Nearly 400 Cases Pending in Federal Litigation over Levaquin

levaquinNearly 400 peripheral neuropathy lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox continue are pending in federal multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota.

The proceeding convened its most recently monthly Status Conference, when it was reported that 383 cases were pending in the federal litigation. An addition 39 claims that put forth similar allegations regarding the potential for fluoroquinolone antibiotics to cause peripheral neuropathy and permanent nerve damage have been filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The involved manufacturers and distributors are Bayer (Cipro and Avelox), Janssen (Levaquin), and McKesson (a distributor).

Indications are that Judge John R. Tunheim, who is overseeing those cases, would be interested in coordinating with the multidistrict litigation. (In Re: Fluoroquinolone Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2642)

Fluoroquinolone Side Effects

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics, including Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox, are indicated to treat pneumonia, sexually transmitted diseases, E. coli, staph and other serious bacterial infections. Plaintiffs who have Levaquin lawsuits or other cases pending in the District of Minnesota claim that the manufacturers of these medications failed to provide doctors and patients with adequate warnings about their potential to cause serious nerve damage, including permanent peripheral neuropathy. Mention of these complications was added to the drugs’ labeling in 2004. However, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered their manufacturers to strengthen the labels in 2013 to better reflect the rapid onset of symptoms, as well as the potential for permanence. (In Re: Fluoroquinolone Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2642)

Last month, the FDA ordered that further modifications be made to the labels for fluoroquinolone medications, this time updating the boxed warning to state that the risks posed by the drugs outweigh their benefits for patients with certain uncomplicated infections when other treatment options are available. The agency acted after a review confirmed that fluoroquinolone antibiotics are associated with a number of serious side effects, including those involving the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and central nervous system. These complications are potentially permanent and can occur together, the FDA said.

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