Friday, March 13, 2015

Guest blog: A Lawyer Walks Into the Doctor's Office

A Lawyer Walks Into the Doctors Office
By Susan Jones Knape, Communications Director at Baron and Budd

Wed like to imagine that working with countless individuals who were hurt by fluoroquinolones has helped shield us to the dangers of these drugs, as if we could steer ourselves far away from fluoroquinolones like Avelox, Cipro and Levaquin altogether.

Unfortunately, FLQantibiotics are so frequently prescribed, none of us can escape them not even those of us who are acutely aware of their dangers.

In fact, this winter many of our team members were prescribed fluoroquinolones for very minor, routine infections. First there was the paralegal who had an ear infection. Then there was the lawyer with a UTI. Then someone had a skin infection.

Each time, our team members had the insight to say no thanksto the prescribing doctors and ask for a different medicine.

But what about people who dont have the deep knowledge we have about these antibiotics?

They are at risk.

Despite the known associated dangers of FLQ drugs, we believe that far too many people are taking these antibiotics for everyday infections. We acknowledge the potential benefit and use of antibiotics like Cipro, Levaquin and Avelox for some life-threatening infections. The risk of nerve damage may very well outweigh the risk of a rampant infection in these cases. But for a minor infection in an otherwise healthy person? We know there are other antibiotics on the market that can fight the infection without risking permanent nerve damage.

Until more doctors and patients are made aware of the dangers associated with taking fluoroquinolone antibiotics and until the manufacturers of these antibiotics respond appropriately to their associated risks and adjust the drugs labeling and marketing we must all be extra aware of the risks.

That may be easy on a day when youre feeling fine. But when youve come down with a fever and your cough just wont go awayits easy to fill a prescription without thinking twice. Those are the days when we have to be on guard. Because a fluoroquinolone antibiotic can be prescribed to anyone and, sadly, today, for almost any bacterial infection.

One day, FLQ toxicity will be a thing of the past. Until then, were with you here at Baron and Budd. We want to do our part to help educate people and to fight back against the overuse of these drugs by zealous manufacturers.

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