If you were sick and took the antibiotic Cipro, you may have risked your future health without realizing it. Cipro is routinely prescribed for all sorts of bacterial infections, but it is a powerful and dangerous drug. After taking Cipro, many people have reported nerve damage – numbness, tingling, pain, weakness and other symptoms – and the condition may be permanent.
Cipro’s dangers are well known, but the manufacturer still advertises and sells it. We want to hold them accountable. If you have taken Cipro and developed symptoms of a nerve injury, you may have a case. Let John Foy & Associates help. We’ll give you a free consultation to talk about your injuries and explain what we can do. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What Is Cipro Used For?
Cipro was first introduced by Bayer in 1987. Also known as Ciprofloxacin, it is commonly used to treat serious bacterial infections, including pneumonia, typhoid fever, infectious diarrhea, the plague and gonorrhea.
Cipro and its generic equivalents may also be prescribed for more minor infections, such as bronchitis, sinus infections and urinary tract infections. Despite the dangers, Cipro is one of the best-selling antibiotics in America.
How does Cipro work?
Cipro is part of a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones. The antibiotics Levaquin and Avelox are also part of this class. Fluoroquinalones fight bacterial infections by killing off the bacteria that are causing the infection. When bacteria grow and multiply, strands within the bacteria’s DNA break apart and then attach themselves again. Researchers believe that fluoroquinalones prevent the bacteria cells from reattaching. This causes the cells to die, clearing up the infection.
Does Cipro cause nerve damage?
The link between Cipro and nerve damage has been known for decades, but not surprisingly, the manufacturer has been slow to respond or issue warnings. As early as the 1990s, reports began surfacing of patients who suffered debilitating symptoms and long-term damage after taking Cipro. More reports were published in the years to come, but Bayer did nothing.
Many people took Cipro in the wake of the 2001 anthrax scare, because it was the only antibiotic specifically approved to treat anthrax caused by inhalation. A couple of years later, postal workers who had taken the drug sued the drug’s manufacturer for failing to warn them that they could develop nerve and tendon damage.
The federal Food and Drug Administration issued its first warnings about Cipro and other fluoroquinalones in 2008, but it was not until 2013 that the FDA required a boxed warning that specifically advised patients of the risk of nerve damage. It strengthened the warning in 2016, advising doctors that the risks of fluoroquinalones outweighed the benefits for relatively minor, routine infections, and that these drugs should not be prescribed if there was another alternative.
Despite these dire warnings, Cipro is still marketed and sold, and doctors continue to advise their patients to take it – even when there is a safer alternative.
What kind of nerve damage can you get after taking Cipro?
The nerve damage caused by Cipro is known as “peripheral neuropathy.” This means there is damage to the peripheral nervous system, or the vast network that receives communications from your brain and spinal cord. The damage caused by Cipro affects both the sensory and motor aspects of the nervous system, though it is not clear why this happens.
- The sensory nerves control your sense of touch. When these nerves are damaged, you might feel unusually sensitive, or you may feel you have lost some of the feeling in your hands or feet. You may have trouble with balance or fine motor activities like buttoning a button. You may be unable to feel pain if you are injured. Or, you may feel random, unexplainable, sharp pains that keep you awake at night or make it hard to do your normal activities.
- The motor nerves control your voluntary muscle movements. If your motor nerves are damaged, you may have a hard time walking or gripping things. You may feel numbness, tingling, weakness or cramps. Your muscles may twitch, or you may notice them atrophying, or growing smaller. Your reflexes may decline.
Nerve damage carries an impact beyond the physical. Patients with nerve damage also suffer psychologically, as it can become hard to lead your normal life when you are in pain and unable to function the way you used to.
What are the symptoms of Cipro nerve damage?
Patients who suffer nerve damage because of taking Cipro often report symptoms that start suddenly – usually within a few days of taking the medication, but sometimes after the very first dose. The problems often start in the hands or feet, but may then move to other parts of the body. Common symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness in the hands, feet, arms or legs
- Pain, either stabbing or burning
- Feeling unusually sensitive to touch
- Poor balance or a feeling of being uncoordinated
- Problems with bowels or bladder
- Poor tolerance to heat
Unfortunately, many doctors are reluctant to link these symptoms to Cipro, despite the warnings and the overwhelming evidence of the risks. And because the reason for the nerve damage is not well understood, it may be difficult to find an effective treatment.
Can the manufacturer be held liable?
Drug manufacturers have an obligation to create drugs that are safe for the public and to advise people of known risks. When a manufacturer hides the truth, fails to warn the public, and sells a product that is unsafe, the manufacturer may be held liable. This means that people who have suffered nerve damage may be eligible to recover money that will help pay for treatment and the overall cost of the injury.
Our law firm wants to hold Cipro’s manufacturer responsible for its actions, and we are currently investigating claims by people who have suffered nerve damage because of taking Cipro. If you were prescribed Cipro and you have experienced any symptoms of nerve damage, we’d like to talk to you.
Talk to a Cipro Nerve Damage Lawsuit Lawyer
At John Foy & Associates, we have a long history of getting results for people who have been injured by unsafe drugs. We always work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t have to pay us anything unless we get money for you. If you have injuries that you believe may have been caused by Cipro, we’d like to set up a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.