Levaquin News: Canada Adds Retinal Detachment Warning to Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics
Regulators in Canada have added new warnings regarding retinal detachment to the labels of Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics. According an announcement issued by Health Canada in January, retinal detachment is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention.
Retinal detachment occurs when the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye separates from its supporting structures. Untreated, the condition can lead to vision loss. Health Canada’s decision to revise the prescribing information for antibiotics like Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox followed the regulator’s second review of the entire fluoroquinolone class. The investigation uncovered 22 international reports of retinal detachment associated with the medications.
“Given that retinal detachment is a medical emergency, the recommendations of the Health Canada review were that the current labelling for oral fluoroquinolones be revised to highlight the urgency to consult a health care professional if patients experienced vision problems,” the agency’s announcement said.
Concerns regarding a possible link between fluoroquinolone antibiotics and retinal detachment first surfaced in 2012, after a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that treatment with the drugs increases the risk for the condition by five-fold.
Fluoroquinolone Peripheral Neuropathy Spurs U.S. Litigation
This is not the first time that the side effects of Levaquin and other fluoroquinolones have prompted safety warnings. In 2013, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the drug’s manufacturers to strengthen wording on their labels regarding the potential for peripheral neuropathy, a serious and debilitating nerve disorder. This past November, a panel of FDA advisers recommended additional warnings for their labels.
Hundreds of product liability claims are currently pending in U.S. courts over the alleged link between fluoroquinolones and peripheral neuropathy. The majority of cases have been centralized in a multidistrict litigation now underway in the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota. According to minutes from the proceeding’s February 24th Status Conference, the docket currently includes 289 cases filed against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Levaquin. Of the remaining, 136 are related to Bayer, which markets Avelox and Cipro, while 58 pertain to both companies.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is now offering free legal reviews to patients who were diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy following treatment with Levaquin, Avelox or Cipro. For a free, no-obligation Levaquin lawsuit review, please call 877-779-1414.