Last week, we ran a news story on antibiotics causing “rare” damages to people. We had a very passionate response from more than 75 people who all claimed to be harmed by a particular type of antibiotics. More than 60,000 people have complained to the FDA about them. It begs the question, how unusual are these “rare” harms.
The side effects and adverse events associated with Cipro, Levaquin and other fluoroquinolones (FQs) can be significant and life altering. Yet many people who have been damaged by fluoroquinolones complain that there are too few warnings. Many claim that doctors don’t believe that their new illnesses have come from the FQs. Worse, sometimes FQs are prescribed when other, less risky — and just as effective — antibiotics are available.
Antibiotics are one of the great medical advances of the 20th century. But their power — like all medications — comes with a risk of side effects. Penicillins are the oldest of the antibiotics and are generally safe (but they do have side effects like diarrhea, skin rash, fever and more).
FQs are the newest group of antibiotics. They include ciprofloxin, levofloxacin and several other ones that all end in “floxin.” All of these antibiotics carry “black box” warnings — the most serious caution that the FDA has — about possible tendon rupture, permanent nerve damage and risk of worsening myasthenia gravis – a neuromuscular and autoimmune disease. Here is a good article on the various categories of antibiotics and their uses.
Here are some of the comments (lightly edited) that friends of MedShadow posted on Facebook (and please go to our Facebook page to read even more comments):
Please note that these are comments posted on Facebook. MedShadow did not vette them for accuracy. In addition, MedShadow does not endorse the organizations mentioned. As with any information offered in a public forum, please conduct your own research and speak frankly with your doctor. If you have questions about fluoroquinolones or any other medications you are taking, please consult a medical professional.
RT said: appreciate your article! I was seriously harmed by the fluoroquinolone Levaquin, permanently disabled me with just 10 pills creating peripheral neuropathy, and many other serious problems. I’ve learned a great deal since then including much you have said here. There are tens of thousands of us out here suffering, and many more who don’t even know their problems came from these seemingly simple antibiotics!
KD said: I took levofloxacin for a simple sinus infection and ended up with immediate tendon/nerve/joint damage overnight…followed by 5 years of pain that I’m still battling…. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics should only be used as a last resort, not a first line of defense. These are a very dangerous class of antibiotics, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Thank you MedShadow Foundation for covering this story on fluoroquinolones!
JK said: I lost my life as I knew it because I took ciprofloxacin three and a half years ago for a suspected UTI. With my ears ringing, my heart and mind racing, and my body disintegrating, unable to run; it is like being stuck in my own horror show. I alternately fear the end, and hope for it. Thanks for the coverage, Alanna and Medshadow.
FYM said: Thank you so much for doing this story, we need all the help we can get to spread the news about these dangerous drugs. I was still working cleaning houses at 78 and was in good shape except for some arthritis and due to Avelox, in 2011, I became disabled and could not work anymore. Then was given Cipro in 2015 and levofloxacin in 2016 and now I am mostly crippled, with about 15 of the rare side effects of these drugs and can barely take care of myself. And there are thousands of young and old alike that are in worse shape than me. So please continue spreading the word.
CBG said: Thank you for helping to expose the dangers of this horrific, disabling drug. Cipro has changed my life. Since taking it 2 years ago, I have so much pain in all my joints and muscles, sciatica, neuropathy, blurred vision, brain fog, fatigue, panic attacks, insomnia and anxiety. This is definitely not the way my husband and I planned to spend our retirement.
Suggested Resources From Our Facebook Comments
MAG said: Here is a great video about this by Global TV in Toronto, about 13 minutes, still the best out there, hard hitting, informative, the guy with the beard really tells it like it is… 😉
LS said: Dr. Jay Cohen was a great advocate for the FQ community. He recently passed away. His book, with a slight title change is being re-published, due to the FQ communities efforts. If order from Amazon Smile a small percentage of the proceeded will help the FQ community.
EL said: This is a public group of almost 4000 injured by fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
KD said: If you, or a loved one has been struggling with undiagnosed health issues, and you’ve taken a Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic in the past, you may have been floxed. Consider joining our support group of over 9200+ and growing: https://www.facebook.com/groups/floxies/
MAG said: THANK YOU! Thank you so much for doing a story about fluoroquinolones, or FQs! There are literally millions upon millions who have been harmed…Doctors routinely misdiagnose us with lupus, fibro, ALS, Parkinson’s, MS, and a hundred others. If you have a diagnosis you are not comfortable with or if you or a loved one have mysterious and unexplained health issues, from head to toe, body or mind, please come to this page and learn more about FQs. If you have taken an FQ like Cipro or Levaquin or any of the any others, many of which were banned, then please join one of the support groups it has listed….As a leader in the FQ community and author of an upcoming book about damaged done by doctors, I look forward to getting to know you. Best wishes to all!