Cipro is a drug that’s known as a general antibiotic, which means that it’s used to treat a number of bacterial infections. The medical community classifies Cipro as a synthetic fluoroquinolone antibiotic. It contains a powerful dose of medication that seeks out and kills the bacteria that tends to invade the body and lead to ongoing medical problems.
Specifically, Cipro has been commonly used to treat the following bacterial infections, among others:
- E. Coli
- Lower respiratory infections
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s)
- Urinary tract infections
Cipro was used for these infections and others for approximately 20 years with a relatively high degree of success.
Cipro was originally approved for use by the FDA in 1987, and in addition to the bacterial infections mentioned above, it was also approved for:
- Acute uncomplicated cystitis in females
- Acute sinusitis
- Skin infections
- Bone infections
- Joint infections
- Infectious diarrhea
- Typhoid fever
As can be seen, Cipro was seen as a medication that was highly effective in terms of seeking out and eliminating bacteria that penetrated the body of a patient.
Cipro was on the market for approximately 20 years before a high enough volume of negative reports began to surface that prompted public scrutiny. In fact, Cipro was only one of many different synthetic fluoroquinolone antibiotic medications that were linked to a strange and serious set of side effects. Generally, these side effects concerned the tendency of tendons to rupture suddenly inside the body of several patients. Examples of tendons that were affected include:
- Heel (Achilles tendon)
Even though there were reports of ruptures of tendons in all of these parts of the body, the rupture of the Achilles tendon in patients was the most prevalent and the most serious. Generally, recovery from such an injury can take several months if not more than a year, and symptoms of a problematic Achilles tendon include:
- Lack of mobility in the foot
- Swelling near the heel
- Difficulty walking
- Inability to stand or put weight on the toes of the injured foot
- Serious, chronic pain in the area of the injury
Invasive surgery is only the first step towards recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon. Subsequent to the surgery, most patients must endure months of grueling and painful physical rehabilitation in order to regain their use of the injured area.
The FDA received reports of these tendon ruptures and responded by requiring the makers of Cipro to affix a “Black Box Warning” on all labels of the medication. This warning must be clearly displayed and directly communicate the specific types of risks involved with use of the product in question.
Generally, Cipro should not be used by anyone with a history of hyper-sensitivity to either Cipro or other quinolones. The medication should also not be used by anyone under the age of 18, and since its release, there are some bacterial infections that have mutated to the point where Cipro is no longer effective.
Should I stop using Cipro if I feel pain in my joints?
You will probably be weaned off of Cipro if you’re experiencing problems, but you should not simply stop taking it without help from your doctor. If you do so, the bacteria that Cipro is fighting could reemerge and become more powerful, creating more severe damage inside your body.
Will I feel a Achilles tendon rupture before it happens?
There are cases where an Achilles tendon rupture will have no warning by way of symptoms, but many ruptures are preceded by extreme soreness and swelling in the area, along with an inability to move the foot normally. If you notice any of these problems, seek medical help immediately.
Can I file a lawsuit if I have suffered damages from taking Cipro?
Possibly. While all medications have certain, anticipated side effects, a drug manufacturer has a duty to inform physicians adequately regarding the known risks associated with its drugs. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it can be held responsible to patients who are injured as the result of inadequate warnings, under a legal theory known as “product liability.” Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Emotional distress
If you or a loved one has experienced any health problems while taking Cipro, you should contact your doctor immediately. You may also wish to contact an experienced Cipro lawyer to discuss your legal options. As all legal claims are subject to time limits, however, you may risk forfeiture of your right to financial compensation if you delay.