Cipro warning reaction and advice

by Jeff Ferrell

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - In a KSLA News 12 Alert, the Ark-La-Tex reacts to the new government warning about Cipro, as it joins the so-called 'black box' drug club, which comes with a boxed warning.

Cipro first gained national attention as the powerful antibiotic to fight Anthrax back in October 2001 and is brought to you by the same folks who make Bayer asprin.  Some analysts expect the warning could mean fewer doctors might prescribe Cipro to their patients, or be more cautious doing so.  The search for more answers led us to a local doctor's office.

"Did you notice anything yourself which would be suspicious," asked Shreveport Neurologist Dr. Krzysztof Kundo to his 48-year old patient Cassee Williams-Price.  He tried to figure out if Cipro could be exacerbating problems with her lower leg.

While Price downplayed any side effects of Cipro to to Dr. Kundo, before the exam Price said just the opposite to us.  "Cipro caused tendons to rupture."
REPORTER:  "And where were the tendons?"
PRICE:  "Right here and right here,"
as Price pointed to her mid-shin and then the top of her foot.

Ever since slipping and falling at a grocery store four years ago, the near-constant pain finally led doctors to blame nerve damage.  A doctor actually prescribed the strong antibiotic this time for an infection elsewhere in Price's body, just the latest episode where she said a doctor wrote a Cipro script for her telling us, "I've been taking that Cipro a little over four years."

Dr. Kundo decided to stop Cipro for Price for two reasons:  First, because of a potential interaction with another medication she's taking; And second, because 'she' fears Cipro led to tendon damage in her leg.  "In other words, be careful with new drugs.  Don't use them if you don't have to," advised Dr. Kundo.

He added that he rarely prescribes Cipro and warned that despite the best testing and FDA approval, new drugs can have unpredicted side effects.  "When the drug goes to the worldwide distribution only then will you know what side effects are going to be and many times there are unpleasant surprises."

Dr. Kundo concluded that many times problems like torn tendons can be prevented if the patient talks with the doctor 'immediately' when they feel pain, instead of waiting until a tear occurs.