated white blood cell count. I am a paraplegic and what I had was a distended bladder causing my trip to ER but ended up a
to worse off because of the levaquin. It has been almost a year with no improvement do I have a case against the ER and makers of levaquin. This is just wrong for people to suffer like this.
Posted by Verna Ann Avila
I have swollen feet& numbness in bottom of my feet. Severe cramp in legs where I need pain pills & a walker to walk & needing help to get up. Sharp pain in left shoulder & popping noise.& up my neck. Then down right shoulder. My hands go numb & I drop things all the time. In extreme pain in calves of both legs down to numbing feet. Because
Of numbness & pain I fall a lot. No one there to help me. With walker I have to try to get up or crawl to couch or chair sometimes falling again.
Posted by Mildred Cooney
For many years I have suffered with peripheral neuropathy.I even went to a Doctor in Philadelphia. He could only say he didn't,know what I had,
My feet burned like crazy, I was in nursing and I could hardly perform my duties as a nurse.I am not a diabetic, I kept saying I don!t know what is the matter with me! I,m sure I took Levaquin ,I also took Cipro for UTI.sWho can I contact to find out if this is so? I know I,d have to contact my MD office first but where do I go from there.93
Posted by Priscilla WOOTEN
How would I even find out if being on iv levaquin back in late 97 caused the neuropathy that I've dealt with for yrs ? I can't work, it hurts to walk and my feet and hands go numb all of the time. I'm tired of this. I'm 41 and feel 81.
Posted by Theresa Grieves
I was on 500 mg twice a day of levaquin for a stomach bacteria. On day 9 I couldn't walk due to calf pain and a headache. I went to er yesterday and was told I had a virus because I showed no clots in my leg and no other cause for pain and rash on lower legs. Today I feel like my leg is on fire and pain is worse. I feel so tired and hurt. I need help to walk and even sitting wont stop the pain. Its my upper calf and feels really heavy like a balloon is inside full of water. The pain when I walk is unbearable and is spreading to ankle and back thigh at times. What do I do? I have never hurt my leg and I know its the meds that caused this. Who do I see? Er is a bunch of fools.
Posted by Jim Toth
I took Levaquin for six days before I discovered one morning I had lost most of the strength in my right arm and right shoulder. The Dr. had prescribed the drug for a serious infection in my right knee. It began the third day with severe pain in neck. I have since then maintained nerve damage to my right arm and believe it is not getting better. I did not put the neck pain and the weakness together until I read some of the other comments here. I have tried exercise and physical therapy, but the strength does not seem to improve. Are there any class action suits I can join to at least get some relief?
Posted by Brend
When I took Levaquin I begun to have severe pain in different regions in my body including both my arms and neck. I have since then maintained nerve damage to my left arm and believe it might be getting worse. I have gone to several doctors for help but no one has managed to help me begin a process for a cure because it may be incurable.
Posted by Kat
I am really shocked at the fact that this drug is prescribed so much! I had a terrible lung infection. The doctor I went to prescribed me Levofloxacin 500mg/day for 7 days. I have a high interest in the medical field, so when I am prescribed something, I am sure to do research on it. However because I was so sick and had trouble breathing, I got the prescription filled before I did research.
A few hours after taking the first dose, I had bloody diarrhea and sharp pains in my upper abdomen. The same night I decided to Google the drug I was given. I was shocked that the doctor would prescribe me this antibiotic without telling me a thing about the high risk of tendon tears and other issues like neuropathy.
Again, because I had trouble breathing, I took a second dose the next day. I had bloody diarrhea again, but I did start to feel better (with my breathing) a few hours after the second dose but then I had sharp pains shooting down my left leg. My ankles felt funny when I got up to walk to the kitchen to get water and I noticed moderate swelling in both my ankles. I came back on the Internet and searched again.
At this point since I could at least breathe better, I decided that the risk of side effects was not worth the benefit of the antibiotic since I could use another less dangerous one (Zithromax). On day 3, I wasn't going to take anymore Levofloxacin, and my breathing was a little worse, so I had to go to the ER. When I was released, I asked for the doctor to change my antibiotic to Zithromax and she did, thankfully.
Today the ankle swelling is down, but I was having pain in my right wrist. I am not sure if it's related. Anyway, in my research I found others who had damage done to their body after only 1-2 days being on Levofloxacin. That is scary! This drug should only be prescribed if you're dying and nothing else is working. I will come back on here and update if I end up with any more effects from the 2 days of Levofloxacin. I hope I don't! I hope more and more people do research on these kinds of drugs and ask for alternatives.
Posted by Pamela
On Aug. 15, the FDA mandated new labeling (again) for quinolones, this time alerting us that quinolones can cause permanent neuropathy (nerve damage).
The way I understand it is when there is a mandated label change, it resets the statute of limitations so that people harmed BEFORE the new label are able to sue for damages. For patients harmed going forward, well, the new label considers them "adequately warned." As patients, we have found that our hands, feet, ankles, fingers, wrists, palms, soles, tongue, lips, facial area, pubic region, cranial nerves, and others were hit with various forms of neuropathy within days or weeks of completing the drug. In a nutshell, it caused burning (equavilent to gasoline on the skin); deadness and tingling; vibrations (like a cell phone up against your leg); odd pulsing sensations (like your heartbeat in your hands); hair loss on the affected areas; weaknesses; a feeling of being immensely swollen but you aren't; discoloration in your extremeties; a deep itch; vast temperature differentials; inability to make a fist; and pain when walking in shoes; however, if you go barefoot and step on, say, an extension cord, it feels like a razor blade went through you. In all, the burn is the worst and it can be brought about from virtually anything: touching the carpet, your favorite tennies, or touching the bedsheets. Paradoxically, neuropathy also causes your extremeties to become so cold that a blowdryer on HOT for ten minutes is all that allows you to walk again. The neurologists have proven this disease with biopsies and nerve conduction studies. It's real, and now we know without a doubt that it's a direct and traumatic result of fluoroquinolones.
These drugs have their place as a lifesaver of last resort. But too many people have NOT needed such a big gun and were given it anyway. How many drugs have the esteemed honor of receiving TWO Blackbox Warnings? All quinolones do. These drugs got a lot of attention when there were class action suits alleging they caused tendon ruptures and disorders. Turns out they did. They got more attention when they were found to cause retinal detachment. They were all over the news when it was found that they worsened myasthenia gravis patients, and indeed killed some. Their patient insert reads like a horror story, and I would have never touched the drug if I'd had a chance to read the insert. But it didn't accompany my prescription, so I was unaware. My doctor loved these drugs (parcularly Levaquin) and often prescribed them alongside a steroid called Medrol Dosepak. I didn't know they weren't supposed to be mixed, but surely my doctor was supposed to! I had no idea they caused central nervous system effects (how many regular folks understand the blood-brain barrier?). I didn't know my headaches could be related to the drugs' post-marketing reports of increased intracranial pressure and pseudotumor. The companies that produce these drugs have had mountains of evidence that they could be responsible for other problems I, too, am familiar with: connective tissue damage and musculoskeletal erosion.
Do I feel better now that there's an update to the label? Of course, but my warnings came too late and cover just one piece of the attack the drug made to my system. It's frustrating to see that the warnings come years after the studies were done and the reporting was received. For example, the March 1998 issue of Neurology cited Fluoroquinolone antibiotics block neuromuscular transmission, an article damning the use of quins on myasthenia gravis patients.
I don't know what this site's rules are regarding the citation of other Web addresses, but for those who want to know more about last week's FDA announcement, here is the communication:
Posted by Pamela
Erin Wilson, regarding your May 26 comment: Have you found that there is more legal interest since the FDA's announcement last week requiring (yet another) label update to quinolones? The agency resolved in 2011, I believe, to review complaints of fluoroquinolones causing permanent neuropathy. They have found that Yes, it is confirmed that quinolones can cause irreversible neuropathy, and Yes, drug companies need to elevate the seriousness of it instead of burying it among the so-called rare instances of adverse events. The FDA communication is getting very little media attention, when, in reality, it is a huge plus for the thousands affected. The new labeling should start the statute of limitations to reset. Anyone know if this is true? Any attorneys ready to take this on?
Posted by mary kinnavane,
I would love a lawyer to make contact with me as Levaquin ruptured my Left Achilles Tendon in May 2009 I am also in agony with my right shoulder. My consultant says he thinks if is from levaquin as it it tendinitis. I suffer badly from continuous tiredness and cannot go out any more and mix with people as I used to. I am a widow and so terribly lonely. I am so tired that so few believe what realy happened to me.It has changed my whole life. My 3 kids who are married in Europe think I am so depressed that there is something mental the matter. My GP refered me in to my local hospital witha chest infection where they gave my the drug intravenously and then haveing beeen discharged my Gp gave it to me until I rang him and told him My walk was gone. I had been on steroids given to me before I went into the Hospital so I guess the combination of the two caused my ankle to rupture. I can only walk a few yards and the pain is unbearable. They are pumping steroid injections into me and I am so afraid .
Please help me .
Posted by mary kinnavane
Please get in connect with me as I was damaged by the drug Levaquin and have a Ruptured Achilles Tendon and other dreadful side effects. I would like to hear from other victims of this drug. I just want to get in touch with people in Ireland who have been damaged by this drug. There must be thousands that are unaware of the serious damage this drug has done to them
Posted by mary kinnavane,
I have a ruptured Achilles tendon on my left ankle and my tendons in my right shoulder are damaged. I suffer constant tiredness and send most of my time in bed. I got Levaquin orally and intra veiniously in May 2009 for a chest infection and my life is shattered since. I have tried every painkiller in the book, including steroid injections, regularly but to no avail. Is there any help out there It has made an old woman out of me I used to walk and swim every day. Now I might as well be dead. My quality of life is ruined. When are The FDA going to take this lethal drug off the market. Johnson & Johnson Shame on you for wrecking so many lives .
Posted by Sean
How can I add my name to your list?
Posted by erin wilson
I have 2000 victims of quinolones registered and waiting for legal representation. I have just skimmed the surface. Why is this so hard to find a legal firm to represent thousands of damaged people?
Posted by Sean
After 5 years of constant, non-stop, severe nerve pain from Levaquin (of which 2 years I was on opioid painkillers that didn't work), I finally found relief (through sheer luck, and trial and error).
It's not pleasant to take so many meds, but anything is better than the pain! If I didn't have kids, I wouldn't have stayed alive past year 2!
Suboxone (very low dose of 2mg/day)
Nuvigil (to counteract fatigue from all of the above)
For what it's worth, I've been pain free for 4 years. Good luck everyone!
Posted by pamela white
I have never been warned by my dr for levaquin and wasnt long after the second year my dr said i couldnt be his patient anymore for some reason i have nerve pain randomly through out my body it cant be blamed on diabetes since i wasnt diagnosed til recently a year and half ago or so and am not that seriously ill with diabetes right now...its under control...i have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and have complaints of pain in the locations the tendons and places described are....I have not been able to get disability since they take each of my health issues each separate and not combined...i had shortness of breath for a few years now and i have developed asthma as well but that is under control my out of breath is different from an attack... i personally was disappointed why my dr wanted me to find a new dr....since he understood my conditions and treated me well ...
Posted by Sharon Jones
I too have perephial neuropathy and did not realize there were others out there. I saw there was group on Facebook, can you tell me the name of the group and how I can join? Thank you. Sharon
Posted by Janet Murray
I am 55, took a script of levaquin and predisone and woke up 3 months later with a frozen shoulder that never healed after 7 months of intense pain and therapy. A few months later I took it again with predisone (as I never knew the first bout did this to my shoulder) 4 months later I awake and cannot walk. It has attacked the sacram (buttock bone) MRI shows severe inflamation and now is moving into my spine. I have neuropathy, severe chills like waves of electrial currents. I am beyond dispair and suicidal at times. I only keep going for my husband but he cant take much more. I came down from canada to marry the love of my life to be destroyed.
Nothing seems to help, I am eating organic, jucing, supplements and NOTHING even touches this pain. It is worse by far than broken bones.
If anyone would like to write me I would so wish to talk to someone esp if they have improved. I am in such terror.
Posted by Rose Terry
I took 10 tabs of Levaquin March 2007 and among other things I have severe Peripheral Neuropathy all this time - very dibilitating & very painful 24/7. I lost my job & nearly my house. I'm not the mother or wife I used to be because of this simple antibiotic. And I find it so sad to know thousands have damage and this rx is still on the market hurting people! God help us.
Posted by Nathan Kleczewski
This strikes home. I'm suffering from nerve damage caused by a five day dose of Cipro. Although Levaquin seems to be the target of this potential lawsuit, I think other flouroquinalones need to be explored. Just talk to members of the Flouroquinalone toxicity awareness group (a group of floxers) on Facebook. There are thousands of us suffering, in constant pain, and with no means to resolve our problems. Personally I just was married and prior to taking Cipro was in the best shape in my life. Now I find myself crying because I have problems walking, cannot exercise, and envision a future where I will not be able to teach my kids to throw a ball or play a friendly game of one on one with my children.
Posted by Paul Craven
Levaquin has ruined my life for the past 5-6 years. I have constant peripheral neuropathy, muscle weakness, fatigue, and I cannot work any longer. I take oxycontin for pain, antidepressants and zanax for anxiety. The constant flu like sysmptoms I have have brought the later on. I have seen every specialist including mayo clinic with no diagnosis except neuropathy. I have finally found 2 doctors that have admitted the issue is probably from the fluoroquinolones I've taken but its of little comfort because of the constant suffering and the denial of the pharmaceutical company making this antibiotic. It was quite by accident that I put the two together. I contacted a lawyer and he said because there is no tendon damage done that they wouldn't take my case. In the mean time I suffer permanent damage and at 55 feel like I'm 95.
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