Tequin is the Bristol-Myers Squibb’s brand name for the antibiotic gatifloxacin, which is indicated primarily for use by adults with pneumonia, bronchitis, and gonorrhea, and those who have certain types of infections, including urinary tract, kidney, and skin infections.
Approved by the FDA in 2000, by 2002, disturbing data began to come to light regarding the safety of the new antibiotic. As concerns mounted about the connection between Tequin and blood sugar abnormalities such as diabetes, Bristol-Myers Squibb added a warning to the Tequin label indicating some of these potential dangers.
However, the 2002 warning was eventually deemed insufficient as researchers began collecting more extensive data about the effects of Tequin.
In 2006, a Canadian study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed alarming rates of blood sugar and other health problems, including data showing that the drug was responsible for an alarming number of cases of diabetes and other potentially fatal blood sugar disorders.
Warnings about these effects were added to the product’s labeling in 2002, but over the years, it became obvious that the problem was far more grave than initially thought. In 2006, as a response to increasingly alarming data, the FDA required Bristol-Myers Squibb to include a black box warning—the strongest drug warning available—on the packaging for Tequin.
Tequin Side Effects
Tequin patients are more than sixteen times more likely to develop hyperglycemia—elevated amounts of sugars in the blood—than patients receiving other, similar treatments.
Similarly, patients receiving Tequin were more than four times more likely to develop hypoglycemia—depletion of sugars in the blood—than patients receiving other antibiotics.
According to consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, by 2006, 388 Tequin patients in the US had developed blood sugar imbalances as a result of their use of the drug. Of those, 159 required hospitalization, and 20 died.
While the FDA did not recall the drug as Public Citizen requested, Bristol-Myers Squibb pulled Tequin from the US market in 2006.
The risks of Tequin include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis, a severe and uncontrolled blood sugar imbalance, which can prove fatal
- Kidney damage or kidney disease
- Tendon pain, inflammation, and rupture
- Hallucinations and confusion
- Severe depression and suicidal thoughts
If you or someone you love has suffered health problems similar to any of those described above, it is important that you seek legal help as soon as possible to preserve your legal right to compensation for your any and all damages you’ve suffered.
If you or a family member were prescribed Tequin and subsequently developed kidney problems, blood sugar imbalances such as hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, diabetes, diabetic ketoacidosis, or if you suffered unexplained problems including neurological disorders such as seizures, dizziness, tremors, hallucinations, and confusion; or depression and suicidal thoughts, your condition may be a result of Tequin use.
To learn more about Tequin and its effects, and to learn how you and your family can get compensation for the damages you’ve suffered, contact an experienced pharmaceutical injury attorney in your area today. He or she will review your case with you and help you determine what your next step should be to get your family the compensation they need and deserve.