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 fluoroquinolone 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. Delois

    I was diagnosed with pneumonia on March 23, 2016. Was given a shot and put on Levofloxacin and told to come back the next day.

    Saw a different doctor and she said she believed it to be flu, so never really found out for sure what I had, but primary a week later said she thought I might have some of both. Was very sick the whole time while taking the drug with symptoms of the infection, but soon as I finished, I started having my heart, with the least bit of exertion, to feel like it would pound right out of my chest and could feel every beat of my heart in my head and would feel like I was going to pass out and would get so short of breath that I had to just quit doing anything.

    Went to the ER twice and they did all kinds of test but found nothing wrong with my heart. I have had to have my daughter come in to take care of me for over a week but am now having a day or two when it is not as bad and then wham it is back again.

    It is now the fourth week since the infection started and I am now in more pain than I was before and having to use a walker to get around. I am 81 and have been in pretty good health until now. Haven’t been able to drive myself to the doctor, am having to have help from Advanced Home Care, having to have my children bring in meals for me and am wondering if I will ever get over what this drug has done to me.

  2. Kat

    In 2009 I was given 2 rounds of levaquin for strep. This was just after my first chemo treatment. My stomach has never recovered. I took probiotics then, and have continued. I also have the traveling nerve pain. I thought this was from the aggressive chemo treatment until a friend mentioned severe damage to her ears that started during a treatment given to her for an infection, also several years ago. This is when I looked it up, since doctors don’t seem to find anything wrong. I was shocked by all the posts, and saw so many that I could relate to.
    I wish that I had been able to research before I took this med (I was a very very sick single mom).

  3. Dennis

    I was prescribed a 10 day course of 750mg Lavaquin for a sinus infection, no one warned me of the side affects. On day two I went to ER for night palpitations, they said everything was fine, no one said anything about the Lavaquin I told them I was taking. On the third day my achilles started to ache to the point I could not sleep, on the 6th day, after research online I realized it was the Levaquin causing the issues and quit taking it. Now 12 days later, Left achilles still in PAIN. Both legs ache and feel a bit stiff. legs have slight muscle spasms/twitching and burning. I have emailed doc and went in, but does not seem to take me seriously. This sucks. Is it permanent?

  4. Tee

    I am currently taking the levoflox 500 mg for 14 days and it is causing major problems mainly on my feet and ankles (swelling) to include my legs slightly up to my hips. My legs felt so heavy and i could barely walk by dragging my feet. I informed my Dr. Thru her nurse and was told to take ibuprophen or change to another drug. I decided to continue taking levo.. along with ibuprophen and it helps a great deal. However, im still concerned due to the continous pain and swelling in feet/ankles. After reading these comments i wonder if i should stop. I have seven days left. Prior to levofloxicin, i was given doxycicline and i had similar aches and pains and decided to stop on my own only to be given this one.

  5. Beth

    After significantly intense oral surgery, I was prescribed Levofloxacin (Levaquin) 12 days ago for a massive bone infection on my maxilla (upper jaw bone) and within 4 days had suffered a retinal detachment. I consulted the doctor who had prescribed it and he insisted I continue the medication since the infection had proven resistant to all other medications and was threatening to have a severe impact on my future health.

    During the time I was taking this drug, I maintained a daily log of meds taken, my physical status, diet, activity, responses, and my own self-treatment, as well as a photographic record of responses to the surgery that had been performed on my jaw to show swelling and bruising. Thus, I have a good record of day-to-day status to support my claim.

    My concern in this respect is that, while I am in my late 60s and have had one small incident of a small retinal tear in the other eye, my left eye has been fine. But knowing that my retinae are compromised by my age, I doubt that anyone would believe that this current damage was related to the Levaquin, leaving me with no viable reason in legal terms to blame the damage on a dangerous drug.

    Because I am a massage therapist and complementary medicine user, and need to move freely to do my work, I was most concerned about the issues around tendonitis, especially in the Achilles tendon. I used Reiki, acupressure and moxibustion (which brings moisture into an area) as a preventative measure and while I began to experience some minor tightness on the 3rd day of the dosage, I found that I was able to manage that issue and am finding no impact as yet. I do continue to be concerned about the possibility of damage in that area and while my dosage is complete, I continue to use moxa (mugwort) to thwart any possible damage.

  6. Cindy

    I just finished 10 days of Levaquin for bronchitis. The pain in my muscles and joints is becoming constant and severe. Tylenol and Advil don’t even touch the pain. Heat does seem to help my low back and hips, but not for long. My fingers, calves, hips, arms, and low back hurt constantly. I pray this goes away soon. I’m terrified after reading all these comments.

  7. jr

    Pull it off the market , doctors in hospitals do not tell you about the side effects & now its to late – If they don’t take if off the market lets all start filing lawsuits
    and then they will have too.

    • Greg

      The side effect I’m having seem to change weekly, left arm, right arm, knees, chills without fever , insomnia or maybe 4 hours of broken sleep etc.. I stopped taking the drug first week of January for pneumonia. Levaquin 500 mg 10 days.

    • CS

      Yes, prescribed for a sinus infection, after receiving the patient information brochure read it before taking, said all over that it has tendon issues, called my physician, took a day to get back to me as having a surgery at end of month involving tendon in thumb, said no problem, we’ll now I have shoulder rotary cuf pain, really !!! I work out daily nothing strenuous just to keep limber. Wish I would have seen this before, or atleast my physician should have changed plan of action when I suggested my concerns! This is horrifying that I was put on this drug. Seeing both my docs next week to see?

  8. Nancy
    Southeast USA

    I was prescribed Levaquin, generic, for diverticulitis. I’ve taken it before and have taken Cipro before also, and I don’t recall having these side effects. My current experience is this. After the first 750 dose, I could not sleep for over 24 hours. Since this dose was 1 day after Daylight Savings Time went into effect, I attributed it to that. After my 4th and final dose, I could barely stand or walk because of the searing, burning pain in my hips and thighs. My shoulders and neck hurt. My toes and fingers ached terribly. My legs and feet tingled. I was very fatigued. I’ve been using a heating pad wherever the pain is the worst, as that changes. I’ve been taking Tylenol with codeine, napping. It’s miserable. I can’t stand, walk, or sit for very long at one time. I don’t know how I’m going to work all day like this. Tomorrow, Monday, I call the doctor to tell her I stopped taking it on Thursday (her office is closed on Friday ). Doesn’t seem to be anything she can do, but I’ll let her know because I will never ever take this antibiotic again.

  9. Hayde
    hernando fl

    I was prescribed Levaquin for bladder inf. after that I had pains in the cord in the back of my ankles. dr did not know why. soon after that started with neuropathy. I have been given Levaquin 3 times for bronchitis and got weak and fell all 3 times. I did not know what was wrong until the last time and am having a hard time regaining my strength, I still can not walk and balance is bad.

  10. Maria

    I am in tears reading these comments. I have a 15 yr old athlete who is dealing with this same issue. She was given Levosloxacin for walking pneumonia in the ER. She took 1 tablet daily for 10 days ( 500 mg). As a high level athlete she was complaining of joint pain and I chalked it up to her sport. It has turned into a nightmare from there. She wakes up on a daily basis unable to move either her shoulders, knees, ect. The pain moves around and around. She has complained of nausea and light headedness. She has been off the pill for 8 weeks and still has major pain. I took her into Children’s Hospital to run tests due to the fact she couldn’t walk one day. All tests came back normal (Praise God). It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch and wait. We were told after 8 weeks it should pass through her body. It hasn’t and now reading some of the posts it sounds like it may be a long time. Which is crippling for a High School Athlete. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT CAN HELP !! She has done acupuncture, Fish Oil, D3, Probiotics, Ortho Biotic and Glucosamine. We’ve seen wellness doctors and chiropractors. We are so desperate for a fix.

    • Chad

      Maria – I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. I have spent 2 years trying to recover from taking a 14 day prescription of levaquin, and have finally returned to a semi-normal life (still with issues, but livable). I won’t go into my symptoms because I think they are very common as it relates to muscle, joint, and tendon issues. I am not a doctor by any means, but felt like I have had to become one over the last couple of years. That being said, here is what has helped me the most:

      – See a good massage therapist (myofacial release). My massage therapist has been more helpful than any doctor I have visited because she took the time to listen. I still see her 2X per month after initially going 1 per week.
      – Seems contradictory, but figure out what is difficult to do and try to work those muscle groups. Nothing hard, but find a way to engage them. I went so far as to buy a thigh-master to work the inside of my legs as they became chronically tight
      – A good stretching routine was key for me. It was a daily routine that lasted about an hour every morning. This was developed by a physical therapist. It is not daily for me anymore, but still I need to do it 2-3X per week if only for my own mental state.
      – Good nutrition, including probiotics. It is a good thing to note that levaquin kills off a lot of the good bacteria in your gut, so it needs replenished if you were not using probiotics during the course of the treatment. The probiotic I take has 150 Billion bacteria
      – Stay hydrated

      The hardest thing to do in all of this is keep active because it is the last thing you want to do. Even if it means just getting outside for a walk. There are still days when I don’t feel like moving, but I can enjoy most of the activities I used to participate in, and I can enjoy my time with my kids as well.

      I hope this in some way helps. I feel so bad for everyone that has to go through this and wish you and your daughter well.

  11. Keisha
    New York

    I am soooooooo glad I found this website. I was give Levaquin / Levofloxacin in December 2015 for 10 days. I finished the subscription at the end of December 2015. In January 2016 I began experiencing really bad shoulder and neck pains. Horrible to the point where I had to sleep sitting up and / or without a pillow. It is now the end of February 2016 and I am still experiencing the same pain….. I read the instructions about the possibility of causing tendon issues. I purposely chose not to exercise while on the medicine. I have been nauseous every since. I went to urgent care in 1/2015 because I couldn’t take the neck and shoulder pain anymore. Now I am experiencing ear issues as a result of the neck and should pain.

  12. agnes

    Taking levofloxacin for 10 days I have developed heartburn since. Has anyone had the same side effect and if so what did you do to get rid of the heartburn?

  13. Gregg
    West Fargo ND

    I was prescribed levaquin while in the hospital for pneumonia. Within a couple of days my shoulders and elbows were extremely painful. My legs are so swollen from not being able to eliminate fluids and my vision is still blurry. I can’t believe doctor’s prescribe this medication without discussing the possible side effects prior. I am only 54 and already have arthritis and fibromyalgia and I can only pray that the muscle aches and joint pain gets better. Mostly the blurry vision is aggravating because I work at a bank and have to read numbers clearly!

  14. jd
    houston, TX

    For approx. a year now I have been taking Levaquin & Valtrex, both antibiotics, both at a dose of 500mg’s per day. This is a result of me being treated for MDS a form of blood cancer which had me needing a blood transfusion about every 10 days. I was placed on a trial chemo drug on Dec 14, of 2014 and have gone over 400 days without a blood transfusion. Because MDS compromises my blood cells; reds, whites, and platelets, my immune system is compromised.

    The antibiotics have been quite effective in keeping me infection free. I have not caught a cold or been sick due to any infections in quite a number of years. Out of curiosity I wanted to find out the long term affects of taking these drugs. So I found this blog/feedback/link. I have not encountered some of the problems that has been reported here. I have some shoulder joint soreness and stiffness almost daily, which has been going on for approx a year.

    However, none of this: the cancer, the drugs, the antibiotics has prevented me from getting on with a good life. I play golf (walk with a pull cart) frequently, I do cardio workouts at the gym, I stretch with my Pilates stuff, and walk a lot. I utilize fitbit to monitor my caloric intake as well as track my physical activities. Again I am very concerned about long term affects. I have observed that in treating cancer sometimes it is the treatments that do more harm than the disease. However, no two humans are a like and a lot of things have to be taken into consideration when comparing. Genes, diets, physiology, attitude, alcohol consumption…etc..etc. It’s important to get in “real” touch with your body and find out the best cocktail that works for you.

    As medicine is a science it is important to do your own research, do consult the experts, but when they say take 3 pills a day, you should determine if 1 or 2 is sufficient. As you may be required or it may be recommended that you take a prescribed medicine for a long period, I inform my doctors of what I am doing, why I am doing it and challenge them on things that concern me. At the end of the day, if you are an adult, you have to be in charge of your body and your health. Your care takers are there to work with you and guide you. Also, stay hydrated and flush out your body, make sure that you are rotating that inventory in your body by having regular bowel movements.

    These are my thoughts and how I live, which may not work for you. thanks for listening.

  15. Janice
    Hollis, NH

    It has been 6 months since I was prescribed Levaquin in my local emergency room. I went due to severe abdominal pain and was diagnosed with divurticulitis. I was told to take it for 10 days. On the second day on the drug my ankles swelled and became very painful. Then my knees and shoulders became stiff and painful. I could hardly walk for about a week. After I finished the drug these symptoms slowly subsided. It took 3 months and doctors visits and physical therapy for the ankles. I did not realize what had happened to me until I saw a local news report about flox toxicity and the FDA being forced to put a black box warning on this drug for doctors. At this time I had developed chronic lightheadness with some dizziness. Also heart palpitations and chest pain. This landed me with brain scans, extensive cardiac tests and thousands in medical bills. All of these tests were normal and I am greatful for that. But there is only one reason this could be happening to me, Levaquin.

    All my symptoms had subsided completely over time until 4 days ago. The dizzy lightheadedness and chest pain have returned and I was sent by ambulance to the hospital. Again all tests are normal. I did some reading and much to my shock these symptoms can go away and return for years. I hope not and don’t know where to go from here. I am not totally disabled like some but this is not good health by a long shot.

  16. Michael
    Denver, CO

    I went to ER because of severe bronchitis. I was given IV s of Levaquin and solu medrol along with prescriptions for prednisone and levaquin to be taken over the next 3 and 6 days. Two days later I returned to the ER with severe calf pain in my left leg which mimicked a DVT. It was diagnosed as a muscle strain. It has been about two weeks and I have developed significant knee, shoulder, neck and leg pain and weakness. I am writing this at 1:30am as I was trying to figure out just why I was having these symptoms. Now I know. I am 75 and in excellent health. What does my future hold??

  17. Steven

    on Dec 28th i had gotten oral scope of my stomach to drain a small sutocyst on pancreas. I was told i had infection on pancreas. no other issues in stomach. no ulcers, bleeds or anything. I was put on levaquin and on dec 30 at noon i drank a lot of water as directed by instructions on bottle. 30 min later felt sick. left work at noon on Dec 30 on threw up 1 1/2 liters of blood. went to hospital 4 hours later another liter of blood and was taken to emergency surgery and there were 3 major bleeds and i had only taken 3 levequin over past 3 days. did not wake up again till jan 19, 2016. had strange visions for days and drs said i kept shaking uncontrollably and had no idea why.

    is this issue to pursue. I literally almost died and was even given 4 units of blood because i lost so much.

    • Terry Graedon

      What a terrifying experience! You definitely should request that the doctors review your case with you and explain what happened. It is possible an injury occurred during the scope, but there may be another explanation as well.

  18. Morgan
    Costa Rica

    I was prescribed 750mg for 14days due to prostatitis. My doctor never mentioned any serious side effects. 2 days later I went on a surf trip for a week and continued the 14 day treatment to the end. 3 days after finishing I woke up and my shoulders were in serious pain. Like nothing I had felt before. Its been 2 months since I finished the treatment and I have horrible tendonitis in my right arm and elbow. I can even feel the damage on my fingers and hips. Its getting worse and I cant do any exercise or its 3x as bad. I’m feel like I will be like this the rest of my life.

  19. Nancy
    Orlando Fl

    I was prescribed levofloxacin 500 mg on Jan 15th and took one pill on the 17th and had trouble in my legs that evening. I did one more dose on the 18th and the stiffness and pain became worse. I stopped all of the rest of the 10 day treatment and now on the 23rd I still am having calf and leg tightness. I reported it to my Doctor so there will be a notation in my record. Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to not continue this med.

  20. Susan

    I started taking Levaquin (750 mg for 5 days) for walking pneumonia. After the third dose my left knee hurt so bad and became so stiff I couldn’t bend it. Immediately stopped taking it. Since then my knee is better as I can bend it now but it still aches and now my wrist and neck ache. It scares me to think that these aches and pains might not go away.

    • Susan

      Just a follow up: I mentioned above my knee started feeling better but I had other aches. Well everything went down hill from there. My joints in both feet, ankles, knees, left shoulder and right hand swelled and the pain was horrendous. I felt like I went to bed a 58 year old woman and woke up an 88 year old woman. Could barely walk. Doctors had no idea what to do besides offer pain meds and steroids. This lasted for 4 weeks. The good news it that my symptoms have now mostly gone away. I have quit taking the steroids and have started taking turmeric and ginger, fish oil, and vitamin D. The only thing not quite right yet is my right hand where 3 fingers still have varying degrees of numbness. I feel with time I will be back to normal. Very scary ordeal to go through. My prayers to out to all who are suffering from this drug.

      • Rachel

        This is how I feel. I have taken 6 doses and was wondering what is happening to me. I just called the doctor’s office and am waiting for a call back from her. My hands, legs, knees, back, and especially my hips hurt really bad. It is difficult to walk, let alone try to take the stairs up and down at home. I am having a hard time even standing up straight at times. I woke up last night in tremendous pain so decided to research the drug and found that if I have joint pain and stiffness I should be contacting the doctor right away. So I called first thing this morning.

        I was prescribed Levaquin for a bad sinus infection. I wish I would have researched the drug first. I was staying in a hotel over the past weekend so I was attributing the pain and lack of sleep to the different bed and pillows. Well not anymore after sleeping in my own bed and finding the pain is getting worse.

  21. Hannah

    I was prescribed a 30 day treatment course of Levoflaxin after sepsis. (Two 10mm bilateral kidney stones caused it). I have had lithotripsies in the past, but this one (Dec 28) and my recovery time was never this long. I got off antibiotics yesterday, I can hardly walk from my bed to my bathroom (like 10 feet), crippling headaches that leave me shaking & vomiting, hip, knee,ankle & finger pain (stiff, hard to move without forcing it), insomnia, anxiety, and now I’m off it having withdrawal like symptoms.

  22. Ralph

    I was prescribed leviquin 750 and prednisone 40 mg.ms per day for bronchitis. My symptoms cleared in 3 days, but on the 3rd day my left, calf suddenly cramped. I suspected a reaction and did not take the 4th dose. To no avail as my right calf cramped also. Trying to walk is almost unbearable. I researched this drug too late, and found my age, and the steroid dose were significant contraindications. I am trying self help tonight(magnesium pills and Epsom salts). The comments about long term pain are scary, and I am upset that my Dr apparently was unaware of my higher risk status. This drug is dangerous.

  23. Melissa

    I was prescribed Levaquin 750 mg for 10 days for MRSA. Ever since then I have muscle weakness, joint pain (but I have arthritis as well) and muscle pain if on legs a long time. I try telling my doctors this but they feel its from me compensating because of arthritis in my right knee. I cannot walk long distances my legs shake and they want to give out on me.

    • Greg

      Headache, dizziness
      Agitation, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, confusion
      Tendon problems, tendinitis

      Most started weeks after taking the drug Levaquin, calf pain both legs after just a few doses. Doctors will not acknowledge these side effects buts its been over 2 month still feel bad and have left arm pain tingling and wasdiagnosed as tennis elbow lol idiots.

  24. Karina
    Riverside, Ca.

    I too was prescribed levaquin after a round of antibiotics didn’t work on my UTI. Four days after taking meds my legs were about to give and my knees were so painful. Next morning, I could barely get up as my lower back was almost stuck! My hands, arms, shoulders, fingers, toes, shins, legs, thighs, knees, neck and back were a mess! I felt as i had been in a horrible accident. I conitnued to take it and didn’t get to dr. Until I was almost done with treatment. Before i got all thise symptoms i ran on two hours of sleep for two days and my rapid heartbeat was at its best! I didn’t want people to think i was stressed or think I was crazy. I’m a mess crying as I read all of these other comments. I can’t imagine living like thus forever. I’m really sorry for all you that are going through this. I feel so sad as I’ve never felt before. Good luck everybody!

    • Amanda
      South Africa

      So sorry to hear Karina…experiencing the same symptoms after just finishing a7 day course…hardly able to move, my joints are so weak and painful!

  25. Greg

    I think we should make these companies pay ! I’ve been miserable after a 10 day course. I saw a fill in doctor for walking pneumonia and when my regular came back he personally called me and said STOP taking this drug. I’ve been miserable for weeks.

    • Lee

      My exposure to Levaquin was more than ten years ago. Getting anyone to believe what was happening to me was a nightmareI, and I was a R.N. I have had a tendon implant, my toes have been fused, neuropathy of my legs with grossly atrophied lower legs, muscle weakness and am having an ultrasound next week because now I fear aortic involvement. I force myself to walk as much as I can, because I was told that even a short period of immobility would result in the loss of the little muscle I have left

      • Maria

        Did anything ever help?

  26. runner t.

    I was prescribed Levaquin for a sinus infection. I started having restless lega. Then sore legs, feet, and knees like I had ran too far and wore the wrong shoes. Finally my legs hurt so bad When I went up or down stairs or got up from the couch or chair. I went to the doctor. She said nothing to do but rest, ice, and take Tylenol. No excessive activities for two weeks.

    • Mario

      And how are you now?

  27. Virginia

    I also was experiencing aching and swelling in ankles and calves. I soaked in Epsom salt in a nice hot bathtub of water before bed and the next morning and swelling and pain was almost gone.

  28. Clyde S
    Melbourne, Australia

    My fiancée (29) was prescribed a 14-day set of antibiotics (Levofloxacin 375mg, Rifabutin 60mg, Bismuth 300mg, Omeprazole 40mg, and Furazolidone 100mg) for her stomach treatment (Helicobacter pylori) in June 2014. Prior to that, she has always been fit and healthy. During her time taking the medicine, she experienced diarrhoea, fever, urinating issues, nausea, tingling, joint and muscle pain, stiffness, burning pain, and numbness. She started to worry on her fifth day when all these side effects started happening one after the other.

    We contacted the specialist who had told us that these are “normal” and is what we should expect, so she continued on taking these medicine since there’s nothing worse than not being able to eat food for the rest of her life. Finally, on the twelve day, she had to stop after a battle with fever. When she went for a Gastroscopy, they had confirmed that all H. pylori was cleared and we could finally move on. Unfortunately, her side effects of joint and muscle pain, burning pain, stiffness, and numbness prolonged its stay.

    This is coming to our 1.5 year anniversary since taking the medicine and the side effects are still present, although improved with Physiotherapy and pain killers – but that’s only a temporary relief. We are now desperate. The specialist had not taken full responsibility and even dismissed the idea of this actually being the cause of her pain. She further developed depression and anxiety after being traumatised by the course of drugs and is now desperate to find a cure. We’ve seen Neurologists, Pain specialists, Rheumatologists, tonnes of General Practioners, who we’ve asked for an opinion about Levofloxcin and none of them believed that this is the cause. How can someone who was so healthy start to develop these pains suddenly while taking this drug?

    • Juliet
      Sydney Australia

      Hello, my name is Juliet, I am 34 from Sydney. I was treated with the same therapy for helicopter Baxter pylori in late 2014 at the centre for digestive diseases, and he combo had levofloxicin in it. I had Glute \hip/ back pain whilst taking it for four days… I rang the specialist and they said to keep taking it… I stopped anyway, but the damage was done. I have been to so many physio”s Osteo, dr, specialists, rheumatologist etc and spent thousands, no one can really help me… I only realised it could be this… I have Glute tendonopathy and sacroiliac joint pain and it has ruined my life for a whole year… Thinking of trying the floxy hope e book diet and probiotics… Have you heard on how to treat this ?? How is your wife now?? I’d love to speak to her about her experience, sounds so similar to mine…!

      Cheers And good luck

    • Maria

      Have you found anything or had any improvements on this? I have a 15 year daughter who is suffering badly I just wrote post on her.

  29. Peggy
    Warren, Ohio

    I had no bad affects while taking the medication, but after the last pill the pain started. First in my back and shoulder and then in my knees and hips. Now my calf muscles are so cramped I can only hobble. I’m so tired I can barely get out of bed and as soon as I get home from work I need to sleep for two hours. I am miserable!

    • Sandy
      Tacoma, Wa.

      I, too, am suffering with extreme pain and weakness that started when I finished one week of the medication. I need help to stand up from a chair or toilet because of my knees. I can’t leave home for long because I need help to go to the bathroom. I’m 72 so I already had some physical challenges, but now its been 2 months of pain and disability and reading these comments has caused me concern for the future.

    • Diane
      Queens, NY

      I started the medication last Monday and have since started with lower back pain and now my whole back. Did you get any better

  30. Louis

    On September 15, 2015 I was prescribed 500 mg of levaquin from my family doctor for prostatitis. Finished the prescription first week of Oct. and prostatitis was gone. Returned mid October and I went to my Urologist. He put me on 500 mg of Levaquin for two weeks. I was hurting all over, especially in my shoulders and couldn’t sleep. I got an appointment, gave blood and urine. He said that I was all clear. I told him that I ached from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.

    He then put me on 750 mg of levaquin for two weeks and 500 mg for two weeks after. My last dose was last Monday, December 7th. On Tuesday my hell began. Starting aching all over so bad I was bedridden and had to take 4 whirlpool baths a day to just walk. I have had to leave my office every day at 10 am, go home and sleep for two hours just to be able to get back to work by 1 o’clock. I called the Urologist office, spoke to his nurse and she got very defensive about the levaquin. In fact she said that if it was the levaquin it would have affected me during dosage.

    I told her to look at my file and she would find I complained of achiness the entire time. I have an appointment tomorrow (Dec. 16). I am 61 years old and it took me very little time to Google and find out what Levaquin’s side effects are. My question is why wouldn’t a specialist (urologist) know or not tell me of the side effects. And what liability does the Doctor have? From what I have read my entire life as I know it now might change.

    • Sofia
      Athens Greece

      I was treated with the same therapy for Helicobacter pylori starting ….just 10 days ago ……I was told by my doctor to take 1 Tavanic( same drug Fluoroquinolone, just different name ) 500ml two times a day for 10 days. Ι had not been feeling well but I thought it was because of the problems I already had with my stomach…….on the sixth day after taking the drug…..I started having bad pain in my knees and eventually all my joints started to hurt …..fingurs, lower back . elbows, wrists…all over…..I thought maybe I was coming down with the flu or something to that effect…….until it hit me last night…..that it might be the drug…….after looking it up ,and reading about it, I am terrified…….

      I relate to all of you as far as what you have been feeling…..but I cannot accept that there will be permanent damage and that I will be hurting like this all the time even now that my therapy is over as of today…..I will go see my doctor tomorrow I hope he realizes that the use of this drug is responsible for what I feel and helps me find a way to deal with it. I must admit that after reading about it I am totally flabbergasted. I hope and pray this will go away along with my Helicobacter pylori. God give us all strength. I wish all of you the best.

      • Terry Graedon

        Sofia, permanent effects are not the norm. We will be hoping that you will recover quickly.

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