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The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about a connection between aortic aneurysms and a group of powerful antibiotics called “fluoroquinolones”. The FDA warning explains that these medicines have caused:

“ruptures or tears in the main artery of the body, called the aorta.  These tears, called aortic dissections, or ruptures of an aortic aneurysm can lead to dangerous bleeding or even death.”

These antibiotics are prescribed for many illnesses including respiratory and urinary tract infections. The warning applies to drugs such as:

  • ciproflaxin (Cipro)
  • gemifloxin (Factive)
  • levofloxin (Levaquin)
  • moxifloxin (Avelox)
  • Norfloxacin (Noroxin), and
  • ofloxacin (Floxin)

Patients and their doctors are being warned that taking fluoroquinolone can increase the risk of aortic aneurysms. According to an article in Medscape – Nurses, “FDA Warns of Aortic Aneurysm Risk With Fluoroquinolones”, by Patrice Wendling:

The agency is urging healthcare providers to avoid prescribing the powerful antibiotics to patients with or at risk for an aortic aneurysm, such as those with peripheral atherosclerotic vascular disease, hypertension, certain genetic conditions such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and the elderly.

“Although the risk of aortic aneurysm or dissection is low, we’ve observed that patients are twice as likely to experience an aortic aneurysm or dissection when prescribed a fluoroquinolone drug,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said in the Drug Safety Communication.

“For patients who have an aortic aneurysm or are known to be at risk of an aortic aneurysm, we do not believe the benefits outweigh this risk, and alternative treatment should be considered.”

The risk of an aortic aneurysm in the general population is 9 per 100,000 and in the high risk group is 300 per 100,000. The review in Medscape explains what patients and doctors should do:

Patients are encouraged to talk with their healthcare provider before stopping use of a prescribed fluoroquinolone and to reserve these drugs for only life-threatening bacterial infections, appropriate to their risk profile.

“For some patients, the benefits of fluoroquinolones may continue to outweigh the risks for treatment of serious bacterial infections, such as pneumonia or intra-abdominal infections, but there are other serious, known risks associated with these strong antibiotics that must be carefully weighed when considering their use,” Gottlieb said.

This is not the first time fluoroquinolones have been identified with serious health risks to patients.

In 2013 the FDA warned that these medicines “may cause sudden, serious, and potentially permanent nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy.”

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) publication LiverTox, “Idiosyncratic liver injury due to fluoroquinolones may be a ‘class’ effect; the pattern of injury is similar, marked by acute and often severe hepatocellular pattern of injury arising within 1 to 4 weeks of starting therapy.  The fluoroquinolones most frequently linked to liver injury are ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin, but these two agents also have been most widely used.”

If you are taking one of these drugs, consult with a doctor immediately to help you decide what should be done.

11 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Mark A Girard

    Thank you for sharing this information about fluoroquinolones, or FQs. These so called antibiotics are actually from a class of drugs normally used for chemo treatments so folks can imagine just how toxic they are. They are known for their ability to penetrate into every nook and cranny in our bodies, which is great if we have a life threatening bacterial infection in our bone marrow or inside the blood-brain barrier, for example, which has not responded well to safer antibiotics. This permeability is the exact same reason why those who suffer adverse reactions get hit from head to toe, body and mind. Victims usually experience a syndrome with dozens, even hundreds of different health issues all at once ranging from minor annoyances to debilitating and life threatening medical problems. Some drop dead after one or two pills. The list of "symptoms" includes pretty much every health problem that you can imagine. I will send a separate post with my story as it is a whole post just to list the main problems I have suffered. It would take a 300 page book to list and describe them all.

    FQ adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are anything but rare. On the contrary, they are actually quite common, however, they are routinely misdiagnosed as fibro, lupus, ALS, Parkinson's, MS, Gulf War Syndrome and hundreds of other wrong conditions. Anyone reading this who has any unusual or unexplained health problems or who is uncomfortable with the diagnoses you were given for them should check your medical records to see if you have taken any of the FQs listed in the article, including those in ear-drops and eye-drops. Some people are also exposed during surgeries; a blast of Levaquin "just in case" has ruined countless numbers of lives. Millions upon millions have been harmed but 99.9% have not connected the dots due to the usual delay in onset. Who wonders if the antibiotic they took several seasons ago caused their body to self-destruct now? This is a catastrophe of almost unimaginable scope and scale, the thalidomide story of our era, time ten thousand, and it's just breaking wide open now.

    I urge everyone to google key words from the article and from whatever posts show up here to comment on this. You need to know more about this because doctors have been handing this stuff out like candy for several decades. Most people have taken these drugs, some over and over and over again as their idiot doctors failed miserably to recognize the obvious symptoms of fluoroquinolone toxicity and instead prescribed bigger stronger longer courses of FQs to beat "the mysterious recurring infection" that was actually the ADR. Poke around on the internet and see what is out there. Look up your records. Let your loved ones know about this. This is a big deal. You can save lives right now with a few clicks. Please help us get the word out. Best wishes to all!

    Mark A Girard

    Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Advocate

    1. Thank you for the additional information, Mr. Girard. I appreciate that this is a more important health risk than my initial article implied. You are doing a service by spreading the word. I will try to do the same. - Regards, Wayne

  2. Gravatar for Tom Schwarz

    I have a growing aortic aneurysm and despite that my ENT physician prescribed several courses of Ciprofloxacin and Levofloxacin for a sinus infection this past spring. Only a few weeks ago my opthalmologist prescribed Oflofaxacin prior to my cataract surgery. Now suffering from constant pain (level 6-9) I'm confined to a wheelchair for the majority of the day. My right arm feels like I have constant electrical current flowing through the nerves from the wrist to my elbow. Both my hearing and eyesight have become noticeably worse. My shoulders and thighs ache from morning until night. It takes a concerted effort to hold my head up straight. My quality of life has plummeted severely. Since I noticed the FDA Advisory last week it appears that some of my current ailments may be linked to the Fluoroquinolones I've taken in significant doses recently.

    1. Gravatar for Tom Schwarz

      I just remembered that I failed to mention in my last comment that in the last six weeks I've experienced angina much more frequently then in the past, typically taking two nitroglycerin tablets to make it subside.

    2. Everyone should read this (thanks, Tom!).

      "Do not risk your life and dreams taking these drugs. Please see our YouTube foundation video for more info and please comment there if you too have had consequences to taking these medications; we are working hard to find the scientific assistance to reverse this awful situation : https://youtu.be/t_zBhMi5AYs"

      We are all different, but the drug industry bets that we will never be able to prove the connection between what Tom is going through, and the drugs took. My workshop is a courtroom, with a Judge and a jury of citizens ..... like me and like you and Tom. Have you read the book "Merchants of Doubt"? It tells this story. The Pharma corporations gamble that Tom will not be able to prove the connection. They have a stable of hired-gun experts, who will blame Tom, or blame God, for the injury that their drug caused.

  3. Gravatar for Naina

    I am hurt by cipro and thousand others..thank you for the mention.

    My doctor does not help in any way..

  4. Gravatar for Sarah S.

    Thank you for exposing this and your kind comments above. These drugs forever changed my body and life. Unfortunately, these antibiotics have numerous terrible side effects you may never get rid of. Many millions of us are forever crippled/damaged in multiple ways with really no help from the medical community because they are not aware nor understand the mechanism of damage. They destroy your collagen matrix and cell powerhouse, mitochondria, which means it can destroy many systems within your body. Do not risk your life and dreams taking these drugs. Please see our YouTube foundation video for more info and please comment there if you too have had consequences to taking these medications; we are working hard to find the scientific assistance to reverse this awful situation : https://youtu.be/t_zBhMi5AYs

  5. Gravatar for Sherryreiver@gmail.com
    Sherryreiver@gmail.com

    Thank you for reporting on the newest of many many FDA warnings even though we as laymen knew about the aortic aneurysms since October of 2015 when research came out from Taiwan.

    I myself have been sick from these poisons since the 90s in EVERY form whether it pills, IV and YES even the good old ear and eye drops that the FDA refuses to add to their list.

    My dad died, at age 93 in November 2011, 6 weeks after hallucinating so badly when his aortic aneurysm ruptured. We didn't know back then about the AA issue but I sure knew that the Levaquin aided in his death mentally. In July of 2018 the FDA added the 2 warnings of mental and blood sugar issues.

    Doctors tune us out when we say we were harmed by the FQs IF we are the "lucky"ones who connect the dots. Many never do.

    The guidelines for the newest warning is very very flawed. No dr knows if we are predisposed for an AA. Many people are walking around with one and never know until they take a test for another health issue and its incidentally found or it ruptures. Taking FQs only exacerbates the problem.

    Dentists give out Cipro for an infection prophylactic use. The dentists usually never ask you about your health and as a patient probably would never think of telling the dentist you have an aortic aneurysm if you already know.

    I would tell EVERYONE who is reading this if they EVER took a fluoroquinolone GO GET AN ULTRASOUND to make sure you do not have an aortic aneurysm. This is a silent killer and while you may never get any of the other horrible side effects that many of us have, the AA may be the one that kills you.

    🙏😥

    1. Thank you for adding real information about real people to this tragedy-waiting-to-happen> For everyone who is reading this, I will repeat your plea:

      "I would tell EVERYONE who is reading this if they EVER took a fluoroquinolone GO GET AN ULTRASOUND to make sure you do not have an aortic aneurysm. This is a silent killer and while you may never get any of the other horrible side effects that many of us have, the AA may be the one that kills you. 🙏😥"

      Thank you Sherry! Together we are strong!

      Aloha, Wayne

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