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When patients visit a licensed doctor, they expect that they will be treated using the very best and safest in medical and pharmaceutical technology. Most people would never dream that the drugs they are prescribed to treat a simple urinary tract infection or bronchitis could create crippling and lifelong side effects or permanent imjuries. However, with the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotic which includes the commonly prescribed drugs Cipro and Levaquin, more and more disastrous side effects are being reported. This is one powerful example of the treatment being worse than the cure, a story that unfortunately is not uncommon in modern medicine, and is often times the basis for class action lawsuits by attorneys related to drug recall injuries.
Although many patients and attorneys were not aware of these problems in the past, the drug companies and individuals working in the medical community have known that Cipro and Levaquin can cause these severe side effects, which include ruptured tendons in the shoulder, hand, and Achilles tendons, for more than ten years. Since this class of drugs was introduced, reports of severe and irreversible damage related to these drugs have steadily flowed in as lawyers file lawsuits on behalf of injured victims. These tendon problems can occur while taking the drug or anywhere up to months and years afterward. Because a variety of drugs perform the same function as Cipro and Levaquin without these horrific side effects, the thousands of people who suffer from the lifelong effects of ruptured tendons are suffering in vain.
Tendon ruptures by all means are a major side effect. They can be permanently debilitating, especially if the tendon involved is the Achilles tendon, which controls all movement of the foot. These ruptures can require months or years of therapy as well as several surgeries, and even after these treatments, the patient may be unable to walk or use the affected foot in any way. Unfortunately, many of the tendon ruptures related to Cipro and Levaquin involve the Achilles tendon and have caused permanent lifelong disability for the victims involved, and their only recourse is to take legal action.
Lawsuits against the manufacturers and even the FDA have been filed, but the drug companies have responded by adding a blurb about tendon damage to the drug insert. Considering the considerable side effects, this is not nearly enough to inform people about the risk they incur just by taking their antibiotic. If patients were properly informed, they would know to watch for the signs of tendon strain and report the symptoms to their doctor immediately. In this case, even a minimal amount of education may prevent the side effects from lasting for a lifetime. Most people would agree that this is not too much to ask for, but the drug companies disagree.
The only way to fight this misinformation is to get the word out there. If you or someone you love have had a tendon injury after taking Cipro, Levaquin, or another fluoroquinolone, you should seriously consider your options regarding compensatory damages and seek legal counsel to make an informed decision. Otherwise, just be aware that the principle of caveat emptor is alive and well in the world of drug prescriptions.
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