Napoli Bern Ripka Law Firm

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The use of antibiotics has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade. As each new illness comes on the scene stronger and stronger medications are being developed to control and cure these infections. The problem is the more illnesses and infections we are being cured by high doses of antibiotics the lower our resistance to any types of infection seems to be.

So the importance of keeping major antibiotics on the forefront of the pharmaceutical scene is key to most drug manufacturers. You can almost always get free samples of the newest medications from your physician and some stores even give free antibiotics with a doctor's prescription.

The problem is that many of these antibiotics, though they were created to treat infections, often do more harm as a result of their side effects than the infection you were suffering from in the beginning. So is the case of the antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone category. This group includes: Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), and extended release form of Ciprofloxaxin called Cipro XR or Proquin XR, Gemifloxacin (Factive), Levofloxacin (Levaquin), Moxifloxacin ( Avelox), Norfloxacin (Noroxin) and Ofloxacin (Floxin).

It has been reported that the use of these antibiotics gives patients a greater risk of ruptured tendon, ruptured Achilles heel and many other tendon injuries. To date, the one drug in particular that has been most closely linked to these tendon problems is Levaquin. This medication is manufactured by Ortho-McNeil, a division of Johnson & Johnson.

In 2006 a patient advocate and consumer group pushed the FDA to warn people about the dangers of using Levaquin and the increased risk of tendonitis and ruptured Achilles heel. There have also been reports of tendon ruptures in the rotator cuff area of the shoulder, the upper arms and the hands.

Two years later the FDA, which originally approved Levaquin in 1996, required the makers of the drug to include a Black Box warning on the labels alerting people to the possibility of suffering from tendonitis, ruptured Achilles heel or other tendon related injuries. Most at risk in this case are people over the age of 60 and anyone who has received a heart, lung or kidney transplant. You should also avoid using Levaquin if you are taking steroids.

So the real problem is that as with most major pharmaceutical companies, Johnson & Johnson were aware of the serious side effects of Levaquin but they continued to promote their product as the antibiotic of choice. Levaquin is prescribed to treat bacterial infections of the lungs and skin along with urinary tract infections.

Ending up with a painful ruptured Achilles heel just because you took the prescription that your doctor gave you for your urinary tract infection seems to be a pretty high price to pay for getting well. It is sad that so many people have to suffer from the same side effects before any action is taken to warn other so that they might be able to avoid the same fate.

If you feel that you have been a victim as a result of taking Levaquin, please contact the law firm of Napoli Bern Ripka at 1-888-LAW-IN-NY and we will be happy to discuss a plan of action.


I just received the packet of information to fill out from the attorney's office. I have had side effects from Levquin since June, 2009. So glad that someone is finally listening to me. The pain is killing me, but I can survive. -- By Susan Mortenson

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