Weight: 108 lbs give or take 10 lbs
Health Prior to 2003 Floxing: Excellent. No pre-existing conditions.
Occupation Prior to 2010 Floxing: Environmental Engineer
First Floxing: June 2003
Drug Prescribed: Cipro
Reason for Prescription: Traveler’s Diarrhea in Mexico (a.k.a. Montezuma’s Revenge)
Dosage: 500 mg tablet twice daily for 10 days – I learned later that this is approximately twice the recommended dosage and duration for someone of my body weight.
- Occasional irritable bowel symptoms related to food intolerances: I did not have any food intolerances or irritable bowel symptoms prior to taking Cipro. These food sensitivities never dissipated and I still have them today, 7.5 years later.
- Severe headaches that are unilateral in nature: Prior to Cipro, I had occasional tension headaches but never experienced these severe unilateral headaches.
- Noticeable reduction in energy level: Post Cipro, I rarely felt energetic or rested even if I would get a sufficient amount of sleep.
- Weakened immune system: Prior to taking Cipro, I had a very healthy immune system. After taking Cipro, no matter how healthy my lifestyle was, I would catch every germ that went around. I went from being sick once a year, to being sick at least 6 times a year.
Functionality (Post Cipro, Pre Avelox): Functional with limitations due to the above symptoms. I was able to work full time and maintain a very active social life even with these limitations. After Cipro, I never felt completely healthy, and I certainly did not feel how someone at my age and with my healthy lifestyle should feel, but I was still able to function as a productive member of society.
Second Floxing: August 2010
Drug Prescribed: Avelox
Reason for Prescription: Throat infection. It should be noted that the prescribing doctor never conducted a throat culture and blood work performed on the same day the prescription was written indicated a normal white blood cell count. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that the throat infection was viral, rather than bacterial.
Dosage: 400 mg tablet once daily for 5 days. Due to the severity of my reaction, I only took Avelox for 3 days (3 tablets).
- Peripheral and central nervous system effects:
- Severe uncontrollable full body shaking, tremors (internal and external), tingling, twitching, and burning sensations.
- Severe digestive issues including chronic nausea, acid reflux, stomach spasms, diarrhea, abdominal pain, no appetite, intolerance to several foods, and inability to eat solid food for several weeks at a time.
- Very rapid resting heart rate of up to 130 beats per minute. This can persist for as long as a day.
- Episodes of profuse sweating, feeling very faint, and an overwhelming sense of fatigue.
- Increased sensitivity to light and certain smells.
- Brain fog and intense fatigue.
- Joint and muscle pain : The pain is moderate and intermittent and occurs in the neck, shoulders, hands, knees, and ankles. Any form of physical activity induces pain.
- Extreme muscle weakness: Inability to walk more than two city blocks (less than a quarter of a mile) without feeling overcome with fatigue and as though my legs are going to give way.
- Weight loss: 10 pounds in one month.
- Hair loss: At least a handful of hair per day.
- Dry eye, dry mouth, and dry sinuses: Corneal ulcer developed as result of dry eye.
- Cold feet and loss of sensitivity in feet: Feet feel as though they are submerged in ice.
- Shallow breathing: This mainly occurred during my initial adverse reaction.
*NOTE: I did not experience these symptoms prior to taking Avelox. All of these symptoms appear in cycles, that is, they fluctuate between periods of relapse and improvement.
Clinical Diagnoses and Findings (Post Avelox):
- Slow gastric emptying (Gastroparesis)
- Small unmyelinated fiber neuropathy, affecting sensory and autonomic fibers
- Low red blood cell magnesium
Functionality (Post Avelox): Disabled and unable to work or leave the house unattended. Since taking Avelox, I have very rarely left the house other than to attend doctor’s appointments. I have difficulty performing or I am unable to perform routine daily tasks (such as showering, preparing food, doing dishes, etc.), dependent upon the severity of my condition that day (see note above regarding cycling).