Stronger Warnings for Quinolones

Dec 10 2013

Peripheral neuropathies are most commonly associated as a side effect of diabetes, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released news showing a link between fluoroquinolone antibiotics and the potential for developing painful peripheral neuropathy.  This warning only applies to fluoroquinolone that is taken by injection or orally, not topically.

The FDA did release information that this latest update to drug labels was necessary due to fluoroquinolone-associated peripheral neuropathies that resulted in disabilities. The FDA declined to provide the specific number of cases that resulted in neuropathy. Additionally, reports showed that some patients exhibited peripheral neuropathy symptoms within days of taking the medication, but reported symptoms more than a year after the medication was stopped. This indicates that these types of medications can cause long-term peripheral neuropathy. The FDA database is not able to determine if these neuropathies are permanent.

The FDA has been unable to identify any correlating risks and factors in patients that developed neuropathies. In fact, the length of time on the antibiotic and the patients’ ages seemed to play no contributing role to the onset of symptoms.

The following medications are affected by the FDA announcement: Levaquin (levofloxacin), Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Avelox (moxifloxacin), Noroxin (norfloxacin), Floxin (ofloxacin) and Factive (gemifloxacin).

The FDA did report that in 2011, 23 million Americans were prescribed quinolones. Of this number, 70-percent were prescribed Cipro, 28-percent Levaquin and 9-percent Avelox. The remaining medications accounted for less than one-percent of prescriptions. During this same time frame, 3.8 million patients were given an injectable form of quinolone. The most prescribed were Levaquin at 63-percent, Cipro 28-percent and Avelox 13-percent.

The FDA recommends that any patients taking quinolones that begins to develop the symptoms of neuropathy pain immediately discontinue use and seek medical advice. A physician can determine if a different antibiotic should be used, as well as weighing the serious risks and benefits.

For patients that suffer from long-term peripheral neuropathy, Neuroplenish offers a natural neuropathy support formula that contains a proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals designed to target the pain of neuropathy – most notably sharp pains, numbness, tingling and burning.