Glaxo Wellcome has announced that it is voluntarily withdrawing the oral fluoroquinolone antibiotic, grepafloxacin, with immediate effect. Since marketing in 1997, a small number of severe cardiovascular events have been reported. While this incidence is infrequent, the company no longer feels that the benefits of grepafloxacin outweigh the potential risk in view of the current availability of alternative antibiotics.
Grepafloxacin was indicated for the treatment of a variety of infections, including pneumonia, bronchitis and sexually transmitted bacterial infection. It has been marketed in 30 countries worldwide under the tradename Raxar® or Vaxar®.
Reference: Glaxo Wellcome Press Release. 27 October 1999.