Levaquin, an antibiotic used to treat various types of bacterial infections, has been linked to several adverse side effects. Although it is hard to predict which Levaquin patients will experience side effects, doctors say that the likelihood of complications increases the longer Levaquin is taken. According to studies, Levaquin side effects may range from mild to debilitating, and even life-threatening.

Less Serious Levaquin Side Effects

Mild side effects associated with the use of Levaquin include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Joint stiffness or muscle pain
  • Increased skin sensitivity to sunlight
  • Mild skin itching
  • Restlessness or anxiousness

Serious Levaquin Side Effects

In May 2015, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) updated the Black Box Warning on Levaquin’s label to state that the risks associated with the antibiotic outweighed its benefits for patients with acute sinusitis, acute bronchitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections who have other treatment options. The agency ordered the label update after a review confirmed that Levaquin side effects could include serious complications involving the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and central nervous system. These problems can occur simultaneously, and they may become permanent.

In recent years, the FDA has issued several other safety alerts regarding Levaquin:

Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a debilitating nerve disorder that affects the peripheral nervous system. Common symptoms include weakness, numbness and pain, usually in the hands and feet. However, peripheral neuropathy can also affect other areas of the body.

Peripheral neuropathy was first listed as a possible Levaquin side effect on the drug’s label in 2004. However, in 2013, the FDA ordered a revision, so that the wording would better reflect the potential for rapid onset of symptoms and the potential for permanence.

Tendon Injuries

In 2008, a Black Box Warning was added to the labels of Levaquin and other fluoroquinolones about the potential for serious tendon injuries, including ruptures of the Achilles tendon. Patients most at risk for these painful side effects include those over age 60, kidney, heart, and lung transplant recipients, and patients undergoing concomitant steroid therapy.

Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection

Studies published in JAMA: Internal Medicine and the British Medical Journal in 2015 suggested that Levaquin side effects could include with an increased risk of aortic dissection and aortic aneurysm.

Other serious complications to be aware of while taking Levaquin include:

  • Seizure (black-out or convulsions)
  • Confusion or hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Sudden pain or swelling near your joints (especially in your arm or ankle)
  • Diarrhea that is watery or bloody
  • Urinating more or less than usual
  • Numbness, tingling, or unusual pain anywhere in your body
  • Chest pain, pounding or fast heartbeats

Levaquin Side Effects Lawyers

If you or a loved one took Levaquin and experienced serious Levaquin side effects, including peripheral neuropathy or permanent nerve damage, contact us today to discuss your legal rights and options with our experienced Levaquin lawyers.

Published November 17, 2011 by