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Floxed! The Painful, Life-Lasting Effects of Some Antibiotics

Floxed! The Painful, Life-Lasting Effects of Some Antibiotics
Suzanne B. Robotti
Suzanne B. Robotti Executive Director

What happens when antibiotics hurt more than they help.

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!

DISCLAIMER: MedShadow provides information and resources related to medications, their effects, and potential side effects. However, it is important to note that we are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content on our site is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Individuals dealing with medical conditions or symptoms should seek guidance from a licensed healthcare professional, such as a physician or pharmacist, who can provide personalized medical advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented on MedShadow, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for any particular individual's medical needs. Therefore, we strongly encourage users to consult with qualified healthcare professionals regarding any health-related concerns or decisions. By accessing and using MedShadow, you acknowledge and agree that the information provided on the site is not a substitute for professional medical advice and that you should always consult with a qualified healthcare provider for any medical concerns.

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Ryan

A YouTuber called Mr. Ballen did an excellent video on being floxed. It tells someone elses story (whose name currently escapes, as it is 4 in the morning) and puts into perspective what the drugs can do.

I found you through him and after reading over everything, I think I’d rather take my chances than put that in my body.

Audrey Webster

Was given levofloxicin in 2014 for sinus infection. After 7 days I had a hard time sitting and getting up from the couch. Doctor took me off after I called her. Went to a orthopedic doctor 3 months later who said my knee problem had nothing to do with the drug. I had no problem prior to taking levofloxicin. In October had another sinus infection. This time she prescribed Cipro. Of curse CVS gave me ciprofloxicin. I called the doctors office to see if their was going to be a problem for me to take this stuff. Her nurse came back to phone and said doctor said it was ok. It enlarged my right ankle. My foot doctor said it was the drugs.
Friday I had a total knee replacement. The physical therapist said I have more pain then most. Is it because of the prior damage? I still have to do my other knee!

steinar dor onundarson

28 days Ciprofloxacin uff
my body uff everything is pain

Dave

I am 55 years old and recently was prescribed 10 days of a Cipro/Flagyl combination for Diverticulitis. I seemed to do okay until days 9 and 10, when I had so much panic and anxiety that I couldn’t sleep. I would start to doze off and it was like someone would slap me and wake me up again. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there. I had a second flare of diverticulitis and the doctor again prescribed the same combo but this time for only seven days. I wish to God I hadn’t taken them. I managed 5 days before the panic and anxiety hit with the added bonuses of tendonitis and nerve pain from the waist down. I have been off of the meds for two weeks as of today and the symptoms seem to be worse now than they were last week. Praying that this goes away soon. I can’t afford to lose my livelihood because of this.

Dan Lambert

I’m 77 yrs old and was intentionally floxed by a urologist seeing me for the first time for a prostate biopsy. I Did Not have a pre-existing infection and keep myself in excellent physical condition. My side effects for almost 5 months are as usual and bad as described by patient-victims in this post and many others. I can’t understand why more patients don’t realize that the doctors get a referral fee for the endless list of CT scans, MRI’s, psych and neurological exams, etc that being flowed leads to. Follow the money people. Asa victim with no known or treatable cure all you are in the medical system is a sick, warm body with unending dollar signs attached to it. This isn’t about overwhelmed Doctors or any such BS as is frequently proposed about them not believing the patients or current books, personal stories or anything else. FLAD FluoroQuinalone AssociatedDisability has been thoroughly proven and documented and prescribing this poison is one of their favorite cash cows and most of us don’t have the resources to do anything about it.

henry.b

all of us who have been floxed , have been “legally” murdered by our doctors

Wayne L.

I am a 72 years old man. For about 12 years I have been the victim of sun and light sensitivity and heat intolerance meaning that my head feels hot and I sit with ice packs on my head 99% of the time. This all began when Cipro was prescribed for me for a supposed prostate infection and pain in my groin. The Dr insisted that I continue to take Cipro even after I complained I was feeling hot in my head and my face was red. He said the infection won’t be gone unless you take it. Under his direction, I took it for 40 days. “Prostate” problem not gone. I was still feeling hot, nervous, depressed and in pain. A chiropractor gave me 2 adjustments and the groin pain was gone. The after effects of Cipro have never gone away, they are worse as I get older. Cipro ruined my quality of life. Once an active outdoor man, I am now stuck inside inactive. No beach vacations anymore, no working outside, no sports- nothing but sitting by the a/c, which thank God , I have in my home.
Is there anyone else who has these symptoms from using Cipro? Is there any cure for this?

KG

I’m 38 years old. And in July 2020 I was prescribed Ciproflaxcin for a UTI. I have since been in and out of doctors office with nerve pain, muscle pain, heart racing, mind racing! And al I’m given is more medication(none of which I’ve taken) It wasn’t until one day I had to just look back and see what all I had done differently and that’s when I realized I had taken that medication and started researching. It’s horrible to find out that there’s so many that are suffering permanently with these symptoms because I’m only 3months in and I can’t bear with my life! I feel helpless!

Ruth Ann Arado

Thanks for this informative information.

Douglas Fuoco

I am glad there are people out there spreading the risks of this medication. i am going to make sure me or my family members never take it. it should be told to people before they take it that it can happen

A. Foster

My son had to be treated with many courses of Cipro due to severe infections (he has Common Variable Immune Disorder). His health declined over 10 years and has been receiving SSI. Finally in 2021 he discovered he had Fluoroquinolone Associated Disability. He was treated successfully treated at Regenerative Medicine LA in July, 2021. He needs further treatment and we are looking for a doctor group who is nearer to Atlanta, GA. We would appreciate any information regarding doctors in the Southeastern U.S.

Margaret

My son’s girlfriend has had similar symptoms since taking Nitrofurintoin. Is it included in this class of antibiotics? Is there ant litigation on going?

yancy t anderson

At age 54 I was in very good health worked out every day went hiking 3 or 4 times a week, very solid build with tons of muscle. I read at least a book a week had a very busy career and truly enjoyed life. Then I went to the ER for stomach pains thinking it was appendicitis ,they said it was colitis and gave me Levaquin and Ive been fighting hard to get my life back every since. AS soon as they gave it to me I started hallucinating it was very scary then my vision started to go , they had no idea what was wrong so I transfered to the Mayo Clinic . By the time I arrived to the Mayo I couldn’t walk and was in the worst shape ever in my life. They figured out what happened to me because it had just happened to one of their nurses who took it for a uti , Even knowing what was wrong they really didnt have a treatment plan or know what to do other than prescribed a bunch of meds that wouldnt help and actually make things worse. Its been 4 years now and I still cant walk more than a few feet with the use of a cane, I have severe brain fog severe pain throughout my body kidney problems zero energy because it damaged my mitochondria severely. I live one day at a time praying everyday that tomorrow i will find away to get better. I found a doctor in LA that actually has been through it himself and cured heeled himself and now treats other people. But I live off of disability now and the treatment starts at 25k but im not going to give up I will fight to the end I want my life back that this drug took from me. To anyone out there going through this please dont give up your life is worth fighting for. I am sorry that the pharmaceutical companies and the FDA has allowed this to happen to us!

Vanessa Kelly

Hi there .. my Mum was prescribed an antibiotic from this family of drugs today … thankfully only just last week i listened to a podcast about a Mans devastating effects from Ciprofloxin … Thank God this was still in the forefront of my mind .. Thank Go i had listened to that story … I ripped that prescription up … I will be sending that Dr an email with this link to your story … Also wanted to say that the link you have included in your piece referring to different classes of antibiotics & what they do must have been written by someone who works for big pharma … Please take a look at what is written about fluoroquinolones … The article states fluoroquinolones are well tolerated & safe … The entire article therefore is untrue / untrustworthy.

Eva

After years of painful neuropathy from Cipro my A1-C is critically high. I am at a healthy weight and eat right but I know it’s from me being floxed. Have to go to the doctor tomorrow. I’m so afraid they won’t listen.

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