Drugs

FDA Drug Safety Podcast: FDA advises restricting fluoroquinolone antibiotic use for certain uncomplicated infections; warns about disabling side effects that can occur together

Listen to This Podcast

Welcome to FDA Drug Safety Podcasts for health care professionals. This is Lesley Navin, Advanced Practice Nurse from the Division of Drug Information.

On May 12, 2016 FDA is advising that the serious side effects associated with fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs generally outweigh the benefits for patients with acute sinusitis, acute bronchitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections who have other treatment options. For patients with these conditions, fluoroquinolones should be reserved for those who do not have alternative treatment options.

An FDA safety review has shown that fluoroquinolones when used systemically are associated with disabling and potentially permanent serious side effects that can occur together. These side effects can involve the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and central nervous system.

We are requiring updates to drug labels and Medication Guides for all fluoroquinolones to reflect this new safety information. We are continuing to investigate and will update the public if additional information becomes available.

Some signs and symptoms of serious side effects include tendon, joint and muscle pain, a “pins and needles” tingling or pricking sensation, confusion, and hallucinations.

Health care professionals should stop fluoroquinolone treatment immediately if a patient reports serious side effects, and switch to a non-fluoroquinolone antibacterial drug to complete the treatment.

We previously communicated safety information associated with systemic fluoroquinolones in August 2013 and July 2008. The safety issues in this Drug Safety Communication were also discussed at an FDA Advisory Committee meeting in November 2015.

Side effects involving fluoroquinolones should be reported to FDA’s MedWatch program at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

A link to the full communication can be found at www.fda.gov/DrugSafetyCommunications. If you have drug questions, you can reach us at druginfo@fda.hhs.gov. Thank you for listening.

Page Last Updated: 05/25/2016
Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.
Language Assistance Available: Español | 繁體中文 | Tiếng Việt | 한국어 | Tagalog | Русский | العربية | Kreyòl Ayisyen | Français | Polski | Português | Italiano | Deutsch | 日本語 | فارسی | English