Personal Injuries and Dangerous Prescription Drugs
When we visit a doctor’s office to receive treatment for a bacterial infection, we will often find ourselves with a prescription for Ciprofloxacin, or Cipro, for short. Indeed, it is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for those who travel internationally, and thousands of Americans fill prescriptions for this medication. According to a recent article from CBS New York, however, Cipro might be a “prescription for danger.” This dangerous drug has been linked to devastating side effects and serious personal injuries.
Dr. Charles Bennett, a professor of pharmacy, recently “filed a petition asking the FDA to put broader warnings on Cipro.” Why? Numerous patients have taken the medicine only to experience severe pain and other long-lasting side effects. According to Bennett, “doctors are not aware of the full range of toxicities that are associated with the quinolones,” the class of antibiotics in which Cipro is grouped. Indeed, Cipro is such a strong medicine that it “can kill anthrax,” and many medical professionals worry that it is “too freely prescribed for illnesses that could be treated with less powerful medicines.”
Has the FDA been doing all it should to warn individualsin the US about the dangers of Cipro? The FDA reports that, each year, around 23 million Cipro prescriptions are filled in this country. Of that enormous number, the FDA claims that it has received only “4,500 reports of serious side effects,” which represents an “exceedingly small percentage” of the total number of prescriptions filled annually. Yet those side effects can be extremely damaging, and in some patients, they turn out to be permanent.
For example, CBS New York covered one patient’s story who took Cipro for a routine infection and began experiencing severe nerve pain that he described as feeling“like a bomb went off in my body.” In fact, one of the noted side effects of Cipro includes tendon and nerve damage.
Learning More About Cipro and Its Side Effects
The Mayo Clinic describes Cipro, manufactured by the drug maker Bayer, as a prescription medication that “is used to treat bacterial infections in many different parts of the body.” It may also be used to treat a patient who has been exposed to anthrax. Cipro is in the class of drugs that are “known as quinolone antibiotics,” and they work by “killing bacteria or preventing their growth.”
Before taking Cipro, patients should be aware of the fact that when it comes to certain forms of the drug in particular populations, its efficacy and side effects have not been fully analyzed. The following groups should pay particular attention to the noted side effects and warning associated with quinolone use:
- Older adults; and
- Pregnant women.
Cipro can also have adverse interactions when taken with other medicines, and it is extremely important to talk with your doctor about your drug regimen and your medical history beforeusing this antibiotic. Side effects can include:
- Tearing of a tendon;
- Liver problems;
- Peripheral neuropathy;
- Sun sensitivity; and
Symptoms of some of these problems, as well as other serious side effects, can include but are not limited to the following:
- Bloody or black stools;
- Burning or numbness;
- Skin color changes;
- Pain or discomfort in the chest;
- Chills and/or fever;
- Dizziness or lightheadedness;
- Hearing loss;
- Muscle pain;
- Joint pain; and
If you or someone you love has experienced severe side effects after taking a prescription drug like Cipro, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to determine your rights.