8News Daily Poll: Have you taken controversial drugs Levaquin, Cipro or Avelox?

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — An FDA panel has found the benefits do not always outweigh the risks when it comes to flouroquinolones.

An ongoing 8News investigation has exposed thousands of complaints about the drugs Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox. We found an FDA database now reports 3,000 deaths and more than 200,000 complaints related to these drugs.

These pills are powerful enough to treat anthrax and the plague, yet they are prescribed for everything from sinus infections to cough to ear infections.

In a hearing Thursday, patients got the opportunity to tell the FDA their stories of devastating side effects, from a Mechanicsvile mom who says the drugs destroyed her life to a woman who says the antibiotics left her handicapped.

“I immediately lost the use of my legs, whole body burning,” said Virginia Dare Kaplan, who was prescribed Levaquin in the past.

Representatives for the drug manufacturers, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson, say these drugs play important role and have been around for a long time.

“Flouroquinolone safety has been well characterized,” Susan Nicholson with Johnson & Johnson said.

Thursday’s advisory panel is recommending label changes, but the FDA gets the final say.

For more polls, click here.


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