Levaquin weakens tendons which, in rare cases, can rupture under physical stress and require surgery and months of rehabilitation. Tendons subjected to heavy stress, such as the Achilles’ tendon, shoulder rotator cuff, and tendons supporting the knee and attached to the quadriceps, are most at risk of tendon ruptures. In addition, runners, weight-lifters, and any athletes or workers who put a lot of pressure and strain on their joints, face an increased risk of suffering from tendon ruptures when taking Levaquin.

Typically, tendon ruptures occur near the end of 7 or 14 day courses of Levaquin treatment, but tendon ruptures may also occur after Levaquin treatment has been completed. Bayer, the German company that manufacturers Levaquin, argues that Levaquin is safe because, of the more than 100 million Levaquin prescriptions written in the U.S. between 1989 and 1999, only 100 cases of Levaquin tendon ruptures were reported.

Levaquin Tendon Rupture Black Box Warning

In 2005, the Illinois Attorney General and a consumer advocacy group called Public Citizen petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to place a black box warning regarding the risk of tendon ruptures on the Levaquin label. According to the director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, tendon ruptures linked to antibiotics, like Levaquin, continue to occur at a disturbing rate. Many tendon ruptures could be prevented, however, if doctors and patients were aware of the early warning signs associated with tendon ruptures.

Levaquin is only one of many antibiotics that Public Citizen contends should display a black box warning regarding tendon ruptures. Other antibiotics that may put patients at risk of tendon ruptures include: 

  • Penetrex (Enoxacin, made by Aventis)
  • Tequin (Gatifloxacin, made by Bristol-Myers Squibb)
  • Cipro (Ciprofloxacin, made by Bayer)
  • Maxaquin (Lomefloxacin, made by Unimed)
  • Avelox (Moxifloxacin, made by Bayer)
  • Noroxin (Norfloxacin, made by Merck)
  • Floxin (Ofloxacin, made by Daiichi-Sankyo)

In January 2008, Public Citizen filed a lawsuit against the FDA in an attempt to compel the agency to order Levaquin’s maker to include a warning on the Levaquin label regarding the risk of tendon ruptures and other tendon injuries. Finally, in July 2008, the FDA issued a health alert notifying the manufacturers of certain antibiotics, including Levaquin’s maker, of the need to add a boxed warning to the prescribing information about the increased risk of developing tendonitis and tendon rupture in patients taking fluoroquinolones.  At this time there is no Levaquin recall, but a black box warning may be a prelude to a Levaquin recall.

Levaquin & Tendon Rupture Lawsuits

If you or a loved one took Levaquin and has suffered a serious Levaquin side effect such as tendon rupture, contact us today as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our experienced Levaquin lawyers will help determine if you qualify for a Levaquin tendon rupture lawsuit.

Published November 17, 2011 by