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Antibiotics Linked to  Aortic Aneurysms

Aortic aneurysms have been linked to antibiotics, called fluoroquinolones, such as:

  • Avelox (moxifloxacin)
  • Baxdela (delafloxacin)
  • Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
  • Factive (gemifloxacin)
  • Floxin (ofloxacin)
  • Levaquin (levofloxacin)
  • Noroxin (norofloxacin)

The FDA recommends that fluoroquinolones not be used in patients at an increased risk for aortic ruptures or tears of the aorta unless there are no other treatment options available. Patients at increased risk include those with a history of high blood pressure, blockages or aneurysms of the aorta or other blood vessels, certain genetic disorders that involve blood vessel changes, and the elderly.

The risk appears to apply to both current and past users of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, with recent users having a roughly two-fold adjusted increased risk for an aortic aneurysm or dissection hospitalization, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The warning is based on four published observational studies as well as cases reported to the FDA, all of which provide consistent evidence that fluoroquinolones are associated with an aortic aneurysm or dissection. The risk has been estimated from nine aortic aneurysm events per 100,000 people per year in the general population to 300 aortic aneurysm events per 100,000 per year in individuals at the highest risk.

What are Fluoroquinolones?

Fluoroquinolones are antibiotics that were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987. They are a newer class of quinolone antibiotics and work by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria, but carry serious side effects.

Why are Fluoroquinolones Prescribed?

These are antibacterial drugs commonly used to treat and prevent a variety of diseases caused by bacteria, including lower respiratory tract infections, skin infections, urinary tract infections, inflammation of the prostate, sinusitis, and gonorrhea.

What is an Aortic Aneurysm?

An aortic aneurysm is a bulging or ballooning in the wall of the aorta, which is the major artery carrying blood from the heart to other parts of the body. If an aneurysm grows large and stretches the artery too far, it can burst and cause dangerous bleeding or death. Aortic aneurysms that occur below the stomach are called abdominal aneurysms and above the chest are called thoracic aneurysms.

What is an Aortic Dissection?

An aortic dissection is a tear in the wall of the aorta. As the tear extends along the wall of the aorta, blood can flow in between the layers of the blood vessel wall. This can lead to aortic rupture or decreased blood flow to the organs and if left untreated, death.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you or someone you know has suffered an aortic dissection or aortic aneurysm after taking one of the brand-name fluoriquinolones antibiotics, you may have a claim against the manufacturers of these drugs. FDA-approved fluoroquinolones include Avelox, Baxdela, Cipro, Factive, Floxin, Levaquin and Noroxin. Call us at 1-800-814-4540 or fill out the contact form in the column to the right for a free consultation.


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