FDA updates warnings for fluoroquinolone antibiotics

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved stronger warning labels for fluoroquinolones to alert users about their association with disabling and potentially permanent side effects. An FDA safety review found that both oral and injectable fluoroquinolones are associated with side effects involving tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system which can occur hours to weeks after exposure. Because the risk of these side effects generally outweighs the benefits for patients with some conditions, the FDA has determined that these antibiotics should be reserved for use in patients who have no alternative treatment options. Fluoroquinolones should remain available as a therapeutic option to treat serious bacterial infections, including anthrax, plague and bacterial pneumonia among others. Read the FDA safety announcement.