Levofloxacin a synthetic antibiotic belongs to the fluroquinolone drug class. It is used to cure many bacterial infections which cannot be cured by any other drug. It is sold under the brand name as Levaquin and Tavanic. It is manufactured by Ortho-McNeil- a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
However, the serious side effects it produced led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to mandate in 2004 to the manufacturers to add a warning label to all fluoroquinolones, including Levaquin. Again on June 25, 2007, FDA ordered that further information regarding side effects should be enclosed to the package inserts. It was intended to provide additional information regarding some severe fatal effects of Levaquin on individuals taking steroids. In July 2008, the FDA decided to issue a black box warning. Also, the manufacturers were ordered to offer a lucid, brief medication guide to inform patients about the risks of the drug.
But more and more patients taking Levaquin developed cases of serious side effects such as tendinitis, rotator cuff tears and tendon ruptures. It put a question mark on the general safety of this antibiotic. The number of lawsuits filed against the manufacturers began to increase.
Claimants claim that the harm done to them is due to insufficient information provided by the drug manufacturers. Many patients go for Levaquin to cure their sinus or respiratory infections due to the fact that Levaquin is a famous broad-spectrum antibiotic. But they ended up in rupturing their tendons; the drug did opposite to what they were expecting and what it was supposed to do. Tendons of biceps, hand, thumb, Achilles tendons, or rotator cuff tears are all reportedly caused due to the intake of Levaquin. People above 60 years of age are vulnerable to such ruptures.
Manufacturers argue that the people were informed about the subsequent side effects of the drug. But the petitioner claims that the black box warning is buried in small print and it was not prominent enough to alert people about the risks associated with the usage of Levaquin.
The painful tendon rupture due to Levaquin needs surgery. The repair means the surgeon sews the torn ends of the tendon literally. Tendon repair is a long process as the blood supply to the tendons of the body is small compared to the rest of the body.
In Minnesota federal court, a major trial is under process. Levaquin lawyer argues had the manufacturers not neglected to inform patients about the drug’s potential side effects, the claimant’s tendon would not have ruptured.
In state and federal courts of the US, there are no less than 2,500 law suits filed against its manufacturers- Johnson & Johnson. Some Levaquin lawsuits suspect that the company deliberately hid the risks of taking Levaquin, otherwise they would have informed general masses about it before FDA ordered them to do so.
With torn tendons due to the usage of Levaquin 82-year-old John Schedin, from Minnesota who won a $1.8 million decision as compensatory damages and$1.1 million in punitive damages, too alleged the drug company of this plot.