Physicians should not prescribe fluoroquinolones for uncomplicated infections unless there are no other options, the Food and Drug Administration advised in a warning last month.
The class of antibiotics, which includes Cipro, Avelox, and several other popular drugs taken in tablet, capsule, and injectable form, may cause severe adverse effects involving tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and the central nervous system, the FDA noted, adding that adverse events can occur together and may be permanent.
Labels for fluoroquinolones already include warnings about the risks for tendonitis, tendon rupture, central nervous system effects, and other serious symptoms. The agency said it will update the labels to stress that these risks generally outweigh the benefits for patients with sinusitis, bronchitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections that are treatable by other means.
Treatment with a fluoroquinolone should cease immediately if a patient experiences any adverse effects, the agency urged. Serious reactions should be reported to the FDA's MedWatch program.
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