What are the side effects of Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics?


Fluoroquinolones like Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox have several serious side effects that can cause permanent and sometimes fatal injuries.

These side effects include aortic aneurysm, aortic dissection, valve damage, peripheral neuropathy, and tendon rupture.


Common Side Effects of Fluoroquinolone

Drug-Bottles

Most of the common side effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics are related to the gastrointestinal system. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia

Other common but more serious side effects include acute kidney failure, acute liver toxicity, and problems with hearing or vision.


After a review of adverse event reports from January 2003 to August 2012, the FDA found that many patients experienced the beginning stages of Peripheral Neuropathy as soon as a few days after they began taking fluoroquinolones.

Serious Side Effects from Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics

In the past several years, medical studies and adverse event reports have shown that fluoroquinolones like Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox can cause several serious and potentially deadly side effects.

These side effects include:

  • Injuries to the aortic artery including aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection
  • Peripheral neuropathy and nerve damage
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Tendon ruptures and tendon damage
  • Confusion and hallucinations

These side effects were serious enough that the FDA added black box warnings to the labels of Cipro, Avelox, Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

Aortic Aneurysm and Aortic Dissection Side Effects

Several medical studies have shown that fluoroquinolones like Cipro, Levaquin and Avelox can cause serious damage to the aortic artery. These drugs can weaken the walls of the aorta and lead to aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection. These side effects can lead to internal bleeding, organ failure, and even death.

Side effects from fluoroquinolones involving the aortic artery include:

  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Aortic rupture
  • Aortic bleeding

What Is The Aorta?

The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body, branching off of the heart and providing blood to much of the body. Aortic side effects are very serious and can often be fatal. As the aorta weakens or degrades the risk of leaking or rupturing increases.

What is an Aortic Aneurysm?

An aortic aneurysm occurs when the aorta bulges, balloons or enlarges. This severely weakens that section of the aorta and can cause it to burst, leading to serious internal bleeding.

What is an Aortic Dissection?

An aortic dissection occurs when a tear develops in the aorta, weakening the walls of the aorta and potentially leading to leaks or ruptures.

Our lawyers are investigating lawsuits for damage to the aorta from drugs like Cipro, Levaquin and Avelox. If you were a loved one suffered an aortic side effect while taking one of these drugs, contact us for more information.

Peripheral Neuropathy and Nerve Damage Side Effects

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics contain a compound called Fluoride, which is a neurotoxin. Neurotoxins are able to move through sensitive tissues such as those in the heart and the brain, causing toxicity and nerve damage.

This mechanism can cause individuals taking fluoroquinolones to become at risk of developing Peripheral Neuropathy and nerve damage. Peripheral Neuropathy means that the nerves in the brain and spinal cord are not communicating properly with the rest of the body due to disease or damage.

After a review of adverse event reports from January 2003 to August 2012, the FDA found that many patients experienced the beginning stages of Peripheral Neuropathy as soon as a few days after they began taking fluoroquinolones.

Even patients who discontinued use of the antibiotics were reporting nerve damage symptoms a year or later.

Peripheral Neuropathy was added to the warning labels of fluoroquinolones in 2004 and in 2013 was the cause of the FDA deciding to update their warning labels again because they believed that the risks were not properly represented.

Tendon Rupture and Tendon Damage Side Effects

Another serious side effect of Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox, and other fluoroquinolones is tendon damage and tendon rupture. These drugs can degrade the collagen that strengthens the body’s tendons, causing them to weaken and possibly tear or rupture completely.

The large number of adverse event reports related to tendon damage was one of the factors that caused the FDA to reconsider the warning labels on fluoroquinolone drugs.

The most common tendon damage side effects is a rupture of the Achilles’ tendon. This painful injury often occurs early during a course of treatment with fluoroquinolones.

injury often occurs early during a course of treatment with fluoroquinolones.
Individuals at a higher risk for tendon damage from fluoroquinolones include athletes, especially runners, who are taking these antibiotics.