Drug warning: UTI medication can cause nerve damage (so stick to buko juice)

Beware the side effects of meds.

It’s been around for more than 50 years.

So why is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration now requiring makers of a commonly used antibiotic to include a new health warning on the medicine’s labels?

Specifically, the USFDA wants the warning to state that peripheral neuropathy is a side effect of the oral and IV forms of fluoroquinolone.

MUST READ: Linking autism to vaccination is the ‘most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years’

What is ‘peripehral neuropathy’?

Peripheral neuropathy is a nerve disorder of the arms or legs.

Symptoms may be mild pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, or a change in sensation to light touch, pain or temperature.

Fluoroquinolone is an antibiotic frequently prescribed to treat urinary infection.

EASY INFOGRAPHIC: How to make your own oral dehydration solution

Rapid onset of side effect

While it has been in use since the 1960s, the drug has been the subject of emerging concerns since 2003. There have been increasing reports of nerve disorders while taking the drug.

An investigation conducted by the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System from January 1, 2003 to August 1, 2012 showed that the onset of peripheral neuropathy after the start of fluoroquinolone therapy was rapid, often within a few days. Some patients experienced the nerve damage symptoms long after they have discontinued the drug even for more than a year.

The FDA will continue to review the safety of this drug and will inform the public of further updates.

READ: Having a senior moment? Memory lapses? Anesthetics may be to blame

Does the benefit outweigh the risks?

All physicians and patients are advised to avoid using fluroquinolone unless the benefits of using the drug outweigh the possible risks.

Fluoroquinolone has several variants namely levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin and gemifloxacin.

These drugs have gained popularity in the recent years because other UTI drugs simply fell out of grace for several reasons.

RELATED: 5 overused medical treatments that can harm you

A list of overused (and, therefore, ineffective) meds

Examples of such medications are:

AMOXICILLIN. it has become such a household term, that patients self-medicate with this antibiotic leading to drug resistance. Most bacteria have formed such a strong sheild against amoxicillin that taking this drug is pretty much like drinking a capsule of starch.

CO-AMOXICLAV. It was a wonder drug for a long time because it could treat anything from cough and colds to skin infection to post-operative infection, and yes, also UTI. It is still frequently prescribed. However, almost 40% of patients will complain of vomiting and diarrhea. Doctors try to avoid using this drug since the patient would end up discontinuing her medication.

TRIMETHOPRIM/SULFAMETHOXAZOLE (BACTRIM). Another overused and over-abused drug that has lead to increased incidence of drug resistance. Bactrim is also highly allergenic causing rashes and swelling of the face. Some severe allergic reactions can be fatal.

Because of this new FDA advisory, we are adding one more medication to our "Drugs to avoid and use only with extreme caution and if you have no other choice" list.

In the meantime, let's stick to old, reliable buko juice to treat our urinary concerns.

Got a health question for Dr. D? Then, write it down on the Comments section below. Read more of The Blogging Doc’s stories here.