Recent studies have found that use of the antibiotic medication Cipro may increase the risk of aortic aneurysm, a potentially fatal side effect that occurs when a bulge develops in the aorta, the largest artery in the body.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was injured by Cipro, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
Cipro (generic: ciprofloxacin hydrochloride) is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic medication used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. The drug works by inhibiting bacterial DNA replication, thereby stopping the growth of bacteria. Cipro is available in the following formulations:
- Cipro Tablets
- Cipro Oral Suspension
- Cipro XR (ciprofloxacin extended-release)
- Cipro IV (ciprofloxacin injection for intravenous infusion)
What’s the Problem?
In addition to being linked to nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy), tendon damage and other serious side effects, fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Cipro may increase the risk of damage to the aorta, the main artery that distributes oxygenated blood to all parts of the body through systemic circulation. It is believed that fluoroquinolone aorta damage may be caused by the drugs breaking down collagen in the body, as collagen forms the lining of the aorta.
Fluoroquinolone Aneurysm Studies
Both tears (dissections) and ruptures (aneurysms) of the aorta have been linked to fluoroquinolone use, and were examined in 2 major studies published in 2015:
- JAMA Internal Medicine published a study by researchers in Taiwan which found that fluoroquinolone antibiotic users may face a doubled risk of aortic dissection and/or aortic rupture within 60 days of beginning treatment with the drugs. The study’s authors warn that “Clinicians should continue to be vigilant for the appearance of aortic aneurysm and dissection in high-risk patients treated with fluoroquinolones.”
- Another study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) featured research by Canadian doctors who determined that the risk of aortic aneurysm may be up to 3x higher in patients treated with fluoroquinolones. The researchers warned against over-use of the medications, stating “Reducing unnecessary fluoroquinolone treatments or prolonged courses might have possibly prevented more than 200 aortic aneurysms” in the 1.7 million patients whose medical records they examined.
Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms
The symptoms of an aortic aneurysm depend on where in the aorta the bulge occurs, and whether the aneurysm has ruptured (burst) or is affecting other parts of the body. Aneurysms can grow for years without the patient noticing, and may not cause symptoms until they rupture, grow large enough to press on nearby body parts or block blood flow.
When they do present, however, symptoms may include:
- Tearing pain in the chest, abdomen, and/or middle of the back between the shoulder blades
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty swallowing
If an aneurysm has ruptured, it may cause:
- Loss of consciousness
- Heart attack
Cipro users with the following risk factors may be more likely to develop an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection:
- Old age
- Prior aortic dissection or aneurysm
- High blood pressure
- Hardened arteries
- High cholesterol
- Chronic inflammation
- Marfan’s syndrome
If you have been diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm, your doctor will determine if you need it repaired and whether you will be able to withstand surgery. Repair is generally recommended when aortic aneurysms are causing symptoms or enlarging rapidly and at risk of rupturing.
In men, repair is typically advised for abdominal aortic aneurysms that are 5.5 cm or larger in diameter, causing symptoms or rapidly growing. In women, repair may be recommended for smaller aneurysms. Repair of thoracic aortic aneurysms is usually recommended when they reach 5.5 to 6.0 cm or more in diameter.
Do I Have a Cipro Aortic Aneurysm Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Cipro lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently investigating potential settlements in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you had an aortic aneurysm or other serious side effects from Cipro, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.