When Penicillin was first broadly marketed in the middle of the last century, it was hailed as a miracle drug. Highly successful in killing many bacterial infections
, it was used for almost everything. Just a few short years later, antibiotic resistant bacteria began to evolve, making Penicillin less effective. Since that time, modern medicine has given us six classes of antibiotics.
There are over one hundred individual antibiotics on the market today.
One of the most popular antibiotics on the market today is Levaquin, which is in the fluoroquinolones class. Levaquin is made by Ortho-McNeil, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson and is a powerful antibiotic that is used in many cases where other antibiotics fail.
It is very effective for treating respiratory infections like sinusitis
, bronchitis, and pneumonia and is also commonly prescribed for severe genitourinary tract infections. Levaquin dangers do exist however, and the doctor and patient must assess those risks before deciding on a course of treatment with Levaquin.
Possible Side Effects of Levaquin
As with all antibiotics, there is the possibility of an allergic reaction. Severe allergic reactions can lead to respiratory distress and even death. Signs and symptoms of an allergy include:
* Shortness of breath
A patient with a history of allergies or sensitivity to other fluoroquinolones should avoid Levaquin. Patients receiving a dose for the first time should be carefully monitored for allergic reaction in a physician’s office before being sent home. Failure to monitor could be considered medical negligence if the patient suffers subsequent injury or illness.
Tendonitis and Ruptured Tendons
In 2004, the FDA required a “black box” label be attached to Levaquin. The antibiotic is associated to an increase in tendonitis and ruptured tendons in patients undergoing treatment. In some cases, the ruptured tendons require surgery to repair, adding additional pain, and expense.
Patients 60 and over who are taking corticosteroids are especially susceptible to ruptures. Other patients at high risk for tendon damage include patients who have undergone:
* Lung transplants
* Heart transplants
* Kidney transplants
Over the years, the medical community has come to understand that certain types of bacteria are best treated with certain classes of antibiotic. Physicians will try to knock out a bacterial infection based on the common types of bacteria found in the infected area. Frequently in the past, antibiotics were given to people without thoroughly checking to see what caused the infection.
Now, however, doctors are concerned that too many bacteria are evolving into antibiotic resistant strains. Carefully determining the source of infection can help ensure the correct treatment options and minimize risks. Doctors, who fail to diagnose the source of an infection, put themselves at risk for medical negligence or even medical malpractice lawsuits should subsequent injury or wrongful death occur.
Visit the website of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, defective drug attorneys with offices in several states, today.