May 27, 2010

Levaquin Warnings

Levaquin (levofloxacin) belongs to a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones.  It is manufactured by Ortho-McNeil, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and can be administered by injection, oral solution, or tablets. Physicians use this broad-spectrum antibiotic to treat a number of bacterial infections including pneumonia, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections for adults who are 18 years and older.

Levaquin was approved by the FDA in 1996 but by 2002 and 2007, the FDA revised the warning label to include Levaquin side effects of tendonitis and tendon rupture in elderly patients.  This was particularly important for patients taking corticosteroids at the same time.  These patients also had an increased risk for developing severe diarrhea (which may require colectomy) after completion of therapy.  Injuries associated with Levaquin and related antibiotics include ruptures of the Achilles tendon, rotator cuff, biceps, hand, and the thumb.  There have been reports of some patients requiring surgery for these injuries or their injuries resulting in prolonged disability.  The FDA also warned of the risk for serious and occasionally fatal hypersensitivity reactions that can occur after the first dose of Levaquin.  These hypersensitivity reactions include cardiovascular collapse, hypotension (low blood pressure) or shock, seizure, loss of consciousness, tingling, airway obstruction, and other serious skin reactions, especially when exposed to the sun.  This is known as photosensitivity and phototoxicity.  Then in August 2008, the FDA revised the warning label again to include the potential risk for liver poisoning (hepatotoxicity).  This time, a black box warning was issued.  Even though no serious evidence of serious drug-associated liver toxicity was detected in clinical trials of more than 7000 patients, the agency received post-marketing reports of severe reactions including acute hepatitis and fatal events.  The majority of fatal liver poisoning was found in patients 65 years and older.

Levaquin Lawsuits

There are a number of related antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class of drugs that include Cipro and Avelox along with Levaquin.  Tendon rupture and tendonitis side effects have been associated with many of them.  However, Levaquin has drawn more lawsuits concerning tendon injuries to date.

Levaquin lawsuits, which have been filed in the federal court system, have been assigned to Multidistrict Litigation (MDL).  The first test case is scheduled for August 2010.  It is projected that many new lawsuits filed on behalf of people who have Levaquin tendon injury cases will now be filed.

If you have experienced tendonitis, tendon rupture, or any other Levaquin side effects while on Levaquin therapy you may be entitled to financial compensation. Levaquin lawsuits are currently being filed across the country.


Susan Ardizzoni, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate in Biology with a major in Neuroscience (medical) and minors in Biochemistry, Physics, and Mathematics with experience in basic and clinical research.  Although the author is not an attorney, this article was sponsored by the law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP and constitutes Attorney Advertising.  To learn more about Levaquin side effects or Levaquin lawsuits please visit

Published November 17, 2011 by