Ketek (telithromycin) is a ketolide antibiotic to enter clinical use. It is used to treat community acquired pneumonia of mild to moderate severity.
Ketolides are a developing type of antibiotic that are designed to be more potent and capable of working against resistant bacteria. They are targeted to improve upon traditionally marketed antibiotics and make up for some of their limitations.
Originally, this medication was also approved by the FDA to treat some lesser bacterial infections, but after some serious risks came to light, it was determined the the pros no longer outweighed the cons in terms of those less severe conditions.
After Ketek entered the market, the FDA began to receive reports of cases of acute liver failure, including four deaths, among people treated with Ketek. This is in addition to reports of patients having vision problems, syncope, and potentially fatal cases of myasthenia gravis (a muscle weakening disease).
While other antibiotics have been known to cause liver failure on occasion, the rates that doctors were seeing with Ketek was cause for concern.
Experts agreed that in certain situations Ketek was still a necessary and appropriate drug (e.g. in scenarios where a pneumonia patient has developed a resistance to weaker antibiotics) but warnings were placed on the box, approved uses were limited, and more care is now taken when prescribing this medication. However, millions were prescribed this dangerous drug before these measures were put into place.
If you or a loved one has been prescribed Ketek and experienced serious side effects, contact us today to determine if you may have a personal injury claim.