Levaquin tendon and sleep issues. Levaquin disability affects not only the individual but the entire family too.

Levaquin: The Devil in the Details

April 11, 2009. By Gordon Gibb

Washington, DC: There is little argument that the Levaquin antibiotic is a good one in terms of its capacity to control and eradicate serious infections. Indeed, Levaquin medicine is powerful stuff. But as is the case with many medicines, the side effects can be worse than the cure and in the case of Levaquin side effects the impact on a patient’s physical condition, and even sleep, can be affected.

Levaquin PrescriptionTendon rupture is an adverse reaction that can have serious repercussions on an individual’s life and livelihood. One former Levaquin patient took 500 mg Levaquin for just 3 days. That was followed by what he described as “the worst headache of my life,” followed by more than a year of muscle pain, joint pain and instability. And that’s just the start of it. He lists weak tendons and muscles, trigger points, recurrent infections, skin rashes, weight loss and even muscle atrophy.

All from taking Levaquin for just 3 days.

Lisa says that she was prescribed Levaquin 500 mg for 21 days in order to fight a sinus infection. “After a week into taking Levaquin my hand and arm would go numb in the middle of the night. I thought maybe I was sleeping on it for too long and it went numb. After about 4 more days my knees and lower back started aching and all the way up the back of my calf where the achillies tendon is…is extremely tender. I called the doctor and asked to have the presciption changed. The doctor never told me the damage this drug can cause to your tendons.”

That appear to be part of the problem and one of the reasons why Public Citizen, the consumer advocacy group, petitioned the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to send out a warning letter to physicians in an effort to alert both doctors and their patients with regard to the possible side affects associated with Levaquin.

As of last summer the FDA had failed to comply with that request. The advocacy group’s request to add a black box to the Levaquin label, together with the addition of an FDA-approved medication guide for dispensation to patients when prescriptions are filled, were indeed carried out. But it took two years and a lawsuit to prompt the FDA to do even that.

And that, according to Public Citizen, came after allegedly knowing about the risk to tendons and other adverse side effects dating back to 1997. From November 1997 through December 2007, there have been 407 reported cases of tendon rupture and 341 cases of tendonitis in patients using fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

It has been reported that in the FDA’s view existing prescribing literature for that class of drugs (fluoroquinolones) already carried clear warnings with regard to the risk for tendon rupture.

However, Levaquin patient Michele asks, “who reads the prescribing literature? It’s printed in tiny print that that you can’t read unless you use a magnifying glass and it’s written in medical jargon. And there’s usually such a long list of potential problems that a tendon rupture would be lost in all the data you would have to remember.”

Levaquin, it has been reported, can also affect sleep patterns by intensifying the photon-stimulating effect of light on the retina of the eye. This phenomenon is said to block the effect of melatonin, a brain hormone that can aid in the induction of sleep.

Thus there remains a whole host of Levaquin side effects that despite the black box warning for ruptured tendon, many people still don’t know about. And there are other side effects to the Levaquin antibiotic that can last years beyond the original prescription. A ruptured tendon can not only impact the capacity for fitness and sports, but can also affect the ability to do certain jobs. If you can no longer work, that affects your livlihood and that of your family. In this economy there are other, more compelling reasons to be without work. Levaquin medicine is powerful in more ways than one.

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