Recent research suggests that patients who take Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics may be at risk for two potentially life-threatening side effects – aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection. According to an article published  last fall in JAMA Internal Medicine, use of the drugs may raise an individual’s chances for these complications by as much as 2-fold.

Fluoroquinolones have been tied to collagen degradation, which is the mechanism behind tendon injuries and other side effects potentially associated with their use.  The authors of this recent study speculated that collagen degradation may also weaken the aortic wall.

“As fluoroquinolones may induce degradation of collagen causing tendinopathy, this raises the concern that fluoroquinolones may cause or aggravate aortic aneurysm and dissection by a similar mechanism,” they wrote.

To test their theory, the research team identified d 1,477 patients hospitalized for aortic aneurysm or dissection from 2000 through 2011 out of 1 million patients enrolled in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD).  Each of those patients was compared with 100 controls who had not experienced the complications.  Controls were matched for age and sex.

The analysis suggested that use of fluoroquinolones was associated with an approximately 2-fold increase in risk of aortic aneurysm and dissection within 60 days of exposure. Risk also appeared to increase with use 2 months to a year prior to hospitalization, as well as prior year use.

The authors of the study noted that their findings did not prove cause and effect. However, they concluded that doctors should be “vigilant for the appearance of aortic aneurysm and dissection in high-risk patients treated with fluoroquinolones.”

Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection

Aortic aneurysm and dissection cause approximately 15,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. An aortic aneurysm is an enlargement of the aorta that causes weakness in the aortic wall. They often cause no symptoms until they rupture, at which time a victim will experience massive and life-threatening internal bleeding.

Aortic dissection occurs when the wall of the aorta tears. As the tear extends along the wall of the aorta, blood can flow in between the layers of the blood vessel wall (dissection). This can lead to rupture or decreased blood flow to vital organs.

Injured by Levaquin? Contact an Attorney Today.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP offers free legal reviews to individuals who may have been harmed by Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics. To discuss a Levaquin lawsuit with our legal staff, please call 877-779-1414.

Published April 19, 2016 by