Tequin is an antibiotic prescribed to adults to treat a number of infections including lung, sinus, urinary tract, and sexually transmitted infections. It's also known by the generic drug name of gatifloxacin. As an antibiotic, Tequin doesn't kill viruses in the lungs and sinuses, and treats gonorrhea, but not other STIs such as syphilis and non-gonococcal diseases, such as chlamydia. Bristol-Myers Squib manufactures Tequin, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug in 1999.
Tequin FDA Alert
In February 2006, Bristol-Myers Squibb informed doctors about an update to the U.S. labeling for Tequin to warn that Tequin shouldn’t be taken by diabetic patients. The FDA received serious reports of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients. The FDA announced the label revisions in an alert in March 2006.
Who Shouldn't Take Tequin?
As the FDA alert advises, people with diabetes shouldn't take Tequin. In addition, you shouldn't take Tequin if you're allergic to any "quinolones" (anti-microbial agents) such as:
- Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
- Gatifloxacin (Tequin, Zymar)
- Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
- Lomefloxacin (Maxaquin)
- Moxifloxacin (Avelox, Vigamox)
- Gemifloxacin (Factive)
- Norfloxacin (Noroxin)
- Ofloxacin (Floxin)
Other reasons you shouldn't take Tequin include if you:
- Have (or have family history of) a rare heart condition called congenital prolongation of the QT interval
- Have low blood potassium sometimes caused by medicines called diuretics or "water pills"
- Take prescription medications for irregular heartbeat
- Have high blood sugar
Tequin Health Risks
If you experience any of the following side effects, stop taking Tequin and call your doctor:
- Serious blood sugar changes including low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
- Severe allergic reactions, such as trouble breathing; closing of the throat, swelling of the lips, tongue, or face, or hives
- Any central nervous system side effects including: seizures, dizziness, confusion, tremors, hallucinations, depression, or suicidal thoughts
- Pain, inflammation, or rupture of a tendon
More common side effects that you may experience while using Tequin include:
- Stomach pain
- Vaginal discharge or itching
- Vomiting or nausea
- Sleep problems such as insomnia or nightmares
- Too low or too high blood sugar
You should tell your doctor about these side effects as well.
Getting Legal Help
While all prescription drugs have certain anticipated side effects, a pharmaceutical manufacturer has a duty to make sure its products are as reasonably safe as possible, and to inform the medical community and the public of known risks associated with its drugs. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it can be held legally responsible if patients are injured as the result of inadequate warnings or the unreasonably dangerous nature of the drug. These types of claims are brought under a legal theory called "product liability."
If you or a loved one have experienced any bad side effects while taking Tequin, you should first contact your doctor or other healthcare professional. You then may wish to meet with an experienced product liability attorney to discuss your options and to protect your right to a legal remedy for any injury caused by Tequin use.