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WASHINGTON -- The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Levaquin, an antibiotic made by Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., for treatment of the now-rare plague.
The agency also approved the drug to reduce the risk of contracting the plague after exposure to Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes the disease.
The bug, despite its devastating track record before the advent of modern medicine, is now extremely rare in most parts of the world. There are about 1,000 to 2,000 cases each year.
Plague is a mainly animal disease that humans can contract from fleas, other animals or laboratory exposure. The disease could also be used as a bio-terrorism agent, the FDA said.
The FDA based its approval on an efficacy study on African green monkeys because it isn't feasible or ethical to conduct trials on humans.
The agency granted Levaquin a priority review. It joins streptomycin, doxycycline, tetracycline and other antibacterial drugs among the FDA-approved treatments for plague.
Originally posted by jefwane
I have been prescribed Levaquin a couple of times. Once was for a flu that led to me getting pneumonia, and a couple of years later for a respiratory infection that wouldn't respond to weaker antibiotics. The main side effect I caught was some really bad nausea and mud-butt, but I recovered from pneumonia pretty quickly, and the second time I recovered from the infection within a couple of days.
In the two or three years between the prescription I noticed a couple of things. The price dropped dramatically between the first and second prescription. I don't remember the exact count on the first prescription but it was 3-5 pills and $40 after co-pay. The second scrip was the same count but the co-pay was the normal $15. I can't remember if the drug went from "formulary" to "non-formulary" in my insurance plan or went full generic. I would expect that this is a pretty profitable drug for J&J so it makes sense that they attempt to get as many approved uses as possible.edit on 12-5-2012 by jefwane because: (no reason given)edit on 12-5-2012 by jefwane because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by MaryStillToe
reply to post by earthinhabitant
Levaquin is dangerous and should only be taken in life threatening instances. It has been linked to weakened tendons and tendon ruptures. I did some research on this drug a few years ago after a doctor tried to get me to take it for an upper respitory infection. When I aked the doctor to prescribe an effective alternative, he seemed annoyed and tried to convince me that Levaquin was most effective. Needless to say, I got a second opinion.
This guy wasn't so lucky:
edit on 12-5-2012 by MaryStillToe because: (no reason given)