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Millions of people take the drug Avelox every year to combat bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and other bacterial infections. But if you’ve taken this commonly prescribed drug, you should know that it can also cause permanent nerve damage. The risks of Avelox are so severe that the Food and Drug Administration issued new warnings about the drug in 2016, advising that it should only be prescribed when there are no safer options.
Despite the warnings and the consequences, doctors still routinely prescribe Avelox, even for relatively minor ailments. At John Foy & Associates, we are exploring ways to help Avelox victims hold the manufacturer accountable and recover money to pay for treatment. If you think you may have nerve damage because of Avelox, we’d like to talk to you, at no charge and with no obligation. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What is Avelox?
Avelox is part of a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones that combat infections by halting bacteria growth. Avelox also goes by the generic name Moxifloxacin. Avelox is manufactured by Bayer AG and has been approved for sale in the U. S. since 1999. Avelox is commonly prescribed to patients who have bacterial infections in their sinuses, lungs, skin, eyes or stomach.
Fluoroquinolones get their name because they include fluoride, which increases their potency and effectiveness. Fluoride helps the medication reach areas that are otherwise hard to penetrate. However, this also increases the risk because fluoride can penetrate the barrier between your blood and your brain, causing nerve damage.
What kind of nerve damage does Avelox cause?
Avelox can cause a condition known as peripheral neuropathy. While your central nervous system consists of your brain and spinal cord, your peripheral nervous system is the network of nerves that communicates information from the central nervous system to the rest of your body. The word “neuropathy” means disease or damage to the nerves, so “peripheral neuropathy” is damage to your peripheral nervous system.
There are many types of peripheral neuropathy, and they may have different causes and different effects on the body. Avelox has been linked to:
- Damage to the motor nerves. These nerves send signals to the rest of your body that allow you to voluntarily control your muscle movements. Motor nerves help you walk, talk, grasp things and raise your arms. If you have motor nerve damage, you may feel weakness, cramps, muscle twitching, a decrease in the size of your muscles, or poor reflexes.
- Damage to the sensory nerves. Sensory nerves are associated with the sense of touch, including the ability to feel pain or a change in temperature. People with sensory nerve damage may have less feeling than usual in their hands and feet, as though they were always wearing socks or gloves. Sensory nerve damage can also lead to balance problems, difficulty completing certain tasks, or an inability to tell whether you have been injured. Perhaps worst of all, sensory nerve damage can leave you with ongoing pain that makes it hard to sleep or carry on your daily activities. Over time, sensory nerve damage can damage your joints and bones.
Nerve damage can appear suddenly, sometimes within a few days of beginning to take Avelox. Many patients report multiple chronic symptoms that interfere with their ability to enjoy life to the fullest.
Does the manufacturer know that Avelox can cause nerve damage?
Absolutely. In fact, there were published accounts of nerve damage from fluoroquinolones in the 1990s, but Bayer ignored them and decided to introduce and market Avelox anyway. As early as 2001, two years after Avelox came out, reports were published in professional journals documenting the experiences of patients who suffered nerve damage after taking fluoroquinolones.
Peripheral neuropathy was first listed as a side effect of Avelox and the other Fluoroquinolones in 2004. In 2013, the FDA required the manufacturer to include a black box warning – the most severe type of drug labeling warning—about the potential for permanent nerve damage. And then, in 2016, the FDA enhanced that warning, advising that the risks of fluoroquinolones outweigh the benefits for people with ordinary sinus infections, bronchitis and urinary tract infections. It urged doctors to use other options and prescribe Avelox and similar medications only when there are no other options.
Despite these warnings, Bayer has continued to market Avelox, and it has not taken steps to make it safer or ensure that it is not over-used. And doctors continue to prescribe it, even when they could have prescribed a less dangerous medication instead.
Are there other fluoroquinolone drugs?
Avelox is not the only fluoroquinolone on the market. This category of drugs includes several other popular antibiotics:
- Cipro, also known as Ciprofloxacin
- Factive, also known as Gemifloxacin
- Levaquin, also known as Levofloxacin
Any of these drugs may be associated with nerve damage and other serious side effects.
How do I know if I have a case for nerve damage caused by Avelox?
If you have taken Avelox and developed any symptoms related to touch, sensation, or movement, you may have a case. Common symptoms include these:
- Tingly, prickly or burning sensations
- Severe, unexplained pain
- A change in your sense of touch – either more sensitive or less sensitive
- Difficulty with balance and coordination
- Weak muscles
- Slower reflexes
Despite the publicity and product warnings, many doctors remain unaware of the severe damage that Avelox can cause. They may dismiss your complaints or refer you to specialists who don’t seem to know what the problem is or how to help you. That’s not unusual. If you think there’s a connection between the Avelox you took and the symptoms you’re experiencing, there’s a good chance you have a case, and you can potentially recover money to pay for your treatment and the way neuropathy has affected your life.
Talk to an Avelox Nerve Damage Lawsuit Lawyer
Our law firm has more than two decades of experience representing people who have been harmed by dangerous drugs, and if you think you may have suffered nerve damage because of Avelox, we would like to hear your story. We will never charge you a fee unless we recover money for you. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.