Are You Abusing Antibiotics? Here’s Another Reason Not to Overuse Antibiotics (Fluoroquinolones Cipro, Levaquin)

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Patients, experts: Popular antibiotics could cause permanent nerve damage.

Most people probably don’t care much about the fact that overuse of antibiotics can cause antibiotic resistance and the creation of multi-drug-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs.” Antibiotics are commonly used for viral respiratory infections that are not cured by antibiotics. What actually happens is the bacteria can develop resistance to other type of infections … eventually.

Now there is a more relevant, immediate problem with antibiotics — unwanted side effects.

Patients who have been treated with Cipro and Levaquin or Levofloxacin can experience rare side effect that manifest in as little two hours or several months after the end of treatment. Cipro is a second-generation fluoroquinolone — a synthetic broad-spectrum class of antibacterial drugs. Levaquin is also a broad spectrum fluoroquinolone antibiotic.

Although rare, thousands of people have reported psychiatric symptoms and other nerve damage symptoms similar to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Guidelines from the Infectious Disease Society of America, the American Thoracic Society, and other professional organizations recommend minimizing the use of fluoroquinolones and other broad-spectrum antibiotics in less severe infections and in patients who have no risk factors for multidrug resistance.

The U.S. prescribing information for fluroroquinolones contains a warning regarding uncommon cases of peripheral neuropathy, which can be permanent. Other nervous system effects include insomnia, restlessness, and rarely, seizure, convulsions, and psychosis.

The fluoroquinolone antibiotic has also been associated with tendinitis and even tendon ruptures.

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