Avelox vicious circle.

July 27, 2009. By Jane Mundy

Nashville, TN:“I had surgery to cure a chronic sinus problem and I was given Avelox in the hospital,” says Sean (not his real name pending a lawsuit). “About two weeks later I had ruptured both Achilles tendons; I’m no athlete so how could this happen?” Sean was shocked, to say the least, when he discovered that torn and ruptured tendons are linked to a class of drugs called fluroquinolones, including Avelox.

Avelox Victim“I got out of bed one morning and noticed my heels were hurting but didn’t pay much attention and went about my daily chores,” says Sean, “but a few days later I couldn’t even walk. I didn’t see my doctor because I thought it was because I packed on extra weight: I am 6′ 3″ and weigh about 300 pounds. These injuries happened a few years ago and one heel is still damaged–it has a knot from the ruptured bursa sac, where the tendon attaches to the heel.

Eleven months later I started to get tearing in my shoulder then I was involved in a small accident; I got thrown to the ground and hurt the same shoulder. This time I went to the hospital and had a MRI. The results were startling: they discovered torn tendons. The MRI report says I had a ’50 percent under surface partial thickness tear of the infraspinatus tendon, tearing of the subscapularis tendon; and a posterior labral tear’ —which is quite rare and generally seen in athletes. Now I am scheduled for shoulder surgery—there’s now way around it.

My mother did some research on the Internet and she emailed me a link about people suffering from torn tendons after taking Levaquin. ‘Ohmigod’, I said. Then I started doing some research and found out that Avelox also caused problems similar to Levaquin. I went to my local Walgreens pharmacy and requested my prescription record going back to 2006. I scanned over the list and there it was–Avelox. It didn’t take a genius to put two and two together.

I didn’t link my shoulder injury to Avelox until I read about people having these injuries several months after taking the drug. One website said torn and ruptured tendons can occur up to 18 months after taking the antibiotic. And I also discovered that combining steroids with a fluroquinolone makes things worse. A few months prior to taking Avelox I was prescribed prednisolone and about a month later, prednisone–both steroids. I had no idea that one could complicate the other.

My Achilles tendon tears occurred before Avelox got a black box warning and the shoulder injury happened after the warning but what could I do? The damage had already been done.

I talked to my bone and joint specialist about Avelox and he is aware of these drugs causing problems. I read that Avelox is often given to patients after shoulder surgery prevent infection so I requested that I don’t get any of the fluroquinolone antibiotics. It’s a vicious circle: I took Avelox to get rid of a sinus infection, then incur this tendon damage and then possibly be given Avelox again— talk about the cure causing the problem! “

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