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Clinton Prescribed Drug FDA Warns Could Cause Serious Permanent Damage

Monday, September 19, 2016 Drug News J E 4
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Highlights Issues with Doctors Prescribing Fluoroquinolones for "Mild" Infections When Alternatives Available

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's personal physician, Dr. Lisa Bardack, the chair of Internal Medicine at CareMount Medical in Mount Kisco, New York issued a statement on behalf of the Democratic nominee that Secretary Clinton was diagnosed with mild, non-contagious bacterial pneumonia, and was prescribed Levaquin.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160919/MN94213

Levaquin, Cipro, and Avelox are in a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. On July 26, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strengthened their warning labels and issued a limitation-of-use directive on fluoroquinolone antibiotics. These antibiotics can be associated with severe and often permanent adverse events, also known as "fluoroquinolone-associated disability (FQAD).

"FQAD does not discriminate. It can affect men and women of all backgrounds, even those running for President of the United States. This highlights the need to reserve these powerful drugs for only the most serious cases", says Rachel Brummert, Executive Director of the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation.

Because the risk of these serious adverse events can generally outweigh the benefits for patients with uncomplicated infections, the FDA has determined that fluoroquinolones, like Levaquin, should be reserved for use in patients with these conditions who have no alternative treatment options.

The FDA directive is the result of a November 5, 2015 hearing at which 35 victims testified about the damage fluoroquinolone antibiotics caused, in addition to mounting scientific evidence presented to the advisory panel for consideration in their decision. Unfortunately, the message about the disabling adverse events associated with fluoroquinolones is buried in an FDA press release and the information never reached doctors via Dear Doctor letters, leaving many patients and doctors unaware of the harm fluoroquinolones like Levaquin, Cipro, and Avelox may cause.

Jonathan Furman of Richmond, Virginia states, "This is why it is essential that the FDA communicate the risks directly to health care professionals via a 'Dear Doctor' letter. The current strategy of conveying the message in press releases is ineffective at reaching the appropriate audience in a timely manner. It is vitally important that both prescribers and patients be fully informed of the risks associated with quinolones so that appropriate decisions can be made."

Christina Sorrell echoes Furman's concerns. "I have been living with FQAD for six years. It has profoundly affected my life. I have lost my health, my job, my independence, suffered significant financial loss, and had to move as a result. That is why I am passionate about raising awareness of the risks these drugs present, so that patients and doctors can make informed decisions."

Fluoroquinolones, in oral, IV, and topical forms are meant as a last resort for life threatening infections such as anthrax, plague, and serious cases of bacterial pneumonia. As little as one drop or one pill can cause adverse events hours, weeks, months or longer after administration.

"Although antibiotics, including fluoroquinlones, have their place in a doctor's toolbox to treat serious infections, education on their proper and responsible use is critical to providing the high standard of health care that patients deserve. Otherwise, powerful pharmaceuticals may be inappropriately prescribed, resulting in more harm than good", warns Brummert.

Adverse events from Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro, and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics may include tendon rupture, aortic aneurism, mitochondrial damage, psychiatric events, peripheral neuropathy, damage to the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems, neurodegenerative disorders, and more.

With the overprescribing of antibiotics leading to the growing epidemic of antibiotic resistance, an issue the White House is trying to address, the appropriate prescription of fluoroquinolones is an important part of a comprehensive policy.

The Quinolone Vigilance Foundation wishes Secretary Clinton a full recovery with no adverse effects from the use of Levaquin.

About The Quinolone Vigilance Foundation

The Quinolone Vigilance Foundation (QVF)--www.SaferPills.org- is an international non-profit, charitable foundation headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, that helps raise awareness about fluoroquinolone antibiotics and their dangers among patients and medical professionals, and funds independent research on fluoroquinolone-associated disability.

Media Contact: Rachel Brummert, Quinolone Vigilance Foundation, 609-575-9839, rachel@saferpills.org

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com

SOURCE Quinolone Vigilance Foundation

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