Our first concern about fluoroquinolone antibiotics occurred in July of 1994 when we received the following question from a reader of our newspaper column:

“I often have side effects from medicines, but have never experienced anything like Floxin. I took it for a severe sinus infection followed by pneumonia last winter. After three days of utter misery and a rash on my back, I started hallucinating. Are there other people who have had a bad reaction to this antibiotic?”

After some checking we learned that this kind of antibiotic (a fluoroquinolone) could indeed cause “hallucinations, visual disturbances confusion, dizziness and seizures.”
One month later we heard from another reader:

“My heart went out to the woman who suffered hallucinations while taking the antibiotic Floxin. I too suffered a violent reaction to this drug. I took it for two days and became very nauseated. By the third day I not only felt listless, nervous and sick, but when I went to bed I couldn’t sleep and began having violent multi-colored hallucinations.
“After two nights of almost no sleep, accompanied by hallucinations, I asked my physician for something else. At first she was reluctant, but when she understood there was no way I’d take any more Floxin, she gave me a different prescription. I think Floxin is a frightening drug and I hope you will warn your readers that the side effects of Floxin may be more common than previously thought.”

Not long after we heard about these problems we talked with the journalist Stephen Fried about his wife’s experience with Floxin. She took one Floxin pill to treat a urinary tract infections and suffered severe neurological symptoms that lasted years. The incredible story is documented in the book Bitter Pills. They called their experience being “Floxed.”
Fast forward to Feb. 14, 2010, and the comment from J & G posted on this Web site. Quinolone-type antibiotics are still causing serious complications. We don’t know why some people are so susceptible to these drugs, but there is clearly a problem, and to this day many physicians seem unaware of the psychological and neurological complications of drugs such as Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Floxin (ofloxacin) and Levaquin (levofloxacin).

“My husband and I were very healthy marathon-running 35-year-olds. Two months previous to this we had both just qualified for the cheapest life insurance for the healthiest groups.
My husband and I were prescribed Cipro (for him) and Levaquin (for me) for a stomach bug they couldn’t diagnose. My MD said to me when I questioned whether or not I had to take it “well, if it’s a virus, nothing bad will happen.”
Within half an hour after talking the antibiotics we both had severe anxiety, insomnia (to the point where we were only sleeping 2 or 3 hours a night), nightmares, diarrhea (we had episodes of it every few days and I am still having diarrhea six months later even though I have tested negative for C. diff four times), strange thoughts, muscle pain, tingling, and shooting pains in our arms and legs.
I have never experienced anything like it in my life. Neither of us had ever had any reaction to a drug before.
We were off work for about 11 weeks. Six months later the symptoms are starting to subside although my husband still has tingling and weird nightmares and I have problems occasionally. We have seen nine doctors and they either outright deny or have not admitted that the Cipro or Levaquin could have anything to do with our symptoms.
We finally saw an infectious disease doctor at a major hospital who said he had had three other patients who felt they had the same long lasting effects from either Cipro or Levaquin, but he couldn’t find any evidence to support it.
Two other infectious disease doctors suggested that we had ciguatoxin poisoning, but we had not eaten the types of fish that can cause it. When we pointed out that we both had started these symptoms within about half an hour of taking the medicine (even though my husband and I took the antibiotics two weeks apart from each other) they flat out discounted that it could be the cause.
We finally just decided we just had to help ourselves to get better and we started to eat a lot of live sauerkraut (which seems to have helped get our digestion somewhat back) and eat very healthfully (lots of greens and brown rice) and get a lot of rest. That seems to be the only thing that has helped. We will not take a fluoroquinolone antibiotic ever again.”
J & G

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  1. Janet

    Does anyone have severe stinging and itching over their entire body. I am 3 years out from 40 levaquin pills that blew me apart. I am about crazed. I cant do a thing just sting and itch like I am in a bees nest with poison ivy. Nothing helps.

  2. Ralph
    South Carolina

    I became ill with bronchieactsis while in the Air Force in 1946 and after 9 months in service hospitals, sent home to die. An old country Dr had me breathe penicillin and vodka mixed in an aspirator and after 10 years, I started to gain weight and now at 87 years of age, survived. I have had pneumonia more times than I can remember and for the last few years have relied on cipro and levequin to survive. It does cause severe diarrhea but I can put up with that to survive the pneumonia.

  3. Emma

    I was treated with several psychiatric drugs. Two months ago a prescribed combination of ofloxacin, diclofenac (nsaid) and benzodiazepines caused mild heart problems, major cognitive deficits and psychosis. Which was forcefully treated with antipsychotics and more benzodiazepines. I had a severe response to all meds. The most horrifying – I lost all emotions.

    I quit antipsychotics and all other meds within a week and this actually improved psychosis and other symptoms. It gave me back some extremely vague and fleeting emotions. Happiness, sadness, anger, fear… barely detectable.

    I feel like I have lost my soul.

    I have lost my love and connection to people. Even my overwhelming love for my son. I now look at a photograph of my son and feel nothing. Like looking at a stranger.
    I have lost my faith. All spiritual and religious feelings are gone. I am left scared and empty.
    I have lost my joy, laughter, happiness.
    I have lost my capability to be touched by people, by nature, by music.
    I have lost my empathy. I used to feel such overwhelming empathy for people. Gone.

    It feels like doctors have robbed me of my soul. Of all that gives meaning to life. They have robbed my son of a mother.

    And for what? I prefer bladder infection, pain, sleepless nights and even psychosis over emptiness. There is one big regret in my life – taking these meds.

    Please be warned.

  4. Shively
    Manistee, MI

    Every drug comes with risks. None of us should be ignorant or oblivious to that fact, no matter what. If you are willing to put it in your body, you are accepting any and all risks.

    • Emma

      Of course I expected some side effects. But I had no clue that antibiotics could cause such extreme problems and was never told that there were contra-indications with benzodiazepines, nsaids or pre-existing brain problems. I trusted my doctor.

      Of course – right now no med comes into my mouth before I know everything. But people trust their doctors. Their governments.

  5. Susan P
    United States

    As an R.N., I was unaware of these unusual side affects to the Fluoroquinolon prescription drugs. I’m grateful to those who have shared their experiences.
    At the beginning of December, (2014) I’d been struggling with upper respiratory symptoms, similar to bronchitis. With a history of asthma, my physician prescribed levaquin, a chest x-ray, and a follow up appointment in 7 days.

    After returning home, I took the levaquin as prescribed. Within five minutes, my lips were tingling, vocal cords were hoarse, and my friend (who happened to be visiting) had a look of terror on her face. Apparently I looked sunburned, swollen and quite scary. I was able to swallow one benadryl before EMS arrived. The ER doc administered IV solumedrol and I’m not sure what else. I will now carry an EPI pen and alert everyone of this allergy.

  6. Jay

    I have been taking 500mg twice a day for 12 days now. I am a healthy 45 year old that until I started taking cipro was working out every other day. The first 9 days of this regimen included 10 mg pills of prednisone 3 times a day for 3 days, then 2 times a day for 3 days, then one time a day for 3 days. About a week ago, I had a hallucination while still on the prednisone and thought someone had crushed the side of my car, it was a shadow! My wife thought I was flipping out. Also about a week ago, I noticed my left leg tingling and left foot felt a little numb, like when your toes get too cold. This has continued through today, which has been the worst so far. The tingling and numbness are more evident today and both of my hamstrings are burning. My left knee keeps giving me shooting pains. I have also had occasional sharp pains in my head and a lot of the “brain fog” that people are mentioning. I had to take a multiple choice test last night and missed 4 questions that I definitely knew the answers but couldn’t remember them. Hmm what else, a lot of heavy heart pounding and a few palpitations. Blurry vision at times and hard to concentrate. I started researching cipro and came across the multitude of complaints. Immediately called my doctors office and they are switching me to a amoxicillin for the remaining 9 days to treat a sinus infection. There has been no improvement in the infection and I even questioned the doctor why he was putting me on more antibiotics when I had already taken augmentin and amoxicillin twice in the last few months and it didn’t get rid of the infection. He said I needed a longer treatment period and stronger antibiotic. I feel he should have taken a biopsy of the infection to see if it truly is bacterial or what I am now thinking, fungal. I will never take a “Flox” medicine again.

  7. Chris

    I was prescribed Levequin, after a Z-Pak failed to clear a sinus infection I’ve been dealing with for a number of weeks which started as a cold nearly 8 weeks ago. I took a single dose of Levequin three days ago. The morning after I took my first dose in the evening, I woke up with a minor rash and itchiness (this is an Allergic reaction… one prior poster argues allergic reactions always involve anaphylactic shock, they do not). I discontinued the medication voluntarily and took Benadryl. I listen to my body, and ultimately we’re in charge, not our Physicians. Clinicians are consultants.

    I woke up that night with the most terrible feeling I’ve ever had. My entire body was in pain, from head to toe. I’m a thirty year old male, who enjoys very good health. As an adult I’ve been on antibiotics twice before. Once for a surgery as a preventative measure, and once for a very severe sinus infection(two years ago). In the first case, I had Cipro (IV) and tolerated it fine. In the second case a Z-Pak. At any rate, the best way I can describe my experience was as though I’d been ran over by a truck. I had a terrible sense of doom, and felt like somebody was ripping my soul from my body. I had a panic attack after that(which I’ve never experienced before).

    The following day I awoke continuing to feel sore and in discomfort(now two days from initial dose) all over. Particularly in my large muscle groups. I also had a distinct “brain fog”. I’m a Software Engineer and have a very good memory, but have/had been having a hard time remembering simple things. The following day, this morning 10/25/2014, I continue to experience issues. I went to the grocery store with my wife, and picking up groceries, and my two young children was a huge chore. I somehow managed to injure my left shoulder during the process, and now it’s in quite a bit of pain. It was painful to walk around the store, and had to force the trip to an end about an hour after it began due to the progression of the pain.

    This is not some coincidental random event. This is as a direct result of a single dose of Levequin. I can only hope that I’m able to resolve this without long-term problems. I feel lucky that I stopped it after a single dose. I’m certain it would have could have been much worse if I hadn’t. I’m very frustrated I did not research this drug to the extent that I should have before taking it. I relied on my doctors opinion, whom I’ve known for nearly 12 years, and trust. I honestly believe he is/was and may continue to be misinformed about commonality of adverse effects from taking it.

    I learned afterwards that my aunt, an associate professor of nursing at a large well known hospital, underwent brain surgery a few years back for a benign tumor. She was given Levequin post surgery. She immediately had a reaction, but the clinicians did not believe it could be related to Levequin. After the third day of administration (as they ruled out other meds), she went into anaphylactic shock. She nearly died. Again, I wish I’d consulted here first.

    These drugs are very serious drugs. They have their place in situations where your life might depend on them. If you are sick from a drug resistant bacteria and are facing imminent death, they are an appropriate measure. You should NOT take them otherwise. They are unfortunately far more over prescribed for situations that do not demand it. Exhaust other options first, use these as a last resort.

    I’m hopeful I’ll recover. I’ve already started milk thistle, and will be increasing Vitamin C, along with taking joint support, and eating superfoods that contain detoxifying substances like Chlorella and Spirulina.

    I feel for all of you that were impacted by these “ballistic cannons” of drugs. I’ll never take fluoroquinolones again, ever.

  8. Monica
    Eastern NC

    I am taking Cipro 500mg for a UTI. I never had an issue with Cipro before. However, for the first time, I had an allergic reaction to it…hives/welts/itching on my neck, torso, the crease of both my right/left arms and right corner of my right eye. I called the pharmacy to see if I could take Benadryl with the Cipro and they said I could, but to stop taking the Cipro and notify my doctor. Thus, I did. The Benadryl cleared up the allergic reaction. I have an appointment with my doctor, so will wait to see what’s next?

  9. Jim
    Madras Oregon

    I took just one 500 MG Cipro for mucus in my stool and became very ill. The day after I took it, I was supposed to help a friend to landscape. By the time I arrived I could barely get out of my pickup truck. Wasn’t sure what was going on, but stuck it out to help my buddy. I could barely drive home, and by the time I got there I tried getting out of my pickup and basically ran strait into the garage door. I knew for sure something was really wrong. I’ve never felt symptoms like that before, and three days later, I am completely messed up.

    Went to the doctor today and he completely bowed out, went to the ER yesterday because of panic attacks and insomnia. They treated me with Xanax and motion sickness pills. So far that’s not working at all, my brain feels like it’s being suffocated. I cant believe that this drug Cipro is given to anyone. Today I went to the store and tried to pick up a 30 pack of bottled water and it folded my right index finger nail in half. So bleeding all over I had to ask the checker for a band-aid which she gave me. The confusion, brain fog, and equilibrium issues took me away from work. I just hope and pray that this will go away soon. I have no idea how to deal with this, I have a neurologist appointment coming up and hope that they can help.

    Cipro is definitely not for just any one, had to go to the ER on Sunday from severe panic attacks, fatigue, and suicidal thoughts. I instantly started feeling hopeless and I am worried about anyone who receives this pill. The doctors are clearly uneducated about the possible severe side effects. Note that I’m a 34 year old male whom 3 days ago was running 2-3 miles a day and could bench press 375 pounds no problem. There needs to be something done about this debilitating pill soon. It may work great for the majority of people, but it’s absolutely kicking my butt. The warnings, including the black box, are not enough, people who administer this drug need to know what they are handing out. Fluoroquinolones are severely bad news!!

  10. Michelle

    They are on the market in order to reduce and cure in lung infection.

  11. Lynne D.

    I had a hallucinatory experience on cipro, and up until this day, I still take anti depressants. Its been 21 yrs now, and what I don’t understand is why are these pills still allowed on the market?

  12. SEM

    Recently, I was prescribed Levofloxacin (500mg) once daily for an what was thought to be bladder infection or stones. The next day my blood and urine test were normal/no signs of infection but I wasn’t told until I inquired another two days later. When I questioned my doctor’s nurse about continuting to take rest of the meds (and she talked with the doc) the response was to “continue to take or I may be resistant in the future”. This did not make sense. I have heard and understand “continue to take or may not fully clear the infection” but not that the drug not work in the future. I continued as there also was not a resolution to what else the source of my side pain could be. Prior to taking I was also concerned about my use of steroids for an eye inflammation problem and its interactions with this drug (increased risk of tendonitis up to six months post). Since I seem to always read too much of the drug facts and have too many questions, I decided to trust my doctors benefit/cost analysis which I assumed was taken into consideration. Thankfully, I have not had any severe side effects.

  13. Jimmy

    You said that you DID have a tendonitis reaction. Did your symptoms eventually diminish and did you return to normal? If so, what kind of timeline did you improve? So hard to find anything anywhere on the internet where people actually say they had some reaction but it went away. Almost all are horrible life long debilitating results. To me, there has to have been some cases where people had reactions at first, but then improved over the next few weeks to couple of months and made full recovery. Please respond if any like this are out there.
    Thank you.

    • Nickie
      United States

      I went to the ER in the middle of the night in October, 2014 because of severe bronchitis. I was prescribed Levaquin. I took my first pill and went to bed. I woke up with pounding heartbeats and shakiness. I called the ER and told them what was happening. The nurse checked my “file” and said that the doctor who treated me was now gone and I need to keep taking it or to come back in for another (expensive) ER visit.

      I finished the prescription, but the shakiness hasn’t completely left yet. I had thoughts of doom and VERY vivid unusual dreams. I have 3 children and I found it so hard to find joy in everyday life. Before this happened, I was the eternal optimist. After I took the drug and suffered the effects, I actually questioned whether or not to continue living. I think this drug is too harsh.

  14. Tom B.

    I was prescribed Cipro for a sinus infection and I will never take it again. This stuff is nothing to play with. Yes, it helped with the sinus infection, but after three days on it I went back to my doctor and told them what was going on, and the nurse immediately began arguing with me saying that Cipro couldn’t be, and wasn’t causing the symptoms. I explained that I wasn’t getting more than a couple of hours of sleep every night and I felt short of breath. I told her that the first night my heart was racing. She finally agreed to put me on Azithromycin which I just started today. Cipro? Never again for me.

  15. Tom B.

    I was prescribed Cipro for a sinus infection and I will never take it again. This stuff is nothing to play with. Yes, it helped with the sinus infection, but after three days on it I went back to my doctor and told them what was going on, and the nurse immediately began arguing with me saying that Cipro couldn’t be, and wasn’t causing the symptoms. I explained that I wasn’t getting more than a couple of hours of sleep every night and I felt short of breath. I told her that the first night my heart was racing. She finally agreed to put me on Azithromycin which I just started today. Cipro? Never again for me.

  16. CAW

    Read that the Indian firm Raxby was cited for making a bad generic Cipro and wonder if many of those who suffer from such side effects could have come from the generic and not the real thing. I have sworn off Generic and will pay out of my pocket for the real thing. But I will never take Cipro or levaquin or any of that family again.

  17. Ng

    It’s one thing to have a side effect like a passing rash or passing nausea or passing indigestion in a few percent of patients. But what if even 0.1% of patients have life altering or near life altering side effects? We all know that all drugs have side effects but you need to multiply the severity of side effects by the frequency of those side effects to determine whether the drug stays on the market. The large pharma companies have billions of dollars at stake on these drugs and often don’t do enough follow-up to determine the safety of their drugs. You don’t know just how many people have been damaged by these drugs, most don’t connect the dots. The people on this website are no doubt a small fraction of the damage. Thanks. Regards. Ned.

  18. Ng

    I am a 59 year old male with a strange history of connective tissue weakness which my doctors only know too well about. I have always referred to it as Ned’s syndrome. Now I’m wondering if it was not somehow related to Cipro or Levaquin poisoning from a prescription long ago.
    Anyway, I went to the doctor in late December last year for prostate pain and was given Levaquin 500 mg for 14 days. After two days I developed bad pain in my hamstrings for no reason, hard and painful to walk. Called my doctor and he said it couldn’t be the antibiotic. Kept taking the stuff for another 6 days with pain getting worse, walking with severe limp.
    Stopped taking Levaquin and did some research and was horrified to find the horror stories about this drug. It is 6 weeks since I stopped taking the drug and my hamstrings still hurt although not limping as much. I have also had periodic blurred vision reading the scrolling news on espn or cnbc in the morning which I never did before. My eyes feel kind of dry. I also have some skin dryness around my ankles and back. I also have some back pain that can keep me up at night.
    I have just started taking magnesium and l-glutamine, vitamin b12 and flora for digestion. I’m praying that I don’t develop more severe symptoms as time passes and get better. I know all drugs have their side effects, but if there are enough patients with such life altering ones as with this class of antibiotic, I would think it should only be prescribed as a last resort! For me this has been terrible. Nausea or a passing headache is an acceptable side affect, not what I’m finding out about Cipro and Levaquin. Why hasn’t the FDA forced the drug companies that make these drugs do research into treating the horrible side affects so they could at least recommend things affected people could do, that’s the least they could do for whatever percent have our issues. Good luck everyone and keep the information coming. Thanks. Regards. Ned.

  19. S.Johnson

    I started out with what they thought was a bladder infection.. I was prescribed Bactrim, and it seemed to help. Two days after taking the Bactrim, I was still having burning when I urinated. I went back to my doctor and he prescribed Cipro, 500mg 2 x’s a day. I had taken Cipro about 10 months prior and had felt yukky on it, but didn’t have any serious side effects (or so I didn’t think). I started taking the Cipro. By day 3 I started feeling like I had the flu. By day 4 I felt even worse, so I stopped taking it. After about a week after I stopped the Cipro, I started feeling an intense ache in my lower back on the right hand side, that went down into my right buttock and my right hip, and I had a fluctuating low grade temperature. It would fluctuate from 97.9 to 98.4 back to 97.9 all day long.
    I wound up in the hospital that evening, because it had gotten so intense and painful that I couldn’t even walk. They ran some tests and said they couldn’t find anything. I didn’t really know at the time to try to attribute it to the Cipro. Within a few days after my hospital visit, I started feeling pain in the arch of my right foot and down the tibia bone of my right leg. Now, today, I feel pain in my left Achilles tendon, the back of both of my knees, the skin on my face is burning and pain in my right knee, and I still have the fluctuating temperature. I am scared that this is only going to get worse. Is there anything that I can do right now to stop the progression of what might be to come?

  20. Becki

    I was prescribed cipro after a tummy tuck that got very badly infected. It’s cleared up the infection, but I cannot sleep. My insomnia is destroying me from the inside out, I’m spaced out, unable to function properly and my hair is falling out. I’m paranoid, anxious, and a mess.
    I went to 2 different doctors about the insomnia – neither said it was anything to do with the antibiotics, and one told me it was all in my mind.
    I have stopped taking the cipro now, but I am terrified after investigating a little bit that my symptoms will not disappear when the drug leaves my system.

  21. Jeb

    I was prescribed cipro 500mg twice a day for 10 days. I took 4 doses and has to quit. I broke out in a rash all over my torso and face, the rash is fading some on torso but getting worse on my face and it’s been a few days since I have stopped the meds. Also I can not sleep at night, and my mind is a blur, I keep spacing out and feel like I am out of it.
    I was prescribed this for a possible UTI or kidney infection, which I guess I had neither (tests were inconclusive) my fever of 5 days went away on its own. I would never take Cipro again! It does have a black box warning but it should be pulled off the market.

  22. PJY Cipro Victim

    I have been given Cipro about 5 times in the last decade. First time I took it when I was about 30 for a routine infection. I was an athletic person and used to be superior to 90% of my friends in physical strength and agility, and education- having masters’ degrees in several fields.
    For the last 6 years, I have all my joints and muscles crippled- feet, heels, ankles, knees, hips, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers; brain gets some kind of wave every few minutes, brain fog, increased forgetfulness, high sweat condition ending with no sweat condition, dry eyes, dry mouth, dry skin, nose infections, hair loss, muscle replaced by fat, with cartilage loss all over the body, peripheral neuropathy with loss of sensation and involuntary twitching and jerking of muscles, nerve damage, loss of physical balance and tendency to fall, emotional ups and downs, not able to remember correct words during speech, loosing temper/control and the list goes, Very low Blood pressure, heart rate going down to as low as 40.
    I am so crippled that, when I enter the car, I need to help my left leg with my hands to lift it into the car. Sleeplessness is another major issue- I stopped yawning for the most part and if you can’t sleep your recent memory/experiences will not imprint on your brain. And my biggest fear is if I have lost all the immunity and susceptible to all kinds of deadly infections. I already look and feel like 90 year old. Another fear is getting blind soon- because of the dry eyes, my vision is severely impaired- it used to be much better than 20/20.
    Saddest thing is doctors never listen to me and do not buy into Ciprofloxacin cause. By giving you a fluoroquinolone, they have created a brand new patient for life, who feeds the entire ill-health industry for reminder of his/her life.
    Now they call these conditions as fibromyalgia/psoriasis/arthritis/tendonitis/neuropathy and several other names, which are not, and then several specialists start treating these conditions with more drugs, more testing, more patients, fueling ill-health industry.
    Recently, I tried Magnesium supplement for a month- never know if it helps but may not harm in trying.

  23. Leiann

    Went to doctor for UTI… gave me Cipro, Tylenol 3, & Ibuprofen… started feeling funny about an hour after the initial dose of Levoquin (?) at the doctors office but wanted to get better so I took the next 2 doses of Cipro. Started feeling worse. All over body itching along with muscle weakness, burning & fatigue. I stopped all the meds and went to the drug store to get a homeopathic remedy for UTI. I started feeling relief for the UTI within 24 hours. Remember, I only took a total of 3- 500mg tablets…its 5 weeks after taking these pills and I’m still having a lot of muscle weakness, pain, & fatigue along with occasional bouts of all over body itching spells. This antibiotic is a serious drug that needs to be researched a little more. I’m patiently waiting for these side effects to subside but so far it’s a daily issue with work and activities… can’t get around like before.

    • Michelle

      and I thought I was just thinking I had these problems I have all the same symptoms

    • KDelphi

      I am having a horrible reaction to Cipro, or I wouldnt be here, but , just to note, a UTI cannot be cured with OTC drugs….if doctors werent so quick to prescribe antibiotics without checking your urine, etc, we wouldnt even have a horrible drug like Cipro

  24. Tiffany

    Hello! I was recently prescribed Cipro, 500 mg twice a day for 5 days on Saturday, July 13th due to the UTI that I had. On day 1, was ok. On day 2, my entire body hurt and I didn’t feel right, but I ignored this and thought that it was because of the UTI and the flu that I had. By day 3, all of my muscles were hurting, but I still pressed on. By day 5, I was having severe abdominal pains, and by that evening, I was experiencing irregular bleeding, and muscle spasms that traveled from my neck to my back to my arm, and then finally my hand. I couldn’t hold anything in my left hand. I was sweating, and experiencing insomnia all 5 days of treatment. Whenever I did fall asleep, I would awaken with my heart pounding, and feeling like I had been dropped from a higher level of elevation.
    I chose to not take the last dose of the Cipro because I felt so horrible. The day after the spasms, my entire left side of my body was numb. I almost preferred the numbness, because when the feeling returned, I was in pain all over my legs, back,a rm and neck. I could barely walk up and down the stairs. My whole body felt stiff and sore.
    Two days after stopping the medication, I still felt horrible. I called my regular doctor, as well as Urgent Care and was told to go to the ER. I went to the ER, and although they acknowledged that my side effects were CIPRO related, there was nothing they could do for me. They told me to wait for it to get out of my system. They told me to cleanse by drinking water and eating “ruffage.” They verbally acknowledged CIPRO as the cause, but when they discharged me, they did not make mention of it at all in writing.
    Life After Cipro ?
    Well, I immediately began cleansing/detoxing as soon as I left the hospital. I started taking ibuprofen (3 at a time) every few hours for the inflammation and muscle/joint pain that I was in. I started taking a magnesium/calcium/zinc supplement and went in the pool every day after work to relax the muscles. Then, I took a bath in Epsom Salts (the Eucalyptus kind) and applied icy hot before bed.
    My muscles have definitely gotten better. It has been 16 days since I first took the medicine, 12 days since I last took a dose. I am hoping that I am almost out of the woods, and that I will return back to normal soon. I am slowly getting there, although I still have trouble sleeping, have sporadic blurred vision and stiffness.
    Hang in there everyone!

  25. CAW

    Pancho, You are right both Cipro and Levaquin are in the floxon family and you shouldn’t take any of that family. Doctors just don’t want to acknowledge that people are allergic to them and have these reactions. Look up the names of the entire family and have your pharmacist note never to fill them for you.
    For me a sulfa class one will work for bladder and intestinal problems just as well.

  26. Pancho T.

    My Gastroenterologist perscribed me Ciprofloxacin (Cipro, Xipro named here in The Philippines) 14 500mg tabs 2 times a day for a week with Metronidazole (Flagyl, Dazomet here in the Philippines) 32 500mg tabs to be taken 1 and 1/2 3x a day for a week because of some lower left abdominal pain and started last July 18 (night).
    I stopped taking Ciprofloxacin today (I took 3 all in all) because last night was the worst night of my life as if I thought I was dying. I couldn’t sleep, twitching muscles would wake me up, anxiety attacks, abdominal pains, back pains, fatigue, weakened arms, painful part around left shoulder (right in between the bicep and tricep), painful tendons everywhere.
    Mid day of July 19 (the day before I stopped taking Ciprofloxacin), I woke up feeling weak and have to get to an appointment with a Nephrologist then while waiting for my appointment, the tendon in my left knee started to feel restless and painful. I didn’t know yet what was causing it until I got home and researched about these drugs that were prescribed to me by my Gastroenterologist. I did not know what was prescribed to me is a very dangerous antibiotic.
    So, earlier today I went back to the doctor to tell him that I had an allergic reaction to Cipro. I did not get to talk to him because his secretary was receiving all the patients’ appointment sched. She then asked what was my concern, I told her about my allergic reaction which she wrote on a paper then she told me to wait for her to call me when its was my turn. A few minutes later, she got inside the office with an account of my allergic reaction to Cipro then got out a few seconds later with a new prescription REPLACING CIPRO WITH LEVOFLOXACIN (Levaquin).
    I got home, researched about the antibiotic and found out that its the same line of antibiotic as Cipro. Now I’m scared of taking the doctor’s advice because I might have the same reaction to Levaquin. Now I’m wondering when my allergic reactions to Cipro will stop (it’s been a day since the last pill). I still feel like crap but not as worse as last night. I still continue taking Flagyl.
    I just want to get better and hope that these side effects won’t be permanent. I’m 28 years old by the way.

  27. Mallow

    Sounds like allergies to me. It can happen with any drug. I am very allergic to penicillin and whenever some dr gives it to me without reading my chart, I have terrible hallucinations nightmares nausea muscle pain and weakness etc. No one knows why I react so badly to penicillin based drugs I just do.
    Does this make it the drug’s fault? No it is simple biology. Doctors should be more attentive when prescribing of course – patients don’t know what drugs are in what family so the prescribing physician is responsible. Yes I do indeed have permanent damage from doctors giving me the wrong antibiotics. It is still not the drugs fault.
    All meds are poison of some sort. The idea is if you are not allergic they should do more good than harm. There is simply no such thing as a completely safe drug. All meds have side effects and yes they can be nasty. If you have a very bad reaction to a drug it is your responsibility to update your allergy record. Most of these situations of permanent damage being done could be avoided if medical staff would learn to read patient charts and take patient complaints seriously.
    As a student nurse I pray I never see the day when my negligence causes a patient any harm. However as a person allergic to penicillin what am I supposed to take when I get sick if everyone who is allergic to cipro and family, sulfa drugs, and all the others succeed in getting them taken off the market? I am presently taking cipro for a uti and have have no ill effects. I have been on cipro a few times before also. Nothing then either. Perhaps I should make people dependent on penicillin suffer for my allergies by petitioning for that to be taken off the market? Just update your allergy notes and be extra vigilant, seriously.
    The reason docs don’t take people seriously when they report these side effects is twofold. One – no one updates their darn charts they just complain online. Two – these kinds of reactions are rare. They happen about as often as surviving a lightening strike. Yes please do raise awareness that these allergic reactions happen, but don’t do it in a way that ruins things for the 95% of people who don’t get sick from these antibiotics. Especially since some people have no choice in what they are able to take when they get sick.

    • KDelphi

      Please dont call adverse drug reactions “allergies”–I am deathly allergic to penicillin….this Cipro is awful, I am going to ask for something else, but an allergic reaction involves, hives, sneezing, and, eventually, (if you dont get an ephdrine injection) respiratory collapse and death

  28. Rose

    I have been battling fibromyalgia for the past 10 years. I have tried everything but nothing seems to help. I never let it stop me from living but it drains you so much just to keep up with the pain. I finally had enough courage to ask my pharmacist to give me a list of antibiotics that I took in the past. He went as far back as 10 years ago and to my shock amazement I took Avelox 400mg for 10 days exactly around the time that all my pain started. Could this be a coincidence ? I don’t think so. Now that I have this information I will try to find someone that can finally help me. Wish me luck.

  29. Janet M.

    I did get through 14 scripts of cipro in my life but was very tired all the time. The last 4 scripts of levaquin have finished me off. I am in 247 hornets nest over my entire body with itching.. I am about out of my mind.. I have gotten through the pain, tendons but this is the WORST and is so intense. I would just rather die soon.

    • nanci burnham
      dover nh

      I don’t understand why people say Ciprofloxacin should be given only as a last resort. I don’t think there is never a good reason to give anyone this dire poison. It is the only “drug” engineered by bayer to cross the blood brain barrier, and it is meant to destroy every organism in it’s path! The human body is an organism! It does not leave your body like other drugs. It starts by attacking the central nervous system and destroying brain cells. It’s a neurotoxin, and It ultimately destroys the myelin sheath, the protectve coating that surrounds your nerves, in the manner of Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis, and other neurodegeneratve diseases. It is unrelenting in its goal to destroy the most precious organism of all -You. Once the cascade of events begins, it can’t be stopped. It’s desruction goes right to the heart of your cells to destroy the mitochondria. It was developed by Bayer for one reason, and one reason only, to stop the biological weapon, Anthrax; it is also used as a chemo therapy drug. There is no antidote – nobody knows how to stop it. I’m writing this because somebody has to tell it like it is. People need to know they have been poisoned. I don’t think it’s an allergic reaction! To say that this drug (and it is a drug), should be given only as a last resort is giving credit where credit is not due. This drug removes all hope for any quality of life. One last thing: the way it works in ones system is like a dirty trick. I, for one, would have preferred ricin.

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