"The preliminary information available is promising, but it has not been studied in an animal model," said Andrea Meyerhoff, the FDA's bioterrorism director.
But the agency doesn't prevent doctors from using any drug for purposes other than those FDA
specifically approves, she
Last month, Johnson & Johnson
and other drug companies with products in the same antibiotic class as Cipro offered to donate massive supplies to the national pharmaceutical stockpile in the event of a large-scale anthrax emergency.To accept that offer, however, federal officials would have to grant the company's request that Levaquin be approved as an anthrax drug; so far, they have not.
No health officials have suggested Levaquin was an inappropriate treatment.Several attending physicians said they initially believed they were treating pneumonia, and many infectious disease specialists regard Levaquin as the best choice for that.