Adverse effects of fluoroquinolones: an investigation into unintentional injuries and deception opened in Paris

Adverse effects of fluoroquinolones: an investigation into unintentional injuries and deception opened in Paris

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An investigation into unintentional injuries and deception was opened in Paris following complaints from people who suffered abnormal side effects after taking fluoroquinolone antibioticsthe Paris prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

This investigation, revealed by RMC, is carried out by the public health center of the Paris prosecutor’s office, “which received around twenty complaints”, according to this source. “Investigations are underway to determine whether these offenses are serious,” she added.

These medications are a class of antibiotics, which can be used during serious bacterial infections. They are often marketed under different names such as Oflocet, Ciflox or Tavanic.

Restricted authorization since 2019

“Fluoroquinolones may be essential in the treatment of certain bacterial infections. However, they should only be prescribed after having carefully evaluated their benefits with regard to the risks of expected adverse effects, and after having informed the patient,” indicates the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) in a thematic file dedicated to fluoroquinolones updated in October 2023.

In a letter to healthcare professionals published in June 2023, the ANSM recalls that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) “strongly recommended restricting” their use “after an assessment carried out at European level in 2018 on the risk serious and long-lasting (lasting several months or years), disabling and potentially irreversible adverse effects, mainly affecting the musculoskeletal and nervous system. In 2019, the use of fluoroquinolone medications was significantly restricted.

The ANSM lists cases where these antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, delafloxacin, levofloxacin, lomefloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin) should not be prescribed, such as non-severe or mild to moderate infections (cystitis, acute bronchitis, acute otitis media, etc.). And emphasizes that “data from a recent study suggest that fluoroquinolones continue to be prescribed outside of recommended uses.”

Tendinitis, neuropathic disorders, hallucinations…

Serious side effects include tendonitis, ruptured tendons, pain in the limbs, walking disorders, neuropathies associated with paresthesias, depression, fatigue, memory problems, hallucinations, psychoses, sleep disorders as well as hearing and vision disorders, taste and smell.

“Nothing is being done to put an end to this system of over-prescription. Doctors continue to prescribe” despite communications and warnings, commented Philippe Coville, president of the association for help and information on the harmful effects of fluoroquinolones, which brings together 650 people. He says he has had “serious health problems for two and a half years” following a urinary infection treated with this family of medications.

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