The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an even stronger warning against a frequently prescribed class of drugs called fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Sadly, this warning is far too late for patients already inflicted with permanent side effects caused by this dangerous category of antibiotics.
Sold under the brand names Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox, fluoroquinolone antibiotics are taken by an estimated 26,000,000 citizens each year. The new FDA warning orders manufacturers to provide a stronger warning regarding their use.
FDA warns: Fluoroquinolone antibiotics offer ‘serious side effects’ which outweigh the benefits
In May, the FDA announced it is requiring manufacturers of these drugs to include a tougher black box warning. Following an advisory committee meeting held in November, the FDA issued the new requirement, warning that the agency now believes the serious side effects associated with fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs outweigh the benefits for many patients.
That’s strong language, coming from an agency that often seems to turn a blind eye toward evidence suggesting serious health risks associated with any pharmaceutical substance. The agency had previously added boxed warnings for fluoroquinolones back in 2008 – specifically for tendon rupture and tendinitis. A second warning came again in 2013 for peripheral neuropathy, a type of permanent nerve damage.
Adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones can lead to permanent damage
While the list of dangerous side effects of Levaquin and other fluoroquinolones is long and varied, these antibiotics are known to be a primary cause of peripheral neuropathy. This condition can lead to nerve damage, with symptoms such as muscle tingling, numbness and muscle weakness. In advanced cases, the condition causes persistent burning pain, muscle wasting, paralysis, respiratory issues, and organ dysfunction – which can lead to organ failure.
But that isn’t the entire story. A number of additional adverse reactions to the drugs have been identified over the years, including diarrhea, nausea, migraines, abnormal liver function, vomiting, skin rash, abdominal pain, and pain in the extremities. Fluoroquinolones have also been linked to cardiovascular problems, including palpitation, ventricular ectopy, atrial flutter, hypertension, angina, cerebral thrombosis, myocardial infarction, and cardiopulmonary arrest.
In addition to an alarming number of problems with the central nervous system, these antibiotics are known to cause gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, renal and respiratory problems, among others. And, while many of the fluoroquinolones have been removed from the marketplace because of their substantial side effects, Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox remain in use.
Other treatment options avoid use of antibiotics entirely
While the FDA’s warning recommends patients with bronchitis, uncomplicated urinary tract infections and sinusitis seek out other treatment options, the implication is still that those ‘other options’ should include antibiotics or similar medications. But in addition to risking horrific side effects, the use of any antibiotic puts healthy gastrointestinal microbes in danger, compromising the body’s natural immune system and leaving it open to cancer and other illnesses. Destroying healthy bacteria in the gut also leads to poor nutrient absorption.
But, in reality, there are safer alternatives to antibiotics. Among the most effective (natural) alternative are vitamin C, oregano oil, olive leaves, turmeric, garlic, and ginger. Another natural combatant against illness is to maintain a healthy immune system by maintaining a healthy body.
Remember this: Health starts with great nutrition: natural, organic and GMO-free foods, with plenty of green, leafy vegetables for a natural, healthy immune system.
(We thank writer Lori Alton, staff writer, NaturalHealth 365)
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