Raxar (grepafloxacin) is an antibiotic medication in a class of drugs called fluoroquinolones that are designed to fight bacteria in the body and treat a variety of infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and some sexually transmitted infections. Glaxo Wellcome licensed Raxar in 1996.
Raxar is prescribed to treat various types of bacterial infections.
Raxar was approved by the FDA in 1997 to treat mild to moderate cases of acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic bronchitis caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, or Moraxella catarrhalis; for community-acquired pneumonia caused by the same bacteria as well as Mycoplasma pneumoniae; for uncomplicated gonorrhea caused by Neissaria gonorrhoeae; and for nongonococcal urethritis and cervicitis caused by Chlymidia trachomatis.
Side effects associated with Raxar use include dizziness, severe taste problems, headache, nausea, and diarrhea.
In 1999, the FDA notified the public and health care professionals that Glaxo Wellcome, the maker of Raxar, was voluntarily withdrawing the drug due to a small number of severe cardiovascular events. Raxar is linked to serious side effects including prolonging the heart’s QT interval that can lead to fatal ventricular arrhythmia.
Raxar is contraindicated in patients with hepatic failure.
What did the 1999 Glaxo Wellcome “Dear Health Care Professional” letter state?
An excerpt from the letter included the following: “Glaxo Wellcome announces that it is voluntarily withdrawing its oral fluoroquinolone antibiotic, Raxar (grepafloxacin), with immediate effect, as a result of emerging safety concerns. In coming to this decision the company has recognized the need to strike a balance between the therapeutic benefits of the medicine, the potential risk of side effects, and the availability of alternative treatments. Glaxo Wellcome has discussed the safety profile of Raxar with the appropriate regulatory authorities and cardiovascular medical specialists. The decision to withdraw the medicine has been taken on the recommendation of Glaxo Wellcome’s senior medical review group, and the company is in the process of informing doctors and pharmacists of the decision in countries where Raxar is marketed.”
How many deaths have occurred with Raxar use?
According to records filed with the FDA, Raxar has been cited as a suspect in 13 reported deaths.
What are Arrhythmias?
Arrhythmias are disorders of the regular rhythmic beating of the heart. They’re common – as many as 2.2 million Americans are living with atrial fibrillation (one type of rhythm problem). Arrhythmias can occur in a healthy heart and be of minimal consequence. They also may indicate a serious problem and lead to heart disease, stroke or sudden cardiac death.
What are the symptoms of Arrhythmias?
An arrhythmia can be silent and not cause any symptoms. A doctor can detect an irregular heartbeat during a physical exam by taking your pulse or through an electrocardiogram (ECG). When symptoms occur, they may include:
- Palpitations (a feeling of skipped heart beats, fluttering or “flip-flops”)
- Pounding in your chest
- Dizziness or feeling light-headed
- Shortness of breath
- Chest discomfort
- Weakness or fatigue
Can I file a lawsuit if I have suffered damages from taking Raxar?
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 Raxar, you should contact your doctor immediately. You may also wish to contact an experienced Raxar 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.