What is Fluoroquinolone Associated Disability?

What is Fluoroquinolone Associated Disability?


If you have taken antibiotics in the Fluoroquinolone class belonging to Cipro and Levaquin, you should read this article.

If you haven't heard of long-term fluoroquinolone-associated disability, then pay attention. Fluoroquinolones are a frequently prescribed class of broad-spectrum antibiotics that are FDA-approved to treat or prevent certain bacterial infections including respiratory and urinary tract infections.

Fluoroquinolones can cause significant and sometimes permanent problems involving 2 or more organ systems that can occur together. I have several patients who are permanently disabled as a result of exposure to this class of antibiotics.

List of FDA-Approved Fluoroquinolones for Systemic Use

Brand Name

Active Ingredient







Cipro extended-release±

ciprofloxacin extended-release





Ofloxacin (generic brand)±


+ Available as brand and generic

± Available only as generic

*Please note - there are over 60 different generic versions of Fluoroquinolones.

In this video, you can get a deeper look into Fluoroquinolones.


FDA Warning Labels for Fluoroquinolones

Due to the increasing reports about toxicity and long-term complications of Fluoroquinolones the FDA has continually added new Warning Labels for Fluoroquinolones.

Below, I summarize the FDA warnings:

  • 2008 - Increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture.
  • 2011 – Risk of worsening symptoms for those with myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular disorder).
  • 2013 - Potential for irreversible peripheral neuropathy (serious nerve damage).
  • 2016 – Disabling and potentially permanent serious side effects that can occur together involving tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system. Serious side effects generally outweigh the benefits

From the FDA:
“We have determined that fluoroquinolones should be reserved for use in patients who have no other treatment options for acute bacterial sinusitis, (ABS), acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis (ABECB), and uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI) because the risk of these serious side effects generally outweighs the benefits in these patients. For some serious bacterial infections the benefits of fluoroquinolones outweigh the risks, and it is appropriate for them to remain available as a therapeutic option.”

  • 2018 - Low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) can lead to coma. Aortic aneurysm can occur in certain patients. Mental health side effects added or updated were disturbances in attention, disorientation, agitation, nervousness, memory impairment, and serious disturbances in mental abilities called delirium.

Fluoroquinolones Are Still Widely Used

Despite the FDA’s warning labels Fluoroquinolones are still widely used in clinical practice and patients suffering from serious side effects is growing.

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