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Levaquin Leads to Achilles Tendon Problems

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Q. Is there anyone collecting and disseminating information on personal experiences with Achilles tendonitis caused by the antibiotic Levaquin? I have had this problem in both legs for several weeks after receiving the medication.  My doctor seems not to have heard of this complication until now.

As a consumer I have found considerable information on the Internet, but nothing regarding the time frame for relief from this painful condition.

A. Unfortunately, inflammation and in rare cases even rupture of tendons, including the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle, are possible side effects of Levaquin and similar antibiotics. We have heard from other readers with similar problems. One person’s experience suggests the time frame for recovery may be months rather than weeks: “I took 750 mg of Levaquin for a sinus infection for 9 days. I got rid of the sinus infection but have been dealing with tendinopathy in my legs and one shoulder for the past three months.”

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I have taken Levaquin 500 mg tablets for 11 days (until 2 days ago) against pneumonia.

I have developed severe pain in my achilles tendons (mostly on the left side ). I can hardly walk in the morning. Not having had any problems before I could not figure whatever could be the reason for this problem, especially since I have been doing stretching exercises for years.

My wife and I both have Chronic Lyme disease. Levaquin is one of the medicines given orally and by IV to treat Lyme and other tick-borne co-infections. Several people that we have spoken with personally have taken Levaquin and experienced serious tendon problems.

My wife has a tendon that has split (per MRI results), and she was told it was probably from taking the Levaquin. She is disabled at this point and we have found nothing to help reverse the situation. I have also read about tendon problems from use of Levaquin on several forums related to Lyme disease.

I was diagnosed in an emergency room with pneumonia after some mysterious symptoms that included blood pressure over 200 and pulse of 110 with sputum containing blood. I was given a prescription for Levaquin for the "pneumonia."

After two days, there was tremendous swelling of my right arm and left leg.

There was acute weakness and pain of the left Achilles tendon. My left leg bothers me to this day--about 8 months later.

I was in doubt about the pneumonia diagnosis to begin with, and still am. Doubly in doubt about the prescription, since I have never been allergic or had any reaction to drugs in 85 years.

I have had a prostate problem for years. I was often given Cipro or Levaquin for frequent kidney infections. I was also prescribed Levaquin after two prostate surgeries.

During this period I noticed I was having pains in my knees that kept getting worse, but I did not associate them with the use of the two drugs. Following one particularly painful bout, I found it necessary to use a cane to walk from the parking lot to work. I even consulted an orthopedic doctor who recommended surgery. However, after an MRI, he said I could probably put it off until my 60s, about 5 years away.

I still have knee pain off and on, but I have discovered that if I stay away from Levaquin and Cipro my problem is not as bad. I blame these two medications for the acute pain I have experienced in the past.

I just finished taking Levaquin for 10 days for a sinus infection. After the 5th day I noticed extreme pain in my muscles through my entire body. I just finish my 10th pill 3 days ago and am still in extreme pain. I feel like I'm an 80 year old woman in a 34 year old's body.

This is very interesting information as I am suffering from achilles bursitis which is inflammation of the achilles tendon. I've suffered from this condition for a couple years. I've taken Levaquin several different times for sinus infections because it helped me more than other antibiotics. I'll never take it again after reading this.

I have had shoulder and upper arm pains and stiffness since being on a 750 mg dose of levaquin for five days. That was about a month ago. Still have symptoms. Want to know if anything can be done to help with the healing process. I have started glucosomine sulfate. Don't know if that will help or hurt.

I am a doctor, and I took Levaquin 750 mg for 5 days to treat a bacterial bronchial infection. Subsequently, I
noticed a tightness in my left Achilles tendon which hampered my ability to walk normally.

Two days later, I felt a similar, but less intense, sensation in my right Achilles tendon. Three days later, I woke up with a severely swollen left ankle and I could barely walk.

An MRI of the ankle showed a severe tendino-pathy and a completely severed Achilles tendon. I underwent repair of the tendon with a pigskin graft; then, over six weeks in a wheelchair in a non-weight bearing cast.

The cast is off and I am currently on partial-weight bearing with a walker. It's a slow and arduous process.

I was on Levaquin for a sinus infection for two weeks. After the first week, I noticed that both my shoulders ached and I had some numbness in my leg, arm & hand, but it didn't occur to me that this drug was the cause. I hadn't noticed the joint side effect listed on the drug info because it was buried amongst a host of others towards the bottom. I started to feel joint achiness in my entire body, from my fingers to my toes, especially in my knees and shoulders. It continued to progress after I had finished the full dose of the drug.

About one month later, my knees are still stiff, my shoulders ache and feel weak, and I still feel achy/week all over, on and off. The pain is enough to keep me up some nights. After doing more research, I'm pretty positive that Levaquin is responsible for the havoc created in my body.

The frustrating part is that I haven't seen any information that tells me that this is going to be temporary or what I can take to counteract the antibiotic effects. I don't believe that this is a rare side effect. This drug should be recalled! How many people will have to experience this before that will happen? I am a 48 yr. old active female, but feel about 70! Can anyone help?

I think I have suffered the side effects of Levaquin... After being treated for pneumonia & bronchitis both, I was prescribed 500 mg of Levaquin once a day. After the 6th day/dose, I had terrible pain in the soft part of my left ankle, and my ankle got very swollen. Then soon after, the pain started shooting up my leg and swelling also started up my leg.

I went back to the doctor and they did 5 x-rays and an ultrasound, and I was told no problem was found that the doctors could see. Two doctors that observed me were very stumped as to why this was occuring. I was told that if it gets red or worse to come back in & they would do an MRI.

I asked the doctor if this would be a reaction to the Levaquin, and the doctors didn't believe it was related & that would be very rare if it was at all! But they did have me stop taking the drug, and I had 4 pills left...

After 10 days, my left ankle, toes and calf are still swollen and sore, and it is very painful to walk. The doctors also suggested steroids may be an alternative if I have to go back to the doctor if swelling doesn't go down! I am very tired all the time, have no energy at all, I wonder when or if the swelling will go down.

I just couldn't believe after reading all the side effects posted on this web page that people were experiencing the same thing I was!! I think they need to pull this drug off the market. I have never exeperienced any reaction from any drugs I've take before... and I do not regulary take any medication. I just want to warn people to be careful! Still recovering in Minnesota!


Stay away from Levaquin!!!! I took it in December and my ankles are still swollen. My feet, ankles, and knee are always very sore and stiff. It has gotten worse, not better. My doctor gave me water pills to take down the swelling. I'm 7 days into the water pills, but it's not working.

I was given Levaquin for 7 days to combat pneumonia. I could not figure out why my tendons in each upper shoulder area pained me so.

When I went back to read the discharge papers I received from the emergency room, a closer look revealed this statement: "Rarely quinolones have been shown to cause tendon inflammation and even ruupture". The pain seems to be more severe at night, making it quite difficult to sleep.

I took three doses of 750 mg Levaquin on December 31st, January 1st and January 2nd. On January 5th I woke with horrendous pain in my right thigh and hip. My physician said it was in no way related to the drug/poison. It really hurt to walk, but after reading online the suffering that so many had gone through with this medicine, I felt lucky. Then... on January 14th I woke with excruciating right Achilles tendon pain, and three days later it was in both ankles. Of course I went to see my doctor, and he assured me this was not the drug's responsibility.

He is so ignorant. I am devastated. I feel like my life is destroyed. Can anyone please help me? How long will it take for this agony to pass? I am trying physical therapy and supportive measures to try to ease the pain, but nothing works. I can hardly walk. I am so terrified that one or both of these tendons will rupture. I am begging for some help from anyone.

I was prescribed Levaquin for a respiratory infection on 12/10/07. On the 10th and last day of the prescription, I noticed bilateral tenderness in my achilles tendons, more in my left than right. I used ice, NSAID, and rest to reduce the swelling. I finally gave in and saw a podiatrist on 1/25/08. He gave me a walking boot and scheduled an MRI. The results of the MRI showed a partial tear in the left achilles tendon. He confirmed that since I had no recent injuries, this was probably caused by the Levaquin.

I was told no surgery was needed, but I would need to wear a walking cast, and then physical therapy. I was never warned by the pharmacist or my ENT that this could even be a possible side effect. It seems to me that this should have been presented up front. I was definately told about the chance of nausea, vomiting, and all the other "normal" side effects of an antibiotic.

This has put such a terrible strain on my life. It's almost impossible to do my job. I am not supposed to spend more than an hour a day on my feet. My employer is graciously working around my condition, but frankly, this sucks. It hurts to walk or stand. As I read of the side effects others have experienced, I wonder if the recent stiffness in my hands and wrists might be associated too.

I really think this medication should be taken off the market. And... I think that doctors and pharmacists should research medications and their side effects more thoroughly before prescribing them. I don't think I can print the suggestions I have for the pharmaceutical companies. Thanks for listening.

I went through the horrors of a reaction to Levaquin last Sept.-Oct. 2007. I broke out in severe hives all over my arms, legs and back. I felt like I was being eaten alive by fire ants! There were a few on my neck, chest and face also. They actually got into the whites of my eyes. There were deep hives in the tendons of my feet that hurt so bad I could hardly walk or stand for more than a few minutes at a time.

I found tendon relief by taking 2 glucosamine (500 mg) & chondroitin (400mg) tablets plus 1 MSM (1000mg) tablet 3x daily. I also found a cream with the same thing by Nature's Plus. It was the only thing that I felt turned this reaction around.

So sorry for anyone going through this! Yes, I thought I was going to die, too. Hang in there, you are in my prayers.

I'm a 44 year-old-male. Very active in endurance sports. I was on Levaquin (750mm) for 6 days. Days 3,4,5 and 6 were very bad. Lots of joint pain in my knees and feet. I've been off of it for over a week now and still have trouble walking.

First, go to this site for very good info on this condition:

Don't give up. Take control. This is your body. Nothing is as bad as sitting around waiting to be healed. Start with mild/gentle streching, hot/cold therapy, good diet, good sleep and positive outlook.

Good luck to us all.

We have been trying since 1999 to get "Black Box" warnings as well as "Dear Doctor" letters regarding this very common adverse reaction to the fluoroquinolone drugs without success. Public Citizen as well as the Attorney General of the State of Illinois had both filed petitions seeking this with the FDA, only to be ignored. In January of 2008 Public Citizen filed a lawsuit in Federal Court demanding the FDA review thier petition. Though required by law to do so the FDA chose instead not to repond properly to both petitions, and have been sued as a result of such malfeseance.

Visitors of this site who have an interest in the horrendous adverse reactions associated with this class are invited to log unto where they will find well over 4000 medical journal entries, clinical studies, post marketing information, etc., the clearly document these severe and at time permanent reactions.

Personally I was both blinded (permanent double vision) and crippled (chronic tendonitis) by these drugs. That was over eight years ago. My life will NEVER be the same since then. There is not treatment available for the majority of these reactions.


Mr. David T. Fuller
Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Research Foundation

I took levaquin for 3 days for a bladder infection in Feb. 07. Had a lot of joint pain and muscle spasms. 10 months after taking it, I have tendonitis in both of my feet. I don't think this damage ever leaves us. I don't know if I will ever get better. Please let everyone know what poison this stuff is.

My wife has taken this for 4 days. Last night, I had to take her to the emergency room. Her feet, legs, and ankles are swollen, and she is in pain. The doctor refused to even discus this drug and its effects. Tomorrow, she goes back to the doctor that prescribed this. I don't know what to do. She's 39, and has never dealt with anything like this. On top of this, we have no insurance, and she's scared that this will devestate us. I don't care if I lose everything, I just want her to stop hurting. If anyone can give me any advice, I would greatly appreciate it. My prayers to all of you. Thank you.

I have taken Levaquin 500 mg for 4 of my 10 days of prescription and after reading this I'm done. I was fine up until this morning when I woke up with severe knee pain in both knees. So bad that I had to have help out of bed and into the shower. (the shower didn't help much by the way) Both knees have sharp pains in them making it almost impossible to walk. By the way, I'm only 27 and have never had knee problems.

I had an achilles rupture 10 days after taking Levaquin. This was followed by surgical repair. I had horrible tendon pain for several months until I contacted an MD in California that had done some research on this. He suggested high absorbtion (chelated) Magnesium. IT WORKS! 2-3 weeks later there was a significant improvement.

Note that Magnesium does not absorb easily so you need the Chelate. By the way, when I saw another MD for an unrelated problem, he asked why I noted on my chart "no levaquin". After I explained, he told me he had taken levaquin a few weeks earlier and could barely walk because of achilles pain. I told him about the magnesium and on a later visit, he told me that he had tried it and it worked for him also.

Add me to the list. I have Bartonella (a lyme co-infection) and one of the primary drugs to resolve is Levaquin. Day 3 into my treatment of 1x daily 500 mgs, I went for an easy jog---I'm a semi-competitive runner currently doing about 35 miles a week. 10 minutes into it, I had to stop due to tendon inflammation. I walked home and the leg continued to be sore all day. I iced it last night and it seems fine today.

Despite that I will discontinue taking Levaquin. Unfortunately it seemed like it was working for the Bartonella symptoms. I pray that my tendon isnt permanently damaged. Good luck to everyone.


About a mounth ago I was on an antibiotic call Cipro 250mg two a day for 7 days right after that I started complaining to my husband that my legs were hurting and felt sore clear down to my feet.Thought it would go away but it feels like my legs are just not right and my feet are cold too most of the time

I have a daughter who was put on this med over the weekend for a UTI 500mg twice a day thats quite alot more than I took after reading this site I will tell her to watch for swollen anclells or feet the sad thing is then its to late.

I took 500 mg levaquin for 10 days. I am 28 and my body ache is not going even a week after stopping the medicine. I am getting tired very easily and the muscle pain is not going away. How long does it take for the pain to go away ?

I developed severe levaquin-induced achilles tendonitis which included small tears and severe inflammation of the tendon. I needed 4 months of physical therapy to achieve a partial recovery.

The pain and inflammation waxed and waned for about a year, but it gets better in time. I read about using magnesium as suggested in a comment above, makes sense. I tried it but could not say how well it worked. I also had acupuncture which seemed to help a lot.

I got all the crap mentioned in this website after taking Levaquin 750 for 7 days for a sinus infection. 2 weeks later I still have trouble walking.

My husband David took Levaquin for pneumonia and Mrsa. He is now wheelchair-bound. The pain started in his neck, then moved to his shoulders and arms. Now it is in every joint and muscle. David has to have assistance with daily activities. We have gone to multiple doctors and until recently when he was hospitalized for a sprained ankle, no one would listen to our concerns.

I hope you have better luck with the doctors than we did. They all want to blame this on Fibromyalgia and RA. We have three kids and one income. We've lost our car and some other things. We're now selling personal property just to make it. Isnt it great how a medication can cure one thing and instantly put a 35 year old self-employed man in a wheelchair? I think the FDA needs to look at their standards for safe.

Just finished a 21-day prescription of Levaquin. Shoulder joint pain started about 10 days ago and now it is in knees. Dr. never told me about potential side effects. I am very upset and want to know what I can do to get rid of the pain and weakness.

My husband had been on prednisone (steroid) for a rheumatoid arthritis flare when he developed pneumonia 4/08. Fifteen days of Levaquin for the pneumonia triggered the FULL BODY tendinopathy, including so much swelling of his hands that he now has carpal tunnel syndrome. The pain was excruciating. The swimming pool was his life saver. It was the ONLY place he was/is pain free, because he "unloads" all his tendons in the pool through zero gravity. If you can get into a warm pool with this, do it FAST! It feels GREAT. Hydrocodone and oral prednisone for the rheumatoid arthritis that persists has reduced the pain further. But, as we've reduced the prednisone, the tendinopathy pain is coming back big time. My hub's rheumatologist doesn't know what else to do. Does any body have a doc or phys. therapist that knows how to treat this???

I took Levaquin about a year ago for a sinus infection. I woke up in the middle of the night with all of my muscles contracting and relaxing. I was very anxious and could see the muscles in my body, especially my arms and legs, continually convulsing. I had to go to the ER and was released after taking some Ativan. I discontinued the pills. Now, just two weeks ago, I dislocated my posterior tibial tendon (ankle) and I've been told that this is a very difficult thing to do and very rare. Could this be related to the Levaquin taken almost a full year ago?

About two months ago I was prescribed a four week dose of levaquin for a prostatitus condition....

After two weeks I had trouble walking due to the pain in my knees and calves and I discontinued the medication. the pain has yet to subside....its horrific....

I took levaquin last November, 2007. After five days, I suffered severe tendonitis in both achilles tendons that lasted for four months and I still have some effects today. I could not walk without pain; the drug should never have been on the market.

So yesterday, six years after I took levaquin and then ruptured my achilles,and over 10 years after significant evidence of a problem with flouroquinilones and tendon problems, the FDA has decided that people should be warned about flouroquinilones.

It is good to know that the FDA is able to respond so quickly and are diligently working in the interest of public health!

The timing of this warning of course has nothing to do with the fact that Public Citizen got fed up with the stalling and filed a lawsuit against the FDA forcing them to issue the warning. If I sound bitter, it is only because I am!

I finshed taking Levaquin a few days ago, which I took for 10 days for a bacterial infection that I've had on and off for about 6 weeks and didn't seem to clear up after 2 other antibiotics. At one point about three weeks ago I thought I was getting better and felt well enough to work out.

I did my usual workout on the treadmill and a workout with dumb bells. It wasn't unusual for me to experience occassional soreness. I did have a bit of soreness in my upper arm, but figured it was due to the fact that I hadn't worked out for a little while. It really caused no discomfort. A few days later I was starting to get pretty sick again, this time the doctor prescribed Levaquin.

I really didn't have any side affects except that about 4 days after starting the meds my arm started to hurt more. I thought this was odd since I hadn't worked out for a few weeks and the arm had felt better. I went back to the doctor for a recheck a couple days ago. I'm still not completely well, but I'm not on any more med's for now. The doctor feels since I was so sick for so long it will just take my body a while to recover, I do feel a little better each day.

I mentioned the arm situation, which was pretty sore by then, the pain is going up and down my arm form the elbow area, but the doctor didn't mention this could be a side affect of the Levaquin. It wasn't until last night that my husband saw a report on the news linking Levaquin to tendon and joint problems. After learning this info and doing some research, I'm quite sure my arm pain is related to the Levaquin. How could my arm have been better, then get worse with no activity? I'm taking Ibuprofin 800mg. now and hoefully it will get better.

I noticed that when I am driving for trips greater than 1 hour I have trouble walking for about 10 minutes. It is my left achilles tendon. I have also had trouble sleeping on my right shoulder. I took Cipro about two years ago. I have had the pain about two years. I never made the connection until now.

Levaquin : 5 days for sinus infection. Experienced disorientation, insomnia, muscle soreness. Double burst shoulder requiring surgery.

This occured 3 years ago and am still experiencing very bad muscle soreness. Shoulder, after surgery, just not the same, still pain.

Levaquin can be dangerous in my opinion and experience. Do your best to avoid it just in case you happen to be victim to it's "side effects". Avoid driving if on levaquin due to induced disorientation.

Anyone who has been recently given Cipro and / or Levaquin should not take it and ask for something else that is not a fluoroquinolone. I was taking Cipro for a slight diverticulitis attack back in April 2008. The knuckle of my left thumb would snap when I try to either bend it or straighten it out. Also, I would hear a snap coming from my legs when I walk. My doctor denies that thes symptoms are from Cipro but "old age" (I am an otherwise healthy 51 year old).

Meanwhile, I have primary lymphedema in my right leg so my lymphatic system is not working properly. How could he do this to me?! He knows that I have this condition and he still gave me this poison!!!!

I have have been taking 1500 mg of Glucosamine for about a month and it helps a bit. I am thinking of taking MSM with it.

I want to be an advocate against these poisons!!!! I want to spread the word how dangerous these drugs are.

Im searching information on why both of my achilles tendons and both my elbows suddenly started hurting only to find this website after taking my last dose of levaquin 1 hour ago. I am a 51 year old telephone repair person that climbs ladders and poles all day. Now I am afraid to move for fear of a rupture.

I was on the medication for exactly 1 week ending today but I can hardly walk since about the second day. With my job I never thought of the medication. I did read the warnings in the beginning regarding tendonitis occurring in persons mostly over 60 or taking prednisone (i had a script for prednisone to be taken at the same time but skipped it just because of that comment) What should I expect now. Do I continue to try to climb and risk a tear or what....

I took levequin for 5 days for a wound that would not heal. I now have tendoapathy in my left achilles tendon and I have both shoulder pain, I cannot reach up. My doc took me off med right away but said he didn't think it was the medication. of course not he prescribed it. Not sure if he is right or it is the levaquin. how do i get rid of my pain?

I am a 21 year old female who has had recurrent sinus infections for the past 4 years. Levaquin is the drug that works the best for me so I have taken it several times a year since high school. 3 years ago, I began having severe pain in both knees that could not be explained by an injury. I went to orthopedic doctors who could not give me any answers, tried physical therapy (which only made my knees more painful), and eventually had to quit being a college athlete.

To this day, I am unable to walk around my college campus or go up the stairs without pain. If I do ANY amount of exercise - as simple as throwing around a frisbee or doing leg lifts - I will hardly be able to walk the next day. I have periodic back pain and what feels like carpal tunnel in my arms.

I feel cheated that the medicine that cures my illnesses is ruining my quality of life. I am 21 - I should be able to run on the treadmill or play softball with my friends. Does anyone know if the pain will ever go away?

As I posted earlier, Chelated Magnesium worked very well for me in combating the tendonitis in my achilles and shoulders. Magnesium does not absorb easily so you really need the Chelated Magnesium. I hope it works for some of you like it did for me, I saw big improvement in 2 weeks. This was recommended to me by a MD in California that had done some research into fluoroquinolone adverse effects. If anyone else has positive results from this, please post.

I was prescribed Levaquin for a Sinus infection. Within 24 hourse of taking the medication, my body felt as if it was poisoned. I felt extreme pain in every joint, muscles, bones and every part of my body. I stopped taking the medication; and my doctor then apologized for not telling me about the side effects!

The doctor said the side effects should disappear in a few days. Well, I just got worse. I was unable to move and get out of bed. I was screaming and crying in excruciating and indescribable pain. Long story short, I now have Fibromyalgia. My husband, who is also a doctor, and I are completely convinced I have Levaquin induced Fibromyalgia. However, we can't get another doctor to agree.

I was in perfect health, other than a slight infection, and now I am in pain everyday. My organs have now been affected by the drug. I struggle to get through everyday, with virtually no help from my doctors. I believe this is a toxic drug, and we are experience drug toxicity - not a simple drug reaction or side affect! As of July, 2008 this drug finally has the "Black Box" warning.

My life will never be the same. I have no quality of life now, and it certainly affects my husband, as he has to watch me go through this horror. I do not even know my body anymore.

I have taken cipro and levaquin. I have been on that medication for my pneumonia, sinus infections, and kidney, bladder infections. I had some reactions using the drug, but i have ignored it and kept taken my medication. Well I am in misery and no one can find out why. I am starting to have pain everywhere and barely can move my arms and legs and i feel ill all the time. can Levaquin or Cipro be the reason why I never ever felt good in all these years. I need help cause doctors are not able to find what's wrong even though they see I am in pain.

I recently went to the dr for a painful sinus infection. I asked the PA who was to treat me that I would like either samples of anitibiotics or rx for a generic due to insurance issues. He brought me a bag with some nasal spray and 5 individual blister pks of pills (levaquin). I was not given any information on the meds and did not have worries as I am healthy and never had a reaction. Well after the 2nd day, I awoke with painful swelling in my hands and feet.

Additionally, with each passing day, more pain and itching. I noticed the pain was localized to my joints. Not making the connection, I phoned a friend to ask if my sinus infection could get into my joints. She thought it might be the meds. I returned to my dr who prescribed ibuprofen and suggested that I take 1/2 pain pill 3x's a day. It has been one week since my last dose of meds and although the swelling in my hands is not as bad, I still have the pain especially in the ankles and find myself walking "flatfooted" due to the pain. Had I been told what to look out for, I would've discontinued the meds right away. It's a tragedy what has happened to young, active people due to this type of medication. I wish you all well.

I was prescribed Levaquin 500mg back in May 2008 for a mild sore throat. The second day I was on it I went to the ER because I wasn't feeling right, the Doctor in the ER told me Levaquin was a good antibotic and for me to continue on taking it and I did. I went back to my PCP (he wasn't the original PCP who prescribed me Levaquin, another PCP did) and I told him something was going on with my legs, they got extremely tight and very painful. He too told me to continue to take the medicine. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I went to my PCP telling him the same thing "something was wrong with me."

Of course, he just looked at me like I was a nut case. I even told him I NEVER had problems with my legs before. While I was on Levaquin I even developed oral thrush in my mouth (something else I have NEVER had). Needless to say, I freaked out! On the 6th day I went back to my PCP and told him Levaquin wasn't curing my sore throat and my legs were still hurting me. He put me on another medication which cleared my sore throat but not the pain in my legs. It has been 8 months since I have been off of Levaquin and the pain in my legs is worse.

I even went to an Orthopedic Dr. told him my theory that my leg pain was medication related and he too just shrugged it off. He sent me to a Physical Therapist because he felt like I pulled my hamstrings and my abductor muscles and I told him I thought his diagnosis was wrong. I went through Physical Therapy and it didn't help me one bit. It wasn't until I typed in Levaquin on the web and I saw how many people have experienced problems since they have taken Levaquin. I am livid because 3 Doctors didn't even tell me about the side affects. I never read side affects of medications, I figured the Doctors knew what they were doing so why bother.

Now I am convinced the pain in my legs is due to Levaquin and I think my husband now believes me because I never had any leg problems before and now I am in constant pain. Now I am trying to find a doctor who will actually listen to me and take me seriously. I just don't know what type of Doctor I need to see. I am not going back to the Orthopedic I went to because he just brushed me off. I cannot even stand for a long period of time or walk through a Mall because I am in that much pain. Now I am afraid to take any medication. This is horrible. Then to top it off I was told by the Pharmacist I should have never been put on Levaquin for a sore throat. Now here I sit completely miserable because I am in so much pain.

4 months since the last time I posted on this website. I am still having the same trouble with pain on my achilles tendons and on my heels where they attach. I have discomfort in both knees and elbows to. I have been treated 2 per day with anti-imflamatory medication (voltaren 75mg) and physical therapy 3xper week including heat and ultrasound - friction massage and stretching. It has helped somewhat but I still have swelling, pain and tightness if I have been on my feet for any length of time.(10 minutes or more) So it still is not healed.

I am a 57 year old female who is otherwise pretty healthy, about 12 lbs. overweight, don't smoke or drink, and have never had arthritis before. On Dec. 5th I was given a five day regimen (also literature to read) of Levaquin (750mg) by my own physician, to treat a small infection on my toe.

I started having some unusual pain in my legs within 24 hrs. that I chalked up to a long walk I'd taken the day before. Then I started having a weird disoriented feeling by the 2nd day, with periodic lightheadedness. I figured the head stuff was the drugs, but decided I could bear with it for 5 days.

I wish now I had searched the internet at that point and learned more about the drug, because by the third day the very painful, stiff muscles and tendons in my legs, from mid-thigh to the bottoms of my feet, the backs of my knees and in my elbows was almost crippling.

Since I take another prescription drug (Femara) that has caused me hand pain, I thought I was suddenly having a worse side effect from that pill. It just didn't occur to me that all this new pain was from the Levaquin, since I've never had trouble with antibiotics before.

Four days after finishing the drug and still in a lot of pain (despite hot baths and using 600 mg. of Ibuprofen twice a day, or acetaminophen when the Ibu. didn't help. Also, I have doubled up on my daily dose of Glucosamine but don't see it helping.) it finally occurred to me to start researching this drug online.

I have been shocked and horrified to see that these are common side effects of Levaquin, AND that people continue to suffer for months and years afterwards! I will call my doctor tomorrow (Monday) and tell her what's been going on. I have always trusted her judgment before this but now I am very distressed that she'd prescribe this drug without a warning of possible side effects.

Has anyone used accupuncture to try and heal the damage from Levaquin? Re. the Magnesium supplements as mentioned above by another blogger... I have a bottle of Mag. Citrate...would this be as useful as Chelated Magnesium?

Please give me some hope that I can rid myself of this painful condition!

Ok. This has scared me to death! I finished a 10 day cycle of 500mg Levaquin 2 days ago. I have not experienced any of these symptoms yet. Just let me tell you who prescribed this to me. It was my orthopedic surgeon for treatment of a cellulitus infection 4 days post-op ACL reconstruction surgery! I sincerely hope this does not create serious problems for me.

For the past couple of weeks I am experiencing pain in my right shoulder joint. I don't know if it's arthritis, aging sign, or due to having intravenous Levaquin at the emergency room a few months ago. Anybody know how long it takes for this medication to cause rotator cuff problems?

I am 70 year old man with heart failure. I was prescribed Levaquin 500mg for 10 days for a sinus infection. After 5 days I noticed a painful swelling on the top my left foot. It got worse on the 6th day and I call my doctor on the 7 day after I could no longer walk. My foot was badly swollen so I call the Dr. His nurse told me to keep taking Levaquin until it was gone.

I decided to stop the Levaquin because it was the only thing that was new. I did some research on the internet and found I was not alone with these problems. I have been off the Levaquin for 3 days and pain in my left foot keeps getting worse. I went back to the doctor yesterday and was prescribed Triamcinolone Acetonide and Voltaren creams.

I looked on the web and found they aren't recommend for people with heart failure. I don't think I will use these meds. I am not sure what to do and am now on crutches and can't put any weight on my left foot.

I am 42 years old. Don't smoke or drink, eat healthy and live an active life.
I just finished 5 days of levaquin 750 mg. for a sinus infection. I took it 2 other times within the last year and didn't realize that the pain in my joints that I have been experiencing since I first started taking it was caused from the levaquin. This 3rd. time I was prescribed it, I really had severe joint pain in all my joints.

So tired I can hardly work and no energy at all. I knew something was wrong because I felt worse instead of better while I was taking it. I got on the internet to look up the side effects and saw all of these stories of people who had taken levaquin and had the exact same symptoms as I was having. This is really disturbing, I know that some medications have side effects but it seems that this medication causes disabling effects on people.

This medication needs to be taken off the market and the Dr.'s that prescribe this need to realize the severity of this drug and worn patients about it.
I pray that this pain in my joints doesn't last forever, and that I can return to my previous health soon.

I am 42 yr old a former pro surfer and am in perfect health and shape. I eat only the best foods available, home cooked, by me. NO SUGAR. My father is a MD and a world renown expert in health. I can swim 7 miles, and free dive 50 feet at length. After only 3 days of Levaquin for a infected eye injury, I had very painful achillies tendons and knees. I called my father and he immediately made me stop the Levaquin. 12 days later I am a mess. I can't even run with my 3 year old son. Dizzy and I feel like an old man. I cannot go back to any of my usual routine. It is quite scary. I wish you all a speedy recovery.

I am a 35 year old female and mother of 3 with health issues that I too believe were caused by Cipro. I took the antibiotic for approx 4 days for a UTI. I stopped taking the medication due to developing allergic hives as instructed by my doctor. One year later, out of no where, I developed severe pain and tingling in my right hand and arm. Then it went on to my left hand. Blood work was done to out rule autoimmune diseases. All were negative. I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Eventually, this progressed to Dequevarains Tendenitis and Tennis elbow. I had recently given birth to my third child. This was an uncomplicated pregnancy just like my prior two with little weight gain and no water retention but my primary care doctor seems to feel that this was all brought on by my pregnancy.

I strongly disagree and although I worked at desk job for the prior 4 years no one would say that this was work related in any way shape or form. Why 2 months after the pregnancy did this arise when I had no symptoms during the pregnancy?

After extensive and expensive surgery was done to correct both of my hands I was researching the probability of re-occurrence and found the information regarding CIPRO.... Please help me, I am better now, but feel that I deserve an answer to all of this. I lost my job, became depressed while I was in pain for months because I could not even hold my newborn son without tears streaming down my face because of the pain. I couldn't even get a good nights rest even though the baby slept all night thru at 6 weeks of age.

I’m 38 yrs. Old. I was prescribed levaquin 500 MG for a sinus infection to take once per day for 21 days. The Allergist doctor said if your joints start aching, like in your knees call me and I'll change the prescription, don't try to work through it. I didn't think it to be a big deal. After a week into taking Levaquin my hand and arm would go numb in the middle of the night.

I thought maybe I was sleeping on it for too long and it went numb. After about 4 more days my knees and lower back started aching and from my achillies tendon to all the way up the back of my calf is extremely tender. I called the doctor and asked to have the prescription changed. The doctor never told me the damage this drug can cause to your tendons.

He just said if you have aching in your joints, like arthritis. What makes it worse is I went to see an ENT about 10 days after taking the medicine because my sinus' still didn't show signs of improving. I told the ENT that I was taking Levaquin. He said it was a good medicine and to keep taking it.

Even after I wrote down and told him my elbow joints were aching, had numbness in hand and pain in back of leg. I haven't taken the medicine for 2 days but the pain up the back of my calf and aching in my knees has not improved. As a matter of fact at this very moment the back of my calf feels like it’s burning.

I had an SI Joint fusion eight weeks ago. I had a sinus infection last week and started Levaquin. Started it on Friday and by Friday night my pain in my back, hip and leg got a lot worse. I spent the whole weekend in pain. I called the pharmacy today and they said to stop taking it. My surgery pain was getting a lot better and now it, plus my leg and knee hurt.

I am going to try and detox. My surgeon said don't worry and continue taking it. I don't get how they can ignore all of these side effects. I am worried that since I am more compromised I will have damage. I took a whole dose in Nov. and now that I think about it that is when my knee started hurting so bad I could hardly do stairs.

Back then I attributed it to my back pain. Now that my knee is hurting so much I think it was from the Levaquin. Geeze, my back, hip, knee and leg all hurt.

I took Levaquin for 6 days for a respiratory infection last week. I am an occupational therapist myself and when I started getting severe pain in my left arm and shoulder, I knew to stop the Levaquin right away, but it had already done it's dirty work. I have been in severe pain since last Thursday. I have tried therapy but I am still in terrible pain. It is unbelievable that they would still allow this drug to be prescribed. This disorder is not rare. It is becoming a very common problem with Levaquin. It is affecting my job performance. I will never take Levaquin again and suggest others refuse to use it.

I was prescribed 500 mg of Levaquin for 5 days to prevent infection after my appendectomy. I had heard a few years back that fluoroquinolones could "RARELY" cause tendonitis and/or tendon rupture in the elderly. I am a health nut, so naturally this frightened me. I refused to take these drugs when my ENT wanted to prescribe them to me for a sinus infection.

However, after my appendix was removed in Feb 2009, my surgeon told me that Levaquin was the "gold standard" antibiotic to prevent infection after this kind of surgery, and assured me that he had never heard of tendon issues with Levaquin. He said that he would take it!

I took 4 of the 5 pills before throwing the Levaquin away. I now have tendonitis in both Achilles tendons, left shoulder pain, and popping joints all over my body.

Before taking this drug I was an active, very healthy, 37 year old, who felt like a 20 year old. Now I feel like an 80 year old woman.

I begin physical therapy tomorrow, I am taking chelated magnesium, glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, a multi-vitamin, and cod liver oil. I am hoping that the combination of these supplements, physical therapy, and time will heal my body from all of the horrible side effects this POISON has caused!

My thoughts and prayers are with each person whose life has been changed from these poisonous drugs.

I took Levaquin IV in the hospital several times with no problems. I took a 10 day dose with no problems. A few months later, I started another 10 day dose and had severe tendon pain by day 4. I stopped immediately, but the tendinitis persisted, mostly in the left Achilles, but also behind knees, in fingers, wrists, etc.

I found some good relief from magnesium supplements and epsom salt baths. After about 8 weeks, I took a 5 day burst of Prednisone and this pretty much kicked it. It has now been about 2 months and I haven't had any more problems (knock wood). I do soak in epsom salts 1-2x week. Not sure if that really helps keep it at bay, but it sure is relaxing.

I was given samples of levaquin by my doctor for my diagnosis of pneumonia. 750 mg for 5 days. On day 2 my left achilles hurt so much, hard to walk. I began taking 3,000 mg of MSM daily, icing it twice daily, and epsom salt soaks. Still sore, but I think it's getting better. Trying to think positive and be proactive instead of reactive.

my grandma took this for years off & on for bladder infections. we think the because of it the tendon in her thumb snapped &, in addition, she's had to have several surgeries on her achilles tendon. she was wheelchair bound for weeks. i can't believe they still prescribe this stuff when it's rather obvious that it has some serious negative side effects.

I was prescribed Levaquin on December 12, 2008 by my ENT for a sinus infection. Within three hours I had strange pain in my right ankle that felt like phlebitis. I iced it and elevated it and the pain subsided. Five days later I woke up with what felt like a sprained ankle. I limped on the ankle. The next day the ankle was red and swollen. I saw my internist who tested me for gout and rheumatoid arthritis, etc. He casually mentioned that it could be the Levaquin. He said if my ankle wasn't significantly better in a week I might need to change to a different antibiotic. Three days after that I woke up with pain in my right shoulder, elbow, wrist, thumb, and knee as well, with severe achilles pain.

I was told by my sister about issues with Levaquin and joint damage. After looking it up online, I called the ENT who prescribed it and was told to stop it immediately. I WAS NEVER TOLD ABOUT THE BLACK BOX WARNING BY EITHER DOCTOR OR THE PHARMACY. But it only took me 30 seconds to find it online once alerted by my sister. Also learned that my earlier use of high dose Prednisone and a course of another quinolone, Avelox in the preceeding weeks made me more susceptible to the tendonitis.

The tendonitis spread all up and down all four limbs over a period of weeks. I could barely walk, couldn't lift a glass of water for weeks. An orthopedist put me in a walking boot cast for four weeks and two arm splints. I have been receiving physical therapy since early January and have been on four different NSAIDS. Almost four months later I still have constant pain in both ankles, knees, the bottom of my heels, and my left wrist and elbow. It hurts just to wash my hands sometimes.

I am a very active 50 year old woman who typically does Pilates three times a week. I like to ski,hike and bicycle, garden, cook, knit, etc. I have been incapacitated for almost four months. Can't participate in any of my normal activities. For several weeks I couldn't even hold a book to read or hold the telephone to talk for more than a few minutes. Magnet therapy has provided some(only some)relief for the pain. Got a set of 30 magnets from Nikken Co. You can find them on the internet. I tape the little magnets all over, wherever it hurts. I'll try anything!

I went through two different episodes of taking Levaquin. Shortly after starting the second round I began to have severe muscle pain in my quads and knee pain as well. That pain episode took practically a year to pass. Later I went through a period of plantar fasciitis. Now two years later I am experiencing severe achillies tendonosis. Is there never an end to this problem of having taken levaquin?

I went through two different episodes of taking Levaquin. Shortly after starting the second round I began to have severe muscle pain in my quads and knee pain as well. That pain episode took practically a year to pass. Later I went through a period of plantar fasciitis. Now two years later I am experiencing severe achillies tendonosis. Is there never an end to this problem of having taken levaquin?

After only 4 days of taking Levaquin at 500mg daily, this drug has attacked my tendons aggressively. Both of my achilles tendons feel ready to snap at any minute and other tendons throughout my body pop now. This drug may be good to fight some infections, but there is no way in hell that those experiencing these adverse drug reactions deserve what is happening to them.

These adverse side affects are immediate and apparently irreversible and there is no way that sufficient warning can be given for people to really understand how this hideous drug can cripple people almost immediately. It is basically criminal that the FDA allows people to become disabled by Levaquin daily. Very sad indeed and this needs to be stopped.

After only 4 days of taking Levaquin at 500mg daily, this drug has attacked my tendons aggressively. Both of my achilles tendons feel ready to snap at any minute and other tendons throughout my body pop now. This drug may be good to fight some infections, but there is no way in hell that those experiencing these adverse drug reactions deserve what is happening to them.

These adverse side affects are immediate and apparently irreversible and there is no way that sufficient warning can be given for people to really understand how this hideous drug can cripple people almost immediately. It is basically criminal that the FDA allows people to become disabled by Levaquin daily. Very sad indeed and this needs to be stopped.

I took Levaquin for sinusitus 6 days. The 6th day, I had a severe allergic reaction. Swelling of the ankles, wrist, face, diarrhea, nausea, sensitivity in all nerves and joints, heart racing, hallucinations, and my throat started to swell and close up. Was taken to the ER where they gave me 125mg of a steroid IV to get the swelling down. The ER Dr. told my husband this could have been very serious.

10 days later and have lots of pain in both ankles and wrist. My feet, ankles and legs up to the knees tingle and go numb. I also followed up with the MD who prescribed the med and he was shocked at all the symptoms. Told us that he had taken Levaquin himself and many of his patients as well without any problems other than insomnia. He did say one patient had IV Levaquin in the hospital and ruptured 2 tendons that had to be cast for several months. I am very concerned. He told me not to go to aerobics for a month, but I don't know when I will be able to exercise again. Just walking is painful. I also want to know if anyone has gotten better after experiencing all of this tendon pain.

This article and comments explain the severe pain and tightness in my left ankle and lower leg. I took 500 MG of Levaquin, one a day, for seven days for a bladder infection. The last day of the prescription was eight days ago, and two days ago the pain began. I have not been to a doctor yet, but if the pain continues, I will go with a copy of this article. Thank you!

I am also a victim of Levaquin poisoning. I took the antibiotic as a preemptive measure after having sinus surgery. Now I have horrible joint and tendon pain throughout my entire body. I also twitch constantly, different muscles convulse on their own no matter what medicines I take.

I never thought that at 28 years old my husband would have to wheel me to the bathroom and care for me like an invalid. My life has been severely altered by this medication.


I was prescribed Levaquin for asthmatic bronchitis that did not respond to Zpak therapy. The dosage was 500mg. After 3 -4 days of taking this medicine I noticed joint pain in my right Achilles tendon but dismissed it for a normal injury. However 3 days later I awoke to the same discomfort in my left ankle.

I immediately called my doctor who instructed me to discontinue it. The left ankle cleared up within a day or two but the right ankle is still sore although much improved after nearly a month. I've spoken to two doctors who assured me it is not a permanent condition but will clear up.

I took Levaquin back in FEB09 and although I didn't experience the muscle\tendon pain most have\are going through, I have been bothered by itchiness and breaking out in hives after something has touched my skin. Also, I've had a rash around my nose and have felt lethargic and tired since then.

I am now just starting to have less hive outbreaks and my nose rash is getting better as well as feeling less tired. I'm thinking my immune system was really taxed by Levaquin and is taking a while to recover. Going in for my annual physical next week so will report if something else is found.

Will for sure not take Levaquin again and not let anyone in my family take this drug.

Its May 29, 2009 my first post regarding achilles tendonitis was Aug. 4, 2008. All these months have passed and I still have pain and swelling. I had approx 6 mos of physical therapy and both Voltaren and then Relafen I seemed to have relief for a short time then after ending the therapy and going about on my own I am about back where I started.

Constant aching and swelling in both joints stiffness when I start out walking seems to lessen the more I walk. Evenings seem to hurt more when I wake in the morning there is still visible swelling. Time to go back to the doctor again...

I have read all these horrifying accounts. And can attribute all my pain and exhaustion to this reaction. I have chronic sinus infections and go between levaquin and amoxicillin.

So now - how do we fix ourselves? How do we rid ourselves of these toxins? And when we have green stuff coming out of our nose - what do we do?

This drug has stolen my early twenties from me, and damaged my career. Took levaquin late in 2007. By 2008, both my wrists had severe tendonitis, so I could no longer pursue my career in digital animation. My right knee also suffered from a partial tendon tear that cost me thousands of dollars in therapy and doctors. Thanks a lot for stealing my time and happiness. ALWAYS do your research before ingesting any drug. You never know what new poison these people will give you.

I took 750 mg of Levaquin for a respiratory infection that had lingered for months and was complicated by Asthma. The infection is gone, but I can barely walk! I am awakened several times each night by the pain in my left ankle and achilles tendon and am now experiencing pain in my left knee. When I discussed with my Dr. she suggested I be on two weeks bed rest and avoid stairs. Hello? That's no solution. I need answers not a bandaid! Its been about two months and there's no relief in sight. To tell the truth, its worse.

I was prescribed Levaquin( the AValox thenLevaquin) within a 2 1/2 month period for a persistent sinus infection. After my last does I began to notice a pulled muscle sensation in my left heel. I of course blew it off thinking it was age and my new exercise routine. 3 weeks later I visited doc who informed me that he believed it was achilles tear due to Levaquin. MRI confirmed it.

3 tears and now in walking boot cast for at least 4 weeks. I also noted all comments about shoulder pain. I have also had recurrent pain in front of right shoulder during this time and chalked it up to sleeping on it wrong but now I believe it may also be a result of Levaquin. I reported this to my allergist who had prescribed the drug and he was very concerned and told me he would report his findings.

Thank goodness for caring doctors like him. I did read about possible tendonapathy but was told by pharmacist that it was very rare....I guess I'm that rare individual unfortunately.

Dear David, I'm so concerned & very upset.I have been given Levaquin over the years & did ok (so I thought), but then recently I was given it in April & again now in June & I'm very ill & I can't seem to get better. I've been going to doctors & the Er & no one will listen, or says "oh it's this or that" & it isn't...I'm in so much pain I just don't know what to do. This is awful. I sit & cry & everyone thinks it's all in my head. It's clearly not.

I'm hurting in my knees, my calfs, the bottom of my feet, my shoulder & elbow. I'm a total mess. I cant squat or bend without needing some way of having to get up. I can't get up without major pain. I hurt just to bend down, brush my hair, steer my car lift a glass or a can of tea up to my mouth. I do continue to do all these activities but not without pain.

The pain can be unbearable. But I just deal with it. I have such problems going up & down stairs its just unbelievable. A month and half ago I was dancing-- not now. I can't even lay down on a beach towel without pain & I am embarrassed to get back up onto my feet without looking like I'm strange or like I'm 70-80 years old.

Also my vision seems to be messing up.I did have vision problems before but somethings not right. It's nuts. Something is Very Wrong. I'm 44 & something is clearly wrong I know my body. Can someone help? This is wrong. I'd write more but it's so long of a story... Plus I'm no wimp & don't want to sound like a big whiny baby.

Hi Carol,
Thanks for posting a story with some suggestions for improving the affects of fluoroquinolone induced tendon problems. There are very few out there. I just purchased both today, but would have probably undercut the dosage were it not for just reading your post.
Any further info would be appreciated. Have you improvements maintained?
Thanks again,

I took 1 Levaquin pill 500 mg one evening in September 2007 for a kidney, UTI infection. My left side went numb and started tingling, my left hip hurt, I could not put weight on my left leg, had to limp to walk. I had severe pains shooting through my head, felt dizzy, nauseous, weak, had to stay in bed for 3 days after taking medicine. I could only limp to eat and bathroom. I called doctor, they said KEEP TAKING IT. NOT. They told me that these were normal side effects.

I read on the internet that these are NOT NORMAL side effects. I didn't take anymore and read about alternative medicines. I was still in a lot of pain in my kidney and bladder. So I asked for Bactrum, a sulfur based drug. It worked great on the kidney/UTI. But since I took the Leviquin, my joints hurt and pop, my achilles tendon is painful everyday, my shoulders have excruciating intermittent pain and my hip hurts inside when I move it.

Also, there is a lot of crackling and strange sounds in my joints now. My wrists have been having a lot of soreness as well. I just read about Leviquin causing these problems for years after you take one pill. I didn't know all of these symptoms might be connected to the Leviquin. Does anyone know how to get the Leviquin out of your body and joints???

Ok, I've asked my Dr why my elbows hurt so bad, he replies tendonitis. I said why now? They have never hurt before. How can I just wake up one day with this? Not to mention my knees neck and back. I'm an accountant and he said overuse. I'm 44 very strong and active. Self employed 4 kids and 2 grand-babies (that I can barely pick up). I was told I was getting old. It was depressing.

I had pneumonia for 2 1/2 months in apr and may this year. I took levaquin for 5 wks after nothing else worked. Well with pneumonia you feel like you are dying anyway, so the symptoms blended in until the pneumonia was gone, but the joint pain stayed. Now I know. Just saw an ad on tv about levaquin.

Add my name to the list of the many people with a hypersensitivity to Levaquin. After taking only three of five 750 mg tablets for bronchitis, I am hobbling along four weeks later from severe tendinitis in my calves. Luckily, I did not take the final two tablets because I well remembered that a friend of mine in his late 70's severed one of his Achilles tendons last year and after taking low does of Ciprofloxacin (same drug family as Levaquin) for thirty days in treatment of an elevated PSA level. I only hope that my tendinitis will not become a chronic situation with me.

In July 2008, the FDA finally required important black box warnings to be placed on Levaquin, but no one is getting this important information--especially not doctors or patients!!! My internist doctor has practiced geriatric medicine for almost 30 years and had no idea of the dangers of Levaquin for some people; he has prescribed it hundreds of times and probably will continue due to the drug's antibiotic efficiency.

As consumers, we can at least need to press to get a black box warnings to patients on these drugs enforced because they will continue to be prescribed. I just sent emails to Wolters Kluwer Health (that prepares medicine inserts with prescriptions) and also to the FDA. Educating doctors is another problem. As noted on the Graedon's website, "Doctors hate side effects. After all, physicians are supposed to follow the adage first, do no harm. Yet every medication they prescribe can cause problems. That poses a dilemma for any doctor prescribing drugs. Perhaps that's why many physicians discount patient complaints about bad reactions to medications."

We all deserve better protection from possibly debilitating injuries. As a starter, demand black box warnings on Levaquin (even though you never should again take it or Ciprofloxcin) from your pharmacist to protect other people. Call the FDA about your side effects at 800-332-1088.

Levaquin was prescribed to me for diverticulitis, before and after a 4 day hospitalization, for that condition. Within two days after coming out of the hospital, while resting and recovering from the divereticulitis, my right knee became so painful I could hardly walk. It's one month later and I have had severe swelling in my knee and the pain is getting worse. I have had my knee drained twice, which has not helped, and was told by my doctor that I may need to see a knee specialist if this condition does not improve soon.

I am absolutely positive that Levaquin caused this painful condition in my knee. Before taking Levaquin my knees were fine, I was walking normally and was looking forward to a vacation in the mountains, hiking and horse-back riding. Obviously, the vacation was canceled and at this time I can hardly walk from the bedroom to the living room. At this time I feel that my life has been turned upside down and I'm very worried about the future.

Nearly 8 weeks ago, I awoke with horrible pain in my left foot. I could barely stand. It was awful. I had not had problems with my feet before and consider myself a healthy 47 year old third grade teacher. I plugged through the day and it got worse and worse. The next day, no weight bearing at all. I was stopped in my tracks and in tears.

We made an appointment with a local podiatrist my husband knew. He got us right in. It was nearly impossible to get in the door due to the pain. We took the sandals I had been wearing just in case they were the culprit of some injury. This doctor and his staff were very concern as they could see the terrible pain I was in. He took a a lot of notes, took time examining my painful foot, He did not think the sandals caused whatever was gong on. He was highly suspicious of an achilles and posterior tibial program....but why?

I lay there crying in pain, then the doctor said, "Have you take any medications recently?" I said that I had just finished a 29 course of Avalox for a staph infection. He immediately became concerned because Avalox is a sister drug to Levaquin. He went and printed out some information from the manufacturer or FDA (not sure) stating the dangers of this family pf drugs, particularly to tendon damage.

He immediately referred to me the area bone and join specialists for a consult and mri. Well no mri was ordered; os decided it was ptt problems because of my age. put me in a hard cast for 6 weeks. I was unable to teach because of the pain and went on unpaid medical leave. I remain on unpaid medical leave still nearly 8 weeks out. Had an MRI today and will see the os again Tuesday morning for results.

I guess I find out then if I have to have surgery and endure 16 weeks of casting, half non weight-bearing, of if there is something else can be done. Life has practically come to a halt for me and my family. I think this drug family should only be used in extreme life or death situations and warnings explained upfront.

I took Levaquin at the beginning of the year for bronchitis. After 3 doses I started to get leg cramps. I took the drug 6 days but didn't finish it. Now, 8 months later, I still have the leg cramps and last week my tendons started hurting. The right foot tendon has a lump and throbs. I probably can't even tell my doctor since he prescribed the Levaquin so he'll tell me my symptoms aren't caused by that.

My mom took levaquin for two days. by the end of the 2nd day she could hardly walk. I don't know how to help her and I cant stand it. She's had previous injuries to her knees and her back and she cannot take off of work. Any suggestions?

I had a cystoscopy and was given Levaquin 500mg. following the procedure to prevent infection. Within 14 hrs. of taking this medication I woke up with the most severe, debilitating pain that I have ever experienced in my life. It was unbearable. I was unable to go back to sleep. This pain persisted for 3 days, with swelling to the top of the foot. I was unable to bear weight. I am allergic to motruim and therefore was unable to take anti-inflammatories.

Tylenol did not help lessen the pain. I knew about the POTENTIAL RARE side affects of tendonitis, but had been put on Cipro for a past UTI which did not respond to other drugs. When I asked the urologist about the possibility of tendon rupture etc, I was told that these are very rare side affects. I am a healthy 52 yr. old who walks an average of 28 miles a week!

I am sure that the Levaquin caused this pain as there was no trauma involved. Well I can see that the medical community is not abreast of what is happening to the general population who receives this drug. As a nurse, I wonder if these side affects are being reported to the appropriate website as well as to the physician in charge.

I have have bad lungs (COPD) for 6 years. I am on several drugs, one of which is a low grade antibiotic. When my lungs get infected, which has happened 4 times in the last 3 years I have been put on 750 mg of Levaquin a day for 5 days. Each of 3 times my ankles swelled and returned to normal within a week after. However, the 4th time, June of 2009, my left Achilles Tendon felt like it had torn and that ankle is still swollen 4 months later.

I cannot 'push-off' with my left foot so walking and climbing steps is quite difficult. Neither my family doctor, my lung specialist, nor the foot specialist I've seen are aware of the connection between Levaquin and the Achilles Tendon.
I'm 72 years old.

my story seems to be something like yours. Took Cipro for a urinary tract infection and have had post tibial tendonitis for about 7 months....worse in one foot than the other.Am wondering if the tendonitis will ever go away. Perhaps should give it a year or so to heal.
Wonder if anyone out there has any helpful suggestions.

After many antibiotics that would not clear up a sinus infection, I was prescribed Levaquin.

I don't like to take drugs and knew I had heard some things about Levaquin so I looked it up on line. I suffered with the sinus infection getting worse all weekend and finally gave in after speaking to others that said "I am sure you only hear the bad stories on the internet."

After my 3rd dose, I woke up with severe cramps in the backs of my legs that kept me awake most of the night. My doctor switched my prescription but it was too late.

My symptoms progressed to severe Achilles pain, ankle weakness, and general leg weakness. I can hardly walk at all. I live up 3 flights of stairs and am new to my area so once a week I wrap the ankles and scoot down the stairs on mt butt so I can go to the store for food. That is the only time I leave the house.

It has been nearly 3 weeks since I stopped the Levaquin and I am not seeing any improvement at all. In fact my knee was hurting terribly yesterday as well and I have not tried to walk on it at all today.

My doctor said that by now I would not be having problems from the Levaquin and offered my Lortab. I don't want to just numb it, god knows what damage I will do if to myself if I just numb the pain. I want to get better.

Is there anyone that has found a way to get this out of their system? I have tried some Magnesium Citrate but need more (that requires a trip to the store) and I started MSM as well. I'm icing and massaging. Is there any thing that can help????

How do we get this drug off the market?????

Was prescribed Levaquin for sinus infection in April 2009. Hands immediately started feeling arthritic. In July shoulders started hurting with sharp biting pain in some areas, soreness in other areas, burning in some areas, spreading to upper back. Have seen orthopedist 2x. He prescribed anti-inflammatory at first, then he gave bilateral steroid injections to shoulders. Still having the discomfort.

I am an M.D and also an attorney. I am 84 years old and semi retired. I developed a bronchopneumpnia in June and was given a Levaquin I.V. in the hospital. 5 days later I was discharged, cured, but immediately experienced a severe bilateral achilles tendonitis which has persisted to this day.

I have tried acupuncture and chelated magnesium without success, I have searched the Medical literature and find little encouragement. It is a recognized complication of Levaquin and related antibiotics. It has been documented for 15-20 years. Pfizer places a warning on it's drug literature, but is no cure and the tendonitis remains lifelong.

I was active in golf, travel and bridge prior to Levaquin. I shot my age in golf this spring, but am now disabled, drive my car and only can play bridge for diversion. It is very painful to walk in airports and supermarkets.

My suggestions are as follows: Maintain hope, exercise mildly but beware of overstretching tendons which may lead to rupture. Keep open sites such as this one alive and active to distribute anecdotes of any and all experiences, treatments tried, and a place where we may complain and sympathize with others so afflicted.

If you are young and disabled you may want to inquire about your legal rights. There are many firms available.. I am waiting a bit, hoping. Best of luck to you all.


I had a surgical wound that would not heel. First I was put on Cipro. Then a month later the wound worsened and I was treated and put on Levaquin. I thought my feet hurt because I was laying around in bed so much. After a month of this I went to my General Practitioner and he felt my Achilles tendons and he asked me if I had been on Cipro or Levaquin.

I said both. He got very upset and ordered an MRI and sent me to a foot specialist. I have tendon damage in both feet, and pain. Both of my feet are casted up to the knees to make sure my tendons are immobilized. I have to go back in a month to see if there is any improvement, but I don't notice any.

Then I will either continue to wear casts or boots or have surgery. My thumb is killing me but I am afraid to tell anybody because that will probably end up in a cast if I do. I can't drive or work. Basically I am housebound. Oh well.

I took cipro in the beginning of October for a misdiagnosed UTI. A couple weeks later I developed elbow tendonitis in both, then a couple days later I got shoulder tendonitis in both and Achilles tendonitis as well which started in one heel but went to the other too eventually. I'm only a 19 years old girl, eat extremely healthy, never had injuries before, and am active...haven't ran in months, but swim a couple days a week. Now I can't stand up without pain or stiffness or feeling like my tendons are gonna snap.

I'm ready to be in a wheelchair because I'm terrified I'm gonna rupture the tendons. I can't walk normally... only extremely slowly and with a limpish gait. I use heel cups which help somewhat. Its been a month already and nothing has gotten better. I tried anti-inflammatories which didn't help and rest and ice it constantly. I've started MSM, Chondroitin sulfate, flax seed oil, vitamin C, and am about to start chelated magnesium sulfate after reading this board.

Also about to start physical therapy and ultrasound therapy system I got. My thumb, wrist, hips, and knees have started to hurt slightly at random times as well in the past few days which is making me nervous.

This drug is absolutely ridiculous. My mom ran into two other friends who when she told I had tendonitis from cipro said they had had it as well from that. This is def a more common side effect than doctors or FDA think. and should def be taken off!!! And should NOT have been prescribed for a UTI that didn't even get results yet to see if they were positive or negative.

It is making me suicidally depressed and distant from my best friends and I was always so happy. I go to an ivy league college but now am seriously thinking of dropping out and taking off next semester to rest at home and work on healing because it's interfering with school and its so important to heal asap with tendonitis.

Some other side effects--insomnia, crackling sensation in all my joints (fingers especially), back pain and constant back and joint cracking never had before, depression, and just feeling tired which may be from not exercising or being able to walk for more than a couple minutes without having to rest, lost my appetite and lost 10 pounds, a lot of it muscle. Also, when I took the drug at the time I felt sooo weak and sick.

This absolutely sucks and I feel bad for everyone who has to deal with drug side effects because they really take away your quality of life. I will go back to this website to report any healing in the next couple months or years and say what works and what didn't so I cant maybe help any people in the future who develop the same injury; but honestly, I just wish I can tell the world to not take cipro or any other of the same drug class because I truly believe its poison and toxic. Humans aren't meant to take in what I think is such a toxic substance.

And doctors don't know anything! I went to two who tried every other excuse to say it wasn't cause by cipro. Come on, give me a break. I finally found a good trusted doctor who worked for over 40 years say that this was definitely from cipro. Doctors can not be trusted completely. They just give you whatever drug companies sell them to make money.


Thank you so much for your posting. I took the big L for only 6 days and now I am limping around like an old lady-well I am an old lady of 61, but this is unnecessary! I will follow your advice and "take control."

I am a vice principal of a high school and I will not give up my active life (yet).
Please tell me how you are doing!

I am MD/JD, 84, recently posted,Nov.4. Tendonitis is the same,crippling.
I report a strange episode: I went on a long plane trip for Thanksgiving holiday, with MUCH pain in the long walks to board at two airports.

The next morning at breakfast 95% of pain was gone for about one hour and I could walk. Then pain recurred and is the same to date. I do not know why the temporary relief, but will walk with the pain on the way home to see if the same change occurs.
Please report any incidents such as mine which might give an insight.

I am a 35 year old athlete and karateka practitioner who has been in misery after just five days of this poison and two subsequent trips to the emergency room. Every place on my body that has connective tissue is miserable as hell. It's been two weeks so far and the only relief at all comes from glucosamine chondroitin which enables me to walk at least. This levaquin poisoning has changed my life and although I'm not litigious by nature, I am infuriated that my health has been taken from me, all because of this man made, synthetic, DNA killing, POISON!!!!!! I could have taken $4 bucks worth of amoxicillin and still kept my joints, tendons and knees! I HOPE ALL OF YOU REPORT THIS TO FDA MEDWATCH!

My wife took only 2 doses of levaquin for bronchitis and developed tendon ruptures in her arm as a result. A friend of ours had a similar consequence, but found out lawyers are not interested in you unless the levaquin caused side effects so serious as to require surgery.

Was prescribed 14 days of Levaquin. I read up on it before picking it up - actually chickened out once before finally going and getting it. I should have listened to my inner chicken. Slight soreness occurred after one day. By the end of the fifth day I was severely agitated and hadn't slept well for two days; I had pain in my muscles, joints, and spiking pain every time I stressed something. As I went to bed that night, my left Achilles tendon started feeling tender. I woke up the next morning, called off work and called the doctor, who agreed that I should get off the medicine (once I explained reading the warning label the pharmacy had stapled to the bag...).

It's been two weeks now - I'm still in pain, though it fades in and out. On the recommendation of another board, I started drinking Kefir; that seemed to work (1-day delay) for a while, but now I'm not so sure. One day was so bad I had to have help getting out of the bed. The next day I had acupuncture, which was followed by three straight days of bliss. Now it's back to pain, and the ankle is starting to let me know it's there again... The slightest amount of work leads to exhaustion and extended pain in whatever muscles I use. I'm going to try the acupuncture again; if it works, my acupuncturist is going on long-term retainer.

I've talked to at least one other person in my small-town area who has experienced bad side effects from Levaquin; it can't be as rare a condition as they note, can it?

I was given samples of, then a 13 day prescription for levaquin. My right Achilles totally ruptured & had to be removed in surgery in 12-08, then 3 months ago my left Achilles was about to rupture so it was removed too. My husband & I are scout leaders and spend (spent for me) our weekends hiking in the mountains. now, i can't even walk around the block. I have never had an attorney, and do not know where to begin. Ideas welcome?

I took Levaquin for a sinus infection back in 2006. I had been sick for some time; so I did not even question the antibiotic they gave me. I developed nerve pain in my arms running from my elbow to my hand, and both of my feet swelled up to monstrous proportions accompanied with calf pain.

I went to numerous doctors after the sinus infection was cleared to try to find out what was going on with my legs and arms. After a bunch of tests and 6 months of time, I sort of got the shrug from them, because they did not know what was going on with me. It felt like some awful virus was attacking my whole body, muscles and nerve fibers.

Out of desperation, I checked online for anything that could undo edema and found an-out-of-the way site which suggested Fish Oil. I took one capsule of that and all the edema went away. It has been 4 years now, and the edema has not returned. If it starts, I take the fish oil and that fixes it.

I still have occasional tenderness in the nerves running down my arms. It is like the nerve is pinched at the elbow. I now realize that all of that physical drama and fear was most likely caused by the Levaquin. I agree, this is a drug that should be kept for only extremely dire illnesses, or discontinued altogether.

I too have extreme pain in both Achilles tendons when I went on Levaquin 750mg for a sinus infection for 10 days. It was the first time I took Levaquin or had a sinus problem. The pain started almost immediately.

I didn't realize the connection until I went to the website trying to figure out why my Achilles tendons were hurting so much. I had a week's break and then went back on Levaquin, as my infection returned. I hope this pain will go away after I stop taking Levaquin. I have 2 more days to go.

I am a healthy 53 yr old woman. I thought the pain was do to repetitious exercise, but I never noticed this much constant pain lasting this long. :-(


I was prescribed Levaquin a couple of years ago for a persistent bladder infection. It didn't help, so I didn't take it for very long and was prescribed something else that worked a little better. However, shortly thereafter, I noticed pain in my right heel after going for walks and it gradually got much worse, to the point I stopped walking for exercise.

My massage therapist said my calves and Achille's tendons were extremely tight in both legs, although I was fortunate and only felt it on the one side. She taught me some stretches that were somewhat helpful, but even with doing a lot of stretching, I still had problems. My doctor thought it was plantar fasciitis, but had no explanation for why I had developed that so suddenly.

His remedy was high doses of anti-inflammatories, which helped the pain some, but caused other problems. I finally stopped using those and turned more to natural healing.

It bothered me a lot for almost a year. Massage, stretching and acupuncture all helped. The acupuncturist also suggested I increase the fish oil I was taking and also make sure I get enough sodium during workouts. (I tend to be low on sodium anyway - have been tested for lots of things, but they never found a reason - just the way I'm made.)

So now I take an increased dose of my fish/flax oils and drink a weakened Gatorade solution (I mix a little in my water bottle from the powdered stuff) during my workout or walk. All of that together helped a lot and today I am relatively pain-free. My heel occasionally hurts a little and I'm careful to stretch well after workouts. But all in all, I'm in much better shape.

I never made any connection between my problems and the Levaquin until I saw a recent article in the newspaper about it. But it makes sense to me now.

I am currently in an ankle cast due to tendonitis/tendon tear in my right Achilles. I have been prescribed Levaquin twice in the past year for Sinus infections. I was taking glucosamine at the time I took the levaquin and only started having pain when I stopped the glucosamine.

Besides the achilles pain I also experienced the all over body aching that made me think I was getting Arthritis. I could lay in bed and feel every joint in my body aching. I have gone back to taking my regular daily dose of glucosamine and each day my pain is less. I just shared this info with my Orthopedist and he said to get on glucosamine and stay on it indefinitely as it is the only thing he has seen that gives relief long term.

I am also a doctor (see Nov 2009) How are you doing after 3 years? Both of my Achilles are painful on walking and I have lost some proprioception, no change in 8 months. Have you heard of any successful therapy, or any spontaneous recoveries?

Thanks, MDR

I recently underwent surgery and was prescribed Levaquin to prevent subsequent infection.

Four days after surgery I felt pain at lower part of my calf. I first suspected DVT due to being relatively immobile after the surgery. But after NOT experiencing increasing or decreasing pain, swelling, redness, heat in the area, or any of the other possible symptoms of DVT for 24 hours, I ruled out the possibility of my discomfort being due to DVT. Also, it seemed that the pain was specific to my Achilles tendon and was relieved or worsened during palpitation and extension and flexing of that area. So I was relieved that DVT seemed to not be the problem but was curious as to why my tendon would hurt when I had just being lying about for 4 days.

The pain persisted and a few days later I was watching television and saw an ad run by a law firm. The ad asked if you had taken one of several drugs and for each drug it asked if you had experienced a certain side affect. Levaquin was listed with the reaction of "tendon rupture". This piqued my interest.

A search of the web pointed to the connection between Levaquin and specifically Achilles tendon rupture.

Doctor said immediately discontinue use of Levaquin. So now I wonder if there is anything I can do for the next several months other than being aware that if I exercise and my tendon bothers me, I should stop. Does Levaquin ever stop affecting the tendon where it decided to "take up residence"? Is this temporary, albeit possibly long term, or will it be a permanent concern?

I was prescribed Leviquin from my family doctor for bronchitis that had developed from a reaction from doing way too much painting in my home. After finishing the drugs, the chest infection was gone but I was left with pain in the backs of both my hands and wrists as well as pain in both knees. I complained to my doctor twice about this pain in my tendons and she just says... you have arthritis!

I have been taking glyconutrients and believe that this has kept my reaction to this poison drug relatively mild compared to some horrifying stories I read here. It has been three months and there is still mild pain mainly in just the left knee. I feel that I have made headway with a recovery due to the glyconutrients.

After reading this page I am going to add glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM, as well as chelated magnesium. I think adding this to my glyconutrient routine will help me toward a lessening of the mild pain that is still in my left knee. My heart breaks for the pain and suffering this drug has inflicted on others.

Did the pain and discomfort ever go away?

Lynda, the pain is lessened and not as severe as it was originally. I have been taking glyconutrients faithfully. The glyconutrients I take help with wellness at the cellular level by helping the cells take in nutrition and also get rid of toxins. You can contact me to learn more about how I got relief if you wish. This is not advice to you but simply sharing what worked to give me relief from my pain.
Kind Regards,

I went on Levaquin for a sinus infection last January. My Doctor did warn me not to exercise for two weeks while on the meds. I feel lucky I did not suffer from all the effects that everyone has been describing on this board. The effect I have been suffering is a sudden sharp shooting pain (like a burning sensation) on my right Achilles when I start to stretch out my Achilles. The pain only last a second (as I instantly came out of the stretch).

There is no swelling or tenderness. As I slowly stretch out the Achilles I can stretch it further and further until its loosens up. Then I am able to actively exercise with out the pain. To me this sound like a little tear?

Is this a warning that the tendon is about to snap or rupture? It has been six months and has not gotten any better. But it did start the first time I started exercising (yoga) again after taking the Levaquin. I will not ever take it again.

On June 16, 2010, I was given Levequin IV at a local emergency room two days before my son's wedding to help control a painful dental infection. The area above an earlier root canal became infected related to bridge work. For the next few days, including the day of the wedding, I felt out of focus, overly sensitive and anxious.

Five days later the infection re-occurred and I was prescribed 7 days of Levequin, 500 mg. After the first dosage I pain in toe joints during the night, the second day I woke up with a swollen, painful left Achilles. I contacted a doctor who said, "see how you feel after the next dose". The tooth was pulled, and I completed the 7 day prescription of Levequin.

I had severe pains in my thighs and upper arms that extended across my chest for a week or two, as well as continued swelling and soreness of my left Achilles tendon. The third week I began waking up all night with muscle fasciculations in my legs and upper arms as well as tingling sensations which continue. My muscles are no longer painful but extremely weak, and so atrophied they are almost non-existent in my upper arms and left thigh.

Last night I experienced shortness of breath during the night. I start PT today for the Achilles tendon. I was a slender, healthy 62 year old woman in reasonably good shape, a skier and kayaker. I am devastated by what has happened and getting bounced around the medical community which seem largely unaware of the severe effects caused by this antibiotic.

I would appreciate any advice on how best to cope with the aftermath of Levequin and what I can do to relieve symptoms and improve my chances of recovering.

I am going to try the glyconutirients, glucosamine chongroitin, MSM and chelated magnesium after reading your message. I just wrote into the site, Jane G, hopefully it will be posted. I can't believe I have been so damaged by a drug that has been causing devastating effects to people for years and continues to be prescribed. It is almost 6 weeks since I was administered this drug and I am still getting new symptoms (ie. burning sensation down my backbone). Thank you for communicating.

I had a cat bite that got infected in my right hand and it got swollen and red. I was given Levaquin through an IV by emergency room personnel. I had an adverse allergic reaction within 30 minutes with hives and itching in my opposite arm where the Levaqin was being administered via the IV. Since then I have experienced pain in all joints. If it goes away in one area like my hands, then it hits another area like my shoulders.

Recently, I have been having severe hip pain and have had on injuries to that area. Avoid this medication. There are lots of other effective antibiotics that are not as risky or problematic. Pharmacy reps tend to visit doctors' offices to encourage them to prescribe certain medications to get kickbacks from the drug companies. In the past, I have overheard Pfizer reps meeting discussing pushing their pain meds. Wake up and read about medications on the web.

Know what they should be prescribing, not what some company wants them to do in order to increase sales and stock revenues. Learning about meds is more important than playing video games or online porn sites or watching ball games. Just do it!

I find this website to be very interesting. I have taken Leavquin four times since Oct 3, 2008 and I didn't think I was having any side effects from it. However, I was going to get it refilled for a URI but decided to read the info first.

I was shocked to read that it could cause torn tendons, because I tore the tendon on both upper arms at different times in two months. I tore the left one February 4, 2010 when I was lifting heavy jugs of water. It swelled and bruised severely and I was black and blue from my arm pit down to my hand for over two weeks. The last tear was in April 2010 when setting down a 40 lb bag of top soil. It didn't bruise or swell so badly, I guess because it popped after I laid the bag down. The first one popped and tore really bad because I was still holding the water when I heard it pop.

What has really fascinated me is that I have so many other problems that mimic what other writers have described. I have had swollen, painful knees most of the time even though I had successful total knee replacement surgery about five years ago. I have to get steroid shots every six months for the pain. I have had a swollen ankle for several weeks and had attributed it to gout even though my uric acid level is normal (3.3--normal range is 2.5-7.0) and I take Allopurinol every day. I have had a bursitis/tendon problem in my right shoulder for the past month or more, and my feet feel like they are giving out on me at times.

I believe after reading this that I may well have all these problems due to Levaquin. It's the first thing that has made sense. I will be taking this up with my doctor when I see him, and possibly my lawyer.

Thanks for all the input from all of you and thanks for the website.

I took my second round of Levaquin this last week. The first round was relatively successful and seemed to solve the prostititus issue. However after the prostititus returned and I began the next round (500mg daily) I began to feel tendon issues in my wrist and knees. I am a super healthy gym rat and as of this morning I can no longer walk on my right knee.

Pain is unbearable. I am going to start the mag. and chondroiton supplements immediately. Any suggestions from anyone would be helpful. I am petrified my future health has been jeopardized. My vision is blurred as well! Will this go away?

I took Levaquin 750 mg for 6 days out of the 10 it was prescribed for me due to a MRSA infection in my nose that had been unresponsive to 3 other antibiotics. Finally a culture showed that Levaquin was the right antibiotic for my infection so I was excited to take it, but after 3 days I felt very arthritic, most notably in my hands. Levaquin did seem to clear up my nose infection, but after the muscle, joint and tendon pain set in I went back to the doctor and he told me to stop the meds immediately.

He told me that he had only seen this reaction every 2 or 3 years, and that it typically cleared up after 3 days. It has been six days since I stopped the last dose. I was unable to grip my laptop to pull it out of its bag, unable to unscrew the lid of my water bottle. Next I was sore all over and couldn’t walk without assistance for a day. The next couple of days I saw some improvement in that I was not in all over pain, but now the pain, burning and popping seems to have settled in my right wrist, knee, and ankle.

The left side is affected as well, but not as much. I have read some about the use of chelated Magnesium supplements to address the tendonitis, so I am starting that regimen today. I am taking the first dose of 400 mg tonight. Having read about how the Levaquin does damage at the cellular level, I am hopeful that the Magnesium will help. Supposedly it builds up ATP, which is a cellular/DNA building block (if I’m not mistaken). Wish me luck! I am not about to be laid up indefinitely by this Levaquin problem!!!

Among those who have experienced sore, swollen, weak or ruptured Achilles tendons (and/or other tendons) after taking Levaquin antibiotic, did you also use a steroid (corticosteroid) nasal spray at the same time? (ie. as part of a regimen for sinusitis?) Or use a steroid-based cream (rather then ingesting a corticosteroid?)

Thanks for any follow-up comments to this site.

I wasn't on anything other than the Levaquin. My symptoms lasted about 7 to 9 months and I still have occasional Achilles tendon soreness.

Along with Levaquin I usually took a dosepak of steroids and used Flonase steroid nose spray.

If you read the paragraph below from
steroids are contraindicated:

"But it has been my experience after dealing with such patients for over a decade now that the mechanism is to be considered to be related to direct toxicity to the collagen because of the rapid onset of tendon injury as well as the persistence of such injury. In any number of cases the tendonitis progresses to permanent disability that defies all known treatments. In fact a number of treatments have been reported to make things much worse. Particularly physical therapy and steroids."

I left some information in Oct of 2009 and here's some updated data. It's been a full year and I'm still walking with a cane. Cannot climb steps normally. Must walk VERY slow. My use of that left ankle has gone from about 5% to about 25%. I exercise it daily. I don't think it'll ever be better that 60%.

I had pneumonia and it was casually mentioned by my NYC Dr. that there had been studies about the Achilles tendon issue. But when you've had a 103 fever for 3 days, you just want to be cured and aren't thinking about the consequences. Took the levaquin. That was a mistake. Six weeks later and my Achilles is very sore. It is tough to read so many of these stories of pain and discomfort.

Could you please tell me how much high absorption chelated magnesium to take.? I have severe joint pain as a result of taking levaquin.

I took a 500mG dose of Levaquin for 7 days 3 months ago. A month later I
figured out that numerous issues that I had were Levaquin side effects and I started fighting it; I'm finally seeing some reduction in tendon and ankle joint pain the last 2 weeks. I have about 15 other side effects which started at the same time, including memory loss, blurry vision, tinnitis, shooting pains- these have not improved yet.

Other than recommending rest for sore tendons, Ortho McNeil has refused to provide any advice to myself or my doctors. I find that walking, softly, carefully, reduces ankle pain.

I'm doing everything I can find that sounds right. I read a study conducted
by an MD about a year ago, her study showed that we all (on American diets)
need 1000mG of both calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) daily, as well as ~500mG of Phosphorous daily.

I was prescribed Levaquin for sinus infection back in 2005. Within 3 days of taking Levaquin, experienced disorientation, total body muscle pain, right shoulder dropped out of socket which required surgery to repair double burst tendons.

Now it's 2010 : since then after the surgery I've put myself on a constant health regimen of exercise and diet to attempt to repair this stuff. Worked a little I think but have learned to live and accept constant pain and my shoulder is far from being the same. I've never found out just how Levaquin causes this physical damage in the human body, really odd.

I also felt that it attacked the entire body's muscle/tendon structure based on my present condition which is now 5+ years after this tragedy. I'm not giving up though, I will continue to try to fully recover through natural healthy means.

Hi Doctor, I'm wondering how things are going physically today. Have their been any further symptoms? Thanks, sign me- hurting all over from Cipro.

I was prescribed Levaquin 2 different times within a 3 months period for a severe persistent sinus infection. Within 6 weeks, my left ankle developed pain which I attributed to over exercise and blew it off until I noted a red lump on back of my heel. I casually mentioned to my podiatrist whom I had visited for another reason. He immediately questioned if I had been on Levaquin or Cipro.

He related to me that he had had quite a few patients with similar issues and sent me for an MRI. The MRI reveals 2 micro tears in my Achilles tendon which required 8 weeks of wearing a boot and 9 weeks of follow up therapy. It took approx 1 yr for me to completely feel normal and full range of motion.

Curiously, about the same time I noted right shoulder pain which was checked out as rotator cuff tendinitis. Therapy again and this comes and goes often. I reported all this to my prescribing doctor who was appalled and then reported it to the FDA.

I am a 46 year old woman who had to do a 7 day 500 mg 1X daily of Levaquin. This is my second floxing as I can not take any other antibiotics. This toxic result was much worse than the last but I'm much more "in the know" this time. No NSaids, no cortisone, no supermarket meat which is full of floxins.

I am in my 3rd month of recovery and wanted to share what has made my central nervous system damage and peripheral neuropathy damage. Benadryl (1X 25 mg pill) at night has helped the CNS damage. I began a protein supplement nothing more than whey from milk. It has no sugar or additives. The protein helps to rebuild the muscle. It has 2 amino acids that repaired many of the peripheral neuropathy symptoms (painful skin, burning, twitches, spasms, shooting electrical shocks). This happened over night, a flat out miracle. I am also thinking clearer as well. I wish you luck. Stay positive.

I am 32, took 6 of the 7 days prescribed of levoquin and on the 6th night woke up with terrible pain in my right ankle. I had been lying in bed the entire week recovering from pneumonia so there was no trauma or stress and it still happened. I am a doctor so I knew there was a small change that if I was active I could rupture the tendon but this is ridiculous. More studies need to be done and doctors as well as patients need better education on the info available.

So sorry to read your report. I am M.D.,J.D.,86. It's been one year plus. I reviewed all literature. Have tried all meds and Physiotherapy plus acupuncture. Started in ankles, better now but have weakness in both legs and pain in soles on walking. Loss of proprioception makes walking worse. I would suggest to any young people afflicted that they seek legal remedies available. There are no cures. It appears to last for life.

I am 39 years old... and my doctor prescribed levaquin, and now I have lots of problems. I thought I was getting arthritis at a young age...

It has been 5 months since my levaquin dose and I still have the achilles pain. No tear but excruciating pain all day long and the pain of a severely pulled biceps tendon.

I am a very healthy middle aged woman who has been working out with weights and running for almost 40 years, with no sports related injuries other than an occasional sprained ankle from trail running. On 12/29/10, I was given a depo-medrol injection for a URI (chest and sinus infection) that did not fully resolve on another antibiotic, steroid inhalers, and put on BID Levaquin 750mg. On 12/30, I woke up feeling like my previously totally normal calves had been hit with a baseball bat.

They were both tight and sore. In all my years of working out, I have never once had calf pain/problems. On 12/31, my respiratory symptoms felt a lot better, so I stretched carefully and started an easy jog. By 1/2 mile, I was forced by low calf pain to stop. Not understanding what was going on, I again gently stretched and jogged a bit more before throwing in the towel and going home where I applied RICE. I was only able to work the next day by wrapping my right calf, which was the worst of the two.

Over the next week, I did not run, and the pain was not getting worse, so I went out again for an easy jog. Now I felt left knee pain and the right achilles pulled sharply at the heel, plus there was a dull ache in both achilles/soleus muscles. At this point, I got online trying to figure out how to treat tight calves, as simple stretching wasn't helping. That's when I found the connection between my symptoms and Levaquin, especially common in middle aged people also on steroids.

I was scared, and immediately emailed my doctor, telling her to list all quinolones as allergies on my chart. Her response was to tell me to see a sports-med orthopedic doc, which I did. He confirmed that I was likely suffering from Levaquin tendonitis and prescribed PT. Unfortunately, the PT knew NOTHING about the problem and started me on an aggressive stretching and strengthening program, which only aggravated the pain.

In subsequent reading, I have found that the tendons are damaged on a cellular level, and that they take many months to heal--if they ever do, and that aggressive stretching can actually cause rupture the fragile tissue. So I quit PT and am attempting to manage this on my own, but want so badly to continue my lifelong workouts, which I've used to manage all the job and life stress that I have on a daily basis.

I am livid that my doctor didn't warn me about the risk prior to putting me on these meds, and that the follow up with "specialists" was so inadequate. I will be put out of work if an achilles ruptures, and suffer daily from achilles and left knee pain. Why I was put at this kind of risk is beyond me. Levaquin should only be prescribed for life threatening illnesses that fail to respond to safer treatments. It should not be passed out like candy to people with URIs or other infections that could actually heal themselves over time.

I would not have believed that an antibiotic could cause such damage if it hadn't happened to me. I feel for the entire community of co-sufferers, and am on a mission to prevent this from happening to any of my friends.

To GLB you are not alone. Most people who suffer an injury or side affect from Levaquin are dismissed by their doctor because standard antibiotics do not have the long term affects that Levaquin does. Each month through the recovery may bring new difficulties and challenges.

It has been 6 months for me and my biceps tendon pull still hurts enough to wake me many times in the night and I developed terrible shin splints in the 5th month that made walking excruciating. My skin finally stopped pealing like a snake but it still burns enough to be severely distracting all day and night. The worst part is that I am grateful that it did not kill me (as it has others) and that as horrible as these side effects are, there are many, many others that have been permanently disabled by this poison.

I have read studies that point to Levaquin and Cipro for Gulf War Syndrome as these drugs were used prophylactically against Anthrax on soldiers with out their knowledge. Read the symptoms for GWS, they are the same. This was my second bout with Levaquin so I'm a bit of a recovery expert. Hot baths, NO NSAIDS!!! No Cortisone shots. Tylenol only for pain. Eat well, jacuzzi therapy and rest the affected area. My last recovery took 6 years but I did recover. It took longer because I did not know what not to do. I now know. I wish you a fast recovery.

Hi Chris,
I just came across your post about levaquin tendonitis. I know it was a few years ago, but I'm wondering if it ever totally resolved. I'm also a runner, and got hit hard by a combo of levaquin and steroids (for a respiratory infect 12/10) that caused severe bilateral achilles tendonitis and also pain in my left knee.

I was pain free and training to run a marathon, but can now only walk. Any running at all causes significant pain and fear of tendon rupture. I've been a very consistent runner for almost 40 years and am super flexible; have never before had reason to even think about my achilles. I feel sick about this! My greatest fear is that I'll never again run. I keep reading that this damage can be permanent. Are you back to running? And if so, any residual issues?

I had the similar experience as most of you have had. 10 weeks ago I finished a 10 day script of Levaquin. Immediately began experiencing moderate to severe tendonitis in both ankles. I am a martial arts instructor and never had any problems with any injuries to my legs. As most of you that are active, I was very scared at the prospect of never being able to return to the activity that I love so much. Particularly after reading this and many other blogs.

Considering that most people are only going to post comments on a blog when they have something to complain about. I told myself that I WAS going to get better and would wait until that happened to post my comments. I, as many others (including the medical community). Did not understand the severity and complications that are due to the damage done at the cellular level by Levaquin. Traditional PT for achilles tendonitis is too aggressive for this particular injury.

I found that stretching, ultra sound (bought my own ultra sound) and massage worked best for me. The important thing is to stay positive, be patient, listen to your body and never give up. It has now been 10 weeks and I was able to attend my first martial arts class yesterday and made it through ok. I am at about 90% now and I hope to be at 100% soon. I finally have real hope that I will be able to return to my original activities.

My husband was subscribed levaquin 500mg for a respiratory infection. HE is also a stroke victim, right side affected so that leaves him with the left side being his only good side. After 7 days on the levaquin 500mg his left ankle started bothering him stopped the levaquin. His ankle became worse so I made an appointment with his Dr. He ordered an x-ray which showed nothing. We have used heat & cold which has not helped, also Dr. ordered predisone, still the same symptoms. It has been over one month since symptoms appeared and they are still going strong. I would not recommend levaquin for anyone's use.

I went to 24 hour medical place, the Dr. on call said I had bronchities, put me on Levaquin, once a day for 7 days. On the 4yh day I felt sick & achy, mouth burned, legs achy, feet hurt, arms totally no energy at all, hurt so bad to even walk to the bathroom. I finished the pills, thinking it would help, not thinking it was the pills.

Now 3 days after stopped pills , can't walk with out pain, mouth is all swelled & burns.... What is in the pill, really scared, never felt so much pain... What can I do for the pain? So tired all the time, help please.

Doctor said not the pill, what ever I have will run its course....... I'm thinking not.

I took 4 days out of a 10 Rx for an UTI. I had similar symptoms also. I stopped because I literally felt as if I was being poisoned. I ended up taking Benedryl to try to get the medication out of my system. I started to feel better after 2 days. I do not know if it was Benedryl or not, but it is a VERY scary medicine. Not one Dr. that I have been to has given a second thought to my symptoms as being a result of taking the anti-biotic or the immediate, ever-lasting heel pain that came about 24 hours after first pill. Even though there is a black box warning about heel pain.

I also was assaulted by "L" - achy and absolutely exhausted. My doctor told me it couldn't be "L" because most pts complain of restlessness - insomnia. So, while taking it and for two months since -I have loaded up on magnesium to save my cartilage and tendons - that's what "L" leaches from your body, which is readily available in the tendons and cartilage. I take collagen, glucosamine and chondroiton to help repair the damage and a high dose of CoQ10 two or three times a week.

The pain has ebbed a good bit, and that feeling of my legs being "shredded" had subsided. Be careful with strenuous exercise or walking up and down stairs too much - don't take the Mg 2 - 4 hours before or after the levaquin, and avoid calcium and iron completely until a few days after you've finished the script.

Had a sinus infection for many weeks. First antibiotic didn't get it, so I went to another doctor who prescribed levaquin for 10 days. Noticed tightness and pain after day 4 on back of left leg just below knee. On day 5 was tight in both legs... decided to go for a jog. At 1.8 miles pain in both calves was unbearable. Hobbled back to car and can hardly walk now at day 10. Unfortunately did not read medication warning in pharmacy bag until early in day ten. So I took this medication 5 days beyond when pain started. Did not take the final dose for day 10. Totally dismayed when I looked to see if there was a remedy to pain.

I am a Family Physician, my father is a retired surgeon - he went to the ER colitis and was prescribed Levaquin - after one dose he had a instant severe case of achilles tendonitis - having a hard time walking, can't golf (his pastime). I occasionally prescribe this drug 3rd line of if needed due to allergies but will be thinking twice from now on

I have a kidney infection and went to the emergency room where they gave me intravenous Cipro then a script for Levaquin 750mg once a day for 5 days. I looked up info on this drug and was stunned with the problems with it (Cipro isn’t that much better).

I just had a surgery a few months earlier for a gallbladder related issue and they prescribed Cipro. Afterward I had a seizure, horrible Achilles tendon pain and hip pain. I also had tingling in the toes and fingers, which I think may be peripheral neuropathy (all of these are Cipro side effects, as I understand it). Levaquin is not far removed from Cirpo with even more problems so I went back to the emer room and asked for a different antibiotic.

They prescribed Batcrim and while it is twice a day and a longer period, I am happy with this so far and am getting better. Be aware and advocate for yourself lest they, by routine(?), prescribe a nuclear bomb for something that can be addressed with something potentially less dangerous.

I received five days IV Levoquin in hospital (pneumonia) without warning of side effects, and then 10 days oral upon discharge. The prescription had the "Black Box" warning printed on leaflet. I called doctor, and he said since I took in hospital without problem, I should be okay.

On the fifth day of oral levaquin, my knees were fused together in a debilitating pain. I asked doctor if this could be cause by levaquin and he said that it was more likely being weaned from the prednisone that caused this. One week later and not only am I crippled by the knee stiffness and swelling, but my feet and ankles are so badly swollen that I cannot feel them, walk, and can barely drive (probably shouldn't be driving, but had to return to work.)

I am completely disheartened and demoralized. Having been on SSD for a few years, I worked hard to regain my health and leave SSD. Now - since I only have one month left to reinstate SSD if I need to - I may be back on SSD, and lose everything, including a place to live. How dare they administer this medication without proper warning and/or follow up? I feel somewhat ungrateful, because I was afraid I'd die in the hospital, and I am alive. But, if I have to live like this, is this really living?

Info: Male 26
I was given 10 days of Levaquin 500mg in April.

4th day - right arm slightly weak
5th day - right arm very weak, both legs weak, left leg burning, chest pain, insomniac for 36 hours, difficulty walking
6th day - stopped taking medication.

Ever since this, I've had right arm weakness which has not gone away. Random pains throughout my body. Just depends on the day, I never know what to expect when I wake up.

Doctors do not believe a medication can cause this, they are not even informed that there is a black box warning, and muscle weakness, tendon ruptures can occur. When I tell them about it they just say it's not possible.

It's been a month since I stopped taking the medication. And just this weekend, bottom of my feet are hurting a lot. Achilles tendons are hurting on both feet. I've been taking aspirin to help out with the pain.

But I am afraid that it could be any day and I could have tendon ruptures. There's not much I can do, since no doctor is willing to listen.

I was a perfectly healthy person, and now I can't work out, enjoy a few drinks out with friends, I tend to stay in as often as I can. Big damper on life, and upcoming summer. With no end in sight.

I am having a lot of issues since being prescribed this drug. Do you have any references of doctors in the Iowa area that I can visit that can actually find out what is causing my weakness in arm, feet pain since taking this medication?

Doctors I have visited do not believe this is possible. And have blown me off. I have tried to explain them about the warnings, but they say I am over reacting. I am unable to exercise like I used to, and am only 26.

If you do have someone that actually understands the effects of Levaquin I would even travel in the midwest to go see a doctor.


There are many of us who are damaged from this drug. The unfortunate part is that no doctors believe us or understand how damaging these drugs can be. Please contact me for more info about what myself and others have experienced. Erin

I am really sorry to hear what you are going through. I too have been affected by this medication in the recent month. And help has been hard to find, since doctors don't believe this can be caused by this medication.

But thousands of people are affected by this. A 2nd case is going to federal level for this drug this month, and more in the upcoming months.

All I can tell you is that for me, things did get better over time. Though it took weeks to get it out of my system. I am still left with lots of issues though that I am trying to work through. I have no clue if everything will ever return to normal or not.

Good luck.

I am quite shocked to read all these posts for so many years. I am getting an MRI tomorrow on my ankle that the Urgent Care Center says is a torn ligament from my ankle bone. I took Levaquin in March and again in May. I had no idea this could happen. Two doctors here have told me it is from the Levaquin.

Interesting... the doctors assessing the damage know it is from Levequin but the levequin prescribing doctors claim not to know anything about the damage this drug can do... I have taken Levequin in the past and have suffered with pain in tendons, particularly the back of my knees.

I took a floraquinalone drug called Avelox or Moxifloxacin for a sinus infection and I have taken it a couple of times before. At this point I have a ruptured tendon in my finger and when ever I move I can feel/hear my tendons in the ankle wrist, hand, knees, feet making a popping sound.

My thumbs are particularly sore and I don't know if those tendons will rupture. I am trying to move carefully. I was extremely sick with a sinus infection when my doctor gave me this medication again even though I asked her not to give me floraquinalone drugs... Her response "I have no time to discuss pharmacology with you." I was so sick with the pressure and pain in my head I was throwing up so I took the medication as I had nothing else. The question is what to do next.... anyone??

Please see my comment 11/04/09 I am an M.D. and J.D. I was as an Internist and active in plaintiff malpractice.I am 86 and now retired. There is no cure for Levaquin tendonitis and the many variations thereof, there is no treatment, but you do have legal rights.

I am about the same as in 2009. Mostly pain in both soles and poor proprioception. I have fallen twice, broke 2 ribs several months ago; all due to Levaquin. But I think my age may be catching up to my infirmity.

Best of luck to you all. Remember, you have legal rights.

I posted a few years ago about the problems I had with levaquin. A few weeks ago I saw my new doctor and mentioned that he shouldn't prescribe levaquin to people and he said he is aware of the side effects with it and only prescribes levaquin when it's the only drug that will help and he explains the possible complications to the patient.

I thought that was an improvement over the P.A. telling me last year that I was incorrect to assume levaquin caused my tendon pain. At least some doctors are now aware of the drug's dangers.

Took levaquin in December, played golf and began experiencing soreness in medial and lateral elbow tendons. Had to take Drug again in March, soreness worsened and had to stop playing golf for a month. Soreness still lingering, going to try physical therapy. I am convinced levaquin was a cause, but doctors claim it affects only Achilles tendon. I believe strongly this drug can affect all tendons and I will a avoid this drug forever!

I took levaquin and was put on flonase as a precaution for my sinus infection! I am stopping it today!!

Did the pain ever stop? I've been unable to run for almost 6 months now and having been a runner for 40 years, I'm terrified that this is it... I'm a hospice nurse, and I've used exercise all my life to help deal with stress. I took Levaquin in December for a sinus infection. I was 59 and was put on steroids at the same time. High risk, but I didn't know it at the time. I'm trying to find hope through people who got better.

Hey Bob---are you running again? I'm still unable... Glad to read that you were able to get back to your martial arts.

Hi Bob, I'm a newcomer to the Levaquin Achilles Tendonitis Club. I took my last Levaquin Jul 8, had a disappointing response from the medical community, and am just starting to figure out what to do. I'm impressed with your approach and healing time, and would appreciate information on your stretch exercises and brand of sonic machine.

I'm 74 and very active. I was going to the gym three days a week and still work as an outside sales engineer in my own business of 35 years. My wife and I travel a lot, and look forward to lots of trips which require some walking. I look forward to hearing from you. Russ L

I took 10 day 5oo mg script of Levaquin for a sinus infection and flu (the flu had outlasted a z pack earlier in the month) beginning on 7/29 and immediately started have heart palpitations. My doctor had told me that it was common with Levaquin and to not be worried. However, these palpitations worsened with each dose I took. After day seven I began to have discomfort in my achillies, so I called my doctor and told him about my chest pains an tendon issues, and he took me off of Levaquin.

I have been off of the drug for four days now and both of my achillies and plantar tendon are sore. I am also having periodic tightness in my chest. I am an avid runner, who is training for my first marathon. I have read many people's comments about the problems they are having, but very little on recovery time. Any information would be very helpful.

My run in with Levaquin was in 2006. Many of the effects are still with me today, but to a lesser degree and I just got used to occasional pain in my elbows and the calves of my legs. It is a feeling of something being stretched too tightly and nerve pain. If it gets bad enough to really catch my attention.... I use hot, moist wraps on the affected areas, massage and gentle stretching. It helps somewhat. The side effects of Levaquin, unlike the side effects of many other antibiotics, don't go away after stopping the medication. It took six months for the intensity of the affects to wear down to where I could live with it.

I am a 53 yr old male in good physical condition but with asthma. Was prescribed 750mg Levaquin + 50mg Prednisone daily for 5 days for pneumonia. Day 3 started having achilles pain, didn't put 2&2 together until after 5th dose. That was early August, 2011.

Was put in walking boots on both legs for what I was told would be 3-4 months. Insisted on seeing foot/ankle specialist. MRI shows damaged achilles tendons, orthopedic surgeon recommended Graston Technique for therapy. 2 sessions into that now, although it is painful therapy I'm somewhat hopeful for help. Pain has moved into my feet but I don't know if that's due to foot being weak from boots.

Bottom line is extensive tendon damage and no one can tell me if it will ever go away. Foot/Ankle specialist says future will be "quality of life" issue, either able to live with pain if it doesn't get better or undergo tendon graft surgery. Even with warning on label this drug is over-prescribed and no one seems to be aware of it's dangers.

I am 56 yr old healthy white female; was in April, 2011, was prescribed Levaquin 500 mg. for 10 days; took it for 4 days and was in excruciating pain in knees, shoulders, ankles, wrists; got "knots" on my left foot achilles tendon/heel and left wrist,

The knots are gone, but I still have some wrist pain and I have severe plantar fascitiis in my feet (mostly my left heel). I have NEVER had any joint pain or foot problems like this in my entire life.

I am SURE it was the Levaquin that this damage.

Yes it is levaquin I would see a podiatrist right away. Ice rest the leg. Get proper care I am dealing with it right now for past 5 months. I am 27.

Feet pain can be due to Achilles tendon issues. Also it could be due to plantar fascists. I just found out due to levaquin I have fluid build up in feet via. Feet MRI. No cure but to wait.

I was given IV levaquin in the ER for a kidney infection in February, 2011, followed by a 10-day course of 500 mg daily. In late June, I suddenly developed pain in my right foot, ultimately diagnosed as posterior tibialis tendonitis. Over this past weekend, I started having a lot of pain in both wrists/hands. Is it likely that I'd still be developing new tendon problems at this point? My last dose of levaquin was in early March, 7 months ago.

I took Levaquin off and on for two years from 2009-2010.... Sometimes 21 days at a time for chronic sinus infections. Finally, had sinus surgery. I did not make the connection until a year ago. I had chronic tendonitis in my ankles, knees and elbows. I noticed during my last prescription that it may be related to the medicine, so I researched. I asked my doctor and he immediately took me off. I am still having issues today. Some days I can't walk the pain is so bad. Please don't take Levaquin.

It would be nice if someone could tell me how long the damage will last.

I was given Levaquin for a sinus infection. On the 9th day all of my joints started hurting. A week later they're still killing me. Never any mention from the doctor that this could happen. Why aren't there warnings issued? Instead I find the information on line. and find that these symptoms could last a long time.

Hi Lori,

I had my last and worst run in with Levaquin in 2006. The effects of the prescription are still with me. I don't know if I have just become accustomed to the issues or if they have improved. I still have daily problems with nagging pain in the tendons in my elbows, but the problems with the tendons in the front of my leg, have gotten better. They flare up now and then though. I use hot compresses and massage and they eventually return to near normal. I have decided that, for the people effected negatively by Levaquin, the physical problems subside over years, but never go away completely. The major, acute stage of the effects, for me, lasted 6 months without any change at all. For some reason, fish oil capsules helped me recover to the level I am at currently.

WOW....was warned (a bit) about taking Levaquin for a chest infection etc.....
Took 7 days worth of 500mg & 3 weeks later the chest is better but I'm F%$d'!!.....

I'm (Lifetime) an ACTIVE 52 year old (Beach Volleyball, Gym 2-3 Days a week & ALWAYS walking moving with good mobility. quickness etc....)I've always had my share of post exercise pain that has ALWAYS been temporary (ya know the "Good" Soreness from exercise that relieves w/ice/rest....) that goes away by next day(s).... Now. My left knee is swollen (though I was having some pain/swelling in it before the L!) but now VERY sore, My Left ankle (outside bone!)is swollen & I have MAJOR Stiffness/Soreness in BOTH forearms/elbows (BOTH Shoulders during sleep period) & can barely straighten them out which makes Shavin'/Teeth brushin'/sleep etc....a MAJOR burden w/each repetition....

Being VERY Athletic for all these years (Individual/Team sports, Hockey, Base/Softball,Football,Body surfin,'Racquetball etc.....) I'm used to playin'/living with SOME amount of pain/soreness....but THIS SUCKS!!.....I'm REAL concerned about the Longevity of recovery (if EVER??).... I've been to the Gym four times & played VB 4-5 times since L' Completion & symptoms are getting worse (though NO Achilles prob's YET??) But I don't want to take Aleve (which helps the pain/stiffness a bit!) EVERY Day forever.... Hopin' I can fight my way thru....but man I feel about 85 years old w/MAJOR Body Arthritis MOST of the Day & Night & REALLY need to start feelin' better....

PLEASE keep postin' ANY of the success stories of relief on this site....Pray for us all & thanx for readin'!! EW

Sounds like the same many of us are going through. In the beginning you just want to take it easy. Many of these symptoms are like those of connective tissue disorder. I would google that and maybe speak with a doctor abut that? I am not a doctor but that what I am looking into now after a doctor mentioned it to me.

Please tell me what daily dose of chelated magnesium you took. My husband has 3 tears in rotator cuff and plantar fasciitis since taking levaquin. In terrible pain.

There is no magic pill. Magnesium (as in Phillips Mag) will act as laxative. Have had plantar fasciitis for two years now.

Thanx for the reply JD....Slowly gettin' better as the foot/ankle stuff is dissipating somewhat....but the Arms are STILL sore, stiff & extremely tender (especially at night!) but seem to be ever so slowly improving....

I'm fighting my way thru (rest/inactivity are NOT an option for me, as I'm from the "KEEP Movin' School"!))....I will look up the tissue dis-order you mentioned & investigate traction on that front....

By the way.....I've been taking TONS of Glucosamine, Vitamin C & a large amount of water & PURE Concentrated Cherry Juice (recommended for gaut/Arthritis relief etc....) also.....these seem to be assisting in ridding the poisons from the L' & I'll keep y'all any update as things (Continue/I HOPE!)get better.....Regards, EW

Add me to the list above. I took levaquin for three days and couldn't walk by day four. Three weeks on crutches and doctor is projecting four more weeks with intensive physical therapy. No tears of tissue as of yet but the pain is through the roof. Other symptoms are blurry vision, what memory, and I forgot.... It also seems to be moving up my leg. It started in my right calf down through my right foot and has now after three weeks seemed to settle in my right calf up just past my knee. Anyone else experience the movement?

Thanks for the tips above and I will update this as things progress. The one tip I can add so far is for those on crutches. Buy a cup holder for your crutches. Living with this is hell enough and you shouldn't have to do it without somewhere to carry your coffee.

I have taken Levaquin several times over the years for chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and chronic Lyme Disease. I haven't blown a tendon but I have had side effects.

I urge you all to get tested for Lyme. When a person has Lyme in their system, taking an antibiotic (esp a strong one like Levaquin), you get what is called a Herxheimer Effect (look it up, research it). This means your Lyme symptoms get much much worse before they get better.

Most times I have been prescribed Levaquin, I've also been given a steroid (inhaler or oral). Steroids are the devil for people with Lyme and my body revolts against me (heart palps, joint pain, fatigue, headache, vertigo, tinnitus, other stuff).

There is a chance that some of you have Lyme and don't even know it. It's worth a shot, but keep in mind that the normal test for Lyme is not a good diagnostic test, there is a very high rate of false negatives. There are other more controversial tests you could investigate.

Update to my status. For those of you looking for answers I can only offer a bit more. It has been almost six weeks since the initial start of this ordeal and I have found that the following has helped me to somewhat of a recovery. Tips are as follows:

1. Make sure your doctor is clear on the amount of pain medication to prescribe you. My doctor didn't have any perspective on this an you need to manage this carefully with him almost on a daily basis until you get the right amount and type.

2. Hot and cold therapy was key to to get both the circulation moving through the tissue and then cold packs for reducing the swelling. I found some awesome gel cold packs (18"*24 approx. $35 ea) online that between the two of them they completely covered my leg and did a great job.

3. Lots of hydration and protein shakes (myoplex)

4. Very light physical therapy to make sure you can maintain some range of motion and not cause any tendon damage. Get an expert from an orthopedic clinic.

5. Most important, keep your legs elevated and stay off of them. It seemed that each day I tried to do more, it caught up with me and set me back a couple of days. This can be challenging if family is expecting you to do something besides being a couch potato.

6. File for a temporary handicap placard. Every step makes a big difference if you have to get around on your own.

Doctor was telling me three to four months on crutches and full recovery by six months. I am currently walking up to fifty feet unassisted and able to get through the grocery store on crutches for a few items. I have currently stopped taking the pain meds unless I overdue it. I am feeling confident that within the next couple of weeks, I will be able to turn the corner on this.

Good luck to all of you.


It sounds like you had luck with getting over cipro induced tendonitis in your legs. Do you have any suggestions? I have been resting and going to PT but feel no relief. It's been about 2 weeks. Any advice would be appreciated!

I'm a 64 year old male. I was prescribed 500mg levofloxacin daily for 10 days for pneumonia. By day 4 I was experiencing pain and swelling in my left Achilles tendon. After reading about the drugs side effects I called the pharmacist on day 5 and was advised to continue with the medication. The pneumonia is gone but the pain and swelling is still with me one week after finishing the prescription. I'm using ice packs and will look for chelated magnesium tomorrow. Any advise would be appreciated.

I was prescribed Levaquin 250 mg by my doctor for 17 days for a UTI/kidney infection. Even with the lower dose I had side immediate side effects after the first dose. My knees and legs ached something fierce. I shrugged it off as being in bed too long and hospitalized for 5 nights. After 8 doses my legs and knees still ached badly.

I researched the levaquin and now I'm horrified. Since quitting my tendons in my right wrist are very sore. Now I'm scared it's from this drug. I've been reading the higher the dosage per pill, the more damaging effects could be! I'm drinking 5-7 liters of water a day and using chia seeds as a supplement. The chia seeds is a super food and will help detox your body. It's loaded with magnesium, potassium, omega, vitamin b's, calcium, fiber ect..

I switched to Vantin and that is helping my kidney infection better then the levaquin. I pray I don't have permanent effects. I'm really frightened though, I guess we'll see what the future brings.

I took Levaquin 750 for a sinus/chest infection in October 2011. I was given Avelox a week before that and nothing was working. Took 21 days of steroids after that to finally knock it out. While I was on the steroids, I did not feel the pain in my tendons, but as soon as I was off them, I tendons were screaming.

It is now 1/25/12, and I got to the point where I could hardly walk, and my shoulders, and my elbows along with my Achilles heels suffer from severe tendonitis. I am going to physical therapy for the heels and shoulders/arms, but it seems my elbows (and joints ) are getting worse. This has been 3 months since this all started. I ran and played tennis three days a week, and biked all summer. I went from totally active 50 year old female to a wreck.

I can do beginner yoga to stretch out, but I can hardly walk in the morning to go to the bathroom. I also pray this will not be permanent. I just want to know IF and when I will get better from this. This drug is not worth the side effects and people rely on the drug companies and the doctors to manufacture and prescribe safe drugs. I feel like I got run over by a bus today. I need to know what can be done for relief or IF this will go away. Any sites or info. out there besides the lawyers and people trying to sell you stuff?

I am posting this because of the trauma my husband experienced because of Levaquin. I read the painful postings & want to urge you to not give up. My husband went from a surfing, skateboarding, VERY active in the gym 6 days in the week 48 year old man to someone who had to use a cane to get out of his car. He had every symptom almost every one of you describe. He had his knee scoped because it hurt the worst. The surgery helped only somewhat.

Please don't give up. He's 2 year's past his ordeal & no longer has the extreme pain. I urge you to increase the amount of chondroitin & magnesium you're taking. Eat as close to natural as you can - limit processed foods. Keep moving also... don't lay around! Do whatever you can... even if it means walking across the room.

He also massaged constantly the parts that hurt the worst. He described it as almost feeling the poison leaving the joints. It will get better. The one thing we noticed about this website is that everyone posts their problems, but don't update it when they get better. Don't give up. It'll get better.

See my comments on December 31st on some things that will improve your situation. I will also tell you that it does go away but it will take some time. I could find little on the web most doctors are unfamiliar with how to deal with this. Since my last entry, I accumulated blood clots in my leg, which wound me up in ICU. Please make sure you are informing all your doctors of every little thing that doesn't seem right and make sure all your doctors are communicating on your situation.

Pay close attention and good luck.

Please read all comments before your entry. You are not alone. To date there is no specific therapy, no cure. It has been two and one half years for me. Tried everything. Still have permanent leg weakness and loss of balance. I need a cane to walk.
At this time in your life, your only recourse is legal recovery against the manufacturer.

I can't believe this drug is still on the market. On second thought, OK, I can believe it. This thread proves that the drug companies are in control of the FDA, which used to protect us, but protects the drug companies now. Profits are the only thing that matters.

I was floxed in 2001 and I'm still not right. My cognitive impairment and chronic muscle pain continues to get better, slowly. Very, very slowly. With so many testimonials proving the damage this drug has done to so many lives, when will the destruction stop? This Levaquin episode has made it impossible for me to trust doctors anymore. They either don't care about the damage they are causing, or they don't want to know, or both.

I came here today because I'm still looking for something to reverse the damage 10 YEARS LATER.

What dose and brand of chelated magnesium did you use?

My story is a lot like the rest, I was taking Cipro (from Dr) for a kidney stone and went to the Drs nurse practitioner for chest cold and was given levequin. Started taking the Levequin tues may 3rd and on Sat May 7 I could hardly get out of bed.

I started reading about levequin realized that was the problem not only the levequin but cipro together with it. I went to the Dr and like most on here he did not believe it was the levequin. Dr said I probably should not have been taking both the levequin and the cipro together(gee ya think).

I started reading and there seems to be no answer. Have been hoping that it goes away in time (been 10 months) no improvement. Before the levequin and cipro, I was active and healthy. I keep looking for answers but this site is from 2007 until now 2012 and it seems to still be happening with no answers.

I am a 63 year old woman in Florida for the winter.... home is in Canada.
I was prescribed both Prednisone 20mgs AND 750mg Levoflaxin for a chest infection back on January 24th. I was reluctant to take the Prednisone as I knew was a steroid but followed Dr's orders.....7 days into treatment I experienced ankle pains... First on left ankle, then a day later on right one.

I stopped taking both medications and returned to the doctor at the walk in clinic. When I asked him why he prescribed the Prednisone, given the literature which I had only just read, said that the combination of both these drugs, in those over 60 years of age could possibly cause a tendon condition... He said for my condition that was the best drug combination and he had been prescribing the combo of Prednisone and Levoflaxin for 11 years and maybe 1 person in 300 had a tendon reaction?????

He also said tendon pain usually subsides in 5 days or so when the drug is out of my system. This is day 7 and am still in pain.... I did ice but now hot compresses help somewhat and will check out ultrasound.

Will try some of the suggestions which I read on this site particularly Collagen, Glucosamine & Chondroitin.

Someone mentioned a few months ago on this site that there was a 2nd case before the FDA... Has anyone heard what, if anything has happened? Will continue to read all of the valuable information you provide.

Took 3 pills 750mg - today 3rd day of medicine - I can't walk - pretty sure left ankle tendon is snapped - So scared / so much pain.

I first reported problems with levaquin in Oct 2009. Here's an update. In order to walk I had to get a walker. I use it if I have to take more than 50 steps otherwise I would hardly get out of the house. I stretch my achilles tendons twice a day, (gently). This seems to have helped. I can't go up steps in a left, right, left right manner... I have to take each step with both feet. Since I have COPD (lung disease) my doctor wants to put me back on levaquin... he says if you can't walk, you can't walk but if you can't breathe, you're dead.
He's right.

Male 25 yo, prescribed levaquin 500 mg for ten days to treat bronchitis.

My first experience with this type of antibiotic was last summer when I came down with severe food poisoning on an island. I took 10 days of 250 mg cipro, I think 500 for the first 3 days as I was told to double up, and the stuff saved my life.mehat a relief and zero side effects to speak of, except a terrible sun burn but I was on an island and was trying my hand at wake boarding even thought I read not to go in the sun on the stuff. But all was really fine and didn't think to much about it.

Anywho now, with my bronchitis I was prescribed the levaquin from one doctor, basically freaked out after reading all of this stuff and decided to get a second opinion. Didn't even mention the first prescribing doctor to the other doctor and sure enough he prescribed the same drug/dosage. Than I figured I must need it, and neither doctor seemed concerned enough to mention any side effects. I asked both about the tendon thing, and they said that is usually just 60 and older and that I wouldn't have any problems.

Now, on my third day of the pill I've noticed a weird sensation in my Achilles. And I am pretty achy. I did note that before I started it my body was super achy from feeling sick. I am wondering if I am just getting myself all worked up by reading this, but I can't help but want to call my doctor tomorrow and ask if there is another antibiotic...

Do you know what antibiotic I could recommend? I am thinking augmentin? I don't want to mess up my progress though as I think levaquin has really helped. I also don't want to spend my summer as a cripple though. Seems like most people here had there problems after taking multiple rounds in there life, maybe I should finish this round and vow to never take the stuff again?

And finally, I know it's a lot to respond to, I'm sorry and would greatly appreciate your opinions, does it seem like even thought cipro is the same category that it is actually a lot safer? Or are the stories the same as levaquin?

Andy - if you are truly affected by the levaquin, you're looking at more than just 1 summer as a "cripple". My husband is just now overcoming the effects of this awful drug. He's finally able to paddle out & catch a wave. Two year's ago (after a battle with pneumonia), he was using a cane to get around. Please listen to your body & stop taking this mediation! We are just now able to return to an active life - gym 5 times a week, yoga 3 times a week, surfing & biking. By the way - I wouldn't let them switch you to Cipro either - same deal as Levaquin. Good luck! Erin

I've done some research and found that Levaquin depletes magnesium in your body. Believe it or not Epsom salt baths (magnesium absorbed through the skin) can help restore your magnesium levels in your body. It's simple and it works. I have achillies tendonitis, and through doing research to cure it found that magnesium deficiency is a common cause that most people don't realize. I stumbled onto this site, and felt much empathy for all the people who have taken this drug and had such bad side effects. I just thought I'd share what I found... I hope this helps somebody!

I was DX with a prostate infection and prescribed Levaquin 750mg for 14 days. After 3 days I started feeling pain in my legs and immediately stopped. This was 5 days ago. I am still experiencing numbness in my legs (especially the calf area) I did some cardio exercise yesterday and thought I felt a pull so I stopped. I am worried if I continue I may do permanent damage so am going to take it easy for awhile, hard for me to do since I have worked out at the gym 5 days a week for 30 years. I am going to try the regime of mentioned (GLUCOSAMINE, MSM, MAGNESIUM ETC) and see how it works, just want this to improve I am so glad I stopped when I did will keep you posted.

I am 56 yr old woman. I came back from a trip and knew fro the symptoms I had a UTI.. My doc had previously called in a prescription of cipro so I decided to take one. I woke a few hrs later with chills and vomiting. This alarmed me so I went to the doc and told him what I took and what happened. He believed I had a kidney infection. I told him no cipro so he prescribes levaquin. Had I any idea this was worse I would have told him no then!!!!

He prescribes me 750 for ten days. Since I was still fearful of what cipro had done to me (though he says it was a kidney infection) I split the pill in half and only took half of it, The next day I took the other half. Let me tell you my calves ached so bad I couldn't stand up. I called the doc insisted he prescribe me something else ( he did augmentin). Meanwhile I have these horrible pains in my calves and a horrendous headache.

He sends me for a venous ultrasound looking for clots. Hello? How can these doctors be so out of touch!!???? I knew it was the drug. Slowly my legs have got better. I think this is the third day after I stopped and they are much better though I feel it. However I woke up this morning with my achilles tendon sore in my right ankle. I am so mad right now!!!!! I am hoping it doesn't get worse. We are in the middle of changing insurances so I can't go in to the doctor again until it gets straightened out. Not that he will believe it is that damn drug. I feel so betrayed!!!

You'll never get the doctors to admit it was the pills... we've had only one casually mention "off the record" that it could be the Levaquin. My husband suffered year's of torture because of Levaquin. 47 year old VERY active man... surgery didn't really work. Only now, several year's later, he's able to do things again he couldn't do for along time. Keep your legs moving - don't sit still! I know it'll hurt. Use a cane if you have to for a while. He's also added yoga & his movement/flexibility has improved even more! Good luck!

Hi All,

My mother had a full spine surgery with spinal fusion in October 2012. Surgery lasted 10 hours. Few days after the surgery she was diagnosed with a staph infection which they started treating immediately with Vanco and Levaquin. Just now, almost a month and half later, my mother starting complaining of joint pain and the last couple of weeks she's been having a lot of swelling in her legs. Primary care prescribed 40 mg Lasix to beat the swelling and what they thought was fluid in her legs. Lasix has not helped. She's almost done with Levaquin per doctors instructions to treat the staph infection. However, I am convinced that her problems are due to Levaquin and that her next visit with have to be with a Rheumatologist.

How sad... it helped one thing, but totally destroyed the strength in her legs. She's having lots of pain in her ankles, arms and hips. Help!!!!! We weren't told that those may be her side effects.

I have been taking levofloaxcin 750mg. My cough is gone, however, I have severe joint pain. My legs, arms and hands hurt. I am having difficulty walking.

Stop drug immediately. I have posted several times and have researched and tried everything suggested.There is no cure.


I was prescribed Levaquin in Feb of 2013. I also told the doc I had just begun taken Atorvastatin a couple mos earlier and needed to be tested soon for liver control. I was on Levaquin for a total of 10 days. The doc had said, don't do any exercise because some people experience Achilles pain with this med, but it's only 5% so don't worry, you'll be fine. On day 14 I called my doctor because on day 8 a Friday, I had started having pain but didn't immediately associate it w/ the drug. I described what was going on, that it was especially excruciating when going down the stairs. the doc never warned me it was a reason to stop taking the drug so I had finished the course knowing how important it was to finish antibiotics and also since the doc was very cavalier re the Achilles pain issue (plus it was a Sat when it first occurred it may be caused by the antibiotic and I had only a couple days to finish the meds.)

I was surprised that 5 days after finishing the meds I was still in pain and the pain increased. I called then and asked how long the pain would last and he acted totally surprised and mystified. He said he would have thought it would go away after the drug was taken but said I should see an orthopedist. The next day my pain subsided substantially and so I did not keep the ortho appt. I called the original doc and told him I didn't keep the appt because I had seen decreased pain. He seemed glad of it but issued no further comments re looking out or care. Since then, the pain has come and gone except last week (April 14) I noticed severe swelling in the back of the foot. I started raising the foot and sleep w it like this all night and the swelling is not subsiding. I am a teacher and this is worrying me terribly and I have difficulty walking, now just standing is difficult.

Should I walk, stretch? is it better or worse to do these things at this point? Should I do them in spite of the swelling and pain? I read here - now looking further for answers that some say move, others not sure, and I know the doc had said not to exercise w the pain- but most of all I read that with statin drugs the probability for this problem is significantly increased. SO WHY DID the DOC prescribe it in the first place?!

The news about this problem dates back to 07. Is there any news re how to best deal with this? I am sooo very angry! I want to thank you SO MUCH for your time and concern! What supplements might you suggest or do you think acupuncture or other alternative treatment may be beneficial?

Two and a half years after taking Levaquin I still have discomfort in my hands, legs, and feet. Sometimes discomfort becomes pain. Resting with my legs elevated several hours a day helps greatly. When I do anything slightly strenuous with my hands they hurt. I feel that the tendons suffered an injury and have not returned to a normal state. Some skin problems may be part of this picture.

There has been some improvement, I think! Chelated magnesium supplements seem to be helpful. Hoping for greatly diminished symptoms for me and everyone else.
Good Luck!

Once you get the side effects of Levaquin - you have them - there is no cure. I was given Levaquin in February of 2010 it is now June, 2013, and I still suffer extreme pain in every joint of my body. I have severe headaches, horrible nightmares, depression, etc. I have experienced nearly every side effect of Levaquin. I have had surgery on my thumb, which has to be repeated and the other thumb has to be operated on. I have been unable to wash my hair for over three years. Get a new pharmacist. He had to be aware of the two black box warnings and in your case he should have told you to stop immediately and with immediate medical help, sometimes it can be reversed. Good luck.

Read your post. How are you doing with the Levaquin side effects in 2013?

I too have tried just about everything. Its been almost 3 1/2 years for me (2-7-10). My family Dr. refused to believe me that th med - Levaquin could cause my severe side effects and put me back on it for another 10 days for a sinus infection. I found out about the black box warning 4 days into the 2nd round, called his office and read the black box warning to him.

By that time I was barely able to walk. To make a long story short, I have joint, muscle, nerve pain in nearly every joint in my body. The back of the left knee and the back of both elbows no longer hurt - that is my improvement. I have kept a daily journal from 3-1-10 to present. I only read the journal from beginning to present this week, and cried as to how much my life has changed in the last 3 years. The journal sounded like a broken record.

I was a healthy, 63 year old woman who had worked two jobs 7 days a week for 9 months just prior to this happening. I could barely hold down one job since. The depression, anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, popping, cracking, severe pain, sharp darting pain, thumb surgery recovery of 5 months, and skin sore to the touch, just to name a few, is my way of life today.

I don't smile much any more, have withdrawn, spend a great deal of time laying down or in bed and have lost the joy of life. All because my family Dr. didn't take the time to pick up his desk reference manual and just look up the side effects for "L". Sign me a card carrying member of the "L" Club.

I took Levaquin for a sinus infection beginning April 26, 2013. Within 2 weeks of beginning the regimen my Achilles tendons began to ache. The pain and stiffness has gotten worse and now I have significant reduced mobility especially after sitting down for even just 10 minutes.

It is now mid July and it is not getting better. I went back to my physician on Friday the 19th and he diagnosed Planters Faciatis and gave me stretching exercises and told me to ice it down nightly for 7 days. I will post results.

I have taken Levaquin many times without problems, but am shocked people without allergies to penicillins and cephalosporins are taking it. I take it only because those two types of drugs would kill me. This time, I mowed the lawn twice while on it, and now I do have a lot of Achilles tendon pain on one side. Stupid, but my spouse is injured and could not do it.

I am going to try ice. My problem is what else I could take, basically nothing. Good news is that my three-year sinus infection is treated very well by Levaquin.

Also note that any medicine can cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome; a few of you sound like you might have that severe side effect.

I am an 89-year-old retired surgeon-no allergies or drug sensitivities. Levaquin was prescribed by my urologist -after 4 doses I was taken off my feet by tendonitis achilles-

Visited my GP and good foot and ankle doctor. I have felt improvement with some relapses on exertion. My regimen 6 weeks later is one that I cannot prescribe because the drugs are not approved.

I have used DMSO and have taken 5 day courses of Butazoladin 100mgm/ day ( I used my dog's meds) good relief! I had 5 contraindications for use of this drug in retrospect. Age, prednisone, Coumadin, Crohn,s and hypothyroidism! I should have asked People's Pharmacy or Dr. Google before risking Levoquin!

Dear Dr. S,

Shame on you for taking your dog's medicine! Butazolidin ("Bute") is a dangerous drug! As a physician, you should know better.

We're glad you are improving, but this was risky business. You should have checked with your MD before taking Bute. And should have consulted The People's Pharmacy before ending up in this pickle in the first place!

On April 2013 I was prescribed Levoflaxcacin 500 for 10 days. I developed pain in my left Achilles 7 days after taking the pills.

I wish I had never taken this drug. I was never warned by my doctor or pharmacist.

Later on, in addition to severe pain in my Left Achilles Tendon, I started having mild pain in Right Achilles and developed many other side effects like pain in my calf muscle and thumb.

MRI and X-Rays did not show any problem.

I used crutches and avoided any load on my feet for 10 days. Also, I took Magnesium, Vitamin E and fish oil. I could not verify if any of them did anything good. After 10 days I used very high heel shoes and avoided work out (I used to workout 4 to 5 days a week) for 3 months (as it was advised by my physician)

I have already filed a report with my Doctor and FDA.

All symptom other than the pain in my Achilles Tendons disappeared in 3 months.

However, after 7 months, I still have pain in both of my Achilles Tendons (still mild in right and more severe and frequent in left). The pain is not constant. It comes and goes. I stop workout anytime I am symptomatic. Doctors can't do anything more.

My researched showed nobody knows exactly why this is happening but it is almost certain the injury is multifactorial. However, alterations in cell and toxic effects on musculoskeletal tissues seems to be prevalent reason. "The researchers suggested that an acute increase in matrixdegrading
activity with a concomitant decrease in cell proliferation
and collagen synthesis could lead to tendon rupture,
with a disproportionate effect on tendons that have a limited
capacity for repair or that have been previously structurally
compromised"; (Mederic M. Hall, MD, Jonathan T. Finnoff, DO, Jay Smith, MD)

Some people say it normally goes away after a year, but if doesn't then unfortunately it may be permanent.

anyone recover? can please share what has helped you please?

Hi Tammy,

I Was given Levaquin 02-07-2010. In one month it will be 4 years. I wish I had good news to report, but I don't. I still suffer pain in nearly every joint and tendon, headaches, horrible nightmares, depression, thumb pain, popping and cracking with nearly every move, skin sore to the touch and to reach out to the side is nearly impossible.

Still not able to hold my arms up long enough to wash my hair. Can't lift a gallon of milk with one hand and barely able to lift a 2 liter. Sometimes I can reach the seat belt but most of the time I have to have someone pull it out for me. I have a constant pain in the back of the neck, shoulder, shoulder blades, and hips. It hurts to cross my legs at the knees and hip as the pressure on my skin is unbearable.

I purchased a Tempur-Pedic mattress "cloud supreme" and an ergo base and still hurt in bed on shoulders and hips. Its not the mattress its the side effects from Levaquin. If it wasn't for the mattress and ergo base I wouldn't get any sleep. Of the thousands of people on line-I don't know any that has recovered.


The pain never goes away.


The scary part of Levaquin is you might not experience the side effects or pain from Levaquin for months or years. Once you have the side effects they are there and will stay like that or get worse over time. The side effects are pretty much the same as you will notice in each post. Some people have a few of the side effects while others have a lot. Nearly four years for me and improvement has been minimal.


This could occur from one day to years. If you get the side effects they don't go away.


Have you improved any?

Dr. Steve,

Its been 1 1/2 years now, are you still prescribing Levaquin to your patients? It will be 4 years for me next month and still suffering about as much now as I did 4 years ago.

Disability permanent. My reaction to Levaquin was eight years ago. The drug somehow affected the flexibility of my ligaments, tendons and venous system (whole body), with recurrent edema. Strength of the disability waxes and wanes, but some level of the pain is always here...this is my new reality.

Hello my name is Mish,
I sent in for my doctors appointment and after taking xrays. I have pneumonia. I also came in for pain in the top part of my heel. I have Achilles tendonitis. After grabbing my meds and picking up kids, clean house, dinner etc. I took my albuterol and this generic form of levaquin. Almost immediately I felt light headed, dizzy confusion, and weak. I started to read the disclosures and saw my symptoms. I just turned to the next page and saw this medication cause Achilles tendonitis and other tendonitis problems. Called my doc office today...waiting for response. Idk if its safe to continue taking this medication after already being diagnosed with tendonitis for my pneumonia. I guess we will see.

It is NOT safe to take Levaquin STOP immediately. See an arthritis specialist. Will be four years in 11 days for me. Changed my life for forever. I have posted several times, just read the other posts. I can't even wash/dry my hair. I can't keep my arms up for more than a few seconds - not minutes - seconds.

I need guidance. I took this drug in 2008. The warnings were not on the black box labels at this time. I worked in the fitness industry and always worked out at the time. I couldn't walk for months and still had to take people on tours with crutches. No doctor knew what was wrong with me.

It wasn't until 2010 when my Insurance company reached out to me to give them the details so that they can get paid from Johnson and Johnson. Me, on the other hand, I was left in the air. No lawyer wanted to help me fight a big company like Johnson and Johnson because no tendon of mine was ruptured.

I am affected badly. I can't stand for long. I have back and hip problems. Even digestive problems due to my hips and lower back. My ankles, achilles, and knees are still defected badly. I often get inflammatory knees and ankles. I mostly do upper body workouts and even that hurts.

I can't pursue my passion of body building and figure modeling. Can someone please assist me by providing answers for me? Thanks!

Hey Rob....after three Months of the AGONY you've (& SO MANY other's here) been subjected to.....I BEAT IT!!......

Now I had some "advantage" of being a life-long athlete that has OFTEN "played thru pain" (nothing like THIS Cluster F' though)& accepted that injury/play pain is inevitable etc....& still active, strong & in pretty good shape at 52!!....

Here's what I did (jus' got SO LUCKY also I guess!!).....I figured the main problem was the terrible pain/constriction INFLAMMATION that this EVIL Drug induced in us.....

#1) STOP terms of feeling SORRY....for all our situations (many MUCH WORSE than yours & mine!!)here!!.....

#2) KEEP MOVING thru the AGONY....I continued to go to the Gym (AGONIZING & Embarrassing!!) & my Beach volleyball "Dudes" were "kool enough" to continue to let me play (@ about 30% of "normal" efficiency) after the first 2 weeks or so I figured I'm "going down swinging" & stayed with it.....

#3) Diet went to incorporating as much HEALTHY fresh foods (Think "Whole Paycheck's", "Trader Joe's", "Sprouts" etc....) to cleanse the toxins out as much as possible thru diet.....

4) Consumed LARGE quantities of Regular Magnesium, tart Cherry juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric root & as much (MORE) water I could friggin' stand to BATTLE the Inflammation Head-On!!....

5) Prayed....(& please believe me....this Kat' ain't NO Religion freak!!).....jus' a few words & requests to "The Power" etc....EVERY Night right before "Crash-time"....felt it was REAL important to stay as positive as possible because after a bit of time, sympathy's dissipate & your basically "on your own" w/this in the long-run & each lil' feeling of progress was APPRECIATED by me....hope this makes sense to y'all!!??....

In closing....I KNOW I got REAL LUCKY!!....despite the above I was so BUMMED those first two Months especially sharing & hearing the TRAGIC stories of SO MANY here on this forum (many MUCH younger & in BETTER shape & MUCH WORSE OFF!! etc.....)....

anyways, that's my story....I still have residual damage in my left wrist and there ARE days I can STILL feel the POISON flowing thru my body....but from where I started (you can go back a'ways & see my "ordeal" posts on this thread) & again seeing SO MANY here that have been un-able to recover from this TERRIBLE condition....well I am "humbled"....

Best WISHES & GREAT Karma to you & ALL the MANY Brothers & Sisters on here trying to find their way back!!.....

6) about (2) months in....things began to SLOWLY subside.....but pain relief & agility etc....really started to kick-in between Month two & three....

I was prescribed Levaquin for pneumonia about four weeks ago. Four days into taking the Levaquin, I began noticing sudden onset of pain behind my left knee. I was worried I may have a blood clot from being so sedentary from the pneumonia so I again went to Prompt Care and had an ultrasound done which fortunately showed no clot but still no explanation for my pain. I then went to my doctor and told her that I had read it was a possible side effect of Levaquin.

For insurance reasons I am unable to just proceed to an MRI, I first must go through physical therapy. My first PT session is still two weeks away and the pain is getting worse, spreading around to the front of my knee and down my calf. It is becoming very difficult for me to even walk. I just really want to find out if this is a tendon tear and find out if there is a possible treatment for this.

I did read on the literature attached to the prescription that tendonitis was a possible side effect but you don't really believe that will happen to you... well... it did and is terrible both during the day a d when sleeping. Please beware before taking this medication and discuss this with your doctor. Wishing all of you the best in pain relief and return to a normal daily life.

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