Organization Urges FDA to Halt Sales of Antibiotic Tequin
May 2, 2006
On Monday, Washington-based Public Citizen urged the Food and Drug Administration to halt sales of the antibiotic Tequin (gatifloxacin), citing reports of complications and even deaths. Last week, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said it will stop making the drug, which is used to treat adults with lung, sinus or urinary-tract infections and some STDs, but unsold stocks remain on the market. In 2005, 1.2 million Tequin prescriptions were filled. From January 2000 to June 2005, FDA received reports of 388 patients with dangerously low or high blood sugar associated with Tequin; of those, 159 were hospitalized and 20 died, Public Citizen said. After deaths were reported among Tequin users related to uncontrolled changes in blood sugar levels, BMS warned doctors in February not prescribe the drug to diabetics. "Unless the FDA actually takes an action, as opposed to letting the company dictate the pace at which this gets into the channels of commerce, people will continue to get prescribed this drug for another year or two," said Sidney M. Wolfe, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group.