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FDA: Fluoroquinolones May Cause Irreversible Nerve Damage

FDA: Fluoroquinolones May Cause Irreversible Nerve Damage

Risk applies only to those taken by mouth or injection

FRIDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs may cause permanent nerve damage; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requiring updated drug labels and medication guides to reflect this fact, according to a Drug Safety Communication issued by the agency.

The side effect of peripheral neuropathy is a risk associated only with those fluoroquinolones taken orally or by injection; there is no known risk associated with formulations applied topically to eyes or ears.

Approved fluoroquinolone drugs include levofloxacin (Levaquin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), ofloxacin (Floxin), and gemifloxacin (Factive).

The FDA advises physicians to: "Make sure your patients know to contact you if they develop symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Make sure your patients receive the Medication Guide with every prescription. If a patient develops symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, the fluoroquinolone should be stopped, and the patient should be switched to another, non-fluoroquinolone antibacterial drug, unless the benefit of continued treatment with a fluoroquinolone outweighs the risk."

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