FLQ’s land on Washington Post’s list of common medications with scary side effects

July 22nd, 2016

Powerful and common antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones (FLQs) landed on the Washington Post’s list of common medications with “scary side effects.” FLQs such as Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro are among the most common antibiotics prescribed by doctors, but could lead to an increased risk of severe side effects.

The Post notes that Levaquin side effects include serious conditions such as tendon pain and rupture, including that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the drugs in May. FLQs are powerful antibiotics but are commonly prescribed for conditions like urinary tract infections and ear infections, which may not require such potent drugs.

FLQs have been found to lead to an increased risk of severe complications, including peripheral neuropathy and mitochondrial toxicity. Side effects from Levaquin are of particular concern. Between 1997 and 2005, there were 262 cases of ruptured tendons among patients using FLQs. Sixty percent of those cases involved the drug Levaquin.

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