Doctors may not hear new warnings about powerful antibiotics

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Jim Strickland has confirmed that federal regulators have no plans to formally notify individual doctors about the new warning label on a powerful class of antibiotics.

A new FDA-approved warning label tells doctors the risk of side effects is too great to make fluoroquinolone drugs such as Levaquin and Cipro, the drug the first choice to treat common illnesses like sinusitis and urinary infections.

A "Dear Doctor" letter was not authorized.

"How would you know that there was a change in the label?  It does not make sense," said pharmaceutical watchdog Dr. Charles Bennett.

Rather than notifying the medical community in writing, the FDA is relying on press releases and online newsletters to get the word out.

The FDA says its chosen channels have a wide audience.

Bennett says most doctors are too busy to take notice.