Cipro and Achilles Tendons

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Cipro and Achilles tendons…  I was speaking with a internist the other night and we were discussing the number of cases of tendon rupture and injury we have seen due to quinalone antibiotics like Cipro. What’s amazing is that despite this severe side effect that warranted a black box warning for this antibiotic class in 2008, they are still routinely prescribed. This list includes cipro (ciprofloxacin), Levaquin, Floxin, Proquin XR, and Noroxin. These are commonly prescribed for upper respiratory infections like bronchitis and urinary tract infections. These tendon tears have become so common for the physicians that see these patients that we now ask all patients with an Achilles tendon tear or other tendon/ligament problems if they have taken an antibiotic around the time of a tendon rupture. He told me to watch the YouTube video, “Certain Adverse Events”. I just did and it’s pretty riveting. It not only exposes the Cipro tendon problem, but it also gets into how our modern system has produced these dangerous drugs that have received the “gold seal” of FDA approval. This long list now includes the statin drugs prescribed for high cholesterol (memory problems, neuropathy, muscle diseases, type II diabetes), non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (dramatically raise your risk for sudden death due to a heart attack), steroid medications (dramatically increase your risk for severe bone disease and kill off cartilage cells when injected into a joint), and these antibiotics (just to name a few). We both agreed that the take home message was that our drug approval process needs an overhaul. We also agreed that the answer is not giving the FDA more power, but actually redesigning how new therapies are come into being.  The video link is here.

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Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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