FDA hearing today about commonly prescribed antibiotics, fluoroquinolones

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WRIC) — 8News investigator Kerri O’Brien is at a hearing Thursday with the Food and Drug Administration about the controversial group of drugs called fluoroquinolones.

Several 8News viewers have shared their stories with us, saying drugs like Cipro, Levaquin and Avelox have caused both physical and neurological damage.

“I am starting to lose my short-term memory,” Rachel Brummert said. “This was a tendon rupture in my wrist.”

Brummert heads the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation in an effort to warn others. She is also at today’s hearing, hoping to tell the FDA that she believes one dose of Levaquin an antibiotic she was given to treat a sinus infection back in 2006 had left her with permanent pain.

“We are going to go there tomorrow to let the FDA know is it not acceptable to give such a strong medication for an infection that doesn’t need it,” says Brummert.

Drug manufacturers and their doctors at Thursday’s meeting opened by defending the use of fluoroquinolones, saying that Cipro, Levaquin and Avelox work when given to “appropriate” patients. 91 percent of all use of these antibiotics is for treating uncomplicated UTI infections, according to manufacturers.

A public comment portion of the meeting began around 1 p.m. A Mechanicsville woman was among the group to testify. She said that Cipro, Levaquin and Avelox for her sinus infection left her with damage to her central nervous system. She asked the panel to strengthen the warnings for these drugs.

There will be a vote later today about the drugs from an FDA panel.

8News investigator Kerri O’Brien is at the meeting today. Watch her full report tonight on 8News at 6 and 11.

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