The antibiotic Tequin was discontinued after it was linked to serious blood-sugar complications primarily among elderly patients and diabetics.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. announced on May 2, 2006 that it would no longer make or sell Tequin, generically gatafloxacin, following continued reports of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in patients using Tequin.
One day earlier, the watchdog group Public Citizen had petitioned the government to ban Tequin, citing 388 cases of blood-sugar irregularities since 2000, with 159 hospitalizations and 20 deaths reported.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injury or death possibly associated with the use of the antibiotic Tequin, you may want to contact a Tequin attorney for a free evaluation of your case.
While halting the manufacture and sale of Tequin, Bristol-Myers Squibb said it would not recall existing supplies from pharmacy shelves. The company urged patients to consult with their doctors before discontinuing use of the antibiotic used to treat bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, uncomplicated gonorrhea and infections involving the urinary tract, kidneys and skin.
The discontinuation of Tequin followed by two months a report in The New England Journal of Medicine citing a study that patients in their 70s who used Tequin were 17 times more likely to be hospitalized for hyperglycemia than patients who received other antibiotics. They were four times as likely to suffer hypoglycemia.
The previous month, February 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert and heightened label warnings for Tequin as a result of “continued reports of serious cases” of low- and high-blood sugar. It noted that since its approval of Tequin in 1999 there had been “rare cases of life-threatening events.” The FDA added: “Most of these events were reversible when properly managed, but a few had fatal outcomes.”
The FDA warning added a contraindication for diabetic patients and warned of increased risk for patients who were older or suffered renal insufficiency. The FDA also sent a “Dear Doctor” letter in February warning of increased risks associated with the drug.
Tequin had 2005 sales of $100 million in the United States.
Kline & Specter PC, a Philadelphia-based law firm with some 30 attorneys, several of whom are also highly skilled doctors, has had success litigating product liability and prescription drug lawsuits in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and nationwide. Contact a Tequin lawyer today.
- FDA News Release