On 7/10/18 the FDA announced that fluoroquinolone (Ciprofloxacin, Levofloxacin, Moxifloxacin, Ofloxacin, and a few others) warning labels are to be updated to include adverse effects on blood-sugar levels, as well as serious mental health effects:
This is a HUGE development! To have the FDA acknowledge that fluoroquinolones cause both hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and that the effects of hypoglycemia include:
- pounding heart or very fast pulse
- pale skin
- feeling shaky
- unusual hunger
- irritability, and
- unusual anxiety
is a massive move in the right direction for patients and advocates alike.
Additionally, in the same announcement, the FDA noted that the following mental adverse effects can occur with fluoroquinolone use:
- disturbances in attention
- memory impairment
- serious disturbances in mental abilities called delirium.
Fluoroquinolone toxicity victims have long known that fluoroquinolones cause both blood sugar disturbances and serious mental health adverse-effects.
Information about the effects of fluoroquinolones on blood-sugar can be found in these posts/articles:
- Fluoroquinolone antibiotics and type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Linked to Diabetes Onset
- Risk of Severe Dysglycemia Among Diabetic Patients Receiving Levofloxacin, Ciprofloxacin, or Moxifloxacin in Taiwan
- Outpatient Gatifloxacin Therapy and Dysglycemia in Older Adults
Information about the mental health adverse-effects of fluoroquinolones can be found in these posts/articles:
- Psychiatric Side Effects of Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics
- Acute Psychosis Following the Use of Topical Ciprofloxacin
- Levofloxacin-induced acute psychosis
- Can Antibiotics Induce Psychiatric Reactions?
Additionally, the book, Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs by Stephen Fried goes over his wife Diane’s severe psychiatric adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone (Floxin/ofloxacin).
WE know about the blood sugar and psychiatric effects of fluoroquinolones. The FDA does too. Now they have acknowledged that they know about these horrible, life-altering, sometimes life-threatening effects of fluoroquinolones.
This acknowledgement from the FDA is a big step in the direction of getting fluoroquinolone toxicity more widely acknowledged. However, whenever there are updates to the warning labels, there are many people who say, “so what? It’s just a warning label that no one pays attention to. When is the FDA going to really DO SOMETHING to fix this problem – like find a cure for fluoroquinolone toxicity and/or remove FQs from the market?” Those people have plenty of good points, and I went into some depth in addressing them in the post, “Change the Warning Labels: Why it Matters.” In that post, I assert that one of the things that changes to warning labels does is open the door for people to sue the drug-makers:
“Warning labels themselves may be useless, but during the time when a warning label has things added to it, they can be a great tool, and a big gun we can use against the pharmaceutical companies. The ONLY times lawyers are willing to take cases to sue the drug companies are when warning labels change. For example, when the fluoroquinolone warning labels were adjusted in August, 2013 to note that permanent peripheral neuropathy is a possible effect of fluoroquinolones, several law firms took cases of those who are suffering from peripheral neuropathy after taking fluoroquinolones. Before the warning label changed, they wouldn’t take the cases, because, appallingly, you can’t sue drug companies for hurting you, you can only sue them for “failure to warn” of the harm they’ll do. It’s a really stupid situation and stupid system. BUT, the time when warning labels change is the brief period of time in which you can sue the drug companies for “failure to warn” and it’s the brief period of time when we have the chance to fight the pharmaceutical companies.”
Everyone who has suffered from hypoglycemia or mental health issues post-fluoroquinolone exposure now has a window open to file a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical companies that made the drugs that hurt them. Here are some law firms that have taken fluoroquinolone-harm cases in the past:
- TorHoerman Law
- Baron & Budd
- The Peterson Firm / Drugwatch
- Saiontz & Kirk
- Parker / Waichman
- Morgan & Morgan
- Clarkson Law Firm
- Gallagher & Kennedy
- Bernstein Leibhard LLP
- Van Wey Law
- Einstein Law / Lawyershop
There are others too (feel free to let me know if you know of firms that are taking these cases). I hope that Bayer, Johnson & Johnson/Jansen Pharmaceuticals, and all the generic producers of fluoroquinolones pay for the harm that their products are doing to people, and I encourage all victims to seek justice through the legal system.
I hope that this warning label change will help fluoroquinolone toxicity victims to gain acknowledgement and justice. Everyone who has been hurt by these drugs deserves both.