Q. I was prescribed the generic antibiotic Levaquin (levofloxacin) on 6/25/13 for “walking pneumonia.” The doctor did not provide any information about the drug. The prescription was for one a day for 10 days.

After two days (2 pills) I was in such extreme pain throughout my entire body that I could not walk, get up or go down stairs. I was in a wheelchair for a week and had to use a walker for a couple of weeks more. The pain in my joints, especially my neck, upper shoulders, lower back, legs, knees, etc. was almost unbearable.

It has now been almost eight months and I am still experiencing joint pains that seem to move around my body: one day my neck hurts; another day it’s my knees, thighs, hamstrings; then my back is affected.

When the pains began, I tried to contact the doctor. I left messages with her office that I could not tolerate the Levaquin and to please give me something else.  She apparently was calling the wrong number, (the office had both my numbers!) and never spoke to me.  Finally, after taking 6 of the pills, I decided to stop as I figured I’d be dead with 4 more!

Upon returning to the doctor a week after my first visit, I told her of my experience and that I had stopped taking the antibiotic.  She insisted my side effect reactions had nothing to do with the Levaquin and were not a result of this drug!  She told me to take 800mg of ibuprofen three times a day for the pain.

A month later in July I saw my orthopedist.  He could offer no help, but his nurse shared with me that she had had the same side effects from Levaquin and that it had been a year and she was still experiencing joint pains all over; one day here, another day there.

Going on the Internet I discovered that many other people have suffered the same side effects as I had…some for years!  I called the FDA to report the above, but was not able to get any of the required information from the pharmacy (no manufacturer, expiration date, Lot.#, etc.). I completed 5 pages of information on the FDA’s MedWatch form about side effects and such and faxed them to the FDA.  I also discovered there are some 3400 lawsuits regarding levofloxacin.

A. You are not the first person to report serious complications from levofloxacin (Levaquin). This is an antibiotic in the class called fluoroquinolones (FQs) or quinolones for short. Other medications include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin) and moxifloxacin (Avelox).

You are also correct that it is hard to complete the FDA’s MedWatch forms because it is almost impossible to get the essential information they demand (manufacturer, expiration date, Lot # and NDC number).

Here are some other somewhat similar experiences posted to our website:

“I was taking a 30-day prescription of Cipro for a prostate infection. After playing full court basketball, I awoke the next morning to knees that felt as though they were encased in concrete.

“My legs constantly ache as if I had just walked 20 miles.  Many nights I cannot sleep due to the pain in my legs and, for now, I cannot play basketball as the left knee area, in particular, is too weak.

“Ever since that time (20 months ago) I have suffered in every way imaginable. Sometimes I cannot even walk up my apartment stairs. I have seen my doctor, an acupuncturist and chiropractors. No one can make it go away. This has totally impacted my life, since I can’t play tennis and have a very hard time playing basketball. Do you have a suggestion?” Doug

“I took this medicine four years ago. I was also very physically active before taking it. After 7 days on the med, I developed body-wide tendon and nerve damage that has yet to improve. There are literally thousands of people who have been crippled.” Greg

“I had a similar experience with Cipro. I took it a year and a half ago and have had terrible joint problems ever since. The problems started almost immediately after taking Cipro. I’ve had to spend thousands on tests, physical therapy and doctors’ visits. The worst is my feet and ankles hurt so bad that walking is difficult now. I can no longer exercise without suffering days of pain. All this time, there is some improvement but much of the damage is permanent.” D.B.

“I took Levaquin on Nov.14, 2012. After 6 pills I had Achilles tendonitis, small tears, muscle aches and joint pain all over. Two years later I am still suffering from tendonitis, bursitis in my shoulder joints, fatigue and insomnia. I never ached so much in my life and it continues to get worse. I walk with a cane. There is numbness in my foot and leg diagnosed as neuropathy. Levaquin was prescribed for suspected urinary tract infection. It was contraindicated with my other meds and my age. This just should not be.

“This drug has caused permanent damage and ended most of my life activities. Doctors need to be informed what this med does and care about the consequences. I hope this antibiotic gets off the market or is used only in a life or death situation.” L.P.

We could provide dozens of other stories, but by now you have the idea. According to the Food and Drug Administration, more than 21 million people get a prescription for a quinolone antibiotic each year. Such drugs are prescribed for sinusitis, urinary tract infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, prostatitis and skin infections. Cipro has been around for decades.

The FDA issued an alert about FQs last year about neuropathy:

“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 addition to the nerve damage, these drugs can cause lots of other serious complications, including tendinitis or even tendon rupture. When this happens it can be a life-altering event. Joint pain and arthritis-like adverse reactions are not generally recognized as a complication of quinolones in adults, though they have been noted in children. We tend to believe the people who have reported this problem on our website rather than the official prescribing information for these antibiotics. It has taken the FDA decades to acknowledge the problems with tendons and nerves, so we would not be surprised if it takes years more for the agency to recognize the joint complications.

Unlike many of the people who have reported problems on this website, we are not calling for the banning of quinolone antibiotics. Goodness knows, we are running out of effective medications against serious infections given the degree of bacterial resistance that has evolved over the years. But doctors must inform patients of potential side effects BEFORE people start taking such drugs. Here is a list to be aware of:

Fluoroquinolone Side Effects and Complications:

  • 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

Share your own experience with FQ antibiotics below. We want to hear the pros and cons of such drugs. Let others know how such medications worked for you and what, if any, side effects you have experienced.

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  1. Shaun

    I am a 36 yr old woman who has benign hypermobility joint disorder, and RSD in my right leg. Four months ago I was given a rx for levaquin for a sinus infection. I did not question the dr at that time. The second day of the rx I began experiencing right calf pain. I chalked it up to the RSD. A month later I was dx with CAP(community aquired pneumonia) as I was short of breath and the X-ray indicated pneumonia. I worked as an aide on an oncology/medical unit at our hospital. The first round of antibiotics were not working and my asthma was exasberated, so I went back to the ‘walk-in’ clinic and another dr prescribed me the levaquin again-this time with prednisone to help the asthma. Shortly after that I had severe pain in all my joints. I’m used to pain in my joints due to the BHMJD, but this was all to new, and much greater pain. A month later I was helping to boost a patient and ended up with a partial tear to my left rotator cuff-supraspinatus tendon was fraying(dx MRI). When I spoke to the dr who prescribed, I asked him about my joint issues and nerve condition and how safe the levaquin would be for someone like me. He brushed me off, saying it won’t be a problem. Well, it is. I’m experiencing horrific pain in all my joints, now both of my feet, both shoulders, and hips and knees. The pharmacist here says the levaquin did not cause this exaberation of pain, the Ortho’s NP says the fraying of my rotator is more wear and tear. I already have the start of osteoarthritis in many joints due to the hypermobility of the joint. But now my RSD is spreading, as my nerve pain is bouncing everywhere. I can’t get my physiatrist/pain management dr to believe me and I’m forced out of my job to a lower paying job. I enjoy my new position but it is not a guarantee-I may lose my job. I’m praying and suffering from some desolation and depression. I cannot use ice, it flares up my nerves, and my stomach is beginning to become raw from the Aleive and Motrin. I cannot take Tylenol as it causes the collagen in my joints worse breakdown. Any suggestions? I’m already taking a lot of zinc, vitamin b, d, calcium, magnesium, and a multi-vitamin made for women over fifty. (I’m postmenoposal due to a scare with ovarian/uterine cancer-TAH 12 years ago). All I know is my pain is at an 8 almost constantly with no or little relief from my prescribed opiate pain killers. Before all the levaquin I was at a 4-5 pain while putting 5-8miles on my feet everyday. This in itself is a miracle since I was told with the RSD I would not be able to walk normal again. Please help…any advice is a Godsend and a blessing. Praying for all here, to find hope and comfort in their suffering…

  2. Deb
    Staten Island, NY

    I’m a 47 year old woman. In May 2015 I removed a tick from my calf. I watched the spot with an eagle eye & 9 days later a bullseye started to form. I was put on Doxy 30 days but after 3 more days the bullseye was worse, raised, red, and hot. The doc took a look and said it looked like cellulitis so he added Levaquin for 7 days. I asked about side effects & he said, “some people get a little tendinitis but you’ll be fine.”

    The bullseye began to get better immediately. I finished the 7 days of Levaquin, stayed on the Doxy and all seemed well. Until 3 days after stopping Levaquin, I woke up with tendonitis in literally every joint in my body. Fingers, shoulders, inner elbows (that was the worst), wrists, hips, knees, ankles. At the time I was training for the NYC Marathon and also doing hardcore weightlifting. Plus I work at Trader Joe’s which encompasses lifting, bending, reaching, stretching, carrying.

    Despite the tendinitis I just kept on with my routines, running, lifting, even though I was in pain in literally every joint. I think doing that actually helped. The pain in my joints lasted 5 months, with a few exceptions that finally got better. Right now, even after finishing the marathon, a few of my joints appear to be permanently affected.

  3. vivian purifoy
    prescott arkansas 71857

    I to taken the drug levaquin for sinus infection after the second dose i notice i started hurting all over really bad but i took four more doses i started hurting in my arms and shoulders both sides is so sore i cant hardly move my arms that was a week or so ago and im still hurting so i read upon this medicine and i have no doubt that this medicine is responsible this is miserable and it should be taken off the market.

  4. AC

    My mother (72yrs) was hospitalized with a kidney infection. She was given Levaquin. The infection cleared up almost immediately (according to lab cultures the bacteria she had was E. Coli and was sensitive to most antibiotics with the exception of ampicillan – so basically most antibiotics would have cleared this bug up). After second day in hospital and taking Levaquin, her labs were coming back negative for bacteria infection, BUT instead she was having SEVERE BRADYCARDIA and low oxygen stats. These symptoms continued while receiving the levaquin for almost 2 full days. She had numerous medical tests (CT/bloodwork/sonos), and nothing could explain the bradycardia. We are seriously question whether it was the antibiotic, and the doctor must have been suspicious about it too as she discontinued it asap (Pulse was dropping to mid- high 30’s).

    Once Leviquen was ceased, the pulse and oxygen stats went back up to normal. Was it just a coincidence that as soon as the Leviquen was ceased these symptoms stopped???
    After seeing this I NEVER want to take this antibiotic EVER.
    This review is based on our personal experience. Others may have a different opinion.

  5. Pam

    I was prescribed Levaquin three months ago for asthma and COPD problems. No one advised me of the side effects. Even the pharmacy did not provide warnings or side effect information. On the last day of taking the medication, I woke up in horrible pain. My joints and muscles all hurt. My Achilles tendon on my left ankle felt stretched almost to the point of tearing. I could barely get out of bed. I was scared and called my best friend. I thought I needed to go to the emergency room. She asked if I was taking Levaquin. She had the same thing happen to her once. I looked up on line and found it said women over 60 ( I am 63) taking prednisone should be especially careful. I called the doctors office and was told it happens and I should be over it in a week or two. That was 3 months ago. I still am getting no relief and no sympathy. I can barely walk, it takes 5 minutes to get off the couch. My shoulders,my knees, my hips and ankles all hurt and make sleep very hard. I am exhausted. I am depressed. I can’t go shopping. I can’t play with my granddaughter. Hospitals, Doctors and pharmacists need to let people know about this..

  6. Kim
    United States

    I am 12 pills into a 14 day run og levo. I was prescribed this for a really bad case of pneumonia. This followed a 7 day Cipro script for a nasty UTI.
    Now, I haven’t had a UTI or Pneumonia in over 15 years. Its odd they cropped up together like this. So, the medictions were to combat an unknown systemic infection I somehow came down with.
    I was ok until this morning. This morning, my left shoulder is screaming in pain. I realize now that the stiffness in my hips and knees is related as well.

    I stopped the levo, but its probably too late.

  7. Kirk

    I got sick Aug. 8 w/fever, that went up a degree a day. By Aug. 12 it was 104 and had my wife take me to the ER. They said I had pneumonia, gave me an IV of Levofloxacin i.e Levaquin. sent me home with a script for 5 more pills, 750mg each, once a day.

    2 days into the meds (2 pills) the vivid dream/hallucinations when my eyes were closed were unbearable. and some horrifying. they kept waking me up. went to my family MD, told him straight out I’m not taking this anymore. my legs were sore from just walking to get the mail.

    the worst effect was, I always had a photographic memory and the Levaquin gave me moderate to heavy short term memory LOSS. I’d lose or misplace things all day long, sometimes 5 things at a time in a period of 30 minutes. This med really burns your brain out.

    My specific med was made in India by SANDOZ, and imported to USA. the conditions and qc for meds in India are 3rd world !! I looked up Sandoz and they have multiple drug agecy violations to import to USA. spoke to a microbiologist, he said these meds are made not to spec by not using the right recipe of proper amount of ingredients, many drug plants have been shut down. If you take any med make sure it’s NAME BRAND and read ALL the side effect history.

    it’s now Oct. 24 and the effects still have not gone away. some days my mind is just in a fog and I can’t get going or remember things, or be driving down the road and forget where I’m supposed to be going for a few seconds. scary stuff. DO NOT TAKE ANY FLOURIDE CONTAINING MEDS.

  8. Cheryl

    Day 6 of this medicine and the pain is unbearable. I started Monday it’s now Sunday. My knees and ankles are on fire. My joints feel heavy and painful. I was told about the tendon issue but not this. I have 4 more to go and will call my doctor in the morning so he can switch me out. I was given this for pneumonia. Normally a very health fit, gym going person with no problems.

  9. Dawn
    Barberton, OH

    I have asthma, and on June 22, 2015, went into respiratory distress, had to be put on a bipap machine and was hospitalized for 8 days. During my hospital stay, I was given 750mg Levaquin a day and high dose steroids as well. While I was in the hospital I began having severe headaches and nightmares that seemed to pour in to my “real” life. I became paranoid and truly terrified at times. They prescribed me non-narcotic pain meds for the headaches and told me not to worry, that these were normal side effects from the medicines I was on. Mind you, I was not totally with it mentally, so these are things the nurses and doctor told my family. I also suffered from severe leg swelling and a hot rash that itched terribly. Again, I was told that the medicines can sometimes cause these effects and that it would subside when the meds were discontinued. Upon leaving the hospital, I was given prescriptions: 1 for Prednisone, a couple of different nebulizer inhalants, 2 different inhalers, and a prescription for Levaquin 750mg (14 days worth).

    Just so you have some background on me, I was running marathons last year, and was just beginning to train again after having some cartilage removed from my left knee (which was due to the constant wear and tear from running). I am a police officer and have always been extremely active up until now. So, here I am, 4 months later, and the legs that use to take me 26.2 miles in 4.5 hours, can barely carry my body up the 3 steps I have on my front porch. I am in constant pain and am dealing with the mental aspect of not being able to be active anymore. I am reading all of these stories. and I must admit that I am afraid of what the future might hold for me. A lot of the stories speak of Levaquin or Cipro at 500mg for 5-7 days, and not that I am dismissing anyone’s pain or suffering because I, of all people, understand what you are going through, but I am concerned that my dosage of 750mg for 21 days, will make the side effects worse. f my effects will be worse or not.

    I am afraid. I am depressed, and I feel like I was never given the choice to take these drugs, that they were just given to me. And although I made them aware of all of the adverse effects I was having while on them, the doctors kept telling me it would all be ok. Well, it is far from ok. The pain gets so bad in the bones of my right leg, and in my hip, that I have wished at times that they would just cut my leg off. I am not a believer in narcotic pain medications (and I can’t take them in my profession anyways), and Ibuprofen and Tylenol do not touch the pain at all. I am not sure where to turn or what to do, but I feel all of us should be offered some sort of help from the drug companies that supply these drugs.

    Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies are the biggest business now and have all of the politicians in their pockets, so I feel we are all out of luck. God bless all of you who suffer with me, I will continue to pray for all of us.

  10. Kimberly

    I’m 41. It has been 8 years since I took Levaquin for a sinus infection. At the time my Doctor had diagnosed me with Serum Sickness.
    I am still having problems with my tendons. Mainly my Achilles and my knees. They are screaming today and can feel the heat coming off those areas, since I tried to exercise and walked a few miles. I’m fairly active and like to keep busy and some days are better than others. Stairs? I mostly have to hold a railing to go down them.

  11. Derek
    East Sussex

    I was prescribed Levofloxacin 500mg by a ship’s doctor during a cruise for what he said was bronchitis. After just three tablets I developed severe pain in the calf and was exhausted after no effort. Even walking slowly was difficult. I stopped taking the drug and expected the leg pains to reduce but, after three weeks, they are just as bad. Having checked out all the side effects, how can such a potentially life-changing drug be dished out or even been given a licence in the first place? A short course of Amoxicillin I feel sure would have been sufficient for what was not a life-threatening condition.

  12. Rachel

    I was given Levaquin 500 once a day for seven days for bronchitis. On the fifth day, I felt as though every joint in my body was raw and sore. I stopped them, and called the doctor who prescribed it, and a “note” was to be sent back to him about it and they’d “call me back with an answer” but that more than likely, they said, I’d have to come back in. I never got the call, and two months later I’m in worse agony. I had just started with a new neurologist who had my pain under control pretty well with Gralise and Amitryptilene, and I was so upset that everything had come back with a vengeance. I don’t know where to turn. Neither of the doctors seem concerned that the Levaquin could have done this to me. I have read about natural remedies to take to recover, like Vitamin C supplements.

  13. Vandy

    I would have died without Levaquin. It was given in the hospital and two pills at home. I was on total bed rest and plenty of fluids. I was weak for a week. or so, but am fine. I think people try to be super human and don’t rest like they should .

  14. Corinne L
    Suffolk, England.

    I and my family, my husband, my son and my two grandchildren, flew to Florida on Tuesday, March 4th 2015. I contracted a bug on the flight over as did all my family and it became increasingly worse during our 10 day visit to Kissimmee resulting in an emergency drive for me to FH Centra Care, Orange Lake, Kissimmee where I was prescribed with Levofloxacin 500mg course for upper respiratory infection. This got me back on my feet but resulted in increasingly severe pains throughout my body, my tendons, my arms, my shoulders etc….every day/ night I have been in pain since. I need pain killers, muscle relaxants and anything which will lessen the constant pain….it seems to be getting worse now and we’re into October. I wake feeling tired, aching and try to keep up my daily walk but it seems to make things worse instead of better. All of which happened since I took this wretched antibiotic! It is threatening to come between myself and my husband who doesn’t understand how chronic and debilitating this is for me. I am afraid to seek medical help as that is what put me in this state in the first place…I am very frightened as prior to this I was so active and healthy. Please bring this to light for all us people who are suffering and now compromised by this antibiotic.

  15. Valerie

    Levoquin has taken every movement or exercise or walking, from my life. There are days that I an confined to the bed and mostly weep with sadness over losing the life I used to have. I can’t hike, I can’t camp, I can’t walk on the beach and I can’t join my friends for our normal outdoor adventures. I am devastated.
    When I was prescribed this antibiotic for pneumonia, the nurse practitioner told me to call her immediately if tendons or acute body ache occurred. On the 4th day the dastardly side effects began and I immedistely stopped
    the medication. The side effects have taken me out of the game of life and I am at a loss as to how to live now. I have just befun seeing a Pain Management Dr. and he has begun a treatment of Nucynta. I have no idea if it is successful because I am in so much pain. Does anyone have any positive resolutions after discontinuing this antibiotic?

    • Jennifer

      This happened to me after taking cipro. I carefully wrote the name of this class of drugs and kept it in my wallet to keep it from happening again. I took another drug, cefuroxime, which a doctor assured me was ‘like a penicllin substitite’. It happened again.

      With cipro, I recovered after about 2 years, and after a torn cartillage from no muscle stress whatsoever, and eventually all the pain disappeared. I am still in pain from the cefuroxime.

      This is what I have found helpful. These drugs are bound to a fluoride ion. This is what they all have in common. I have found that the pain gets much worst after bathing. I wash my hair in tap water, but I only take sponge bats. I do not use fluoridated toothpaste, or drink tap water. This really helps.

  16. Hurting
    Omaha, Ne

    I just finished taking Levofloxacin for 20 days after a bad diverticulitis attack. The pain didn’t come on immediately. It built up slowly, and I unfortunately attributed it to other issues such as arthritis and a back that gives me issues sometime.

    I started feeling worse again after at first feeling better after the diverticulitis. I felt so achey and weak. It got worse and worse, and I thought maybe I had the flu, but no stomach symptoms. Yesterday and today are the worst! I couldn’t sleep last night until I finally took two Tylenol PMs.

    All of my muscles and joints hurt, ache, and sometimes I have really sharp shooting pains. I have been so strong in the past, and now I struggle to get up from sitting down, even falling the last foot or so when going down to sit. I can’t hook my bra, can hardly lift my laptop, and am now scared to death this is going to be permanent. My retirement party is scheduled for October 3, and I was looking forward to an active retirement of bicycling, working out, motorcycling, camping with grandkids, hiking, gardening, etc…. I pray this will go away.

    I go back to my doctor for a follow-up tomorrow. In the meantime, I’m drinking lots and lots of water and taking Tylenol now and then, as that’s not good for me either (allergic to aspirin). I am scared this could have screwed up the rest of my life!

  17. Jhon
    New york

    Up your water consumption I too was experiencing joint pain and stiff muscles side effect, I waited a little longer the next day to take my dose of levofloxacin , and upped my dose of water by 6-7-8 glasses of water and a lot of eating , drink plenty and plenty of water it is the key to not continuing these side effect stay healthy all and god bless….!!!!

  18. RT

    Took 5 pills of Levaquin plus a shot of Prednisone which is contraindicated and makes a bad reaction much more likely. It has sent my endocrine system haywire. Weak, shaky, anxious, shortness of breath, blood pressure spikes. After lots of tests in the hospital docs told me there was nothing wrong and concluded it was all in my head. My primary doctor threw me out of his practice, I guess because he didn’t know what to do with me. Four months later, with the help of a natural medicine team, I am slowly improving but I have no idea where all this will end, or when, or even if.

  19. D stroyed by Levaquin
    San Diego

    Never believed a properly administered drug would prove my downfall. 79 months ago I was given Levaquin, without consent OR Advisement for my pneumonia. The next 2400 days, nights have been PURE H E L L! !! The next nerve sensation will send you for a Devilish ride of itching, burning, shocking, BUG crawling, spider web se Mmm sensations that POE & KING would best describe. IT NEVER stops!

  20. Leeann
    Erie, PA

    Was diagnosed with Blepharitis ( inflammation of the eyelid.) Optical ointment was prescribed, but after 10 days, I still had some discomfort. I didn’t wanted to be stuck with a chronic infection, so I called the doctor’s office and asked if perhaps I should be on an oral antibiotic. So they ordered Levofloxacin (sp?) After taking two doses, I felt like I was run through a ringer, dragged through a knothole, and beat up. Every joint on my body ached. Also got terrible cramps in my calves but blamed it on exercising. Seeing how it was an antibiotic, I was afraid to stop taking it and continued for five more doses. Today I am absolutely miserable and researched this drug and stopped taking it even though I have three more pills left to take. I read that this is used to treat Anthrax and the plague! So, what doesn’t kill you will make you…weaker? Just hoping no permanent damage has been done, and, I don’t have very much respect for my MD anymore.

  21. Val

    Was prescribed for a respiratory infection that would not clear on its own. Did not take the time to research, my mistake. Day 6 I was at the store 5 minutes and passed out? Blood pressure was so low, and tried to stand 3 times over 30 minutes but immediately would get woozy and vision would become greyed out. Extreme fatigue, mind fog, diarrhea, ongoing nausea and feeling faint for 3 weeks after completing 7 day treatment. Never had low blood pressure, never had a problem like this and not one medical professional suggested the Levaquin. No tests found anything wrong. Then I spoke to my neighbor who had extreme, ongoing medical issues after taking Levaquin…Of course I can’t prove it but can it really just be a coincidence?

  22. Jewell

    I took levaquin for ten days for diverticulitis. I began having muscle and joint pain and dizziness. Fortunately the muscle and joint pain has mostly gone but the dizziness has gotten much worse and I am now in my seventh week. I am mostly chained to my house. Can’t drive. I have had six sessions of physical therapy with little success. Have others experienced this?

  23. Pamela

    I was given Levaquin in 2012 for a sinus infection. After 5 days of an 8 day regime I developed bilateral Achilles tendonitis. I was told by the same doctor that prescribed it that the infection could have been treated with a Neti Pot.

    As of approximately 2 months ago I developed peripheral neuropathy in my feet and legs. I now have pain in my knees, and other joints. Until I took this medication people referred to me as a ‘work horse.’ Seldom sick. Active. Sturdy. Strong. There has been a downward spiral of mysterious neural pain. The neuropathy is now causing jabbing pains in my hands and feet. The drug doesn’t affect everyone adversely, but in my case and others, there were clear contraindications.

    I spoke to a casual acquaintance recently, and she was being treated with this medication for a similar ‘non-life-threatening’ sinus infection. Her doctor, like mine, did not discuss the potential side effects. I have been told by 2 doctors that exercise beyond short walks will trigger the neuropathy. Their words. My experience. My experience has been that there is no recourse. Doctors continue to prescribe this medication. Supposedly the ‘black box label’ is sufficient warning. It is not. Until doctors stop prescribing it for non-life-threatening conditions, it will continue to injure people in unbelievable ways and, as for myself, possibly alter the course of their lives. Thank you for opportunity to share.

  24. Debbie

    I went to the doctor and was prescribed Levaquin for what they thought was pneumonia. I took it for 8 days but after 2 doses I started having pain in my knees and my left upper arm. It got progressively worse and by the 8th day, I could barely walk and getting up and down in a chair was almost more than I could bare. The doctor didn’t want to believe that it could be the Levaquin even though he said it was a rare side effect. I then asked, what could it be then, because I haven’t done anything to myself to cause this. I went back in to see him, he ran some tests and my labwork came back elevated for inflammation. I had already stopped taking the medication, obviously, and he put me on a steroid. It took a few days but I finally started to feel better. Now that my course of steroids is done, the pain is back. And every day it’s getting worse….just like before. I was told that the half life for Levaquin was a week, well it’s been 9 days since I’ve stopped the Levaquin and the pain is back. So is this going to continue? What are we supposed to do? If it gets to the point it did when I was taking the antibiotic….I won’t be able to function. This is a nightmare.

  25. Karen
    Detroit MI

    Prescribed 10 day regimen of Levaquin October 2010 for pneumonia. Seven days into the 10 day treatment, experienced sever tendonitis lower left leg. Over period of 6 months, the pain moved from left calf to left thigh, then to right calf, right thigh, then moved on to arms.

    Five years later, I still have side effects- muscle weakness, leg cramps. It’s permanent damage. I can cope but have very weak legs. After a year of personal training, my legs are stronger, but the side effects still resurface on occasion. This drug should be removed from the market. Or…. at least it should be used as a last resort only for critical needs.

    • Patricia
      Somerset County

      Last week I went to Medi Merge for a sinus infection. I was given 500 mg. of Levaquin for 7 days. On day four I began to feel pain in my right knee and all the way down my leg to my foot. I thought I hurt myself and I now realize it is from taking Levaquin. I unfortunately finished the 7 days but will never take this drug again. I am taking advil constantly and using heat and ice, I pray that this will pass in the next couple of days and not go on for months as I am reading. Please look into the side effects before taking this drug.

  26. mary

    I was given levafloxin for a uninary track infection it raise my blood pressure so high they said I had stroke I think it was nerve damage cause by a server reaction to the levafloxin

  27. Paul

    I was on Levaquin for 9 days ( I stopped taking the medication) and was having significant difficulty urinating….I had a urine test which was negative, no pain, no burning and my prostate was not enlarged. After doing research, I realized that the Levaquin can cause urinary problems….how long will it take to get back to normal? I stopped two days ago, still having the same issue.

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