Cheri’s Story – Cipro Toxicity

Cheri FQwall

I was prescribed Cipro 500mg for 7 days in August 2011. I ended up only taking 5 pills before this nightmare started, in which I immediately quit taking the pills. Neither the doctors, or the pharmacists warned us of the potential dangers of these drugs, or that it was such a STRONG antibiotic and that it even has a black box warning on it, and after reading online, I had one of the pre-existing conditions it said NOT To prescribe these drugs for…and still, nobody warned us. We thought it was just another simple antibiotic that I’ve always taken. I was only 22 years old, and prior to cipro I was in relatively decent health. No medical problems, no physical issues….After taking just 5 pills…my life as I knew it had been taken away from me. Instead of going out with my friends, or working to save up money to go off to college, I was stuck at home in bed/on the couch, going to stores in wheelchairs, and watching all my friends and family go about living their normal lives while I was stuck on the sidelines. This is my story, and I hope it will not happen to anyone else.

In the first week I had a severe toxic psychosis reaction, crying for hours every day, I had the debilitating suicidal thoughts which I’d NEVER had before, extreme anxiety and depression. I then went on to have wide spread tendinitis in my ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, and hands. I couldn’t walk very far, and I had to use my hands carefully or the pain would get too bad. All my joints were severely swollen as well. I was in so much pain daily, that I couldn’t even wash my own hair, cut up my own food, or even text on my cell phone. My mom had to help me with EVERYTHING. I’d have to lay in a chair all day with ice packs and heating pads everywhere trying not to move. I had the muscle wasting, and muscle pain. I had the peripheral neuropathy nerve damage. I had the tingling, muscle twitching, and the severe pain from it on occasion. I dealt with severe brain fog every day, unable to even focus to watch TV. This made driving hard and having conversations with people difficult. I developed extreme digestive issues and lived with nausea, bloating, and discomfort every day. I have developed severe food intolerances and sensitivities. For 2 years now I have only been able to tolerate eating 5 vegetables, and a few nuts every single day, and can only get down about one meal a day. My body has to be extremely malnourished by this point, but theres nothing I can do about it since I am intolerant to just about everything.

It has now been three years since I’ve been disabled and sick from taking Cipro. I am now 25 years old, and still cannot live any semblance of a normal life. Every day I battle extreme fatigue, extreme brain fog, muscle atrophy weakness and pain, circulation issues, light sensitivities, food intolerances and food allergies, chemical intolerances, depression and anxiety, nausea, bloating, no energy, and a host of other problems that pop up daily. I have been living at home for 3 years, unable to do much to help my family who supports me, and that breaks my heart. I want nothing more than to be able to be an independent 25 year old who can support herself and live a “normal” life. It is hard for me to go out of the house to do anything, because I’m always feeling too bad too. It is extremely hard to have to miss out on most social occasions because I am feeling too bad to attend. I’ve had to miss the past 3 year’s holiday celebrations at Family’s houses, because I felt too bad to travel and be gone all day. I’ve missed out on seeing numerous family and friends over the years. Not being able to eat is also a hard thing that I still deal with. So many social aspects revolve around food, and I can’t partake in any of them. It is hard for me to even see my family eat, and I still get sad when I know people go out to restaurants and such when I can’t go. Every day is the same for me. I spend most days laying at home in bed or on the couch, doing my best to feel well enough to even concentrate on the TV, hoping for the day to end quickly so I can go back to sleep. On the outside, I still look normal. Looking at me, you wouldn’t know that I was sick. I always get “but you look so good!” all the time, and it always makes me mad when people say that to me. Because I know they expect me to feel good, if I look good. So a lot of times, I just let people think what they want, because why does it matter anyway? But it does hurt my feelings sometimes. Floxing is an invisible illness in most cases, and this makes it extremely hard to make it aware to other people. I just hope people can realize that just because someone may look normal, you have no idea what battles they’re facing daily. Taking Cipro changed my life in such a way, that I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy. Its no way to live. But now all I can do is spread my story and hope and pray that it touches someone enough to keep them from ever taking this medication. I will do everything I can to spread the word and make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. Eventually, the public HAS To become aware of these dangerous drugs. And one more final note, always know and remember that YOU are your own best doctor. Doctors don’t know everything, and can actually be wrong about what you need in a lot of cases. I used to have blind trust in all doctors, but I’ve realized, we are our best doctors. Always do your research before taking new things…and listen to your body. That’s my story….My last words for here…Stay away from Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics!

7 thoughts on “Cheri’s Story – Cipro Toxicity

  1. Munchausen syndrome? Here’s a wuote on it. “MCS is not recognized as an organic, chemical-caused illness by the World Health Organization, American Medical Association, and other organizations.[2][3] Blinded clinical trials have shown MCS patients react as often and as strongly to placebos as they do to chemical stimuli; existence and severity of symptoms is related to perception that a chemical stimulus is present.[4][5] Depression, anxiety, somatoform disorder, and similar mental health conditions are commonly associated with reports of MCS.[6][7] Regardless of the etiology, some people with severe symptoms are disabled as a result.”
    This sounds mental more than physical and you should probably get the help you really need to try and find yourself a life again vs all this bullshit.

    • Wow, Peter, it’s hard to believe that someone would be so callous with comments like that about someone that you have never even met. I am Cheri’s mother and I will tell you that she is the bravest person that I know. She has been in extreme physical pain for almost four years and she struggles every day to try to get her life back. You have no idea what she goes through every day, and how limited her existence is because of being so sick. She can eat almost nothing and hasn’t been out to eat in years. She misses birthday celebrations, Thanksgiving celebrations, Christmas celebrations, etc. By the time she gets ready to go, she usually doesn’t have the strength to go and since she also has severe chemical sensitivities now, she can’t be around most smells like cologne or candles or soaps or smoke from a barbeque. She can’t even go sit in a movie theater any more or go in a salon now to get her hair cut because the smells in there make her too sick. I could go on and on about how she struggles every day and how she fights to keep going.. We are trying everything we can to help her get strong again so that she can have a normal life, and one day, she will! So….please say a prayer for her instead of bashing her. I sincerely pray that neither you nor anyone in your family or anyone that you love ever has to go through what my precious daughter goes through every day.

  2. Yea I went on levaquin for 10 days 500 mg a day june3-june13 2014. It’s hard to believe a drug an antibiotic can do this to a person. Especially for such a short term use and cause they’re prescribed like candy. But I’m
    Becoming a believer. I ruptured my left bicep tendon on
    A 40 lbs dumbell… 40lbs. Tendons rupture at about 150lbs of force maybe 100 for a distal bicep. This was 11 months after the drug. I’m now at 15 months past this medication and I just developed tinnitus , I just want to yell at the top of my lungs in frustration sometimes, can’t believe how sick some doctors are. I also have circulation issues, can’t put too much pressure on my leg or that’s it, it’s wasted. Ugh surgery on my arm at…. 25. 24 wheb I took this drug. Yea Peter I thought I was overreacting but it’s amazing how all these things just spontaneously come to play all within a year and a half of this drug. My lymph nodes are all swollen and shotty, ugh can’t believe this really can’t

  3. Cheri,
    I had hoped near the end of your story that you would have recovered. If you have recovered and I don’t know, that’s great. If you still suffer, I am so sorry. I myself, suffer from a double whammy: Lyme Disease and Cipro damage. I have severe muscle atrophy damage and Lyme and Cipro both cause atrophy and nerve pain. I used to be a healthy, slightly husky man with a lumberjack’s physique at 225 lbs and 6 ft tall. I was bitten by a tick in summer of 2016 without knowing it. By January, a physician suggested I take an antibiotic (Cipro) for a possible prostate infection (it was slightly infected for months by Lyme Disease that was slowly starting to spread and I just thought my pelvic muscle was a little tense). After a horrible flu and, a week later, two mini strokes, I found that my nerve pain and my bone and muscle atrophy were both a result from the venom in Lyme Disease and Cipro poisoning. If only I weren’t such an avid hiker. Never knew I was bit by a tick. And in Canada, Cipro is NOT on the Black Label list of toxic pharmaceuticals. It should be. In the States, it is. If I had known it was blacklisted, I would have never taken it. I even asked both the pharmacist and doctor for full side effects listing. Their puny literature for side effects on the drug is so much smaller and less threatening. After months of trying to detox and attempting to get treatment for both, I found that the damage has been done and there hasn’t been any improvement, no matter what foods I eat or what supplements I take. I even have a small portion of brain damage. I can talk …. and I can walk, but with walking comes difficulty. The pain is terrible. My beefy muscles are now skinny and small, my bones are starting to ache and my head hurts every day. I too have circulation issues. I just got my arteries and heart measured for blood flow and functioning. My heart rate has fluctuated too many times and isn’t in good shape like it used to be. I’m really sorry for your pain and suffering. You have a great smile and I would give you a hug if I could.
    Cheri, I hope you find a miracle in relief or some kind of real peace.Take care. Email me if you want to talk

    • And what’s with that guy, Peter? Man, how about if he takes a really good dose of Cipro and find out what happens? Change your comments, pal. Cheri and her Mom’s hearts are broken from this experience. A young woman’s life is broken.

    • Hi Aaron, I hope it has gotten better for you. Please update. I have most of your symptoms and they are just getting worse and new ones appearing.

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