Recent studies have found a link between fluoroquinolone antibiotic medications like Factive and aortic aneurysm, a life-threatening side effect that occurs when the aorta — the main blood vessel that delivers blood to the body — becomes abnormally enlarged.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one had an aortic aneurysm after taking factive, 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.
Factive (generic: gemifloxacin) is a prescription fluoroquinolone antibiotic used to treat certain types of bacterial infections. The drug works by promoting cleavage of bacterial DNA in the enzyme complexes of DNA gyrase and type IV topoisomerase, resulting in rapid bacterial death. Factive is made by LG Life Sciences, Ltd., and was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2003.
What’s the Problem?
Although fluoroquinolones like Factive were developed to treat severe infections such as hospital-acquired pneumonia and other life-threatening ailments, they are regularly prescribed for minor or even routine infections like earaches, bronchitis and urinary tract infections (UTIs). This is extremely dangerous, as use of this class of medications has been linked to aortic aneurysm and other serious side effects.
Studies Link Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics to Aortic Complications
In October 2015, JAMA Internal Medicine published a study which found that fluoroquinolone use may cause the main artery in the human body to become abnormally enlarged. Researchers from National Taiwan University’s Department of Emergency Medicine compared 1,477 patients who had been hospitalized for aortic aneurysm or dissection from January 2000 to December 2011, and compared them to a control group of 147,700 patients.
The findings suggest that current fluoroquinolone use increased the risk for aortic aneurysm by more than double. Past use increased the risk by nearly 50%, according to the study.
“Use of fluoroquinolones was associated with an increased risk of aortic aneurysm and dissection,” the study’s authors wrote. “While these were rare events, physicians should be aware of this possible drug safety risk associated with fluoroquinolone therapy.”
Another study published in BMJ Open looked at data on more than 1.7 million older adults and observed a roughly 3-fold increased risk of tendon rupture and aortic aneurysm in patients who took fluoroquinolones.
The study’s authors sought to confirm a previously established link between the antibiotics and tendon rupture, as well as to explore a “potentially lethal association between fluoroquinolones and aortic aneurysms.” Roughly one-third of the 1.7 million patients in the study had filled at least one fluoroquinolone prescription in the last 30 days. These individuals were 3.13x more likely to suffer a tendon rupture and 2.72x more likely to suffer an aortic aneurysm compared to patients who did not use fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
Aortic Aneurysm Symptoms
Most people with aortic aneurysms have no symptoms; however, symptoms may present if the aneurysm suddenly gets bigger and puts pressure on surrounding organs. There are 2 common types of aortic aneurysm:
- Thoracic aortic aneurysm (bulge in the upper part of the aorta) – Symptoms include chest pain, back pain, cough / shortness of breath, hoarseness and difficulty or pain when swallowing.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysm, or AAA (enlargement of the aorta around the abdomen) – Abdominal pain or discomfort, pulsating sensation in the abdomen, “cold foot” or a black or blue painful toe (if the aneurysm produces a blood clot that blocks blood flow to the legs or feet), fever, weight loss and pain in the lower back, flanks, groin or legs.
Treatment / Repair
Aortic aneurysms may be treated with medications and/or surgery. Small aneurysms that are detected early and not causing symptoms may not require treatment. Other aneurysms may need to be treated.
Treatment for an aortic aneurysm is based on the size of the bulge. The patient’s doctor may recommend routine testing to ensure the aneurysm isn’t growing. This method is typically used for aneurysms that are less than 5 centimeters (about 2 inches) across.
Do I Have a Factive 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 Factive lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new aortic aneurysm cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you were injured by Factive side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.