The Dangers of Avelox and Neuropathy

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Avelox  can cause peripheral neuropathy within days of use.   This condition is a type of nerve damage.  It is extremely serious.  It can cause muscle weakness, numbness and pain that can potentially last a lifetime.   We are rapidly learning more about the connection between Avelox and neuropathy and it is leading to lawsuits.  If you believe you have a potential claim, call us at 800-553-8082 or get for a free online consultation.

Avelox History

Avelox is a fourth-generation synthetic fluoroquinolone antibiotic. The drug is sold in over 80 countries worldwide and is available in intravenous, topical, and oral forms. It is effective at treating gram negative and gram positive bacteria such as Escherichia Coli (E. choli) and Streptococcus Pneumoniae. Avelox works by interfering with bacterial DNA gyrase. During this process, the drug binds to certain enzymes, preventing DNA replication.

Unfortunately, despite these positive benefits, the drug also interacts with a variety of different receptors in the central nervous system (including GABAa receptors).  GABAa receptors are found throughout the central nervous system. When activated, GABAa receptors cause hyperpolarization of the neurons, inhibiting neurotransmission of critical information. The net effect is that a patient begins experiencing peripheral neuropathy, a condition characterized by pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, sensitivity, and lack of neuromuscular coordination. This condition often appears very quickly after taking Avelox and may last for an indefinite period of time. In many cases, the condition may be permanent.

Avelox was first approved by the United States Food and Drugs Administration in 1999. Recent lawsuits have alleged that as early as 2001, Avelox’s manufacturer, Bayer and Merck, were aware of the risks associated with Avelox and peripheral neuropathy and yet did nothing about it. In fact, in one of the first post marketing studies in 2001, researchers found a clear association between the drug and long-term nerve damage. Despite knowing these risk factors, Bayer and Merck continued to market the drug with little or no warnings in either the package insert or on the box itself.

What We Have Now Learned About Avelox and Neuropathy

In August 2013, the FDA required new warnings regarding the effects of Avelox and neuropathy. These warnings were supposed to be included in the package insert and on the product’s packaging material. The FDA safety announcement specified that “the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required the drug labels and Medication Guides for all fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs be updated to better describe the serious side effect of peripheral neuropathy. This serious nerve damage potentially caused by fluoroquinolones may occur soon after these drugs are taken and may be permanent.”  Included in this announcement was data dating back to 2003 indicating a continued association between fluoroquinolone use and disabling peripheral neuropathy.

Unfortunately, for many individuals these changes come too late in the game. Many doctors have been prescribing Avelox for years, and for many patients, the effects of Avelox have become long-lasting and permanent.

Fortunately, some patients have decided to fight back, filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of Avelox in federal court alleging failure to warn, negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, strict liability, violation of consumer protection laws, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Many of these lawsuits are seeking both compensatory and punitive damages. It should be noted that these kinds of lawsuits can be complicated and should only be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney.

Getting Help from a Lawyer

These cases are new.  There is still a lot to learn about what happened and what Merck and Bayer knew about  Avelox and neuropathy.  But we believe these will be viable claims.  If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt or killed by taking the drug Avelox, you want answers and you want to be compensated for the harm that was done. Call us at 800-553-8082 or get for a free online consultation.

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