Popular antibiotics linked to suicidal thoughts, depression and anxiety

Cipro, Levaquin among drugs raising concerns
Posted at 4:41 PM, Sep 22, 2016

The family of a 47-year-old Mentor woman struck and killed on Interstate 90 last Christmas Eve suspects a popular antibiotic triggered suicidal thoughts that led to her death.

It's a report that patient safety experts say will have you checking what's inside your medicine.

Witnesses told Mentor police in repeated 911 calls that it appeared Deana Poghen walked directly into the path of a truck.

Family members told Chief Investigator Ron Regan they are convinced the antibiotic she used triggered suicidal thoughts.

Join Ron Regan Friday at 11 p.m. on NewsChannel 5 where we reveal the story behind Deana Poghen's tragic death and the role one of the most widely used antibiotics on the market may have played.

"It was not her," Poghen's mother said. "She would never, ever, ever have done something like that."

A nationally recognized medication safety expert supports the family's suspicions.

"Even as few as one or two doses," says Dr. Charles Bennett, "can develop serious, permanent and disabling psychiatric toxicity."

An On Your Side Investigation, which involved a year of extensive reporting into Poghen's death, looked into a family of antibiotics known as Fluoroquinolones such as Cipro and Levaquin.

A NewsChannel 5 report in July 2015 was among the first to reveal growing concerns over serious side effects involving the drugs including at least 200,000 complaints and as many as 3,000 deaths.

Last November, those concerns prompted a Drug Advisory Committee meeting of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to discuss the risks and benefits of fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs for the treatment of acute bacterial sinusitis, chronic bronchitis and uncomplicated urinary track infections.

As a result, the FDA issued updated warnings last May including "disabling side effects" that "outweigh the benefits" for patients who have other treatment options.

Among other side effects found by FDA  include damage to the musculoskeletal and central nervous system that includes:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts

Last July, the FDA officially approved safety label changes to "enhance warnings" associated with "disabling and potentially permanent" side effects and to "limit their use."

Patient safety advocates have also raised concerns over the antibiotics. Find out information below: