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Dangerous Side Effects Caused By Use of Popular Antibiotics

Overuse of powerful antibiotics like fluoroquinolones has resulted in problems only recently discovered by the medical community. These super antibiotics have been widely prescribed for certain ordinary problems like sinusitis or earaches-illnesses that could easily be treated with lesser antibiotics. The problem occurs on several levels, including dangerous side effects.

Super antibiotics have caused adverse reactions, resulting in over 2,000 lawsuits by patients harmed by those prescribed treatments. Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox are three of the best known and frequently prescribed antibiotics known to cause side effects and potential danger.

Harmful side effects can be life threatening, and include devastating conditions like acute kidney failure, blinding retinal detachment and joint pain. Some problems occur after patients had taken just one pill. Being unable to walk uphill, problems with vision, hearing, skin irritation, heart palpitations and muscle spasms are just a few side effects patients have experienced. Making things worse is that recovery could take a year or longer, if ever possible.

Unfortunately, incorrect or unnecessary prescription by doctors of these powerful antibiotics occurs frequently. There have been no long-term studies yet, but doctors continue this dangerous practice despite "black box" warnings that the Food and Drug Administration has mandated that warn doctors about side effect dangers. Patients do not see these warnings and may be unaware of side effects that could be harmful.

In addition to patient problems, the very diseases for which these powerful antibiotics were developed to treat have strengthened in their ability to resist these antibiotics due to general overuse of the potent drugs. Connecting adverse reactions to the use of these antibiotics is further complicated because some effects may only present long after drug usage.

Patients should always ask for answers from physicians or pharmacists regarding drug use, necessity, side effects and possible alternatives before taking strong antibiotics, especially fluoroquinolones. If any antibiotic is taken, it also is important to follow directions and take the full course to avoid potential problems or recurrence of the illness.

Source: New York Times, "Popular Antibiotics May Carry Serious Side Effects," Jane Brody, September 10, 2012

Our law firm represents individuals who were harmed by prescription drug errors similar to the ones mentioned in this article. For more information, please visit our medical malpractice page.

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