Cipro is a brand name for ciprofloxacin, of a class of drugs known as fluoroquinolones. It’s an antibiotic used for many types of infections including pneumonia, skin infections, urinary tract infections, bronchitis and joint infections, among others. Cipro was patented by AG Bayer in 1983 and given approval for sale in the United States in 1987. Today it is marketed under hundreds of names, by Bayer and by other companies that offer it as a generic substitute.
A Drug Class with Serious Problems
Serious adverse events occur more commonly with fluoroquinolones than with any other antibiotic drug classes. There have been a number of regulatory actions taken as a result of such adverse reactions, which have included published warnings, additional warnings and safety information added to the package inserts together with the issuance of letters to medical professional concerning the recent addition of Black Box Warnings.
Warning Labels Five Years Ago
In 2004 the FDA requested new warning labels to be added to all fluoroquinolones, including Cipro, regarding peripheral neuropathy (irreversible nerve damage), tendon damage, colitis, and other adverse reactions.
Despite the 2004 changes in warning labels, the FDA requested in June of 2008 that Cipro and other fluoroquinolones place a “Black Box” warning on their products about the possibility of tendon ruptures while taking the medication. Although Cipro had carried that warning along with several others for years, the reports of rupture tendons had continued.
“We have seen continuing reports of tendon rupture so we are trying to increase awareness,” said Dr. Edward Cox, director of the FDA’s Office of Antimicrobial Products at that time. It took two years of prodding and a lawsuit to get the FDA to act in 2008, at which time the agency acknowledged having “several hundred” reports of ruptured tendons.
Liability Lawsuits Filed Against Bayer
A lawsuit was filed on behalf of employees of the Brentwood Post Office in Washington, D.C., and workers at the U.S. Capitol and postal workers in general who allege that they suffered serious adverse effects from taking Cipro in the aftermath of the anthrax attacks in 2001. While that lawsuit was defeated in 2004, a similar suit was filed in 2008 on behalf of postal workers in New Jersey.
Since the 2008 Black Box demand by the FDA several law firms in the U.S. have begun preparing lawsuits or filed lawsuits against Bayer on behalf of Cipro users who have suffered ruptured tendons. There has been additional discussion in medical circles about consistent reports of liver or kidney damage in some patients. But the ruptured tendon problem has been part of Cipro’s history for twenty years and finally consumers are asking Bayer to take responsibility.
If you or a family member have taken Cipro for a bacterial infection and suffered tendon injuries while taking the medication or thereafter, you need an experienced drug liability attorney to protect your interests. Please fill out the simple Free Case Evaluation form and an attorney will be in touch with you shortly.