The Mesh Warrior Foundation and The Quinolone Vigilance Foundation Partner to Raise Awareness about Dangers of Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Products
A common mission to educate patients and doctors about permanent harm via the use of Transvaginal Mesh and Fluoroquinolones Unites the Organizations
DALLAS (March 24, 2015) – The Mesh Warrior Foundation (www.tmwfoundation.org) and The Quinolone Vigilance Foundation (www.saferpills.org) announced their partnership today to raise awareness about the prescribing of fluoroquinolone antibiotics to treat common infections concurrent with transvaginal mesh implant. Many patients who suffer complications after transvaginal mesh implant are prescribed fluoroquinolones, putting this subset of injured patients at risk for additional permanent illness and injury.
Transvaginal mesh (TVM) is a medical device designed to treat two common women’s health issues: pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and/or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). TVM acts like a plastic net in and effort to support weakened pelvic muscles and/or a malfunctioning bladder. POP and SUI are common in women who’ve borne children, as the trauma of the birthing process can be stressful on a woman’s tissues and organs.
Now well documented, many profound and debilitating injuries have been associated with TVM implant. Injuries include erosion of the polypropylene plastic device through the vaginal wall, bladder, uterus, colon, intestines or other pelvic organs; extreme pain as devices have been proven to shrink, rope and fray; painful bleeding associated with irritation by the device; recurrent infection; bowel and bladder perforation; incontinence; and many other permanent symptoms that are life altering.
Infections, including frequent, often recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) are particularly common after TVM implant. To combat these and other infections, mesh-injured patients are commonly prescribed antibiotic drugs known as a fluoroquinolones. Medications in this classification include Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox. Fluoroquinolones, originally developed and FDA-approved for the treatment of imminently life-threatening infections like Anthrax, are all-too-often over prescribed to patients without regard to or emphasis on the potential permanent, life-threatening side effects of these drugs.
Fluoroquinolones have been linked to mitochondrial toxicity, a condition that can lead to brain disorders and permanent muscle weakness, According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), fluoroquinolones can also lead to permanent nerve damage. Despite the evidence linking these drugs to severe side effects, doctors continue to be prescribe them not only to patients suffering from TVM-related infection, but also for relatively routine infections for which other antibiotics could be more safely prescribed. (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm365050.htm)
“Many patients implanted with transvaginal mesh were not made aware of the device’s severe adverse events and permanent side effects including nerve damage, painful sex, chronic pain, painful scar tissue formation and debilitating injury to voluntary and involuntary muscles. Furthermore, as the mesh erodes through tissues like the urethra, recurrent infection including frequent UTI is common. In my opinion, when a patient is prescribed fluoroquinolones as a first-line defense to combat infection associated with transvaginal mesh, it’s literally adding injury to injury,” said Aaron Leigh Horton, founder and executive director of The Mesh Warrior Foundation. “The goal of our partnership with the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation is to educate doctors and patients alike about the dangers of prescribing fluroquinolones as a first-line defense in treating recurrent UTIs or other common infections in mesh-injured patients. These patients have already suffered a devastating loss of quality of life, and I feel that prescribing another treatment which carries significant risks of further permanent injury, is simply taking too high a risk.”
“We are proud to join together with The Mesh Warrior Foundation in an effort to stop the likelihood of further suffering TVM patients could experience after being prescribed fluoroquinolones,” said Rachel Brummert, president and executive director of the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation. “Patients are unnecessarily being placed in harm’s way again, not only by the defective medical device they’ve received, but also by the off-label use of these powerful fluoroquinolone medications.”
ABOUT THE MESH WARRIOR FOUNDATION
The Mesh Warrior Foundation (TMWF) is a non-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to educate, advocate and build community for the mesh-injured and their families. A collection of volunteers, injured patients and injured family members, TMWF is a resource for all those who’ve lost their quality of life as a result of injury due to polypropylene medical mesh implant. To get help or for more information, visit www.tmwfoundation.org
ABOUT THE QUINOLONE VIGILANCE FOUNDATION
The Quinolone Vigilance Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization that fosters, initiates, and funds research on Fluoroquinolone Toxicity. We also advocate for injured and disabled patients who took a fluoroquinolone, and we educate patients and doctors so they can make an informed decision about their health.