An Indiana woman is calling for changes at the national level after losing her son to what she believes was a Levaquin-induced death, saying the drug is too often “prescribed for illnesses that don’t require an antibiotic.”
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was injured by Levaquin side effects, 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.
What’s the Problem?
April 26, 2016 – Shea McCarthy was a freshman at Purdue University when he decided to have surgery for a deviated septum, a relatively minor procedure. Up until that point, he had experienced no major health problems, according to his mother Heather.
Before the surgery, Shea’s doctor prescribed him a month’s supply of Levaquin (generic: levofloxacin), a powerful antibiotic used to treat major infections like pneumonia, anthrax exposure, plague and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
“He didn’t even have an infection,” Heather said. “This was just to prevent an infection from happening. It’s like taking a cannon to kill a mosquito.”
Shea started acting strangely after taking Levaquin, behavior he attributed to the drug.
“He thought it was messing with his mind, he was having heart palpitations,” Heather said. “He really believed it was this medication causing this.”
He quit taking Levaquin but the behavior continued, according to his mother.
“He went back to campus, and started having these anxiety attacks,” McCarthy said. “In all the doctors’ visits, he’s saying ‘I think I had a reaction to this drug.’ He got depressed.”
A 2014 citizen petition submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that a black box warning be placed on the labeling of fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Levaquin describing “toxic psychoses, hallucinations, paranoia, suicidal thoughts or acts, loss of consciousness, delirium, depressed level of consciousness, amnesia, coma, and memory impairment.”
To date, FDA has not granted the petition’s request.
Shea’s anxiety became increasingly worse until he dropped out of college and ended up in the mental health system, where doctors prescribed him additional medications for bipolar disorder.
“I don’t believe he had bipolar disorder,” Heather said. “He was a faint shadow of who he was. He began to completely isolate himself, and he wasn’t going out in public.”
Then on October 23, 2013, Shea jumped out of a 2nd story window, got in his car and crashed into a cement embankment. He died at the age of 24.
“It was a moment, I believe, of sheer agitation and anxiety and I believe it overcame him,” McCarthy said. “Everything just collapsed for our family. It was just a nightmare.”
Since 2010, Levaquin has been linked to over 31,000 complaints to the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS), many of which described crippling depression and anxiety in patients treated with the drug. At least 15,000 deaths have been related to Levaquin since 1997, according to FAERS.
Heather McCarthy testified in Nov. 2015 before an FDA advisory panel convened to discuss the potential health risks involved with fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
“This was a drug-induced death that was unnecessary,” McCarthy told the panel. “People don’t make this stuff up. This drug has had a horrific impact on lives.”
Do I Have a Levaquin Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Levaquin lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured by Levaquin, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.