There is no question that the class of antibiotic to which Levaquin belongs, known as fluoroquinolones, remains an effective hedge against infection. It’s the Levaquin side effects and, specifically, Levaquin Peripheral Sensorimotor Neuropathy that have patients becoming plaintiffs and seeking compensation.
The Central Nervous System is one of the most intricate aspects of the human body. Fluoroquinolones are alleged to negatively impact nerves in some patients, serving to impair sensation, movement and other aspects of health. This may leave patients with persistent pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, and sensitivity to light, touch, temperature and motion in the arms and legs, as well as other problems that cause a major disruption to daily activities.
These are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, and they can last for months or even years following use of fluoroquinolones. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said as much in August of 2013 when the federal drug regulator required all manufacturers of fluoroquinolones to include stronger warnings for peripheral neuropathy - suggesting, as the agency did, that problems could last for some time after the medication was stopped. Years, in fact.
Imagine, if you were a patient taking an antibiotic prescribed by your doctor for an infection and suffering ill effects not from the infection (which might be an issue for mere days), but from the antibiotic? Many plaintiffs suffering from debilitating peripheral neuropathy years after stopping Levaquin, or other drugs in the fluoroquinolones class, claim they might have taken their chances with their infection and avoided Levaquin, Cipro or Avelox.
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The trio of fluoroquinolones is amongst the most widely prescribed antibiotics in the US. Little wonder the legal community expects that not only plaintiffs’ petitions to have lawsuits consolidated into an MDL will be successful, but also that Levaquin Peripheral Sensorimotor Neuropathy lawsuits will grow exponentially.
Currently, there are 49 complaints pending in 29 different federal jurisdictions. That may not seem like a large docket. However, that number has more than doubled over the past month. Speculation remains that such cases will grow and multiply into hundreds or even thousands of complaints.
A petition to the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will be heard at the end of this month, on July 30 in San Francisco.