Did you know that the FDA has issued a safety notification about a class of popular antibiotics called fluoroquinolones (FQs)? The announcement involves the following drugs:

  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Gemifloxacin (Factive)
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Moxifloxacin (Avelox)
  • Norfloxacin (Noroxin)
  • Ofloxacin (Floxin)

According to the FDA, over 21 million people get a prescription for one of these drugs each year. That makes this class of antibiotics among the most popular in the pharmacy. Doctors love to prescribe FQs because they are effective for a wide range of infections including bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, urinary tract infections, prostatitis and skin infections.

These drugs have been around for decades. Cipro, for example, has been on the market for over 25 years. After all this time, one would think that the FDA would have a clear understanding of the benefits and risks of such drugs. In fact, you might assume that doctors would have been warned about complications of FQ drugs like Levaquin or Cipro from the very beginning. Au contraire. It comes as a great shock to patients to discover that serious fluoroquinolone warnings continue to be issued, decades after these drugs were originally approved.

The most recent FDA announcement relates to nerve damage, aka peripheral neuropathy. Here is the official safety communication issued on 8-15-2013:

“This serious nerve damage potentially caused by fluoroquinolones may occur soon after these drugs are taken and may be permanent… Peripheral neuropathy is a nerve disorder occurring in the arms or legs. Symptoms include pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, or a change in sensation to light touch, pain or temperature, or the sense of body position. It can occur at any time during treatment with fluoroquinolones and can last for months to years after the drug is stopped or be permanent. Patients using fluoroquinolones who develop any symptoms of peripheral neuropathy should tell their health care professionals right away.”

In other words, patients can experience this potentially irreversible nerve damage within days of starting drugs like ciprofloxacin or levofloxacin. Even if the drugs are stopped promptly, the side effects can last.

Doctors and pharmacists may not always describe the symptoms patients need to watch out for. And people may not associate weakness, numbness or tingling with an antibiotic, since it doesn’t seem logical that a medicine designed to overcome an infection would damage nerves. Such symptoms may not seem that bad, but in some cases peripheral neuropathy can be permanently disabling.


We first became aware of unusual problems brought on by fluoroquinolone antibiotics in July of 1994 after receiving this question:

“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?”

We had to do some digging, but we finally discovered that FQs can cause “hallucinations, visual disturbances confusion, dizziness and seizures.”

We talked to journalist Stephen Fried about his wife’s experience with Floxin. In the book Bitter Pills, the Frieds describe how one Floxin pill for a urinary tract infection led to debilitating neurological symptoms that lasted for years.

At the time, a lot of doctors didn’t believe such long-lasting neurological complications could happen so quickly. It has taken the FDA over 25 years to alert physicians to just such a possibility.

The same can be said about tendinitis or tendon rupture. This is another very serious adverse reaction triggered by FQ antibiotics. The first published report of an Achilles tendon problem appeared in 1983. Thereafter there were many case reports linking drugs like ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin to tendinitis and tendon rupture. These can also be disabling complications of FQ antibiotics. It took the FDA until 2008 to issue “black box” warnings about this problem, 20 years after Cipro was first introduced.


  • Digestive distress, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, heartburn, vomiting
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Agitation, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Tendon problems, tendinitis, tendon rupture
  • Retinal detachment
  • Nerve damage, peripheral neuropathy, nerve tingling, numbness
  • Allergic reactions, skin rash, anaphylaxis (life-threatening reaction requiring immediate medical attention!)
  • Super-infections including C. diff diarrhea
  • Hallucinations, psychosis, seizures
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Irregular heart rhythms, torsades de pointes, QT prolongation
  • Kidney or liver damage
  • Blood disorders
  • Arthritis, muscle pain, weakness


Here are some stories from visitors to our website. Add your own FQ experience below. If these antibiotics have worked well for you without side effects we would like to hear about that. If you have suffered, we would like to see your story as well. Please comment below.

“I have taken Cipro a number of times over the years and wondered why my tendons, especially the Achilles tendon, were so inflamed. Finally read the side effects and saw it can be a serious side effect to the point of bursting the Achilles tendon. I carry a note with my insurance card in my wallet warning not to give me any of this family of antibiotics.” C.G.

“It’s been eight months and I’ve been to two specialists trying to determine if I have arthritis. They say I do not. I took Cipro and Levaquin within a one month period and it has been eight months since then, and I have pain and stiffness EVERY DAY. What started out as plantar fasciitis and wrist tendinitis then moved into my hips and elbows and is now in my upper back and shoulders.

“I ran a low grade fever for 6 months after taking these drugs. The symptoms started within two days of taking the last dose of Levaquin. I have not even addressed the fatigue, irritability and mood changes I experienced during the first three months after taking the drug. I was healthy, active and exercised regularly. Now I don’t know what to do–stretching generally aggravates my pain. How can the FDA allow this drug to be prescribed?” Augsdi

“In 2000 I had an adverse reaction to Cipro: inflammation of most of my connective tissue to the point of needing help to get up out of bed or get dressed. I was unable to lift much and could not sit for more than 15 minutes due to the pain. My doctors could not believe it was the Cipro. It was 5 years before I was able to hike and ride my bike again.” Jo

“The quinolone drugs, Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, etc. are extremely strong and dangerous. When they go awry the adverse effects are serious, long term and often permanent.

“The awareness in the medical community of these dangers is extremely poor and often the concerns of patients suffering from adverse effects of these drugs are dismissed as ‘not possible,’ despite studies and literature citing these very effects i.e. neuropathy, tendon ruptures, neuromuscular damage, cartilage damage and others.

“I struggle to heal from 5 days of Cipro given a year ago and have met hundreds of people now who are going through similar struggles due to quinolone antibiotics. These drugs, though tolerated by many, should only be dispensed when there is no safer alternative due to the severity and permanence of adverse effects.” Tao


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  1. jill ferris
    Oregon city oregon

    FIRST DO NO HARM. I had sudden tendon rupture and peripheal nueropathy. Came on fierce. Still have ten years later

  2. Phoebe Hummel
    santa fe, nm

    It was very interesting to read the blogs because I thought my problems were due to recovery from e coli sepsis. I didn’t know that Cipro caused neurological damage until I started researching it. I have blurry vision and cannot walk a straight line, tho much improved. I have been taking more supplements to support the nervous system.

  3. Heather

    I took 1 pill (my first and only dose) of moxifloxin yesterday at lunch for a sinus infection. I was warned that it could upset my stomach so I made sure to take if with food, plenty of water, and also a probiotic pill. 45 minutes later, I felt an intense pressure in my head (unlike what I had been experiencing) and began feeling really off – I don’t even know how to describe it. After about another 20 minutes, I began getting severe cotton mouth and my lips went numb. My legs also felt extremely weak and I began to feel “floaty” and like I could pass out. Being a teacher, I went straight to the school nurse. While laying down in the office, I noticed a fuzzy or static-like feeling radiating from my legs, arms, and face. I also felt partially numb in my arms when another teacher felt me to see if I was getting welts from an allergic reaction. Then my right leg began to twitch slightly similar to restless leg. This all happened in (no joke) the first hour to hour and a half after taking my first dose. The school nurse called my doctor who prompted me to go to the ER. I think the ER doctor kind of laughed at me and I felt so stupid being there. They wanted to run an EKG, chest x-rays, etc. I told them I knew it was a reaction to the antibiotic, so they just gave me a Benadryl. It actually helped. I began getting feeling back in my throat, lips, and limbs; and my coughing came back (that was the only positive about the numbness – I couldn’t feel that constant tickle in my throat). My toes were literally ice! I will never use a Quinolone drug again and wouldn’t have if I knew that Moxifloxin was in that drug class. I’m praying that I won’t have side effects later like others have posted. My future brother-in-law had taken three doses of Levoquin previously and wound up in the hospital in excruciating pain during the night. They told him his tendons were beginning to pull away from the joints. He still experiences stiffness and soreness in his joints a year or two later. I’ve also heard very similar complaints from other people around me. This is a very dangerous drug!

  4. Betty

    I was prescribed a full month of Cipro as prep for an outpatient cyst removal in 2005. The cyst never decreased in size, and was easily removed in 5 minutes. The month of Cipro devastated my then 20 year old body. It was difficult to explain how bad I felt – I told friends and family that it felt like my insides were dying. I struggled to take the pill every day, my hand would literally shake and my throat would tighten. As far as I knew, this was unpleasant but harmless. Then the other problems started piling up…

    I immediately experienced what I thought were severe shin splints in both legs – I could barely walk for the better part of a year.

    Later that same year, I suffered a dibilitating bout of depression and fatigue. I cried uncontrollably and for no apparent reason, slept over 12 hours a day, and had suicidal thoughts for the first and only time in my life. It lasted two years and nearly forced me to drop out of college (luckily I’m very stubborn and still graduated).

    I also experienced constant diarrhea for the next 3 years, accompanied with acid reflux so severe that I would randomly burp stomach acid into my mouth. I had a colonoscopy when I was 22, which found nothing. The doctor said it must be IBS, and I was told to just live with it and avoid “trigger” foods. That’s difficult to do when literally everything causes the symptoms. The “IBS” finally went away (or went into remission) in 2011, a full 6 years after it started.

    Now a full 10 years later, I still have to wear special supportive shoes which don’t always prevent painful flare ups of tendonitis in my feet.

    I don’t know how many other nerve, inflammatory or mental functions have been impacted or permanently damaged – this far out it’s hard to be sure. But I’m still outraged that I was given a full month of a chemo drug for a routine cyst removal. The temporary side effects are cruel and dangerous, and the permanent effects are criminal. My doctors were happy to diagnose me with 8+ diseases that appeared almost simultaneously with no apparent cause or prior history. Thankfully each disease is slowly curing itself. I will never allow any of these drugs to be prescribed to me again. Next time I might be even less fortunate, and I can’t afford another 10 years.

  5. Patti

    My first Cipro prescription 10 years ago destroyed my sense of taste and smell, though health professionals claimed it was not a ” known side effect”. My first dose tasted “metallic”, so I called to ask if I should take any more. I was told to continue, and by the third day, it didn’t give me the bad taste anymore because I had no taste left.
    A year later I started to get my taste back, though never quite the same as before.

    Although listed as a drug I had a reaction with, it was recently prescribed to me for UTI when Bactrim did not work, saying I needed something stronger, and I have experienced joint pain and muscle pain in my legs since I began taking it. It scares me to read of the reactions of others, and the long term effects. I thought I still may have the infection, though no other symptoms are present, but this has me convinced it is from the drug. I will NEVER take Cipro again!


    I was prescribed Cipro for three days in April for a UTI and a month later started experiencing pain and cramps in my arms and legs. Since I am 72 and have had RA in the past, thought maybe it was RA starting again. Had another UTI a month ago and was again prescribed Cipro. Read the black box warning about tendon rupture, so e-mailed my doctor. I was assured the Cipro would not cause the pains. Took the Cipro for another three days and now I have intermittent pains and burning all over, including my head and face. I am so afraid this may be permanent. Doctor seems unimpressed and has just prescribed me a diabetic pain killer. Like I really want to take another medication with a list of side effects!

  7. Lisa

    I am on this medication day 6. I have been having terrible weakness in both of my legs for the past 3 days. I just came across this site now, and I am absolutely shocked. I hope I am not left with this weakness. I am not taking the remainder of the course.

  8. Kaily
    United States

    Cipro was prescribed for UTI and only two doses of 500 mg made me undergo brain fog, severe joint pain all over the body, Insomnia and a weak gut. Second day I walked like a zombie and could hardly reach the bathroom. Third day, I was crying for help (3 days of sleepless nights, minimized food consumption). Rushed to ER where I was prescribed a pain killer which certainly made me feel better for a day. It took me a week to eat and sleep but alas, this is the first case of Cipro side effect to the doctor in DENIAL. During the follow up, I had all sort of possible tests for my symptoms including Lupus, RA, Fibromyalgia and Gout (results came out negative).

    Been a month now, I can walk but my legs starts aching after an hour of exertion. But cannot run, gym, pick heavy shopping bags, open a can or tackle a tightly stuck lid of a jar. I am 25 but I feel already old enough to excuse myself with problems.

    In case you are wondering if I am working to improve myself, YES! I am on magnesium supplements, Salt baths, Calcium supplements, all sorts of oil massages but hey I wake up every morning wishing that I never existed.

  9. nml

    I am allergic to penicillin and all its cousins. I also have a very deviated septum and allergies, so hardly a year goes by that I do not get a sinus infection. This class of antibiotics has been a real benefit to me personally. (I’ve taken them at least 6-8 times.) Yes, they do make me feel a little bit queasy and funny sometimes, but not so terrible that I feel the need to cease treatment. And yes, thanks to the warnings, I am very careful about monitoring any new pain or musculoskeletal irregularity because I know the possible connection. I try to remain informed about the risks and am about to cautiously start a course of Levaquin for another sinus infection, but I am also thankful for the relief these FQs have offered me. I am sorry that some people have suffered problems and you can find plenty of them online, but the vast majority will never post about their successful courses of treatment.

  10. cj

    I was just prescribed this for a urinary tract infection..after the first day I so wish I would have stopped taking this poison! While I really do understand that not everyone who take this has these types of side effects, I would highly recommend anyone reading this to forgo any treatment with this drug!

    I began treatment on the third of June this year, and took only five of the pills needed….after the second day of treatment (four pills or six hundred milligrams) I developed pain in my side, radiating from my lower back, around to the front of my abdomen, and up and down the inner thigh…throbbing pain so much so in my shoulder-after I stopped taking it-that I couldn’t move my head or neck.

    I am now wondering why I have no feeling in my lower pelvic floor area….and after having said all of this, I had no help from the er doctor at a local hospital, and actually had to argue with her about all of these side effects!

    all of this because of a urinary tract infection!!

    which could have been treated with any number of anti bio-tics! Please do not use this as a treatment if possible, or make sure to watch for any adverse reactions and stop treatment right away!!

  11. Alyssa A.

    I have a urinary tract infection that Bactrim didn’t completely do away with. I’ve taken Cipro before and wasn’t surprised when it was prescribed to me.

    Four hours after taking that pill I felt I had a lump in my throat with a mild gag reflex. I got up and noticed my uvula was swollen. I thought it was odd, but when back to bed. I woke up seven hours later to a numb left side of my face and swollen lips and tongue.

    Immediately I went to the hospital where I was informed I was having an anaphylactic reaction. The only change I had made was Cipro, which I’ve taken off and on for 15 years. I have to see an allergist and my doctor to move past this. I’m also on an antihistamine and corticosteroid regimen that is causing side effects of their own like tingling arms.

  12. Christine
    United States

    On Memorial Day, May 2014, I became very ill. I made two trips to the ER within 48 hrs just to be told I had a severe UTI. I was given 7 days of Cipro. I took the Cipro as prescribed (the first time I had ever taken it for anything) and it made me sick to my stomach so the doctor gave me zofran to take with it. After finishing my round of antibiotics I began noticing weakness in my legs. I didn’t think much about it and figured it was where I was working so much. On June 16, 2014, I stepped out of my kitchen into the garage and I fell. The feeling in my right leg was completely gone. The next day, I once again fell, this time the feeling was gone in the left leg. I am now permanently disabled and will be in a wheelchair the rest of my life due to this drug. It has been a very hard struggle and life altering.

  13. gary

    I took this antibiotic and after SIX doses stopped as it made me ill. Two months later my arm began aching and the pain would move from sholder to fingers then some locations would go numb. The pain is now top scale and none of the otc medicines even temper this pain… I was prescribed Dilaudid and even that is not effective. Seeing a specialist soon (thanks to Obamacare)

  14. Kathryn

    Over the past 2 years, I have been prescribed Cipro for UTIs on several occasions. Last year, the UTIs became a problem when immediately after the 10 day dose, the UTI would return. A refill of Cipro was then ordered and another 10 days, almost back to back, with the first 10, was taken. That was the middle of summer, 2014. At the end of August, I left for a 2 week vacation to see grandbabies in Minnesota.

    5400 miles later, I was a wreck, and my vacation consisted primarily of pulling off the highway so I could walk around my vehicle a few times, trying to make the sharp pins and needles go away. In my head, if you sit too long and your foot falls asleep, you massage it, stand up on it, and when ready, you walk it off. Not so on this trip. It just wouldn’t let up. Within 2 months after vacation, the flare ups were increasing, and the pain was getting worse on a daily basis. By Christmas, I could barely walk. The bottoms of my feet are unrecognizable to me now. They don’t feel what they should. It’s like my feet never actually touch the floor. I feel like there’s a can of soup under my left foot and a sharp, grated bike pedal under my right foot.

    The magnitude of the pain has increased to a level I can barely stand at times. I live 5 minutes from one of the most beautiful beaches on the west coast. Every day I would walk that beach, breathing in the freshness, releasing tension, and counting my blessings. Now, I just want to gently pull on a loose fitting, soft cotton sock, without sobbing from the pain. Cipro was never intended for use on trivial matters such as a UTI. It was meant for possibly life threatening infections. But because it works and works quickly, it’s prescribed over and over again. My life has come to a screeching halt this month when my safety became a huge issue. I am too unstable to get around my little apartment, let alone, make it to the beach or to the post office or the grocery store. Instead, I sit, and I cry, and I think about suicide. Living with this for another 20 years, or whatever, will drive me insane. I need relief. And I need it soon. Sooner.

  15. John
    Wappingers Falls, NY

    I have a 20 year history of prostate problems and have been prescribed Cipro more times than I can recall. Coincidentally, I have had what feels much like stepping barefoot on a bare electric wire – a stabbing, stinging electric shock-like feeling between the 3rd and 4th metatarsal head left foot with a simultaneous stinging shock in the upper upper thigh – totally over-riding uncontrollable pain. No, Not Mortons neuroma – MRI negative for that. Random, intermittent – Never know when it will hit – sleeping, middle of nite, sitting / relaxing, anytime – almost wrecked the car one time. I believe Cipro is the cause. Never had this before taking it. that this drug causes problems is Not New info…why is it still being prescribed? I just had a doc give me a script for More of it This week! I prefer the infection to the treatment

  16. Katherine

    In January (2015) i ended up in the ER with an extremely bad kidney infection, sepsis and just to make it more fun, diabetic ketoasidosis. They put me on IV Levaquin. I began complaining about my lips being dry and chapped. They felt like they were growing. the next thing I started complaining about was the water tasting bad. Food too, but I was in the hospital. I was complaining about how cold my fingers were, touching my face, they felt like ice. But when others felt them they didn’t think they were cold at all. I went to wash my hands for the first time and the cold water felt like fire! Thats when I began to realize that the cold fingers i was complaining about was actually my face reacting to touch. My lips were numb, but also I had the feeling of cool, like taking a breath after using mouthwash or a strong breath freshener. My face had that same feeling too. It was very strange and hard to describe.

    At first it was weird, but it continu ed to get worse. It seemed to have started in my mouth and spread down my body. I suspected it was a reaction to the antibiotic. The nurses didn’t think so. My hands, my arms, my chest all progressed to the same numb feeling with the cool sensation, but it had progressed , getting worse. It was getting more uncomfortable. I would complain to anyone who would listen. And I kept saying I felt it was the antibiotic.

    After a few days my husband stopped my nurse and made her listen. She looked up to see what the side effects were. What I was describing wasn’t a side effect. My husband thought neuropathy could be what it was. However , most people feel numb, burning stinging, not the cool sensation I was describing. My husband asked if I felt better about it. I said NO! She said I could refuse it but they culture the bacteria I had and chose the best antibiotic for it. I said ok, I just wanted to get out of there so I shut up.

    I was still worried but they should know better than me. Right? The next day I felt it down my torso and my legs. My legs were already weak and painful. Interestingly, a few years ago something attacked my nerves too. I had pain and numbness both legs and my ride side. I’m beginning to wonder if I took the same class of antibiotics and it caused the problem. I tore a muscle tendon connection, while sleeping something else I need to look into. Anyway, after 4 days I told them I was done I told the dr about my symptoms, she had a neurologist see me, to rule out a stroke. Stupid. She also changed my antibiotic, to CIPRO.! My treating dr came in, and my husband asked him about the antibiotic , told him about the issues I was having.

    Apparently he had no idea. He says u should have told someone, we can prescribe something else. We told him we have been telling them. They were telling me it was the best one for me. So he says he’s gonna have an infectious disease dr look into it. At the time I didn’t know she gave me the same class as the Levaquin.

    I went home the next day after putting in a pic line for 3 more weeks of IV antibiotics. By the time it was over, I have neuropathy from head to toe. It wasn’t the hospital food that tasted bad, it’s most food. Most sweet things are bitter. Chocolate is horrible. Water is horrible. I use a little orange juice in it to make it tolerable. i have to be careful with hot water, foods and anything else hot because I don’t feel it right away. I can only use water that is lukewarm to bath or wash my hands or anything. If something is too rough on my skin I get extremely cold. That happened to me in the hospital. I was so cold I thoughti was gonna freeze. The nurse taking care of me was not very understanding. Kept telling me there was no reason for me to be cold. I hope this gets better. I’m so angry about the hospital staff not listening to me. Maybe it wouldn’t have become so bad!

  17. jay

    In the beginning of april 2014, I thought I had a tract infection and went to see a doctor. He said he didn’t think it was anything and to wait. I got impatient and saw another doctor. I knew so little about antibiotics cause I had taken them a few times before without effects. I was given an 11 day course of levofloxacin or levoquin. I can’t remember now (maybe because of it.lol)
    I immediately had a bad reaction.

    It was like a vice was placed around my head and neck. My neck got very tight and I went to the ER 2 times because I thought I was going to die. They said I had GERD. I’ve have several tests and all came back normal. I’ve taken GERD meds for months with no improvement. I truly believe I do not have gerd/ silent reflux but I’m pushing for a ph test.
    Today, my throat is still very tight and there is something very wrong with it. it still feels inflamed.

    I have been thinking and researching this for ages now and have a few theories… something in my throat became inflamed after the antibiotics, perhaps some tendons were disrupted.
    GERD is a possibility but I dont believe that’s it.

    • Bena
      Las Vegas Nv

      My brother was told he had Lyme, which later was confirmed from a spinal test from Mayo Clinic that he never had it. He went on a 2 week picc line on antibiotics and it didn’t go away. The doctor at first who never tested and gave him this said to not worry it’s Lyme dieoff. So he gave him 6 more weeks straight to the heart. His cartlege is damaged in his entire body, has loud popping and cracking, a body tremor constant with no relief. Pounding in his head and ears. Weakness, posture bad and hardly can walk.

      He never smoked or was on any drug! Had 3 Neuro doctors infectious disease doctors and Mayo did emg spinal test MRI.. they all said nothing wrong. He says the antibiotic did it because he had high anxiety 2nd week in and knew something was wrong. Doctor said it’s Lyme dieoff.. it has now been 4 months and a rheumatologist now says he has degenerative joint disease. Before antibiotics he rode 40 miles a day on his bike and never had problems. All doctors deny antibiotics caused this. It was not slow it happened fierce. Right after picc line

  18. hassan
    tprehran / iran

    cipro was prescribed for two weeks after my simple prostatectomy surgery four month ago. The side effects on me is severe pain , burning and rupture on bottom of feet . Still the symptoms not go away. I am 68 years old.

  19. Melissa

    Two months before the black box warning was placed on Levoquin and its generic, my mom was prescribed it for a stubborn sinus infection. After a few days a red rash appeared. She stopped the medicine, but the rash continued to spread. She spent 11 days in the hospital while medical personnel paid attention to everything but the rash. Upon return she worsened. A dermo assured me they sent a biopsy for examination, though we discovered she lied to me about that. Unfortunately this was the same doctor who assured us it was merely a rash. Eight days after her discharge we took her ourselves to our region’s burn hospital where they met us at the door, rushed her into E.R. and diagnosed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (actually TENS because the rash covered more than 70% of her body). Basically her skin was detached from her skeleton. She died after six days in an induced-coma.

    Until then I never realized why warnings cautioned against a rash. I didn’t know a rash could be fatal. Such a benign word for something that carries such horrifying possibilities.

    Two years later despite notifying my docs and pharmacies that I was allergic to fluoroquinolones, my doc gave me a prescription, the pharmacy filled it and then handed it over to me without even sharing that I just picked up a med with a black box warning. When I got the med and realized it was a fluoroquinolone (I’m still trying to commit the names to memory), I inquired. She wasn’t aware of the stated allergy. I asked if it had a black box warning and the pharmacist said she didn’t know and had to check. I was stunned nobody thought to include me in the decision to ingest such a potentially dangerous class of drugs. It was casually prescribed and dispensed. While I recognize my individual responsibility in investigating and asking questions, I strongly believe professionals also have responsibility to educate and inform their patients, and include them in the process of diagnosis and treatment.

  20. LJ

    I am sitting here crying, knowing full well what all of you have been through and hoping you will all be luckier than I have been. As I said before, I have been going through the same hell since 1990, 25 YEARS now. All these years, I thought it was damage to my tendons until 2 days ago, when I finally got an actual diagnosis of advanced peripheral autonomic neuropathy from a wonderful doctor and her great PA who both believed me and did the appropriate tests to confirm.

    I had been incorrectly diagnosed with lupus about 1991, and one doctor actually said to me, “you need to be committed to a mental hospital, lady, cause you’re crazy”. I would scream in pain and agony even if a hair brushed my skin anywhere. I truly have PTSD any time I hear stories like yours and that Cipro is the miracle antibiotic. I even did an interview many years ago with a local TV anchor about his report that Cipro symptoms disappeared after stopping it. I tell anyone and everyone who will listen not to take it or any of the quinolones. I insist that any medicines prescribed to me be only those medicines that were made over 25 years ago, and that I receive pediatric doses as well. God Bless all of you. God oh God, touch each of us who have been affected by this terrible antibiotic and heal us all. Amen lj

  21. LJ
    San Antonio, Texas

    I was given Cipro during hospital treatment prior to a hysterectomy in 1990 for 5 days, then sent home with Rx for more Cipro. The same evening of release, family had to take me to emergency room, and I was readmitted, this time for hallucinations, extremely high fever and excruciating pain in both arms and hands, and both feet.

    I subsequently had the hysterectomy and still prescribed Cipro. I was to be on medical leave for 6 weeks for the surgery, but could not return for 3 months due to the unbearable pain and limited use of both hands which made my job as a computer clerk almost impossible. During the 3 months after the first episode from the Cipro, I was so humiliated because I could not even do my own toileting/cleaning, brush my teeth or even feed myself. It took me almost a year before I could use both hands without severe pain.

    After diligent research, found out Cipro was probable cause. Confirmation when given again for UTI and exact same symptoms occurred. TWENTY-FIVE YEARS LATER, I still suffer from the same symptoms. JUST 2 DAYS AGO, I FINALLY GOT AN ACTUAL DIAGNOSIS OF ADVANCED PERIPHERAL AUTONOMIC NEUROPATHY!!! After reading some the comments on this website, I find yet another tragic case. My Mom died in 2003 from c-diff after taking Levaquin. After all these years it appears too late to even file a lawsuit for me or my Mom. I hope everyone reading this will think many times before taking any of these antibiotics. LJ

    • Zugel
      San Antonio

      Did you find a doctor that was able to help you without thinking you were crazy to say Cipro was the cause of this? I am currently in a lot of pain in all my joints, and was in the ER twice in a week for excruciating abdomen and back pain, I can’t focus straight and have trouble sleeping. Can you please let me know if you did find a doctor who was able to help you in the San Antonio area.

      Thank you

  22. Rocky B.

    I started having numbness. & tingling in my upper thighs, the after a couple days or so I started having severe pain in my Elbow which was diagnosed as Tendinitous (tennis elbow) … Then after a couple days or so I started have severe pain in my Shoulder and this went on for better than a week when it kept getting worse so I went to my Dr and he gave me a shot in my shoulder, (which I have to say was painful but after a couple days it seemed to help with the shoulder pain.. It’s only been a couple days since that shoulder shot!! I have also been having numbness and tingling in the back side of my left arm with numbness in my left arm and my little finger along with the finger next to it . It does come and go with my arm but I have to say it comes more now and continues for several days in my left arm..

    I will have to say I was prescribe both Levetin & Cipro but it never once crossed my mind that all these effects could be caused by the Antibiotics ! Now I don’t know what to do about it cause it’s been several months since I was prescribed the Antibiotics.
    Like who do I turn to, or in general what should I do about this !!
    Rocky B.

  23. Pat
    United States

    I took Macrobid for a Urinary Trac Infection for 7 days. After completion I had severe numbness & tingling, pain and burning in my feet and hands. I have been diagnosed with severe toxic peripheral neuropathy. I am on a heavy doseage of medication to control the pain. This will be a lifetime condition now for me.

  24. Dennis

    I’ve been fatigued, having constant headaches; to the point of an ER visit… having nerve issues and joint pain ever since taking Cipro, levaquin and steroidal pac… also an ER visit with anaphylactic reaction to Avolox. Within this time I broke out all over like a teenager. I’m 50 and haven’t had acne for years.
    After the ER visit for the excruciating headache, I started looking into these drugs and reactions. I was amazed to find out how many problems there are and the extent.
    My primary doctor refrains from associating any of the issues with these drugs and tells me they’re all individual issues. (He prescribed them)

    I’m now seeing a neurologist that is giving me Botox treatments for nerve pain and some of the muscle spasm issues, a pain management specialist that has performed a rhizotomy to alleviate the pains that go through my neck, shoulder, elbow and arm, a spinal specialist that can’t find any reason for the nerves to be acting this way and causing so much pain, and also, going to physical therapy to try and get normal range of motion. I in pain EVERY DAY. My family suffers right along with me.
    I get very little relief from any of the procedures.
    All I can do is hope the rest of the procedures do some good and I get some of my life back.

  25. rad

    I read that eating food containing MSG ( monosodium glutamate ) can promote abnormal nerve growth and as a result, cause nerve pain. Also that MSG is hidden in many types of foods and sometimes not declared in the packaging. Might need to check it out.

  26. Emily

    I had a UTI and was prescribed Cipro, two pills a day for five days. The nurse practitioner who prescribed it said it might interfere with my prescription for my hypothyroidism, but it shouldn’t really do anything when only taking it for a week. She also advised taking Ibuprofen for UTI pain. After the second day, I had throbbing headaches, intense pressure in my head and neck, dizziness, trouble focusing my eyes, and I was completely exhausted. Because none of these problems would be cause by a simple UTI, I searched online for the effects of Cipro. I was shocked and angry to learn that Cipro can attach to DNA, cause chemotherapeutic effects, and that NSAIDs (Ibuprofen) only intensifies the effects! I stopped taking it a week ago and I’m still getting throbbing headaches, dizziness, trouble focusing my eyes, and my neck is so stiff it hurts to look side to side. I’m furious that I was given such a drug for such a simple infection that any number of antibiotic without half of the risks as Cipro would have taken care of.

  27. sharon r.

    I was given Norfloxacin for urine infection, my doctor told me it could cause problems but I will give it to you anyway his exact words. I took a weeks worth, I had no problems feet felt hot though but did not think anything at this time, then as soon as I stopped taking them I went into the shower that morning looked down at my feet I just screamed they were both black as coal.

    I was sent to hospital and was told i had nerve damage in both feet from my ankles down, now I am in pain all the time plus my feet keep turning black and my ankles keep getting infected.

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