The People's Perspective on Medicine

Levaquin Leads to Achilles Tendon Problems

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

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

A. Unfortunately, inflammation and in rare cases even rupture of tendons, including the Achilles tendon at the back of the ankle, are possible side effects of Levaquin and similar antibiotics. We have heard from other readers with similar problems. One person’s experience suggests the time frame for recovery may be months rather than weeks:

“I took 750 mg of Levaquin for a sinus infection for 9 days. I got rid of the sinus infection but have been dealing with tendinopathy in my legs and one shoulder for the past three months.”

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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A number of years ago I took Levaquin and both Aquilles tendons were extremely painful. I could hardly walk for a long time. I remember that here were other symptoms from this prescription, but I no longer can recall what they were. I carry in my wallet a long list of antibiotics and other medicines to which I am allergic. I give every doctor that I see upgrades of this list (which includes all my personal information that an EMT or doctor would need) and they enter them on their computers as well as keeping them in my medical file. My ankles are weaker than before from Levaquin.

Hi Eunice I am currently off levaquin . I was on it for 4 days on 500 mgs per tablet . By day 4 I was having really bad muscle and just all over body pain . It’s not been two days off the drug and it has gotten slightly
Better but I still feel the weird side effects. I’m depressed . Will I make a full recovery? What did you do to recover? Any advice to give me hope would help . Thanks!

I can’t even remember how many years it’s been, but my Achilles tendonitis is still a big problem. Left ankle only. After a week in NYC walking everywhere, it’s really bothering me.

My wife took one levaquin pill 3 days ago and a few hours after taking it experienced muscle pain, muscle tightness, and joint pain all over her body mostly in her legs. After 3 days she feels the same. Has anyone experienced this and if so how long did it take to see improvement and fully heal?

Also, does anyone have recommendations for types of doctors to see to help diagnose the problem?

Following a trip to Italy last month, and contacting pneumonia while I was there, I spent 6 days in the Como Ospitale in Menaggio. Very good place. But they treated me with Levofloxacina. When I got back home, both my Achilles started to play up to such a state that I needed medical help. Ended up at a physio who thinks he can help.
My left Achilles is now OK, but my right is giving me absolute agony. My Physio thought he might have done too much treatment on it, but since I have found this internet site, and others I must admit, I am now sure the Achilles problem is caused through the antibiotic.
It is now nearly a month since we have been back, and I am still in trouble. And I read that some people are suffering problems up to 6 months after taking this drug. Damn. There goes my golf game.

I was prescribed Levaquin for pneumonia about four weeks ago. Four days into taking the Levaquin, I began noticing sudden onset of pain behind my left knee. I was worried I may have a blood clot from being so sedentary from the pneumonia so I again went to Prompt Care and had an ultrasound done which fortunately showed no clot but still no explanation for my pain. I then went to my doctor and told her that I had read it was a possible side effect of Levaquin.
For insurance reasons I am unable to just proceed to an MRI, I first must go through physical therapy. My first PT session is still two weeks away and the pain is getting worse, spreading around to the front of my knee and down my calf. It is becoming very difficult for me to even walk. I just really want to find out if this is a tendon tear and find out if there is a possible treatment for this.
I did read on the literature attached to the prescription that tendonitis was a possible side effect but you don’t really believe that will happen to you… well… it did and is terrible both during the day a d when sleeping. Please beware before taking this medication and discuss this with your doctor. Wishing all of you the best in pain relief and return to a normal daily life.

Hey Rob….after three Months of the AGONY you’ve (& SO MANY other’s here) been subjected to…..I BEAT IT!!……
Now I had some “advantage” of being a life-long athlete that has OFTEN “played thru pain” (nothing like THIS Cluster F’ though)& accepted that injury/play pain is inevitable etc….& still active, strong & in pretty good shape at 52!!….
Here’s what I did (jus’ got SO LUCKY also I guess!!)…..I figured the main problem was the terrible pain/constriction INFLAMMATION that this EVIL Drug induced in us…..
#1) STOP NOW….in terms of feeling SORRY….for all our situations (many MUCH WORSE than yours & mine!!)here!!…..
#2) KEEP MOVING thru the AGONY….I continued to go to the Gym (AGONIZING & Embarrassing!!) & my Beach volleyball “Dudes” were “kool enough” to continue to let me play (@ about 30% of “normal” efficiency)….as after the first 2 weeks or so I figured I’m “going down swinging” & stayed with it…..
#3) Diet went to incorporating as much HEALTHY fresh foods (Think “Whole Paycheck’s”, “Trader Joe’s”, “Sprouts” etc….) to cleanse the toxins out as much as possible thru diet…..
4) Consumed LARGE quantities of Regular Magnesium, tart Cherry juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric root & as much (MORE) water I could friggin’ stand to BATTLE the Inflammation Head-On!!….
5) Prayed….(& please believe me….this Kat’ ain’t NO Religion freak!!)…..jus’ a few words & requests to “The Power” etc….EVERY Night right before “Crash-time”….felt it was REAL important to stay as positive as possible because after a bit of time, sympathy’s dissipate & your basically “on your own” w/this in the long-run & each lil’ feeling of progress was APPRECIATED by me….hope this makes sense to y’all!!??….
In closing….I KNOW I got REAL LUCKY!!….despite the above I was so BUMMED those first two Months especially sharing & hearing the TRAGIC stories of SO MANY here on this forum (many MUCH younger & in BETTER shape & MUCH WORSE OFF!! etc…..)….
anyways, that’s my story….I still have residual damage in my left wrist and there ARE days I can STILL feel the POISON flowing thru my body….but from where I started (you can go back a’ways & see my “ordeal” posts on this thread) & again seeing SO MANY here that have been un-able to recover from this TERRIBLE condition….well I am “humbled”….
Best WISHES & GREAT Karma to you & ALL the MANY Brothers & Sisters on here trying to find their way back!!…..
6) about (2) months in….things began to SLOWLY subside…..but pain relief & agility etc….really started to kick-in between Month two & three….

I need guidance. I took this drug in 2008. The warnings were not on the black box labels at this time. I worked in the fitness industry and always worked out at the time. I couldn’t walk for months and still had to take people on tours with crutches. No doctor knew what was wrong with me.
It wasn’t until 2010 when my Insurance company reached out to me to give them the details so that they can get paid from Johnson and Johnson. Me, on the other hand, I was left in the air. No lawyer wanted to help me fight a big company like Johnson and Johnson because no tendon of mine was ruptured.
I am affected badly. I can’t stand for long. I have back and hip problems. Even digestive problems due to my hips and lower back. My ankles, achilles, and knees are still defected badly. I often get inflammatory knees and ankles. I mostly do upper body workouts and even that hurts.
I can’t pursue my passion of body building and figure modeling. Can someone please assist me by providing answers for me? Thanks!

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

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

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

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

Have you improved any?

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

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

The pain never goes away.

Hi Tammy,
I Was given Levaquin 02-07-2010. In one month it will be 4 years. I wish I had good news to report, but I don’t. I still suffer pain in nearly every joint and tendon, headaches, horrible nightmares, depression, thumb pain, popping and cracking with nearly every move, skin sore to the touch and to reach out to the side is nearly impossible.
Still not able to hold my arms up long enough to wash my hair. Can’t lift a gallon of milk with one hand and barely able to lift a 2 liter. Sometimes I can reach the seat belt but most of the time I have to have someone pull it out for me. I have a constant pain in the back of the neck, shoulder, shoulder blades, and hips. It hurts to cross my legs at the knees and hip as the pressure on my skin is unbearable.
I purchased a Tempur-Pedic mattress “cloud supreme” and an ergo base and still hurt in bed on shoulders and hips. Its not the mattress its the side effects from Levaquin. If it wasn’t for the mattress and ergo base I wouldn’t get any sleep. Of the thousands of people on line-I don’t know any that has recovered.

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

On April 2013 I was prescribed Levoflaxcacin 500 for 10 days. I developed pain in my left Achilles 7 days after taking the pills.
I wish I had never taken this drug. I was never warned by my doctor or pharmacist.
Later on, in addition to severe pain in my Left Achilles Tendon, I started having mild pain in Right Achilles and developed many other side effects like pain in my calf muscle and thumb.
MRI and X-Rays did not show any problem.
I used crutches and avoided any load on my feet for 10 days. Also, I took Magnesium, Vitamin E and fish oil. I could not verify if any of them did anything good. After 10 days I used very high heel shoes and avoided work out (I used to workout 4 to 5 days a week) for 3 months (as it was advised by my physician)
I have already filed a report with my Doctor and FDA.
All symptom other than the pain in my Achilles Tendons disappeared in 3 months.
However, after 7 months, I still have pain in both of my Achilles Tendons (still mild in right and more severe and frequent in left). The pain is not constant. It comes and goes. I stop workout anytime I am symptomatic. Doctors can’t do anything more.
My researched showed nobody knows exactly why this is happening but it is almost certain the injury is multifactorial. However, alterations in cell and toxic effects on musculoskeletal tissues seems to be prevalent reason. “The researchers suggested that an acute increase in matrixdegrading
activity with a concomitant decrease in cell proliferation
and collagen synthesis could lead to tendon rupture,
with a disproportionate effect on tendons that have a limited
capacity for repair or that have been previously structurally
compromised”; (Mederic M. Hall, MD, Jonathan T. Finnoff, DO, Jay Smith, MD)
Some people say it normally goes away after a year, but if doesn’t then unfortunately it may be permanent.

I am an 89-year-old retired surgeon-no allergies or drug sensitivities. Levaquin was prescribed by my urologist -after 4 doses I was taken off my feet by tendonitis achilles-
Visited my GP and good foot and ankle doctor. I have felt improvement with some relapses on exertion. My regimen 6 weeks later is one that I cannot prescribe because the drugs are not approved.
I have used DMSO and have taken 5 day courses of Butazoladin 100mgm/ day ( I used my dog’s meds) good relief! I had 5 contraindications for use of this drug in retrospect. Age, prednisone, Coumadin, Crohn,s and hypothyroidism! I should have asked People’s Pharmacy or Dr. Google before risking Levoquin!
Dear Dr. S,
Shame on you for taking your dog’s medicine! Butazolidin (“Bute”) is a dangerous drug! As a physician, you should know better.
We’re glad you are improving, but this was risky business. You should have checked with your MD before taking Bute. And yes…you should have consulted The People’s Pharmacy before ending up in this pickle in the first place!

I have taken Levaquin many times without problems, but am shocked people without allergies to penicillins and cephalosporins are taking it. I take it only because those two types of drugs would kill me. This time, I mowed the lawn twice while on it, and now I do have a lot of Achilles tendon pain on one side. Stupid, but my spouse is injured and could not do it.
I am going to try ice. My problem is what else I could take, basically nothing. Good news is that my three-year sinus infection is treated very well by Levaquin.
Also note that any medicine can cause Stevens-Johnson syndrome; a few of you sound like you might have that severe side effect.

I took Levaquin for a sinus infection beginning April 26, 2013. Within 2 weeks of beginning the regimen my Achilles tendons began to ache. The pain and stiffness has gotten worse and now I have significant reduced mobility especially after sitting down for even just 10 minutes.
It is now mid July and it is not getting better. I went back to my physician on Friday the 19th and he diagnosed Planters Faciatis and gave me stretching exercises and told me to ice it down nightly for 7 days. I will post results.

I too have tried just about everything. Its been almost 3 1/2 years for me (2-7-10). My family Dr. refused to believe me that th med – Levaquin could cause my severe side effects and put me back on it for another 10 days for a sinus infection. I found out about the black box warning 4 days into the 2nd round, called his office and read the black box warning to him.
By that time I was barely able to walk. To make a long story short, I have joint, muscle, nerve pain in nearly every joint in my body. The back of the left knee and the back of both elbows no longer hurt – that is my improvement. I have kept a daily journal from 3-1-10 to present. I only read the journal from beginning to present this week, and cried as to how much my life has changed in the last 3 years. The journal sounded like a broken record.
I was a healthy, 63 year old woman who had worked two jobs 7 days a week for 9 months just prior to this happening. I could barely hold down one job since. The depression, anxiety, nightmares, insomnia, popping, cracking, severe pain, sharp darting pain, thumb surgery recovery of 5 months, and skin sore to the touch, just to name a few, is my way of life today.
I don’t smile much any more, have withdrawn, spend a great deal of time laying down or in bed and have lost the joy of life. All because my family Dr. didn’t take the time to pick up his desk reference manual and just look up the side effects for “L”. Sign me a card carrying member of the “L” Club.

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

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

Two and a half years after taking Levaquin I still have discomfort in my hands, legs, and feet. Sometimes discomfort becomes pain. Resting with my legs elevated several hours a day helps greatly. When I do anything slightly strenuous with my hands they hurt. I feel that the tendons suffered an injury and have not returned to a normal state. Some skin problems may be part of this picture.
There has been some improvement, I think! Chelated magnesium supplements seem to be helpful. Hoping for greatly diminished symptoms for me and everyone else.
Good Luck!

I was prescribed Levaquin in Feb of 2013. I also told the doc I had just begun taken Atorvastatin a couple mos earlier and needed to be tested soon for liver control. I was on Levaquin for a total of 10 days. The doc had said, don’t do any exercise because some people experience Achilles pain with this med, but it’s only 5% so don’t worry, you’ll be fine. On day 14 I called my doctor because on day 8 a Friday, I had started having pain but didn’t immediately associate it w/ the drug. I described what was going on, that it was especially excruciating when going down the stairs. the doc never warned me it was a reason to stop taking the drug so I had finished the course knowing how important it was to finish antibiotics and also since the doc was very cavalier re the Achilles pain issue (plus it was a Sat when it first occurred it may be caused by the antibiotic and I had only a couple days to finish the meds.)
I was surprised that 5 days after finishing the meds I was still in pain and the pain increased. I called then and asked how long the pain would last and he acted totally surprised and mystified. He said he would have thought it would go away after the drug was taken but said I should see an orthopedist. The next day my pain subsided substantially and so I did not keep the ortho appt. I called the original doc and told him I didn’t keep the appt because I had seen decreased pain. He seemed glad of it but issued no further comments re looking out or care. Since then, the pain has come and gone except last week (April 14) I noticed severe swelling in the back of the foot. I started raising the foot and sleep w it like this all night and the swelling is not subsiding. I am a teacher and this is worrying me terribly and I have difficulty walking, now just standing is difficult.
Should I walk, stretch? is it better or worse to do these things at this point? Should I do them in spite of the swelling and pain? I read here – now looking further for answers that some say move, others not sure, and I know the doc had said not to exercise w the pain- but most of all I read that with statin drugs the probability for this problem is significantly increased. SO WHY DID the DOC prescribe it in the first place?!
The news about this problem dates back to 07. Is there any news re how to best deal with this? I am sooo very angry! I want to thank you SO MUCH for your time and concern! What supplements might you suggest or do you think acupuncture or other alternative treatment may be beneficial?

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

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

Hi All,
My mother had a full spine surgery with spinal fusion in October 2012. Surgery lasted 10 hours. Few days after the surgery she was diagnosed with a staph infection which they started treating immediately with Vanco and Levaquin. Just now, almost a month and half later, my mother starting complaining of joint pain and the last couple of weeks she’s been having a lot of swelling in her legs. Primary care prescribed 40 mg Lasix to beat the swelling and what they thought was fluid in her legs. Lasix has not helped. She’s almost done with Levaquin per doctors instructions to treat the staph infection. However, I am convinced that her problems are due to Levaquin and that her next visit with have to be with a Rheumatologist.
How sad… it helped one thing, but totally destroyed the strength in her legs. She’s having lots of pain in her ankles, arms and hips. Help!!!!! We weren’t told that those may be her side effects.

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

I am 56 yr old woman. I came back from a trip and knew fro the symptoms I had a UTI.. My doc had previously called in a prescription of cipro so I decided to take one. I woke a few hrs later with chills and vomiting. This alarmed me so I went to the doc and told him what I took and what happened. He believed I had a kidney infection. I told him no cipro so he prescribes levaquin. Had I any idea this was worse I would have told him no then!!!!
He prescribes me 750 for ten days. Since I was still fearful of what cipro had done to me (though he says it was a kidney infection) I split the pill in half and only took half of it, The next day I took the other half. Let me tell you my calves ached so bad I couldn’t stand up. I called the doc insisted he prescribe me something else ( he did augmentin). Meanwhile I have these horrible pains in my calves and a horrendous headache.
He sends me for a venous ultrasound looking for clots. Hello? How can these doctors be so out of touch!!???? I knew it was the drug. Slowly my legs have got better. I think this is the third day after I stopped and they are much better though I feel it. However I woke up this morning with my achilles tendon sore in my right ankle. I am so mad right now!!!!! I am hoping it doesn’t get worse. We are in the middle of changing insurances so I can’t go in to the doctor again until it gets straightened out. Not that he will believe it is that damn drug. I feel so betrayed!!!

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

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

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

Male 25 yo, prescribed levaquin 500 mg for ten days to treat bronchitis.
My first experience with this type of antibiotic was last summer when I came down with severe food poisoning on an island. I took 10 days of 250 mg cipro, I think 500 for the first 3 days as I was told to double up, and the stuff saved my life.mehat a relief and zero side effects to speak of, except a terrible sun burn but I was on an island and was trying my hand at wake boarding even thought I read not to go in the sun on the stuff. But all was really fine and didn’t think to much about it.
Anywho now, with my bronchitis I was prescribed the levaquin from one doctor, basically freaked out after reading all of this stuff and decided to get a second opinion. Didn’t even mention the first prescribing doctor to the other doctor and sure enough he prescribed the same drug/dosage. Than I figured I must need it, and neither doctor seemed concerned enough to mention any side effects. I asked both about the tendon thing, and they said that is usually just 60 and older and that I wouldn’t have any problems.
Now, on my third day of the pill I’ve noticed a weird sensation in my Achilles. And I am pretty achy. I did note that before I started it my body was super achy from feeling sick. I am wondering if I am just getting myself all worked up by reading this, but I can’t help but want to call my doctor tomorrow and ask if there is another antibiotic…
Do you know what antibiotic I could recommend? I am thinking augmentin? I don’t want to mess up my progress though as I think levaquin has really helped. I also don’t want to spend my summer as a cripple though. Seems like most people here had there problems after taking multiple rounds in there life, maybe I should finish this round and vow to never take the stuff again?
And finally, I know it’s a lot to respond to, I’m sorry and would greatly appreciate your opinions, does it seem like even thought cipro is the same category that it is actually a lot safer? Or are the stories the same as levaquin?

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

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

I am a 63 year old woman in Florida for the winter…. home is in Canada.
I was prescribed both Prednisone 20mgs AND 750mg Levoflaxin for a chest infection back on January 24th. I was reluctant to take the Prednisone as I knew was a steroid but followed Dr’s orders…..7 days into treatment I experienced ankle pains… First on left ankle, then a day later on right one.
I stopped taking both medications and returned to the doctor at the walk in clinic. When I asked him why he prescribed the Prednisone, given the literature which I had only just read, said that the combination of both these drugs, in those over 60 years of age could possibly cause a tendon condition… He said for my condition that was the best drug combination and he had been prescribing the combo of Prednisone and Levoflaxin for 11 years and maybe 1 person in 300 had a tendon reaction?????
He also said tendon pain usually subsides in 5 days or so when the drug is out of my system. This is day 7 and am still in pain…. I did ice but now hot compresses help somewhat and will check out ultrasound.
Will try some of the suggestions which I read on this site particularly Collagen, Glucosamine & Chondroitin.
Someone mentioned a few months ago on this site that there was a 2nd case before the FDA… Has anyone heard what, if anything has happened? Will continue to read all of the valuable information you provide.

My story is a lot like the rest, I was taking Cipro (from Dr) for a kidney stone and went to the Drs nurse practitioner for chest cold and was given levequin. Started taking the Levequin tues may 3rd and on Sat May 7 I could hardly get out of bed.
I started reading about levequin realized that was the problem not only the levequin but cipro together with it. I went to the Dr and like most on here he did not believe it was the levequin. Dr said I probably should not have been taking both the levequin and the cipro together(gee ya think).
I started reading and there seems to be no answer. Have been hoping that it goes away in time (been 10 months) no improvement. Before the levequin and cipro, I was active and healthy. I keep looking for answers but this site is from 2007 until now 2012 and it seems to still be happening with no answers.

What dose and brand of chelated magnesium did you use?

I can’t believe this drug is still on the market. On second thought, OK, I can believe it. This thread proves that the drug companies are in control of the FDA, which used to protect us, but protects the drug companies now. Profits are the only thing that matters.
I was floxed in 2001 and I’m still not right. My cognitive impairment and chronic muscle pain continues to get better, slowly. Very, very slowly. With so many testimonials proving the damage this drug has done to so many lives, when will the destruction stop? This Levaquin episode has made it impossible for me to trust doctors anymore. They either don’t care about the damage they are causing, or they don’t want to know, or both.
I came here today because I’m still looking for something to reverse the damage 10 YEARS LATER.

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

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

I am posting this because of the trauma my husband experienced because of Levaquin. I read the painful postings & want to urge you to not give up. My husband went from a surfing, skateboarding, VERY active in the gym 6 days in the week 48 year old man to someone who had to use a cane to get out of his car. He had every symptom almost every one of you describe. He had his knee scoped because it hurt the worst. The surgery helped only somewhat.
Please don’t give up. He’s 2 year’s past his ordeal & no longer has the extreme pain. I urge you to increase the amount of chondroitin & magnesium you’re taking. Eat as close to natural as you can – limit processed foods. Keep moving also… don’t lay around! Do whatever you can… even if it means walking across the room.
He also massaged constantly the parts that hurt the worst. He described it as almost feeling the poison leaving the joints. It will get better. The one thing we noticed about this website is that everyone posts their problems, but don’t update it when they get better. Don’t give up. It’ll get better.

I took Levaquin 750 for a sinus/chest infection in October 2011. I was given Avelox a week before that and nothing was working. Took 21 days of steroids after that to finally knock it out. While I was on the steroids, I did not feel the pain in my tendons, but as soon as I was off them, I tendons were screaming.
It is now 1/25/12, and I got to the point where I could hardly walk, and my shoulders, and my elbows along with my Achilles heels suffer from severe tendonitis. I am going to physical therapy for the heels and shoulders/arms, but it seems my elbows (and joints ) are getting worse. This has been 3 months since this all started. I ran and played tennis three days a week, and biked all summer. I went from totally active 50 year old female to a wreck.
I can do beginner yoga to stretch out, but I can hardly walk in the morning to go to the bathroom. I also pray this will not be permanent. I just want to know IF and when I will get better from this. This drug is not worth the side effects and people rely on the drug companies and the doctors to manufacture and prescribe safe drugs. I feel like I got run over by a bus today. I need to know what can be done for relief or IF this will go away. Any sites or info. out there besides the lawyers and people trying to sell you stuff?

I was prescribed Levaquin 250 mg by my doctor for 17 days for a UTI/kidney infection. Even with the lower dose I had side immediate side effects after the first dose. My knees and legs ached something fierce. I shrugged it off as being in bed too long and hospitalized for 5 nights. After 8 doses my legs and knees still ached badly.
I researched the levaquin and now I’m horrified. Since quitting my tendons in my right wrist are very sore. Now I’m scared it’s from this drug. I’ve been reading the higher the dosage per pill, the more damaging effects could be! I’m drinking 5-7 liters of water a day and using chia seeds as a supplement. The chia seeds is a super food and will help detox your body. It’s loaded with magnesium, potassium, omega, vitamin b’s, calcium, fiber ect..
I switched to Vantin and that is helping my kidney infection better then the levaquin. I pray I don’t have permanent effects. I’m really frightened though, I guess we’ll see what the future brings.

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

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

Update to my status. For those of you looking for answers I can only offer a bit more. It has been almost six weeks since the initial start of this ordeal and I have found that the following has helped me to somewhat of a recovery. Tips are as follows:
1. Make sure your doctor is clear on the amount of pain medication to prescribe you. My doctor didn’t have any perspective on this an you need to manage this carefully with him almost on a daily basis until you get the right amount and type.
2. Hot and cold therapy was key to to get both the circulation moving through the tissue and then cold packs for reducing the swelling. I found some awesome gel cold packs (18″*24 approx. $35 ea) online that between the two of them they completely covered my leg and did a great job.
3. Lots of hydration and protein shakes (myoplex)
4. Very light physical therapy to make sure you can maintain some range of motion and not cause any tendon damage. Get an expert from an orthopedic clinic.
5. Most important, keep your legs elevated and stay off of them. It seemed that each day I tried to do more, it caught up with me and set me back a couple of days. This can be challenging if family is expecting you to do something besides being a couch potato.
6. File for a temporary handicap placard. Every step makes a big difference if you have to get around on your own.
Doctor was telling me three to four months on crutches and full recovery by six months. I am currently walking up to fifty feet unassisted and able to get through the grocery store on crutches for a few items. I have currently stopped taking the pain meds unless I overdue it. I am feeling confident that within the next couple of weeks, I will be able to turn the corner on this.
Good luck to all of you.

I have taken Levaquin several times over the years for chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and chronic Lyme Disease. I haven’t blown a tendon but I have had side effects.
I urge you all to get tested for Lyme. When a person has Lyme in their system, taking an antibiotic (esp a strong one like Levaquin), you get what is called a Herxheimer Effect (look it up, research it). This means your Lyme symptoms get much much worse before they get better.
Most times I have been prescribed Levaquin, I’ve also been given a steroid (inhaler or oral). Steroids are the devil for people with Lyme and my body revolts against me (heart palps, joint pain, fatigue, headache, vertigo, tinnitus, other stuff).
There is a chance that some of you have Lyme and don’t even know it. It’s worth a shot, but keep in mind that the normal test for Lyme is not a good diagnostic test, there is a very high rate of false negatives. There are other more controversial tests you could investigate.

Add me to the list above. I took levaquin for three days and couldn’t walk by day four. Three weeks on crutches and doctor is projecting four more weeks with intensive physical therapy. No tears of tissue as of yet but the pain is through the roof. Other symptoms are blurry vision, what memory, and I forgot…. It also seems to be moving up my leg. It started in my right calf down through my right foot and has now after three weeks seemed to settle in my right calf up just past my knee. Anyone else experience the movement?
Thanks for the tips above and I will update this as things progress. The one tip I can add so far is for those on crutches. Buy a cup holder for your crutches. Living with this is hell enough and you shouldn’t have to do it without somewhere to carry your coffee.

Thanx for the reply JD….Slowly gettin’ better as the foot/ankle stuff is dissipating somewhat….but the Arms are STILL sore, stiff & extremely tender (especially at night!) but seem to be ever so slowly improving….
I’m fighting my way thru (rest/inactivity are NOT an option for me, as I’m from the “KEEP Movin’ School”!))….I will look up the tissue dis-order you mentioned & investigate traction on that front….
By the way…..I’ve been taking TONS of Glucosamine, Vitamin C & a large amount of water & PURE Concentrated Cherry Juice (recommended for gaut/Arthritis relief etc….) also…..these seem to be assisting in ridding the poisons from the L’ & I’ll keep y’all any update as things (Continue/I HOPE!)get better…..Regards, EW

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

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

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

WOW….was warned (a bit) about taking Levaquin for a chest infection etc…..
Took 7 days worth of 500mg & 3 weeks later the chest is better but I’m F%$d’!!…..
I’m (Lifetime) an ACTIVE 52 year old (Beach Volleyball, Gym 2-3 Days a week & ALWAYS walking moving with good mobility. quickness etc….)I’ve always had my share of post exercise pain that has ALWAYS been temporary (ya know the “Good” Soreness from exercise that relieves w/ice/rest….) that goes away by next day(s)…. Now. My left knee is swollen (though I was having some pain/swelling in it before the L!) but now VERY sore, My Left ankle (outside bone!)is swollen & I have MAJOR Stiffness/Soreness in BOTH forearms/elbows (BOTH Shoulders during sleep period) & can barely straighten them out which makes Shavin’/Teeth brushin’/sleep etc….a MAJOR burden w/each repetition….
Being VERY Athletic for all these years (Individual/Team sports, Hockey, Base/Softball,Football,Body surfin,’Racquetball etc…..) I’m used to playin’/living with SOME amount of pain/soreness….but THIS SUCKS!!…..I’m REAL concerned about the Longevity of recovery (if EVER??)…. I’ve been to the Gym four times & played VB 4-5 times since L’ Completion & symptoms are getting worse (though NO Achilles prob’s YET??) But I don’t want to take Aleve (which helps the pain/stiffness a bit!) EVERY Day forever…. Hopin’ I can fight my way thru….but man I feel about 85 years old w/MAJOR Body Arthritis MOST of the Day & Night & REALLY need to start feelin’ better….
PLEASE keep postin’ ANY of the success stories of relief on this site….Pray for us all & thanx for readin’!! EW

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am 56 yr old healthy white female; was in April, 2011, was prescribed Levaquin 500 mg. for 10 days; took it for 4 days and was in excruciating pain in knees, shoulders, ankles, wrists; got “knots” on my left foot achilles tendon/heel and left wrist,
The knots are gone, but I still have some wrist pain and I have severe plantar fascitiis in my feet (mostly my left heel). I have NEVER had any joint pain or foot problems like this in my entire life.
I am SURE it was the Levaquin that this damage.

I am a 53 yr old male in good physical condition but with asthma. Was prescribed 750mg Levaquin + 50mg Prednisone daily for 5 days for pneumonia. Day 3 started having achilles pain, didn’t put 2&2 together until after 5th dose. That was early August, 2011.
Was put in walking boots on both legs for what I was told would be 3-4 months. Insisted on seeing foot/ankle specialist. MRI shows damaged achilles tendons, orthopedic surgeon recommended Graston Technique for therapy. 2 sessions into that now, although it is painful therapy I’m somewhat hopeful for help. Pain has moved into my feet but I don’t know if that’s due to foot being weak from boots.
Bottom line is extensive tendon damage and no one can tell me if it will ever go away. Foot/Ankle specialist says future will be “quality of life” issue, either able to live with pain if it doesn’t get better or undergo tendon graft surgery. Even with warning on label this drug is over-prescribed and no one seems to be aware of it’s dangers.

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

I took 10 day 5oo mg script of Levaquin for a sinus infection and flu (the flu had outlasted a z pack earlier in the month) beginning on 7/29 and immediately started have heart palpitations. My doctor had told me that it was common with Levaquin and to not be worried. However, these palpitations worsened with each dose I took. After day seven I began to have discomfort in my achillies, so I called my doctor and told him about my chest pains an tendon issues, and he took me off of Levaquin.
I have been off of the drug for four days now and both of my achillies and plantar tendon are sore. I am also having periodic tightness in my chest. I am an avid runner, who is training for my first marathon. I have read many people’s comments about the problems they are having, but very little on recovery time. Any information would be very helpful.

Hi Bob, I’m a newcomer to the Levaquin Achilles Tendonitis Club. I took my last Levaquin Jul 8, had a disappointing response from the medical community, and am just starting to figure out what to do. I’m impressed with your approach and healing time, and would appreciate information on your stretch exercises and brand of sonic machine.
I’m 74 and very active. I was going to the gym three days a week and still work as an outside sales engineer in my own business of 35 years. My wife and I travel a lot, and look forward to lots of trips which require some walking. I look forward to hearing from you. Russ L

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

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

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

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

I posted a few years ago about the problems I had with levaquin. A few weeks ago I saw my new doctor and mentioned that he shouldn’t prescribe levaquin to people and he said he is aware of the side effects with it and only prescribes levaquin when it’s the only drug that will help and he explains the possible complications to the patient.
I thought that was an improvement over the P.A. telling me last year that I was incorrect to assume levaquin caused my tendon pain. At least some doctors are now aware of the drug’s dangers.

Please see my comment 11/04/09 I am an M.D. and J.D. I was as an Internist and active in plaintiff malpractice.I am 86 and now retired. There is no cure for Levaquin tendonitis and the many variations thereof, there is no treatment, but you do have legal rights.
I am about the same as in 2009. Mostly pain in both soles and poor proprioception. I have fallen twice, broke 2 ribs several months ago; all due to Levaquin. But I think my age may be catching up to my infirmity.
Best of luck to you all. Remember, you have legal rights.

Interesting… the doctors assessing the damage know it is from Levequin but the levequin prescribing doctors claim not to know anything about the damage this drug can do… I have taken Levequin in the past and have suffered with pain in tendons, particularly the back of my knees.
I took a floraquinalone drug called Avelox or Moxifloxacin for a sinus infection and I have taken it a couple of times before. At this point I have a ruptured tendon in my finger and when ever I move I can feel/hear my tendons in the ankle wrist, hand, knees, feet making a popping sound.
My thumbs are particularly sore and I don’t know if those tendons will rupture. I am trying to move carefully. I was extremely sick with a sinus infection when my doctor gave me this medication again even though I asked her not to give me floraquinalone drugs… Her response “I have no time to discuss pharmacology with you.” I was so sick with the pressure and pain in my head I was throwing up so I took the medication as I had nothing else. The question is what to do next…. anyone??

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

I am really sorry to hear what you are going through. I too have been affected by this medication in the recent month. And help has been hard to find, since doctors don’t believe this can be caused by this medication.
But thousands of people are affected by this. A 2nd case is going to federal level for this drug this month, and more in the upcoming months.
All I can tell you is that for me, things did get better over time. Though it took weeks to get it out of my system. I am still left with lots of issues though that I am trying to work through. I have no clue if everything will ever return to normal or not.
Good luck.

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

I am having a lot of issues since being prescribed this drug. Do you have any references of doctors in the Iowa area that I can visit that can actually find out what is causing my weakness in arm, feet pain since taking this medication?
Doctors I have visited do not believe this is possible. And have blown me off. I have tried to explain them about the warnings, but they say I am over reacting. I am unable to exercise like I used to, and am only 26.
If you do have someone that actually understands the effects of Levaquin I would even travel in the midwest to go see a doctor.

Info: Male 26
I was given 10 days of Levaquin 500mg in April.
4th day – right arm slightly weak
5th day – right arm very weak, both legs weak, left leg burning, chest pain, insomniac for 36 hours, difficulty walking
6th day – stopped taking medication.
Ever since this, I’ve had right arm weakness which has not gone away. Random pains throughout my body. Just depends on the day, I never know what to expect when I wake up.
Doctors do not believe a medication can cause this, they are not even informed that there is a black box warning, and muscle weakness, tendon ruptures can occur. When I tell them about it they just say it’s not possible.
It’s been a month since I stopped taking the medication. And just this weekend, bottom of my feet are hurting a lot. Achilles tendons are hurting on both feet. I’ve been taking aspirin to help out with the pain.
But I am afraid that it could be any day and I could have tendon ruptures. There’s not much I can do, since no doctor is willing to listen.
I was a perfectly healthy person, and now I can’t work out, enjoy a few drinks out with friends, I tend to stay in as often as I can. Big damper on life, and upcoming summer. With no end in sight.

I received five days IV Levoquin in hospital (pneumonia) without warning of side effects, and then 10 days oral upon discharge. The prescription had the “Black Box” warning printed on leaflet. I called doctor, and he said since I took in hospital without problem, I should be okay.
On the fifth day of oral levaquin, my knees were fused together in a debilitating pain. I asked doctor if this could be cause by levaquin and he said that it was more likely being weaned from the prednisone that caused this. One week later and not only am I crippled by the knee stiffness and swelling, but my feet and ankles are so badly swollen that I cannot feel them, walk, and can barely drive (probably shouldn’t be driving, but had to return to work.)
I am completely disheartened and demoralized. Having been on SSD for a few years, I worked hard to regain my health and leave SSD. Now – since I only have one month left to reinstate SSD if I need to – I may be back on SSD, and lose everything, including a place to live. How dare they administer this medication without proper warning and/or follow up? I feel somewhat ungrateful, because I was afraid I’d die in the hospital, and I am alive. But, if I have to live like this, is this really living?

I have a kidney infection and went to the emergency room where they gave me intravenous Cipro then a script for Levaquin 750mg once a day for 5 days. I looked up info on this drug and was stunned with the problems with it (Cipro isn’t that much better).
I just had a surgery a few months earlier for a gallbladder related issue and they prescribed Cipro. Afterward I had a seizure, horrible Achilles tendon pain and hip pain. I also had tingling in the toes and fingers, which I think may be peripheral neuropathy (all of these are Cipro side effects, as I understand it). Levaquin is not far removed from Cirpo with even more problems so I went back to the emer room and asked for a different antibiotic.
They prescribed Batcrim and while it is twice a day and a longer period, I am happy with this so far and am getting better. Be aware and advocate for yourself lest they, by routine(?), prescribe a nuclear bomb for something that can be addressed with something potentially less dangerous.

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

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

I also was assaulted by “L” – achy and absolutely exhausted. My doctor told me it couldn’t be “L” because most pts complain of restlessness – insomnia. So, while taking it and for two months since -I have loaded up on magnesium to save my cartilage and tendons – that’s what “L” leaches from your body, which is readily available in the tendons and cartilage. I take collagen, glucosamine and chondroiton to help repair the damage and a high dose of CoQ10 two or three times a week.
The pain has ebbed a good bit, and that feeling of my legs being “shredded” had subsided. Be careful with strenuous exercise or walking up and down stairs too much – don’t take the Mg 2 – 4 hours before or after the levaquin, and avoid calcium and iron completely until a few days after you’ve finished the script.

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

I went to 24 hour medical place, the Dr. on call said I had bronchities, put me on Levaquin, once a day for 7 days. On the 4yh day I felt sick & achy, mouth burned, legs achy, feet hurt, arms totally no energy at all, hurt so bad to even walk to the bathroom. I finished the pills, thinking it would help, not thinking it was the pills.
Now 3 days after stopped pills , can’t walk with out pain, mouth is all swelled & burns…. What is in the pill, really scared, never felt so much pain… What can I do for the pain? So tired all the time, help please.
Doctor said not the pill, what ever I have will run its course……. I’m thinking not.

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

I had the similar experience as most of you have had. 10 weeks ago I finished a 10 day script of Levaquin. Immediately began experiencing moderate to severe tendonitis in both ankles. I am a martial arts instructor and never had any problems with any injuries to my legs. As most of you that are active, I was very scared at the prospect of never being able to return to the activity that I love so much. Particularly after reading this and many other blogs.
Considering that most people are only going to post comments on a blog when they have something to complain about. I told myself that I WAS going to get better and would wait until that happened to post my comments. I, as many others (including the medical community). Did not understand the severity and complications that are due to the damage done at the cellular level by Levaquin. Traditional PT for achilles tendonitis is too aggressive for this particular injury.
I found that stretching, ultra sound (bought my own ultra sound) and massage worked best for me. The important thing is to stay positive, be patient, listen to your body and never give up. It has now been 10 weeks and I was able to attend my first martial arts class yesterday and made it through ok. I am at about 90% now and I hope to be at 100% soon. I finally have real hope that I will be able to return to my original activities.

Hi Chris,
I just came across your post about levaquin tendonitis. I know it was a few years ago, but I’m wondering if it ever totally resolved. I’m also a runner, and got hit hard by a combo of levaquin and steroids (for a respiratory infect 12/10) that caused severe bilateral achilles tendonitis and also pain in my left knee.
I was pain free and training to run a marathon, but can now only walk. Any running at all causes significant pain and fear of tendon rupture. I’ve been a very consistent runner for almost 40 years and am super flexible; have never before had reason to even think about my achilles. I feel sick about this! My greatest fear is that I’ll never again run. I keep reading that this damage can be permanent. Are you back to running? And if so, any residual issues?

To GLB you are not alone. Most people who suffer an injury or side affect from Levaquin are dismissed by their doctor because standard antibiotics do not have the long term affects that Levaquin does. Each month through the recovery may bring new difficulties and challenges.
It has been 6 months for me and my biceps tendon pull still hurts enough to wake me many times in the night and I developed terrible shin splints in the 5th month that made walking excruciating. My skin finally stopped pealing like a snake but it still burns enough to be severely distracting all day and night. The worst part is that I am grateful that it did not kill me (as it has others) and that as horrible as these side effects are, there are many, many others that have been permanently disabled by this poison.
I have read studies that point to Levaquin and Cipro for Gulf War Syndrome as these drugs were used prophylactically against Anthrax on soldiers with out their knowledge. Read the symptoms for GWS, they are the same. This was my second bout with Levaquin so I’m a bit of a recovery expert. Hot baths, NO NSAIDS!!! No Cortisone shots. Tylenol only for pain. Eat well, jacuzzi therapy and rest the affected area. My last recovery took 6 years but I did recover. It took longer because I did not know what not to do. I now know. I wish you a fast recovery.

I am a very healthy middle aged woman who has been working out with weights and running for almost 40 years, with no sports related injuries other than an occasional sprained ankle from trail running. On 12/29/10, I was given a depo-medrol injection for a URI (chest and sinus infection) that did not fully resolve on another antibiotic, steroid inhalers, and put on BID Levaquin 750mg. On 12/30, I woke up feeling like my previously totally normal calves had been hit with a baseball bat.
They were both tight and sore. In all my years of working out, I have never once had calf pain/problems. On 12/31, my respiratory symptoms felt a lot better, so I stretched carefully and started an easy jog. By 1/2 mile, I was forced by low calf pain to stop. Not understanding what was going on, I again gently stretched and jogged a bit more before throwing in the towel and going home where I applied RICE. I was only able to work the next day by wrapping my right calf, which was the worst of the two.
Over the next week, I did not run, and the pain was not getting worse, so I went out again for an easy jog. Now I felt left knee pain and the right achilles pulled sharply at the heel, plus there was a dull ache in both achilles/soleus muscles. At this point, I got online trying to figure out how to treat tight calves, as simple stretching wasn’t helping. That’s when I found the connection between my symptoms and Levaquin, especially common in middle aged people also on steroids.
I was scared, and immediately emailed my doctor, telling her to list all quinolones as allergies on my chart. Her response was to tell me to see a sports-med orthopedic doc, which I did. He confirmed that I was likely suffering from Levaquin tendonitis and prescribed PT. Unfortunately, the PT knew NOTHING about the problem and started me on an aggressive stretching and strengthening program, which only aggravated the pain.
In subsequent reading, I have found that the tendons are damaged on a cellular level, and that they take many months to heal–if they ever do, and that aggressive stretching can actually cause rupture the fragile tissue. So I quit PT and am attempting to manage this on my own, but want so badly to continue my lifelong workouts, which I’ve used to manage all the job and life stress that I have on a daily basis.
I am livid that my doctor didn’t warn me about the risk prior to putting me on these meds, and that the follow up with “specialists” was so inadequate. I will be put out of work if an achilles ruptures, and suffer daily from achilles and left knee pain. Why I was put at this kind of risk is beyond me. Levaquin should only be prescribed for life threatening illnesses that fail to respond to safer treatments. It should not be passed out like candy to people with URIs or other infections that could actually heal themselves over time.
I would not have believed that an antibiotic could cause such damage if it hadn’t happened to me. I feel for the entire community of co-sufferers, and am on a mission to prevent this from happening to any of my friends.

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

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

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

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

I am a 46 year old woman who had to do a 7 day 500 mg 1X daily of Levaquin. This is my second floxing as I can not take any other antibiotics. This toxic result was much worse than the last but I’m much more “in the know” this time. No NSaids, no cortisone, no supermarket meat which is full of floxins.
I am in my 3rd month of recovery and wanted to share what has made my central nervous system damage and peripheral neuropathy damage. Benadryl (1X 25 mg pill) at night has helped the CNS damage. I began a protein supplement nothing more than whey from milk. It has no sugar or additives. The protein helps to rebuild the muscle. It has 2 amino acids that repaired many of the peripheral neuropathy symptoms (painful skin, burning, twitches, spasms, shooting electrical shocks). This happened over night, a flat out miracle. I am also thinking clearer as well. I wish you luck. Stay positive.

I was prescribed Levaquin 2 different times within a 3 months period for a severe persistent sinus infection. Within 6 weeks, my left ankle developed pain which I attributed to over exercise and blew it off until I noted a red lump on back of my heel. I casually mentioned to my podiatrist whom I had visited for another reason. He immediately questioned if I had been on Levaquin or Cipro.
He related to me that he had had quite a few patients with similar issues and sent me for an MRI. The MRI reveals 2 micro tears in my Achilles tendon which required 8 weeks of wearing a boot and 9 weeks of follow up therapy. It took approx 1 yr for me to completely feel normal and full range of motion.
Curiously, about the same time I noted right shoulder pain which was checked out as rotator cuff tendinitis. Therapy again and this comes and goes often. I reported all this to my prescribing doctor who was appalled and then reported it to the FDA.

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

I was prescribed Levaquin for sinus infection back in 2005. Within 3 days of taking Levaquin, experienced disorientation, total body muscle pain, right shoulder dropped out of socket which required surgery to repair double burst tendons.
Now it’s 2010 : since then after the surgery I’ve put myself on a constant health regimen of exercise and diet to attempt to repair this stuff. Worked a little I think but have learned to live and accept constant pain and my shoulder is far from being the same. I’ve never found out just how Levaquin causes this physical damage in the human body, really odd.
I also felt that it attacked the entire body’s muscle/tendon structure based on my present condition which is now 5+ years after this tragedy. I’m not giving up though, I will continue to try to fully recover through natural healthy means.

I took a 500mG dose of Levaquin for 7 days 3 months ago. A month later I
figured out that numerous issues that I had were Levaquin side effects and I started fighting it; I’m finally seeing some reduction in tendon and ankle joint pain the last 2 weeks. I have about 15 other side effects which started at the same time, including memory loss, blurry vision, tinnitis, shooting pains- these have not improved yet.
Other than recommending rest for sore tendons, Ortho McNeil has refused to provide any advice to myself or my doctors. I find that walking, softly, carefully, reduces ankle pain.
I’m doing everything I can find that sounds right. I read a study conducted
by an MD about a year ago, her study showed that we all (on American diets)
need 1000mG of both calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) daily, as well as ~500mG of Phosphorous daily.

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