Fluoroquinolone antibiotics (FLQs) include the drugs Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Levaquin (levofloxacin) and Avelox (moxifloxacin). These common antibiotics are widely prescribed by doctors to treat respiratory and urinary tract infections. Many doctors over-prescribe FLQs for other conditions that do not require an antibiotic of this strength.

Dangerous Side Effects

Studies now show that these FLQs have serious — and sometimes permanent — side effects, including aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection. Patients taking an FLQ drug have between a 124-143 percent increased risk of developing an aortic aneurysm or aortic dissection.

An aortic aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in a section of the aorta. If the aneurysm grows too large it can rupture and cause internal bleeding. An aortic dissection is a separation, or tear, in one of the layers of the aorta. This can cause blood to flow in between the layers of the blood vessel wall. Both events can be fatal.

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