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FDA Beefs Up Warning of Serious Tendon Injury From Antibiotic Cipro

Monday, August 04, 2008 by: Barbara L. Minton
Tags: Cipro, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked manufacturers of antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone family, the most widely known of which is Cipro, to strengthen warnings that taking the antibiotics increases the risk of tendinitis or tendon rupture. It has been known since 2001 that use of Cipro could result in devastating side effects, but doctors have continued to prescribe the drug with little hesitation.

The fluoroquinolone drugs, prescribed for a variety of microbial infections, have also resulted in blurred vision, excruciating muscle and joint pain, and an abundance of other disabling side effects that have left some of its victims unable to work or enjoy life with their children and grandchildren.

Thousands grabbed up Cipro in the early part of this decade following an anthrax scare. It was prescribed to postal workers, congressional staff members and others who might possibly have been exposed to anthrax but were symptom free. Countless more people purchased Cipro on their own to keep on hand just in case they showed signs of anthrax in the future. At one point during the anthrax scare, Cipro's German-based manufacturer, Bayer, cranked up production to make 200 million pills within sixty days, or enough to treat 12 million people.

In a July 9, 2008 FDA press release, Edward Cox, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products, said "Fluoroquinolones are effective in treating certain bacterial infections, but health care professionals and patients need to be aware of the increased risk associated with the use of these drugs of developing tendinitis and tendon rupture."

"The FDA believes it is important to highlight and strengthen information regarding possible side effects of fluoroquinolones because it may affect decisions about the relative risks and benefits associated with these products," he continued.

Fluoroquinolones such as Cipro are used to treat such infections as cystitis, urinary tract infections, chronic bacterial prostates, lower respiratory tract infections, and sinusitis among others.

The drugs already carry warnings of tendon rupture, but "large numbers of tendon-related adverse events continue to be reported," said the FDA press release. The risk of developing tendinitis and tendon rupture as a result of fluoroquinolone is greater among the over-60 population, in those taking corticosteroid drugs, and in kidney, heart and lung transplant recipients.

The increased warnings do not apply to eye drops containing fluoroquinolones.

Other medications impacted by the FDA action are Proquin XR, Factive, Levaquin, Avelox, Noroxin and Floxin.

Although there are no firm numbers to show how many people have been victims of tendon rupture or other serious reactions to Cipro, the accepted range for common side effects from any drug is 5%, and for uncommon side effects is less than 1%. This suggests that for every million people taking Cipro, as many as 10,000 might experience the less common and most serious side effects.

Cipro is able to penetrate the central nervous system and may also increase the risk of adverse psychological reactions. About 30% of patients given Cipro intravenously and about 10% of those who take oral Cipro tablets may experience psychological side effects ranging from jitteriness to seizures.

About the author

Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.

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