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Levaquin, more potent antibiotics over-prescribed, causing serious side effects

Filed September 13th, 2012 Joshua Sophy

The most prescribed antibiotics are likely putting many patients at risk of serious and some life-threatening side effects.

According to a blog post from The New York Times, antibiotics in the class known as fluoroquinolones are being over-prescribed by doctors for common conditions that can be resolved by less potent drugs. Common fluorquinolone drugs include Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox. Levaquin is the most commonly prescribed antibiotic drug, a sign that the drug is dispensed to patients far too often.

The report indicates that last year a total of 2,000 lawsuits were filed on behalf of people who suffered serious side effects blamed on Levaquin and other antibiotics in its class. Two of the most dangerous and commonly reported side effects of taking Levaquin and other fluoroquinolones include acute kidney failure and retinal detachment, a condition that could lead to blindness.

These drugs are being prescribed to treat conditions that are common like bronchitis or sinus infections, often when a person could get similar results from a weaker antibiotic. Instead, drugs in the fluoroquinolone class should only be prescribed reservedly to treat more serious infections.

Overuse of strong antibiotics like Levaquin can lead to serious problems in the future for patients when they are no longer seeing any clinical benefits from them because they’ve developed an immunity to the drugs.

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