Noroxin and Other Common Antibiotics May Cause Aortic Dissection
Recent research warns that the use of antibiotics like Noroxin (norofloxacin) could be associated with an increased risk for cardiac emergencies, even years after treatment. Two new studies, published by the American Medical Association and other medical journals, are concerned that the use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, like Noroxin, may be linked with an increased risk for aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections, which often lead to aortic rupture and death.
The recent studies, published in the Pharmaceutical Journal, claim they identified a definitive “association” between fluoroquinolone (Noroxin) use and developing emergency aortic disorders. Data compiled by medical scientists show the incidence of aortic dissection and aortic aneurysm in America has risen over the last 30 years, a primary cause of death each year for thousands of unknowing American patients.
Aortic dissection is a cardiac disorder that occurs when the walls of the aorta break down, allowing blood to enter outside layers of tissue, depriving a victim of oxygen and rapidly causing debilitating complications like stroke, heart attack or death. When the aorta wall ruptures, patients have about a 50 percent chance of survival.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati product liability lawyer and Ohio pharmaceutical attorney, representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of wrongful death and injury claims.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are helpful in treating a wide variety of infections, but they also carry the potential to cause dangerous side effects like aortic aneurysms and dissections, and permanent nerve damage.
Common antibiotics concerned health professionals as early as 2008. At that time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided that the drug risks necessitated a “black box” warning, clearly stating the risks of tendinitis and tendon rupture on fluoroquinolone packaging. Noroxin, Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox were among the specific drugs listed in that particular FDA warning.
As the number of complaints mounted, the FDA followed up in 2013 and issued another warning regarding peripheral neuropathy (permanent nerve damage) as a possible side effect of Noroxin and other fluoroquinolones. The government agency warned the effects could be “disabling” and recommended to medical professionals to restrict their use.
More recent studies, released in 2015, and published by the American College of Cardiology, are consistent with prior research. The newer studies build on evidence that these antibiotics induce aortic aneurysm and dissection in the same way they damage the collagen in tendons. The researchers explain: “…collagen is also a major component of the aortic wall.”
A research team from the University of Toronto found an association between fluoroquinolone use and an increased risk of aortic aneurysm. The team suggested more prudent use of the antibiotics could avoid countless aortic aneurysms. Their research concluded that “fluoroquinolone prescriptions can contribute acutely to aneurysm progression and rupture.”
Medical officials urge that aortic aneurysms and dissections be diagnosed quickly, and that victims seek immediate medical attention if they experience the following symptoms during or after treatment:
• Sudden, intense and persistent abdominal, chest or back pain
• Pain that radiates to the back or legs
• Low blood pressure
• Shortness of breath
• Sudden difficulty speaking
• Loss of vision
• Weakness on one side of the body
Treating patients with fluoroquinolones like Noroxin (norfloxacin) has been associated with an increased risk for aortic aneurysm or dissection, and several other disorders, including the following:
• Peripheral Neuropathy
• Achilles tendon rupture
• Retinal detachment
• Vision deterioration
• Hearing loss
• Nerve damage
• Cardiac issues
• Depression and anxiety
• Muscle aches and general fatigue
• Joint pain
• Hepatic failure
• Renal failure
The public adverse reaction database on the FDA Web site shows numerous complaints involving Noroxin and other fluoroquinolones. Some other popular fluoroquinolones include:
The most recent warnings from the FDA and other medical outlets are somewhat predictable. These powerful drugs have a history of generating adverse health reactions. In 2013, the FDA warned that Noroxin treatment could lead to nervous disorders like irreversible peripheral neuropathy. The warning said permanent nerve damage was possible in the arms, hands, legs and feet of patients.
Other serious complaints in the last few years have included severe allergic reaction (DRESS), risk of tendon rupture, and muscle spasms.
For unstated reasons, Merck Co. discontinued some forms of Noroxin in 2014.
A 2015 study of nearly 2 million patients, published in the BMJ Open journal, found that within a month of finishing fluoroquinolone treatment, patients were more than twice as likely to experience aortic aneurysm as similar patients taking other courses of drugs.
Any person (all ages) treated with a short or long course of Noroxin could be at risk of developing cardiac disorders, including aortic dissection. Available data suggest the duration of treatment could be a likely factor, though adverse reactions have been reported even after the first dose.
Noroxin (norfloxacin), manufactured and marketed by Merck Co., is a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent commonly used to treat bacterial infections, including the following:
• Bladder infection
• Kidney infection
• Prostate infection
• Urinary tract infection
• Sexual transmitted diseases
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says at least 30 percent of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are “unnecessary.” Over 25 million Americans receive a prescription for a fluoroquinolone antibiotic like Noroxin, Cipro, Levaquin or Avelox each year. Public health officials note that the increased use of the drugs makes them a significant concern.
Although fluoroquinolones like Noroxin can be effective treatments for bacterial infections, alternate drugs or shorter courses should be considered. Patients receiving Noroxin treatment should have been warned about a potentially lethal risk to the aorta.
If you or a loved one suffered an aortic dissection or medication-related injury after taking Noroxin, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.