The People's Perspective on Medicine

Why Was the FDA So Slow to Warn About FQ Disasters?

Fluoroquinolone (FQ) antibiotics like Cipro and Levaquin have been around for decades. There's a dark side to these drugs. What are the latest FQ disasters?

We would be the first to admit that the Food and Drug Administration has a LOT of responsibilities. The agency is supposed to ensure that our food supply is safe. It monitors those never-ending prescription drug commercials on TV and inspects drug manufacturing plants. But we think the FDA’s most straightforward mandate is to make sure all drugs are safe and effective. That is at the heart of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. Fluoroquinolone (FQ) antibiotics challenge the agency. There have been too darn many FQ disasters!

Does the FDA Protect Us?

The FDA describes its responsibility this way:

“Promoting Safe & Effective Drugs for 100 Years”

“Today, the drug review process in the United States is recognized worldwide as the gold standard. Drugs must undergo a rigorous evaluation of safety, quality, and effectiveness before they can be sold.” [emphasis ours]

That seems straightforward, right? If one were to believe the agency’s own words, all our medications would be safe as well as effective. No worries, mate!

FDA Priorities?

There is tremendous pressure on the agency to approve new medications as fast as possible. As a result, the pharmaceutical industry pays a hefty application fee (thanks to the Prescription Drug Users Fee Act) every time a new drug gets submitted for review. This is supposed to help speed the approval process. In recent years the pace of drug approvals has accelerated.

Are Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics (FQ) Safe?

The Food and Drug Administration seems far slower in recognizing and warning about safety problems. The common antibiotic category called fluoroquinolones (FQs) offers a classic example.

One of the best-known members of this class is ciprofloxacin (Cipro). It was approved in 1987 and has been widely used for both urinary tract and lung infections ever since. Levofloxacin (Levaquin) was approved almost a decade later. At last count, approximately 11 million prescriptions were written annually for one of these two popular antibiotics.

Although these drugs have been available for decades, it has taken the FDA a very long time to issue warnings about some of their most damaging side effects.

People’s Pharmacy Alerts about FQ  Disasters:

By 1993, our readers were reporting eye pain and joint problems in association with Cipro. In 1994, we heard from a reader who had hallucinations while taking ofloxacin (Floxin), another FQ. In 1998, journalist Stephen Fried published his book, Bitter Pills, which is a frightening description of his wife’s experience with a severe FQ reaction. We interviewed Mr. Fried on our syndicated radio show and revealed some startling FQ disasters.

Here are just two articles about that experience:

Cipro, Floxin and Levaquin Cause Chaos

Could Your Antibiotic Cause Permanent Nerve Damage?

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics (Avelox, Cipro, Floxin, Levaquin) Leave A Terrible Trail of Woe and Intrigue

More FQ Disasters: The FDA Warns About Tendon Trouble!

In 2008, the FDA required a black box warning about tendinitis and tendon rupture resulting from fluoroquinolone exposure (BMJ, July 19, 2008).  Tendon rupture is serious, but it is not the only worrisome problem these drugs may sometimes cause.

In 2013, the FDA warned about nerve damage that may be permanent.  Symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling or burning sensations. When these last for months or years, they can become intolerable.

Other FQ Disasters: Aortic Aneurysms:

Another serious concern is a bulge or shredding (dissection) of the aorta.

One reader wrote about her mother’s experience:

“My mother had an aortic dissection in 1995 and was not given much chance of surviving. They took her from the first ER to a trauma center hospital, where they wheeled her straight into the operating room. When she signed the consent for surgery, she was told that without it she would die within 24 hours.

“A graft from the aortic arch to the abdominal aorta replaced the damaged part of the vessel. She did survive the surgery, but she was paralyzed for the last decade of her life. She had taken levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin for several UTIs prior to the dissection…I believe that these drugs caused or contributed to the aortic dissection.”

The FDA finally issued a warning about aortic aneurysm and dissection on December 20, 2018. It did not, however, caution about retinal detachment. In fact, on May 10, 2017 the FDA concluded that there was no evidence of a link between these antibiotics and the risk of retinal detachment (RD).

The evidence is inconsistent, but research has linked older FQ antibiotics with RD (Journal Francais d’Ophthalmologie, Vol. 6, No. 10, 1983; JAMA, April 4, 2012). We wonder whether retinal detachments will be on the next list of FQ disasters.

Balancing Risks and Benefits:

Despite the evolving complications from FQ antibiotics, there are times when these drugs may be appropriate. The FDA states that such medications should be reserved for treating bronchitis, cystitis or sinusitis when there are no good alternatives.

Share your own FQ experience in the comment section below. Did these drugs work well without side effects? We’d like to hear that side of the equation. Have you experienced any side effects or long-lasting complications from FQ antibiotics. Please share your story.

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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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Would never take levaquin again as it gave me terrible insomnia.

Be aware of these insidious drugs. They can cause delayed adverse reactions. They don’t always cause immediate reactions! Be aware that the Fluoroquinolones might be given without your knowledge or permission.
12 years ago I was given IV Levaquin as a prophylactic during minor surgery. I HAD NO INFECTION! Within a few months my body started to fall apart and I have not recovered.
For me damage was permanent!

I worked in the health care industry and was prescribed generic Levaquin for a sinus issue. My life changed 6 days later. I had terrible tendon pain. Then came neuropathy, vitreous detachment in both eyes, hearing loss in my right ear, olecranon bursitis, muscle wasting, tooth damage and loss, nightmares, body jumping, depression, anxiety, the list goes on. I’m 4.6 years out and still having problems. These are nasty drugs that can destroy you. Don’t take them, there are safer meds.

I have been poisoned by 2 doctors in Oakville and The medical community and have been told that the label “difficult patient” is in my medical records because of the fight that I have launched against the doctors and the lack of concern and treatment.

I have long history of extreme abuse by The Oakville Medical community.
I have documentation that will be made public. Dates, damages, lack of treatments, lies, and flagrant abuse of the medical code of conduct.

I have had to research and develop treatments for many side effects that I suffer from.

I will be sharing it all. If I get sued that will be the stage from which I will shout it out louder and clearer.

Levaquin is poison. I was a healthy, active 53 year old woman when I took 10 pills for bronchitis in 2008, and, it destroyed my body. Within 3 days of completing the prescription, I tore the cartilage in my knees, caused immediate unbearable pain and severe nerve damage in both legs. Then within weeks, months and, and, still years later, a continued onslaught of horrible side effects, severe sensitivity to light, thyroid removal, nerve damage in head to the point of head exploding in stroke like pain, severe gastric problems, prompting radical dietary changes. Because of such a poisoning from Levaquin, any ingestion of CIPRO treated animal products would trigger severe pain, and poisons from pesticides trigger severe stomach pains. If it were between life or death for me to take Levaquin again, I would chose death.

Yes!!!!!
Dear Terry and Jackie: In 2010 or so, I took myself off my nebulized Levaquin: my joints felt achy and weird like a zombie; Avelox gave me horrible diarrhea; Cipro caused anaphylaxis during my last sinus polyp surgery (2015). I no longer see that ENT doctor. I am increasingly allergic to several foods; I also ate peanuts as a kid and can’t any longer. BTW, Xolair had the same zombifying effect 10x more in 2017: I had to yell at my pulmonologist and his staff not to EVER give me that again; my allergist supported me in that effort.
Peace, and keep up the advocacy

After the 1st of 10 Levofloxacin poison pills I could barely move my arms due to tendons being in so much pain, I could no longer walk more than a couple steps then had to lay on the floor and rest, all joints in body were in pain, knees and neck crackling like they were full of glass when I moved even slightly. It took about 18 mos to get back to “nearly” normal, my new normal consists of dealing with periodic flares of hand, wrist, toe, knee and bicep tendon pain. And I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones! I am not “healed” and never will be, I forever have to watch out for tendon, ligament and other connective tissue damage.

Was prescribed Levafloxicin for abdominal infection. After one pill, my knee started hurting. Doctors then tried I.V., resulting in burning veins and hives, even with Benadryl. Back to pill form. After 3 pills and now 3 months later, still can’t walk. I had to read the drug info, as doctors didn’t warn me or associate my knee pain with med. Many bad side effects – tendonitis throughout body, ministroke (TIA), tinnitus, blurry vision, neuropathy, the list goes on. 4 trips to ER in a month.

PLEASE DON’T TAKE FLUOROQUINOLONES!
Even if you’ve taken them before with no issue, they can cause damage in any dose. There are other medications you can take without as many risks.

Thank you, People’s Pharmacy, for your reporting on this issue.

I was floxed in 2012 with Cipro being delivered into my arm for five days. The damage was immediate, but denied by everyone I complained to about the pain and suffering…despite EVERY SINGLE SYMPTOM being found within the drug manufacturer’s insert. The connection was denied again by my GP for months when I complained about how unwell I was since being in the hospital and filled with medication.

What I have learned about these “rare” adverse events in my experience is that what seems truly rare are doctors who know what they are, recognize them in their patients and, most rare of all, is a doctor who takes action and knows what to do to ease the suffering and repair the damage!!!! If I had not found the massive group of fellow floxies around the world, I too would have believed those medical professionals that there was no connection, and it was all in my head!! Floxed and disabled at 54.

At 61 I am forced into early retirement because I cannot work. All my healing and treatment comes from my own pocket; nothing is covered, mostly because doctors and medical professionals, are not diagnosing fluoroquinolone toxicity! We cannot even get tested for it because no one knows what to test for, and Mitachondrial DNA testing is not a thing where I live in Ontario, Canada.

I was prescribed Cipro for a UTI. After taking the first dose, I became sleepy, disoriented, lightheadedness and nauseous. It lasted until the next day around noon then began to subside. Since then, I have lightheadedness when I get up and walk. This lasts for several minutes and goes away. My question is what other medicine can cure a UTI. Mary R.

It’s apparent that these particular drugs are not safe for some people. However, cipro saved my life when I had sepsis, and I experienced no side effects. I have since taken it several times for serious issues, and it vanquished the bacteria, again with no side effects. I think it is good to mention that the side effects some people have experienced, are not the experiences of all people. The “quin” drugs have been literally a lifesaver for me.

I was on Cipro for Urinary Tract Infection after taking Cefalexin for seven days and it didn’t work on the bacteria in my bladder. Urologist put me on Cipro and on the first day my feet tightened up like some was gripping them so tightly. Numbness in my toes occurred. I contacted my Urologist and he changed me to Bactem which then caused a sever rash over my entire body with excruciating itching. Couldn’t get a hold of my Urologist so I contacted my Pharmacist. He told me to quit taking the drug right away and take Benadryl and use Cortisone Itching cream until I could contact my Urologist. I was was told I was allergic to antibiotics. Because of Cipro I still have numbness in my toes.

From working with doctors, I learned about side effects of drugs from the Drug Reps (years before the public is notified about side effects, warnings, etc.) The FDA is more concerned about money than a person’s health.

I was given Levaquin at 11:23 p.m. in the ER for a kidney infection. By midnight I was rushed to ICU. Could not breathe, had tremendous shakes, and when I begged the nurse to ask the Dr to give me another drug, he refused. I was hospitalized for 5 days, was a zombie, bed-ridden for 3 solid months. I was a Pilates instructor and personal trainer at the time.
My Stage 2 breast cancer that was in “remission” NED spread to Stage 4 within 3 months. (Oncologist said that Levaquin caused it.)

It destroyed my already weak thyroid. Lost 50% hair, was unable to eat due to it destroying my taste buds, everything tasted metallic. Had tinnitis and severe joint pain all over, especially knees, calves, shoulders. Took 9 months to recover with heavy dose I.V. Vit C, sauna, Gerson therapy and other natural nontoxic protocols. I wanted to die. So depressing.
Went into hospital weighing 128#, after 5 days on Levaquin (could not eat, tastebuds were fried), weighed 155#. Bloated, gut destroyed. Still have gut issues today.

But with much discipline, a very clean, good gut flora diet, lots of detoxing, coffee enemas, colonics, sunshine and exercise, I’m almost 100%. I remember when the black box warning came out in the late 80’s to not give Cipro to young children. (I was a hospital lab tech.)
My 2 yr old son’s pediatrician ordered it but I didn’t give it to him. The Dr never read the PDR update.

Had I known that Levaquin was a fluoroquinolone like Cipro, I may have questioned them.
The hospital and doctors should have listened to me and used a milder antibiotic.
I had 4 other kidney infections after that within 2 years. But when they occurred, I took large amounts of raw garlic which helped immediately.
Also fasted, took other supplements, and increased water intake.
And 2x took a much milder antibiotic, Amoxicillian.

Please continue your investigations on this class of antibiotics! These drugs forever changed my body and life. Unfortunately, these antibiotics have numerous terrible side effects you may never get rid of. Many millions of us are forever crippled/damaged in multiple ways with really no help from the medical community because they are not aware nor understand the mechanism of damage. They destroy your collagen matrix and cell powerhouse, mitochondria, which means it can destroy many systems within your body. Do not risk your life and dreams taking these drugs. Please see this foundation video for more info and please comment there if you too have had consequences to taking these medications: https://youtu.be/t_zBhMi5AYs For related science see our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Fluoroquinolone-Toxicity-Study-NFP-144478016244899/. Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Study website: https://fq100.org/

A 7 day course of Cipro in 2014 for a minor infection, destroyed my health, my family, my life, and left us in financial ruin.

I was active and healthy prior to Cipro. After Cipro I experienced the following: 24/7 migraine headaches, loss of vision in both eyes and eventual blindness, seizures, multiple ruptured tendons, torn muscles, muscle wasting, POTS, neurotoxicity, cognitive impairment, severe insomnia, severe panic attacks, horrific unrelenting pain, Gillaume-Barre, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, polyneuropathy, degenerative disc disease, joint destruction, kidney damage, liver damage, heart damage, peripheral neuropathy, wheelchair-bound for 4 years, 100% bedridden for over 2 years (could not feed myself, shower myself, or even turn myself over in bed), mast cell activation syndrome, mitochondrial disease, intense widespread rash, and the list goes on and on. Some of these things have subsided after 4 years, but many, many of them remained, and I continue to deal with them on a daily basis.

Most of the 50-plus doctors I’ve seen in the past 4 years have completely discounted that Cipro was responsible for my current health condition, but have been unable to give me any other reason or treatments that have helped. My first symptoms started within a week of taking Cipro.
Fluoroquinolones are dangerous drugs. They are overprescribed and improperly prescribed. Thank you so much for your article to educate and bring awareness to these dangers. Too many people, like myself, have been harmed unnecessarily.

My husband was given Levaquin and steroids (which given together increases the risk of severe side effects) for suspected bronchitis. He had only been given one round of amoxicillin before the Dr decided to go with Levaquin & steroids next. The symptoms didn’t get better so a different Dr did a test and discovered he actually had walking pneumonia and gave him a completely different antibiotic that works better for walking pneumonia, and then finally the symptoms went away. BUT THEN, months later he started experiencing all these other weird symptoms…pain that would move around his body, weak muscles, migraines, vision changes, light sensitivity, indigestion/acid reflux, fatigue, food sensitivities, anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations, and more. He visited specialists and underwent numerous tests, including MS, autoimmune disorders, West Nile, etc. It was over a year later that we did some research and discovered for ourselves that they were ALL side effect symptoms of the Levaquin. No doctors seem to recognize the correlation and even if they do recognize that it’s POSSIBLY related they have no ideas on how to help.

It astounds me that the FDA would say there is no link between retinal damage and fluoroquinolone usage. The link between the two has been well established in cats for decades, with the associated black box warning.

After reading all these stories I consider myself very lucky. My doctor prescribed levofloxacin last April for bronchitis. When I read the information that came with it I was very nervous. But I had never been so sick. It did the trick and I had no ill effects. But I will avoid taking it again if at all possible after reading these horror stories.

A 7-Day course of Cipro in 2014 destroyed my life. I was active and healthy before Cipro. After Cipro I suffered debilitating migraine headaches, lost complete vision in both of my eyes, multiple tendon ruptures and muscle tears, mast cell activation syndrome, seizures, POTS, horrific unbearable pain, muscle wasting, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, heart damage, kidney damage, liver damage, persistent rash, neurotoxicity, muscle spasms, chronic fatigue, memory loss, cognitive impairment, insomnia, panic attacks, polyneuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, Guillian-Barre, and a long list of other maladies. I was 100% bedridden for over 2 years and wheelchair-bound for 4. I could not even feed myself or shower myself or turn myself over in bed for over 2 years. I was in a vegetative state. My 35 year marriage did not survive this tragedy and it has taken every penny we could scrape up to try and find answers and treatments. We are bankrupt. Fluoroquinolones are the biggest medical disaster of the past century. And most doctors nationwide vehemently discounted my claims that Cipro was responsible for it. Now Cipro has EIGHT black box warnings on them with more coming in the near future. So many lives have been destroyed by the over use and misuse of these antibiotics. Such an avoidable tragedy.

I had no medical history before my events from one pill of Levaquin. I woke up in a morbid state. My doctor said to finish the script, I took only one more. In 4 months I was wasted to a bone, hospitalized and soon in treatment for psychosis. I won’t even mention the numerous other symptoms that were torturing me. At ten years out I am left with permanent brain and vision damage, unexplained scarring, and more but you get the picture now. Include the financial ruin and loss of a business and friends. The unconfirmed infection resolved itself. My health ruined by two tiny pills.

Terry, Fluoroquinolones have destroyed my life and everyday living.
I can’t even eat regular food now ….I have a reaction to everything…Living is a challenge!
Growing up I was never allergic to anything ..not peanuts, bee stings…not even poison ivy!

I took just one dose of ciprofloxin last March 2018 and within two hours my knees felt like they were on fire, the pain was so intense.

I did not take anymore of the drug, but this has not limited my long term disability. There is no way to know what effect these drugs will have on a person; once you take just one pill, it is too late.

Ten months later, I continue to suffer with neuropathy pain in my legs and especially feet. It is crippling at times with many days in which I cannot walk at all without great pain and difficulty.

All of my financial resources are now spent on supplements to try and limit pain — there is no cure for this condition. It is a lifetime sentence. I believe FQ’s should be limited to life and death situations only; dispensed only in a hospital setting. Doctors are not informed of the dangers (mine admitted he was not) and pass these out like candy for minor infections — other safer antibiotics should be considered first.

I also believe that pharmaceutical companies should be made to invest in research to help FQ toxicity victims. They continue to make money while victims are going bankrupt. Please search the recent Nov 2018 findings of the European Medical Agency; it looks like they will soon move to completely suspend use of FQ drugs for common infections (UTI, Sinus).

I implore the American medical community to wake up and follow suit. I have lost my health — please prevent this and worse from happening to others.

12 years ago I was given IV Levaquin as a prophylatic during minor surgery. I had no infection! The doctor could have used a safer antibiotic.
Within a couple of months I developed Delayed Adverse Reactions and my body began to fall apart. I have not recovered. The damage is permanent. These are insidious drugs.

It’s very disturbing to hear of these problems. Although I haven’t taken Cipro recently, it was what I took over a period of years for recurring UTIs. I never had any bad effect from it that I was aware of.

I took Cipro at times when traveling out of the country with no side effects. When I took Levaquin at about 78 years old, I had a bad reaction after the fourth pill. I could not raise my arm above my and became extremely ill for over a weak. I stopped taking the pills. It seems the worst problems are among the elderly

In general, I find my friends (we are in our late 60s, or 70s) are very quick to expect and get an antibiotic when they have a respiratory infection. I have found, instead, that the sinus distress and lingering cough, while annoying, leaves me without taking an antibiotic. When I was a youngster it was common to go to the family doctor and get an injection of penicillin for whatever seemed to ail us.

When my sister entered a large veterinary practice following graduation, she found that pet owners were upset not to leave with a script for their pet. The other vets told her that this “was the real world” and that owners would not return if not given a script. I think that pediatricians are less likely to order an antibiotic but the general physicians are less likely to withstand press; and dentists seem less likely to give an antibiotic.

i was given Avelox five (5) times within a one year period for chronic sinus infections. After that was when my issues started. Symptoms included muscle wasting, no dexterity in hands, problems with walking and balance, all over joint and body aches and weakness, knees feel like they are going to rip, burning, nagging pain in lower legs and shins, rapid heart beat and increase in BP, tinnitus, fatigue, quivering in mouth/lips, nose constantly drips and the list goes on. I get so weak that I cannot stand up at times and need to lie down at least 3-4 times a day. I saw several specialists and after about a year was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and RA. I do not agree with these diagnoses … I would bet my life that they were drug-induced by these antibiotics. From once being very active and strong, I can no longer function like a normal person.

In the 1990’s I had a bout of bronchitis and upper respiratory infection. My doctor prescribed Cipro. For four months I had problems with my tongue and upper palate of my mouth. It felt like it was on fire and tingling. It finally went away. However, the next time I was precribed Cipro it dawned on me that I was having a problem and the reaction lasted even longer and more intense. It is now on my alert list for an allergic reaction.

RA and autoimmune here as well. Avelox and Levaquin. 2006- still deteriorating. Outside shin pain as I speak. Iritis uveitis bulging corneas let go because I too exhausted for any more Doctors. My mouth hangs open, very weak, slide to walk. Connecting 2014! Totally life ruined! FDA totally miserably failed me, my husband, my kids, my whole life!

In 1992 my mother underwent elective surgery. The testing showed a previous heart attack. Unfortunately the surgery proceeded without a work up. A urinary tract infection post surgery was treated with a fluoroquinolone. Her heart stopped a few days after starting the antibiotic. Hopefully the medical community has better knowledge of heart issues in women now but I am cautious.
I hope this helps someone else.

I have taken levaquin over the years several times since I am allergic to penicillin. In May 2018 I took back to back courses of levaquin to treat a stubborn case of diverticulitis. At the end of the second course, I had ventricular fibrillation. I had sudden cardiac arrest. This came with no warning, pain or symptoms. I was diagnosed with long QT syndrome brought on by the levaquin. This caused the ventricular fibrillation. Although rare, prolonged QT is a known side effect of levaquin and Cipro. I now have an ICD, take a beta blocker and it is a miracle that I survived.

Thank you once again for writing this article.

Unfortunately doctors are still prescribing these drugs as if they are candy and NO amount of warnings seems to change their minds. No amount of the ones already harmed are taken seriously when we relay our stories.

The FDA continues to warn, but they also continue to state these are RARE occurrences and they are not rare.

As I wrote before to you, the ear and eye drops MUST be added to the forms that harm as we have so many, myself included who have been poisoned by them in our Facebook groups.

I am always so thankful when we are given the chance to tell our stories, regardless of whether or not we are believed. Some day (and it is my prayer) the truth will be known. I was poisoned by fluoroquinolones in Oct 2014; but unlike others I had an anaphylactic reaction after 3-4 pills for only a suspected UTI and kidney infection: Swollen tongue, lips, difficulty breathing, rushed to Emerg. My skin was on fire, felt like I had been dipped in a huge vat of peppermint, and I had horrible left hip and left flank pain; horrible anxiety.

ER doctor took me off of Ciprofloxacin, and I was told, “I don’t know why you were on an antibiotic, you don’t even have a kidney infection.” I received no warnings from my doctor about the drug, nor from my pharmacist. In fact, I wasn’t even told what not to take with the drug! The ER doctor took me off the antibiotic, gave me NSAID’s for the pain and Benadryl for the “allergic reaction,” and sent me home. I know now that was probably the worst thing you can do for someone who has been injured by a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.

By Christmas 2014 I couldn’t walk without a cane and needed assistance to climb stairs. I couldn’t sit up in bed by myself, had no strength to pull covers over me, had to have help to get dressed and showered! And I was a young-looking and very active person BEFORE Cipro. I could cycle for miles; I kayaked lakes; I hiked and climbed, I could run and dance.

Suddenly, almost overnight, I was old. Almost instant menopause. I couldn’t wear high heels; I couldn’t wear makeup; I developed food sensitivities and food allergies; the anxiety turned to panic attacks and even a few hallucinations and terrible nightmares in combination with bouts of insomnia. My last eye exam (Oct 2018) confirmed optic nerve damage, my eye doctor believes that I will eventually be blind. I have drug-induced RA now and deal with chronic joint pain and inflammation.

I had both IBS and Celiac BEFORE Cipro but my digestive issues are more severe now. Nutrition and absorbing healthy fats are a challenge as well as re-building beneficial bacteria in my intestines. I worry about getting cancer. and I grieve for my previous active, pain free life.

My husband and I live in a small rented apartment in Timmins, Ontario, Canada now. We lost our beautiful large house in Kitchener due to our health issues and the inability to work. My husband owned a small construction company, but had gallbladder surgery after I was poisoned by Ciprofloxacin, and he was unable Io work. With both of us sick, and both of us unable to work, we couldn’t pay our bills. We had to declare bankruptcy, and for me that was just another “bitter pill,” to swallow because I saw this as a failure to be an adult.

The most frustrating part of living with FQ Toxicity is that doctors refuse to acknowledge that it was the fluoroquinolone antibiotic that caused the damage to my healthy, active body. They claim that adverse reactions are “rare,” but that information doesn’t help someone who has experienced it. And I don’t believe that reactions are rare because I see others also damaged by this antibiotic in our large support groups and also in public who have no idea that the reason they are having these horrible symptoms can be traced back to their antibiotic. Without that acceptance (by doctors) how can they even begin to discover how to cure us from this toxicity?

After one year I was finally able to walk without a cane, but my walking gait had changed. I get very tired walking (I can’t run or dance); I have some muscle wasting and must be careful with my feet and tendons. In some ways, I have found healing on my own, however this last month (December 2018) has been very hard as I have been battling a virus. Being injured by a fluoroquinolone antibiotic makes every cold/flu/virus complicated. I have been struggling with sinus/ear congestion (a virus) and severe swelling of glands/lymph’s in neck. Chest pain and having trouble swallowing and breathing. An X-ray confirmed pneumonia on New Years Eve day. I was given an antibiotic, but after reading the warnings and side effects have chosen strong herbals instead.

When you have been injured by a drug in the past, it makes you carefully read everything you can about any other drugs you entertain putting in your body.

I am lying in bed reading this article three years after a life changing reaction to Cipro and Avelox. I am burning so bad from neuropathy I cry myself to sleep. The first pill put me into acute hepatitis but the doctors continued to feed me this poison for 10 more days. I thought my liver was the only thing that was affected but five weeks later tendons started rupturing. First my shoulders then feet.

It was not until four months later that the neuropathy started with unbearable burning. There are so many side effects I have endured that I have lost count. Intestinal problems, blood pressure unstable, irregular heartbeats, eyesight problems, anxiety and panic attacks. I could go on but do not have the energy to say much more.

I was a healthy 65 year old grandmother of beautiful young ones, a mother and a wife who took care of her whole family. I lived for them!!! I have now lost everything! I can’t take care of my grandchildren, or my husband. I cannot got out to dinner or take a walk in the park. I cannot Christmas shop for my family or have a holiday dinner. I am sad to be around and no one understands this evil that was allowed to take over my life.

So this Christmas while the doctors and monsters who push these drugs enjoyed their families over the holidays I sat alone and cried for a lost life. The same thing I have done now for three years!!! I am sure if I felt better at the moment I could put this into more educated context.

Instead I will put it into real words, I am laying here waiting to die because there is no other way to escape this painful life. You haven’t even touched the depth of what this line of antibiotics can do to a life. THERE IS NO REVERSAL OF THE DAMAGE DONE!!!

This is my Exact story too Nicole. CIPROFLOXACIN has destroyed my life, too.
I was a healthy, active 68 year old before taking Ciprofloxacin in 2014. Now my life is indescribable. Due to chronic bone pain; chronic all-over muscle weakness & pain, have now lost my ability to walk. Also have spinal pain, indescribable all-over body neuropathy, chemo brain, chronic fatigue, tendon rupture, insomnia, chronic depression which has remained untreatable, chronic memory problems, short term & long term. Like Nicole, my days are spent in bed. Can’t spend time with my grown up children or my beautiful grandchildren.

Thank you so much for your ongoing coverage of the fluoroquinolone catastrophe! The FDA is far far more interested in protecting the profits of drug companies than they are in protecting people. We have been fighting for decades to get the FDA to admit that these horrible things have been happening. In a properly functioning system there would be warnings at the first hint of troubles but in this corrupt and criminal environment it takes hundreds of thousands of people to suffer horrible health problems before they will begin to admit there might be some problems.

In addition to denying the retinal detachment you mentioned which has been shown in study after study after study, there is also lots of evidence of mitochondrial damage as well. They are even sitting on an internal study showing as much dating back to at least 2013. The simple truth of the matter is that their delays have resulted in tens of thousands of avoidable deaths, hundreds of thousands crippled or maimed and millions upon millions upon millions who have been harmed. This is an enormous disaster of almost unimaginable scope and scale, the Thalidomide story of our era, times ten thousand, and it is just now exploding into the media.

We will be hearing a whole lot more about fluoroquinolones for the next few decades as society struggles to deal with the staggering cost of caring for all the victims. I urge everyone who reads this to look into it further as doctors have been handing these incredibly toxic drugs out for decades now so someone you love has been “floxed”, maybe even you!

Mark A Girard
Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Advocate

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