For the last year I feel like I’ve been a detective. To some it may seem as though I’m jumping from one health concern to another, trying on diagnoses and changing things up too much. But I assure anyone who doubts me that every step I’ve taken has been necessary. And in life I completely believe in serendipity and synchronicity. Everything that I’ve read or seen or heard has brought me to this point. I’m grateful for my excellent memory and my ability to stay positive and open-minded through just about anything. I hope that this story will encourage you to keep peeling back the layers of your own health mysteries and drawing connections. I hope that for others, my revelation will bring the same eureka moment that it did for me.

noroxin box

Last week I got some kind of bladder or urinary tract infection (UTI). I’m a woman, so they happen – though I can probably count on my hands how many I’ve had in my lifetime. I did an at home test kit, which came up positive and then went to my doctor the following day to give a sample. The labs took 24 hours and I proceeded to wait in extreme discomfort for the next day. That night the pain was so bad that I couldn’t sleep. At 3 am I finally got up, desperate for relief. The local urgent care centers were closed and I despise emergency room waits. My thoughts drifted to the package of antibiotics I had in my medicine cabinet, expired by now but still kept around in case of an emergency. They were leftover from our year-long trip around the world in 2011. The doctor had prescribed them in case of diarrheal illness but had also told me that they could double as UTI medication whenever I needed it.

Trying not to wake my husband I fumbled into the bathroom and shone the light of my cell phone over the packet. Noroxin, 400mg. My husband and I only got sick once on our trip and that was in Peru – we had to take both medications the travel medicine specialist had advised: Fasigyn (tinidazole) and Noroxin (norfloxacin). Norfloxacin. Hang on a minute. The four letters jumped out at me, reminding me of something I kept seeing in the various health groups of which I’m a member. Flox. People being floxed. Floxies. I dropped the packet.

Not only did we take the norfloxacin on that trip, I took it on at least one other occasion that I could remember. After we used it all up on our Peruvian adventure, I refilled the prescription in Colombia so we had more just in case. I can’t remember if I used it again on that trip but I do know that last year, right after my miscarriage, I took it again for what I was almost positive was a UTI. I had a horrible experience with my doctor in Norway, who yelled at me because I didn’t feel my Norwegian was good enough for a doctor’s visit to confirm my pregnancy and check my thyroid levels (she spoke fluent English). After the miscarriage there was no way I was going back to her. There was a month wait to get a new GP and private doctors in Norway are expensive and not included in the healthcare system for which we paid dearly. So I went for my UTI pills, having never heard of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, or even MTHFR, before.

It was after this that I started to feel like my body was crashing. I leapt from conclusion to conclusion. It was the miscarriage sending my hormones into a tailspin. Then it was MTHFR and the large doses of folic acid and cyanocobalamin I had been ignorantly poisoning myself with for the last year. The adrenal fatigue must have come from my years of undermedicated thyroid problems. My infertility must be caused by the toxins and latent viruses I had in my body. The neuropathy and tinnitus are from the MTHFR (that one came from my doctor). I realize now that the cause of most of these problems can almost certainly be attributed to one thing.

I was floxed.

Poisoned By Our Antibiotics?

Fluoroquinolones are a class of broad-spectrum antibiotics that have been around since the 1980s. Commonly prescribed for a wide array of illnesses, these drugs work like chemotherapy agents, disrupting DNA and destroying cells. They are fluorinated quinolones, meaning they administer the potent neurotoxin fluoride directly to your body’s tissues. I find it ironic that as someone who goes to great pains to avoid consuming fluoride because of my hypothyroidism, I unwittingly consumed huge doses of this chemical when I took the antibiotics. Fluoroquinolones are known to cause mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress, which can lead to a host of illnesses, including chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s and obesity. But the adverse reactions don’t stop there. A horde of symptoms have been reported by those suffering from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, from somewhat minor disturbances to complete debilitation. They can be found in oral medications, ear drops, eye drops and even veterinary medications.

Fluoroquinolones can damage the peripheral nervous system, central nervous system, musculoskeletal system, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system, skin and senses. Reactions can happen right away or can be delayed, sometimes for years after the person stopped taking the antibiotic. People also seem to have a “tolerance threshold,” with the cumulative effects of taking the drug over time leading to toxicity at any moment. The person becomes a ticking time bomb and if he or she does not become aware of the susceptibility or danger of the drug, the results can be disastrous. It is for this reason that these particular antibiotics should only be used in severe, life-threatening emergencies. Unfortunately they are often prescribed for more benign illnesses like UTIs and sinus infections, which will respond well to less dangerous antibiotics. A full list of fluoroquinolone antibiotics may be found here.

As my realization sunk in, I began to think about how many other people could be suffering from the variety of symptoms caused by these drugs and have no recollection of ever taking them. Think about it. Do you remember the name of every drug you’ve ever been prescribed? Particularly when considering hospital and emergency room visits. These days I avoid prescription drugs at all cost but that wasn’t always the case. And I know I’m far from the norm. Most people do not question their doctors. The first person I thought of as I waded through the list of adverse side effects was my grandmother, who has been suffering from severe insomnia, pain, tachycardia and acid reflux for a while now. She’s had every test and none of the doctors can figure out what is wrong aside from “old age.” I gave her a call.

“I’ve taken lots of Cipro,” she told me.

We began to talk about it. My great aunt, her sister, also has been having similar unexplained issues. And has also taken Cipro along with corticosteroids. Full doubt invaded my mind that it is just my long untreated MTHFR causing me to suddenly have neuropathy and tinnitus. There was no reason for me to have had such severity of fatigue last year or any of my other symptoms except for a drug reaction, knowing now that I took a drug that is known to cause those problems. Discovering and addressing my MTHFR no doubt hastened my recovery, lending even more credibility to the notion that a potent toxin caused my issues. To refresh, they were: fatigue, magnesium deficiency, tinnitus, brain fog, tingling and numbness in my hands (diagnosed neuropathy), anemia, insomnia, tachycardia, mitochondrial DNA damage (diagnosed by a research clinic I attend) and blood pressure fluctuations. All on the list of adverse reactions from fluoroquinolones.

Lasting Effects

Aside from causing mitochondria damage and severe oxidative stress to the body’s cells, it is thought that fluoroquinolones also interfere with the glutamate and GABA balance. Taking certain other drugs along with these antibiotics seem to worsen the effects. In particular, medications with methylxanthine derivatives and NSAIDs like fenbufen or BPAA can exacerbate toxicity in the central nervous system. These antibiotics actually carry black box warnings for tendinopathy (tendon rupture) and peripheral neuropathy since 2008 and 2004 respectively, though many doctors don’t seem to take them seriously. For some real-life stories, check out the comments in the linked article or at the website Floxie Hope.

So what happens when mitochondria become damaged? For floxed patients, the symptoms often manifest as other illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/myalgic encephalopathy (ME) or autoimmune diseases. The symptoms vary from person to person but the cause is generally difficult to diagnose by standard medical tests. These patients might wonder for years what ailment is taking their lives away from them. And the fact that the mitochondria are involved has much to do with this variance in symptoms.

Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Perhaps you’ve heard of the case of Justina Pelletier, a 15-year old mitochondrial disease patient who is ensnared in a custody battle between her parents and Boston Children’s Hospital. The hospital wants custody because they accuse Justina’s parents of medical abuse, claiming that her symptoms are psychosomatic while the parents avow that the child needs care for her mitochondrial disorder.

Mitochondrial dysfunction is denied in many cases by the medical establishment, yet it is a real and prevalent threat to a person’s health. Mitochondria produce more than 90% of the energy in our cells by making adenosine triphosphate (ATP). So it makes sense that one of the marks of mitochondrial dysfunction is fatigue. They have their own DNA (mtDNA) and are responsible for several other essential processes. This can be a chronic, genetic disorder leading to a number of symptoms and predisposition to serious illnesses, or it can be instigated by drug reactions and other agents of mitochondrial damage. This radio program explains it quite well:

This article from Collective Evolution divides mitochondrial diseases into three categories. The first consists of widely verified and acknowledged disorders, the second are more controversial and overlooked illnesses such as CFS/ME, fibromyalgia, Gulf War Syndrome, autism and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and the third are indirectly related to the mitochondria. For everyone, the decay of mitochondrial DNA is a key component in the aging process and the progression of degenerative illnesses such as

…schizophrenia, bipolar disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, migraine headaches, strokes, neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s disease, ataxia, transient ischemic attack, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetes, hepatitis C, and primary biliary cirrhosis.

Genetics do play a role in mitochondrial disorders and also in a person’s susceptibility to having an adverse reaction to fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Obviously, MTHFR, with its tendency to reduce detoxification and glutathione levels will be a player here. Just this week, however, Sterling Hill Erdei of MTHFRSupport.com reported that they are finding a correlation between G6PD SNPs that cause interactions with fluoroquinolones and anti-malarial drugs. According to the article:

Many of the floxies are clotting and having reactions to anything liposomal, phosphatidyl, lecithin and even lipid related. Many floxies are having panic attacks, seizures, hallucinations, blood clots, strokes and other neurological symptoms, in addition to increased joint and muscle pain, worsening fatigue, and gastrointestinal disturbances after taking anything in the category above.

The Way Forward

Researchers are looking into ways of reversing mitochcondrial DNA damage but at the moment there is no “cure” for fluoroquinolone poisoning. Raising the body’s antioxidant levels can go a long way towards mitigating the toxicity and oxidative stress that results from taking one of these drugs. This explains why I had a breakthrough and about 85% improvement of my symptoms when I started to raise my glutathione levels. Today I have only very mild tinnitus and my numbness has diminished almost completely.
I am new to the world of fluoroquinolones so I turn to the blog, My Quin Story for a list of tips for those who have been floxed. As I gather more information in the future about this issue I will be sure to include it in upcoming blog posts.The more I read and study about MTHFR and related health conditions the more I realize that it is very rarely the direct cause of anything. It plays a very large part in allowing other pathogens, chemicals and imbalances to harm us more significantly, but it does not work alone. An agent of chaos, yes, but not its master. So I encourage everyone, whether you’ve been floxed or not, to keep digging into the root causes of the health problems that ail you. Search until you find definitive answers. They may surprise you.

Have you been floxed?

If you have a comment that is related to your own health or have questions that require an answer, please leave these in the community discussion forums and not in the comments below. Thanks! =)

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37 thoughts on “Did I Get Floxed?

  1. george

    It is disturbing not to say suspicious that in all the postings on this site and many others nobody went back to the prescribing doctor to discuss the side effects in case they may have other treatment options. Also it has to be clear to all of us that the medical science is not an exact science as most of us would like to believe. Most doctors use a trial and error approach and feed back from patients would be very valuable. It is also very misleading when somebody describes symptoms but we know nothing about the person’s age, gender, other medication taken, general medical condition or chronic disease one may suffer just to mention a few.

    Reply

    1. Karen Robinson

      Several years ago I was given Levaquin for a sinus infection (which turned out not to be a sinus infection at all). About a day after I finished the course of antibiotics (which did nothing to alleviate my “sinus” problems) I developed terrible pains when using my left arm. I then (a little late) read the possible side effects of this medication, which includes tendonitis (usually, but not always, the Achilles tendon). I self-diagnosed tendonitis and asked the doctor about it.

      They absolutely refused to accept that it was tendonitis —“frozen shoulder” was their diagnosis – or that it could have been caused by the medication. The physical therapy treatment they prescribed for me did absolutely no good. A friend who was a retired p.t. said, “yep, tendonitis – it will go away in about two years” (which it did).

      I printed several articles on a connection between Levaquin and tendonitis I found on the web, most of them from quite reputable sources. (The others I saved for my own reading.) No amount of information would convince the doctors that Levaquin was the cause of my distress. They dismissed all the information I had provided. This was before the black box warning. The only acknowledgement I have ever had from them was “Oh, I know you don’t like to take antibiotics” whenever I have a problem where they think an antibiotic is warranted. I’m just known as a crank.

      So, it’s not necessarily that no one went back to their doctor, it’s that doctors have a tendency to NOT listen, unless it is a pharmaceutical company talking to them. I can’t imagine any scenario under which I would be willing to take a fluoroquinolone.

      Reply

      1. Rhnee

        Under reporting of adverse reactions is prevalent. An ER nurse from Vanderbilt Hospital use to lug around a case of the book, “A Shot in the Dark” to give to people because of what she had seen in their ER of under reported vaccine related adverse reactions that went unreported. She said if the child didn’t show symptoms with 24 hours they wouldn’t even consider it from a vaccine.

        Reply

  2. Quilless

    Interesting! I was just listening to Dr. Dean last night talking about how medications that have fluoride molecules will greatly deplete your magnesium. A lot of the symptoms you are describing including ringing in the ears can be connected to a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is an important player in methylation. Sooooo, I’m thinking if you have the MTHFR defect and you take a fluoride laden drug, it sucks up a lot of your magnesium, and now you are missing an important co-factor for methylation to work. Could explain a lot of things. I wonder if supplementing magnesium might help these symptoms.

    Reply

  3. The One

    In this case I would recommend cannabis therapy for this condition. Cannabis can ease pain and reduce muscle spasms. Cannabis has been shown to be neuro-protective and can re-balance the bodies systems to homeostasis.

    Reply

    1. Tom

      Being someone who is homozygous for mthfr and has been floxxed I can tell you that cannabis certainly DOESN’T help. I tried it to relieve my nerve pain and I started having seizures within ten minutes, flashing lights, couldn’t talk, shaking, the whole 9 yards. Never touching that shit again.

      Reply

  4. mary

    Hi Andrea, I am so happy to have read your post. I was on cipro and a lot of the other Floxed antibiotics for lyme disease for 3 years. One of my docs are worried that I may have Mitochondria Disease now but I am still treating my lyme disease. Now with a natural method. I am not sure what I can do to get better. I am in bed for most of the day except for about 2 to 3 hours. Thank you!!

    Reply

  5. Jennifer

    Oh my goodness! This explains sooooo much! I can not even tell you the revelation that is exploding in my head right now. I know I am MTHFR positive and thought that was my problem. Now I realize that it only started to affect me after taking Cipro. Wow. I recently took another floxin for a bacterial infection that wouldn’t clear with other antibiotics, but had to quit 2 days in because I was in so much joint pain. Since then, I have not be me, my head is so cluttered. ( I just keep saying wow tonight.) Thank you so much for sharing. I am just praying I can get better. I miss myself and being able to put 2 thoughts together.

    Reply

    1. Andrea Post author

      Glad to help you connect the dots – I had a similar Ah Ha! moment myself here. Sorry you are going through this too

      Reply

      1. Donna Kuhn

        this is all hitting home with me… I have been going through hell for almost a year now, with different symptoms showing daily.. I am miserable… what does MTHFR?? I don’t know if I have been tested for that or not.. but, I had a hysterectomy a year ago in feb.. after which I was told I have IC.. constant bladder infections, pain. was on Cipro and other drugs non stop for a long long time… I really need more on this.. Doctors are making me feel like I’m crazy and this is all making the light come on…. I started with a burning sensation in the back of my ankle, then it went to my knee.. well a few days later my hip was killing me.. I couldn’t hardly get up from a sitting position.. they said they thought it was bursitis… well from there I started having like a Charlie horse in the middle of my butt cheeks, yes both sides.. pain started radiating down my leg behind my knee to the bottom of my feet and up my back.. everyone said siatic nerve and maybe so.. but, IT WON’T GET BETTER.. I am now to the point that my whole body hurts and I mean hurts.. I tolerate pain pretty well..but I can honestly say that I push myself through work every day with pain on a scale of 1-10 of 8.. and after I push through that my body punishes me at night with a 10+. I could honestly sit and cry.. I have brain fog horribly, eye sight is terrible.. I stumble around like a drunk person at times.. my knees give out on me.. I have fallen down a few times now, just can’t catch myself, reflexes are so slow… I cannot hold onto things, dropping stuff all day long.. even when concentrating on trying to hold on, I still can’t.. I have constant bladder and bowel problems, muscle spasms, joint pain, headaches…my hands have started swelling pretty bad.. well they get big enough that it hurts and feels really tight.. I have no desire to do anything… I am constantly exhausted… I come home from work and sit on a messager to try and help ease the pain in my bottom and legs.. I have no sex life, I honestly don’t know how much longer I can keep going… work is horrible… I can’t do anything.. not even sit in comfort… Could you please send me more info on this or what I can do to get my life back.. I have always been a go getter, worked a mans job most of my life and now I struggle to carry a loaf of bread, or open a bag of chips.. opening lids that screw on is just out of the question.. I am constantly frustrated.. I feel like I’m dying.. Please Help Me!!!!

        Reply

  6. Deanna

    Hi Andrea!

    So good to find your website. You are sooooo much like me! I have been researching MTHFR relentlessly for over 6 months. I’m amazed at the complex set of symptoms related to methylation mutations. It can be quite overwhelming. My husband thinks I’ve gone mad with diagnosing myself. But the funny thing is – when you understand that methylation is at the core of nearly every bodily process – you can connect the dots with your symptoms.

    I lost a baby girl in 2011 due to placental abruption. My last child was born via emergency C-Section due to another placental abruption. I have suffered unexplained anxiety, heart palpitations, insomnia, racing thoughts, cyclical (PMDD) depression, numbness and tingling in my arms and hands, cold feet and hands, recurrent UTIs (treated with fluoroquinolones over and over again), and low and behold tinnitus! I have had tinnitus since I was old enough to talk to my dad about the ringing in my ears. My dad would sympathize because he suffers from tinnitus too! I never made the connection to MTHFR and tinnitus. Now I’m off to research more! Ha!

    I’m sorry for your loss and suffering. But I’m grateful you are with me on this miraculous journey of healing.

    Reply

    1. Andrea Post author

      Thanks for sharing your story, Deanna! Let me know if you find a remedy for the tinnitus. Mine has gotten increasingly better but still after a long, stressful day it can get pretty loud in the evening. One thing that has helped me is to stop eating shrimp. I read somewhere that many of them are fed fluoroquinolones in what I guess are called the shrimp farms (?) anyway, it has seemed to get better since then! Good luck to you!

      Reply

  7. Laurie

    Thank-you for this information. I am connecting the dots on both my health and my mom’s health. Mom has died. She was given fluoroquinolones on 2 known occasions, but I suspect 3, at least. Ten years ago she had severe pneumonia and acquired tinnitus at that time. I cannot ask her about the antibiotics she used because she died last year. Here is a terrible kicker…I stupidly used some of her antibiotics several years ago. I do not recall what they were called, but they were in pill form. It was not penicillin as that upsets my stomach. Well, whatever. I am MTHFR. Some of the genes are heterozygous and some are homozygous. I have had 2 inconclusive Lyme tests. My integrative doctor was fairly convinced I have Lyme, though. I am coming close to starting the protocol to fix this methylation problem. Then I can begin to detox. Over the years I have discovered ways of coping. I use a good quality enzyme with meals. I use TMG. I use an excellent product called CellFood for electrolytes and oxygen. I am now taking a very good antioxidant with, among other things, SOD. Vitamin B-6 saved my life, as it removes depression instantly. It also gives me energy and brings calm. A true godsend. (not to be taken with SSRI drugs). You have given me another leg-up as to understanding what has happened to me and what I must do. This is absolutely a mitochondrial problem. I am hurt that I could not save mom. I cannot allow myself to go into a pit over it. When I am better I will grieve then. Thank-you for caring enough to share your story and dispense knowledge. Hugs for you and all sufferers. Keep up the fight!

    Reply

  8. Kathleen

    It may be that quinolones in general are a factor. I know that my mother had myesthenia gravis and would never let anyone give them to her because they aggrevated it and caused extreme muscle weakness and double vision. Anyone with thyroid problems should avoid floride so your post makes a lot of sense for those of us with Hoshimotos (which I have) in addition to MTHFR. What info do you have on anti malarial drugs? OMG I just realized it was a quinalone…Hydroxychloroquine. I had unexplained positive ANA like the other poster and the couldnt figure it out either. I was in a lot of pain and exhausted. I believe it was a serum sickness from two vaccines. It ultimately caused a flare of Hoshimotos wich self resolved. That was 10 years ago. Last year I was diagnosed full blown and went on armour thyroid. Wow interesting!

    Reply

    1. Andrea Post author

      I did know that about anti-malarials, Kathleen – thanks for bringing it up. It explains why some people have very severe reactions to them. Drugs used to treat other problems experienced abroad are also troublesome like Flagyl (metronidazole) are also problematic. This is also used to treat the superbug C-Diff.

      Reply

  9. Jodi

    my lifes been ruined from fluroquinilones amd i am out of drs help at this point. I had taken over 150 cipro generic for a recurring uti. I have not been able to walk for 15 months now. I used to be an athlete on tv for working out, Now the simplest task to get to the rest room fatigues me. I cant weightbear AT ALL. I sit and cry alone all day . I have gained alot of weight i have been tested for everything. ,my knee mris look fine but my knees ARE HORRIBLE. we tired 2 meniscus surgerys on my left knee and it did nothing. I tried getting bone scans i have tested for autoimmune diseases it all comes back negative yet my ANA is sky high, i get eye twitches, my back now has bulging disks from not moving. my feet are so swollen they dont fit into shoes, i have brain fog i forget everything , my life has changed so bad. we spent all our money on every gadget and therapy nothing helps. Nobody will believe and diagnos me as cipro poisonong so they leave me to just sit and die,.how does a lifetime athlete just STOP walking forever. this is HELL i am living in. I cant work i collect nothing and i suffer every minute of every day. Yet they still give this out. I have tried to write to dr phil my kids have written to him. nobody cares. nobody cares the system did this to me and now are leaving me to die a slow painful death at 52 years young. my new life in a chair all day is like jail ;(

    Reply

    1. jeff

      Take Recancostat,a pill form of glutathione,or N-acetyl cysteine,a precursor to body production of it.Or organic whey protein a facilitator of production.Cissus quadurlangus is a known healer of joint and bones very quickly.Aloe vera juice,1 ounce,is also a known healer.Also Vitamins A,B,C.D,enzyme co-q10,Resveratrol,astaxanthin and magnesium. Jeff

      Reply

  10. Deborah

    Hi Andrea, this conversation about fluoroquinolones is so interesting – I took many antibiotics as a kid and suffered a long time from tinnitus, anxiety, insomnia, severe gastrointestinal problems etc etc. I recently took Rifaximin for SIBO and my tinnitus came back with a vengeance – I asked my doctor and he said that it can be ototoxic (toxic to the ears) so I never took it again.

    Reply

    1. Mark

      Hi, did the tinnitus recede when you stopped the rifaxamin? I started taking it a month ago, and I believe I have tinnitus now ((seeing a hearing doctor next week). This is a very interesting page.

      Reply

  11. Pingback: Posts Written by Floxed Friends | Floxie Hope

  12. ursula

    Hi Im new. Im a 46years female. 8 months in suffering after 1 anti malerial pill 250mg (mefloquine/lariam). tingles in hands/feet/face, foggy thick head, numbness, depression, heart beats, severe anxiety, cognitive problems, sore mussle and joints especially back mussle spasm, stiffness in neck, pressure in ears and head, dizzy, had total insomnia for 5 months, went off sleeping tab and now off ativan for a month but still anxious, terrible feeling of fearfullness, feeling of dissociation. As the floraquinolones this is also a neuro toxic that did brain damage (the dr prescribing it didnt mention it). Dont know if i have MTHFR? Im from RSA. Its like a floxed person. Didnt went into psychosis, but i think i was sometimes near by. Used to cry 4 timed p day. i go the med free way now, trying to wait it out but its a long journey as some people says it can take years or if youre unlucky, you stay with nasty symptoms, dont know. Please advice i dont have any back ground on glutahione, i stopped going to MD’s as they cant help me (in this country) and just take your money, not much help on any herbal drops either. What happened to you and how do i start testing anything and how do i get my glutathione up? Thanks Ursula

    Reply

  13. UCSD Fluoroquinolone Effects Study

    Have you taken an antibiotic such as Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Levaquin (levofloxacin), or Avelox (moxifloxacin)? Would you be willing to help in a survey-based medical research study?

    Dr. Beatrice A. Golomb and her colleagues at the University of California, San Diego are conducting a new study to identify and describe side effects and risk factors for good and bad outcomes involving antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class. Other example fluoroquinolones include Zymar (gatifloxacin), Floxin (ofloxacin), Zagam (sparfloxacin), Trovan (trovafloxacin), Tavanic, and Vigamox.

    Whether you believe you have experienced side effects or you believe you have tolerated them, you are invited to participate in this voluntary study. Participants possessing English language fluency from all countries are accepted.

    Study participants will be asked to complete questionnaire(s). By participating in these surveys, you can help us further understand the effects of fluoroquinolones and report findings to the medical community (including prescribing physicians) and the general public. Surveys will cover your overall health, well-being, fluoroquinolones taken, and symptoms; impacts on your life and career; and your personal story.

    For those without side effects, there is currently just one survey taking 20-30 minutes to complete.

    For those having adverse effects, there are currently 3 (voluntary) questionnaires that can be done separately, each taking approximately 40-90 minutes (time varies per individual). Each survey addresses a different set of concerns related to fluoroquinolone effects. More voluntary surveys may be available in the future. Compensation for taking the surveys is not available.

    If there is a chance you are interested in participating, please visit our website at:
    http://www.fqstudy.info
    for further information on this important study.

    If you know of anyone else who might consider participating, then please pass on our website address. We truly appreciate your participation and referrals.

    -The UCSD Fluoroquinolone Effects Study

    Reply

  14. marion

    If you are interested, Is there a e-mail address I can send a study showing levofloxacin was associated with a significantly increased risk of death and cardiac arrhythmia when compared to patients treated with amoxicillin? Marion

    Reply

  15. Mary Patrice Kinnavane

    Lynda, I come from a little island called IRELAND, it is right beside England. I was floxed in 20009 May 18th to be specific. I am 70 yrs. old and feel like somebody of 100 yrs. I am so ill most of the time with exactly your symthoms, raging tinnitus and unbearable neuropathy, fatigue beyond belief . Problems with understanding why nobody believes me. My GP is close mouthed about it and says Levaquin which was administered intraveinously is not the cause of my problems. It was given to me in combo with steroids for my asthma, so my left Achilles Tendon Ruptured. I could not walk for days. I walked into the local Hospital with my son and came out in a wheelchair and have such difficulty since walking and can only go to my car and because I live alone with a walking sticking. I am devastated that none of my siblings believe me. The Medical Profession here is revered and can do no wrong. They are in total denial and only that I found this wonderful group I think I would have taken my life. Appalling long periods of depression anger losing hope because of my peers not believing me. I was always the life and soul of every party, terrific swimmer, outgoing and I have in my life travelled the five continents. Note my spelling is diminished. I am a widow, three kids are grown up and gone to Denmark and Switzerland. Both daughter married two Danish guys and have a lovely life. My son lives locally but is very busy with life and again does not believe me. These are drugs of last resort and highly dangerous. Levaquin and a steriod deltra cortral were like a time bomb going off in my body in 2009. I think I am too old to recover but as I say I am Irish and I will fight on with the great help of Lisa Bloomfield “HOPE” and the Group. I was all set to go Washington DC to march with them but I live 6000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean and I feel I am not able for the long journey by Air. I went to Spain last Nov. to see how I could manage the trip a 2 hour trip and was devastated after the flight. I arrived and went straight to bed for the two weeks in the Hotel and had to have room service. No I am not going to give up as all I want is an apology from The Health Board where I worked for 30 years of my life. No compensation. Just the truth about Levaquin, Cipro, and Avelox

    Reply

    1. craig

      I havent seen any mention on this thread about LDN. Low dose naltrexone is an immune system modulator with amazing effects. Very cheap drug, about $30 USD/month. Many doctors prescribing .Google it and see what you get. Its worth a shot

      Reply

  16. Holland Carney

    Thank you for this post. It is so informative and well referenced. The way you described your search for answers choked me up, as I went through a similarly circuitous route to solve my own health puzzle. I took Levaquin three times in a seven-month period (bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infection), twice alongside exacerbating steroids. I had immediate reactions (tingling in feet, joint, tendon & muscle pain) that were dismissed by the prescribing doctor as normal for Hashimoto’s Disease. I pressed for an explanation of the sudden onset, but got nowhere. I knew this doctor (a primary care in an endo practice, doubling as my endo) was T3 depleting me, so I naturally assumed low T3 was the culprit. I changed doctors several days after finishing the third round of Levaquin, but didn’t think to mention the antibiotics. He tested my thyroid, found I had almost zero T3, and diagnosed neuropathy and fibromyalgia. In the ensuing months I tore both rotator cuffs, severely sprained my SI ligament in a minor fall, developed kidney stones, and grew 14 ovarian and uterine cysts, all benign but two as large as softballs, impinging blood flow and nerve function. Two months after my full hysterectomy, and two years after my last floxxing, my neuropathy went haywire; it has spread up both legs and arms. The pain is debilitating. My feet feel like they have been crushed under heavy machinery (and/or lit on fire, burned, sliced up, stung by hornets, etc.) Severe neuropathy and Secondary Raynaud’s Phenomenon have been diagnosed by my neurologist and rheumatologist, though I await more test results. I follow a strict diet of no gluten, casein, soy or egg. I recently started a detox of vitamin and mineral supplements, vitamin IVs and hyperbaric oxygen chamber sessions. I feel a little better a few days at a time, but for every 3 good days, I have 5 bad. I see a specialist to analyze my 23andMe results next week. I read success stories on FloxxieHope, study all I can, and do my best to help myself and others. In early May, I am joining a group holding a rally in D.C., meeting with a long list of senators to try to get some attention to this matter.

    You are helping so much by getting the word out. If the FDA will not protect people from this terrible danger, then all we have is each other to spread the truth and warning.

    Thank you for your great post.

    Reply

    1. Andrea Post author

      Wow, Holland – you’ve really been through it! Your post choked me up as well. I feel so sad that this happened to you and to countless others.

      I hope that getting your SNP results will help you on a path to better clarity for the way forward. There is hope and even though they are hard to find, there are practitioners out there who can help guide us through the maze. Give a shout in the forums if you ever need any assistance on your journey! Good luck and good health to you…

      Reply

  17. Lisa Bloomquist

    THANK YOU so much for writing this and for getting it out to your readers! Thank you also for linking to, and mentioning, Floxie Hope. I’m going to plug it again and mention to your readers that there are stories of hope and healing, along with lots of information about fluoroquinolone toxicity, on http://www.floxiehope.com.

    The delayed reactions and tolerance thresholds make it difficult for people to connect the cause – fluoroquinolone antibiotics – to the effect – multi-symptom chronic illness. It’s also, admittedly, ABSURD that a prescription antibiotic could cause a whole-body breakdown. The absurdity of it doesn’t make it untrue though. A bomb going off in your body is what happens when you get poisoned by a fluoroquinolone. Sometimes the bomb goes off suddenly, and sometimes it goes off gradually. It’s a bomb none the less.

    Thank you for your excellent post! Truly – I thank you with all my heart for getting the word out.

    Best regards,
    Lisa

    Reply

  18. Natascha

    Oh my gosh! I figured out years ago that I could not tolerate fluoroquinolones but now I understand why. Symptoms varied depending on the actual perscription but included vertigo, nausea, general fuzziness in my head, aggression, paranoia, and others. I hate taking antibiotics and have reverted to essential oils like oregano and a blend of cinnamon oil to take care of infections now.

    Reply

    1. Andrea Post author

      It’s so good that you listened to your body. Natascha…I also now avoid antibiotics but wish I had known to do so sooner!

      Reply

  19. Ms. A

    Amen and I couldn’t agree with you more! I firmly believe this is the exact reason my son ended up with a heart transplant! AND, now he is on a TOXIC DRUG COCKTAIL that is causing other problems and they still aren’t addressing the MTHFR, although THEY were the ones that discovered it. Makes me furious!

    Reply

  20. Lynda

    I have been getting off my medications except the neuro meds. My neurologist isn’t adverse to me getting off of those, just after everything else and a taper down under his care.

    One reason I did this besides detox, is that the pharmacists and doctors will say that whatever could be caused by side effects or interaction however, they can’t tell me to get off the meds.

    Well, I did and not under advisement, but after telling doctors why and how I am doing it, they are not in disagreement. My goal is to see how I really feel after I detox and have a significant period free.

    Detox side effects suck!! I’m not on narcotics of any type. I have had heavy night sweats, terrible nightmares and upset stomach. I realized it was withdrawal. I couldn’t figure it out, but the bladder meds are the worst to get off from, and I confirmed that with a doctor.

    I am studying botanical medicine as I have always had an interest in this. The proliferation of chemicals primarily came after World War II. Many pharmaceutical companies are German. The pesticide and pharmaceutical companies here are offshoots.

    Too much more to write, hot topic for me.

    Reply

    1. Andrea Post author

      Hi Lynda – Thanks for your comment! Is this detox from fluoroquinolones? I did not realize they have addictive properties. Or are these medications you took for the adverse reactions? Can you tell us more?

      Reply

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