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Common Antibiotic Leads to Health Nightmare for Adam.

“I was afraid of dying, but also afraid of living.”

Within the space of a few months, Adam went from fit, healthy and active, to being unable to stand up unassisted. But Adam’s health nightmare wasn’t caused by an illness or injury; it was caused by a common, everyday antibiotic that’s regularly prescribed to Australians.

In 2015 Adam owned his own business, trained regularly, and worked on physically demanding job sites five or six days a week. A minor accident on a jobsite where he scratched his leg on a metal object led to a routine visit to the doctor, and Adam was prescribed a course of antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.

“Something was incredibly wrong.”

But what seemed like a routine prescription set a chain of terrifying events in motion. The antibiotics caused gastro-intestinal problems which worsened over time and Adam was eventually forced to go back to his doctor for a solution. His doctor prescribed 500mg of Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and 500mg of Metronidazole (Flagyl), to be taken twice daily for two weeks.

Within the first couple of days, Adam knew something was wrong. He continued to take the medication as prescribed, but was racked with an unfamiliar anxiety, and began experiencing crippling panic attacks. “I felt as though I was dying,” Adam reflects. “Something was incredibly wrong. I had never felt this way in my entire life.”

His doctor told him to stop taking the Cipro, but the damage had already been done.

They knew about the side effects but failed to provide sufficient warnings.

Although commonly prescribed, Ciprofloxacin is associated with disabling, long-lasting and potentially irreversible adverse reactions affecting musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Ciprofloxacin is one of a number of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, and in 2015 the pharmaceutical companies making these antibiotics knew the potential side effects but failed to include sufficient warnings about these risks.

Adam spent the next eight months in and out of the emergency department seeking answers for his ongoing pain, fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms. He went to multiple hospitals, saw various specialists, and went back to his GP constantly. He underwent ECGs, CT scans, an MRI, and countless rounds of bloodwork. On paper, there was nothing wrong with him. But these results couldn’t have been further from the truth.

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“I lost the ability to walk or control my body properly.”

“It was like a bomb went off in my body and I’ve never recovered”, said Adam. “I became delusional, depersonalised, and suffered derealisation. I cried every single day. I suffered with constant anxiety and severe panic attacks. I developed neuropathy and neuralgia,” Adam explains. He continues, “I had memory problems and was unable to concentrate, my dexterity declined, and I lost the ability to walk or control my body properly.”

The whole situation was crippling. Adam couldn’t work, and though his wife took over running his business, his company has never been able to gain back the momentum it had before he got sick. He tried to seek help several years ago but was unable to pursue a medical negligence claim against his doctor because the Cipro antibiotic had been approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Out of options, battling ongoing physical symptoms, and unable to hold anyone accountable, Adam continued to struggle. During his darkest moments, he contemplated suicide.

“I was afraid of dying, but also afraid of living.”

It was the pharmaceutical companies behind the production that had been negligent.

Adam didn’t give up. He conducted extensive research and realised that he wasn’t alone in his experience. There were others whose lives have been decimated by the ongoing impact of Ciprofloxacin. Facebook offered him a sense of community and belonging among people with similar stories.

He also learned that while his doctor hadn’t been negligent in prescribing the drug, it was in fact the pharmaceutical companies behind the production that had been negligent in their failure to disclose potential side effects.

Adam’s case leads to potential class action.

Adam has been suffering the impact of this negligence for almost ten years. Finding personal injury firm Law Partners has allowed him to proceed with his medical negligence claim to finally seek financial compensation for his injuries. He also wants to make sure that nobody else has to go through what he’s experienced.

Law Partners is investigating a class action lawsuit to help Adam – and others who have suffered as a result of fluoroquinolones – to get the justice they deserve. A successful action could result in financial compensation to cover economic loss and ongoing medical treatment, and formal recognition of the difficulties people have experienced as a result of fluoroquinolones. It could also result in risk disclosure changes to help prevent others falling victim to a drug they were insufficiently informed about.

If you or a member of your family has suffered a severe complication after taking Ciprofloxacin or another fluoroquinolone antibiotic in Australia, you can call Law Partners on 13 15 15 for a free, confidential conversation with one of our specialist personal injury lawyers. We’ll listen to your story and advise you on whether you may be entitled to compensation for your physical and psychological suffering. 

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