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Are there adverse reactions to Levaquin?

"I wouldn't take it again if my life depended on it," one woman recently told Houston-based Channel 2 News.

In this statement, she is referring to the antibiotic Levaquin. The woman was taking the prescribed medication for a sinus infection. She blames the drug for complications, including pressure in her lower spine. She went on to explain how it felt like her vertebrae were rubbing together, noting she could even hear a snapping sound. 

Her story is also not unique. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, between November 1997 and May 2011, there were more than 85,000 reported adverse reactions tied to Levaquin. Of those reactions, there were 1,174 deaths.

In looking at just what is causing these adverse reactions, Dr. Charles Bennett has been following the issue and believes there may be a genetic predisposition component. His belief is that research should be done prior to prescribing the medication to make sure someone is not genetically predisposed to complications from the drug. Until this becomes commonplace, Bennett is petitioning the FDA for stronger warnings to accompany the prescription. 

As of right now, Levaquin does come with a warning for neurological damage and tendon rupture. However, this warning was not included until 2004, despite the fact that Johnson & Johnson started selling the drug in 1996. The current warning is also only inside the package insert

The woman mentioned in the news report is not planning to take legal action against the manufacturer. This being said though, plenty of others have decided to file a lawsuit. In fact, since 2012, Johnson & Johnson have settled with 845 individuals. All of these people claimed they were not properly informed of the risks associated with the prescription. Those in a similar situation now should know that the option to join litigation, or file an individual lawsuit, is still an option. An attorney can explain more. 

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