This class of antibiotics has taken quite a hit recently, and for good reason; they are associated with some serious side effects. This class which is commonly prescribed includes household names such as Cipro, Levaquin and Avelox.

We’ve known for some time that this class can lead to tendon injuries including Achilles tendon rupture. This commonly requires surgical intervention. Then there is the risk of peripheral neuropathy. 


In July of this year the FDA required manufacturers to update their labelling to warn about mental health issues, as well as reports of symptomatic low blood sugar. 

If that wasn’t bad enough, the FDA came back last week with a report linking the use of these meds to aortic dissection and/or aneurysm. This is a very serious and possibly life-threatening situation.

Now the FDA warns against using this class in those with known aortic aneurysms, hypertension, the elderly and certain genetic disorders that involve connective tissue such as Marfan’s syndrome. But unless you have chest x-rays, echocardiograms and abdominal ultrasounds on a given patient, how would you know?

This is a very potent class of antibiotics, commonly used by urologists, ENT specialists, pulmonologists and even family practitioners treating travelers’ diarrhea. 

When treated for pneumonia several years back I myself was prescribed Levaquin. With a short course of therapy, I developed a serious case of triceps tendonitis which took weeks to heal.

We all know that antibiotics are prescribed way too often in this county. We need to be ensured that the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. Furthermore, alternatives to the quinolone class should be used wherever possible.

You can read the original article from MedPageToday by clicking HERE.

chelsea barocio