Levaquin, Avelox and Steroids – How They Changed My Life

Pic - Chris

My story began in 2001, with the incident that would set in motion a series of events.

In 2001, my brothers contacted me to help move my mother from a roach infested home she was living in at the time. We went down, cleaned everything and moved my mother into assisted living facility. Little did I know that single act to make life better for my mother, would lead to 14 years of hell for me. Shortly after that incident, I started to lose my voice on a regular basis, pretty tough when you are a corporate recruiter. I was diagnosed with a severe sinus infection. I later learned through testing, I’m allergic to cockroach poop and every mold known to mankind.

I was referred to an ENT because the sinus infections would not stop. She put me on Levaquin, prior to finally deciding on surgery in March 2001. That’s when things started to go downhill, at first; I would experience tendeniopathy, severe pain in my shoulders and elbows. Went to an orthopedic surgeon, ran tests, an x-ray found a bone spur in my right shoulder. Most likely from an injury I sustained while in the army. They called is bursitis. The ENT finally gave up on the antibiotics and did surgery on my sinus. She repaired a blocked nasal passage which was making the situation worse.

I did horribly with that surgery. Following the surgery, she put me on Levaquin with prednisone 6 times in 2002. That resulted in the first of seven tendon tears with the first being my left elbow. In the following years, I would be prescribed Levaquin and Avelox by the ENT, and the doctors at a former Family Practice in Belton, MO. I went through a lot of changes to address the sinus problems and get them under control. Had the vents in my house cleaned. Searched out every place mold could grow. But it did no good. I still had sinus issues.

I have always trusted my doctors and I trusted the pharmaceutical companies, I never questioned any of the actions they took or the pills I was taking. After all, it couldn’t happen to me. For me, a side effect was the hives or other minor reaction. I never in my imagination thought an antibiotic was responsible for my tendon tears, IBS, now Ulcerative Colitis and so much more than to mention here. 2011 would be the last year I was given Avelox and Levaquin by my ENT and the latter by a family doctor.

It was “blind faith” that became my downfall. I’m not certain when I was first floxed. I suspect it was in the late 90’s while on active duty. I suspect it was these drugs that caused me to tear the meniscus in my right knee in 1999. In 2001 I retired from the military because I could no longer run and had constant problems with my shoulders, back, and other tendons. I just couldn’t keep up with the demands of the military at the age of 39.

In 2003, I was prescribed Levaquin by my PCP and again, I reacted with severe lower back and sciatica pain that required many visits to a therapist to bring under control. There were times when I could barely walk. And these symptoms weren’t the only ones. I suffered insomnia, anxiety attacks and developed IBS.

In 2004 I was prescribed Levaquin for an infection and this time it would result in the first tear to my right rotator cuff. I suffered this tear doing simple lifting at home. I learned that fall; I would have to have surgery to repair the tear. It took 8 months for me to get use of my arm back.

I would be given Avelox in 2005 and suffer damage to the ulnar nerve in my left hand that required surgery. The surgery did not correct the problem. Even as I type this, there is pain in my left hand; I often wake up with it numb. On one occasion, I woke one morning and could not move my hand, I panicked, manually began to move my hand and it started working again. That only happened once, but it scared me. I went through several tests with a neurologist to see if there was another problem after the hand surgery. She could not find anything wrong with the nerves from my spine to my hand – nothing. Little did I know it was the drugs that were causing shooting pains and numbness in my hands and feet. Like all the other doctors before her, she never looked at my prescription history to see if something I had taken was causing the problem.

In 2006 through the end of 2008 would prove to be good years in which many of the problems except the IBS disappeared. In December 2008, I was prescribed Levaquin again and this would result in a tears to my left rotator cuff several months later. It also resulted in a second tear to my right rotator cuff.

In 2011, 30 days prior to my 2nd right rotator cuff surgery, I developed another sinus infection. I was prescribed Levaquin and two weeks after the surgery, I was prescribed Avelox with Prednisone (simultaneously) by the same ENT that had performed sinus surgery almost 10 years earlier. In the fall of 2011, I tore my right rotator cuff for a third time, picking up a bag of groceries. The surgeon informed me after that surgery, that it could not withstand anymore repairs – if it tears again, it will most likely result in joint replacement.

In the fall of 2011 I received a letter from attorneys representing Humana. They were suing Johnson and Johnson for the money they had to spend on my surgeries. The letter also told me if I were to sue, I would owe Humana. The fear of being sued by Humana, whom, obviously knew the drugs were causing tears, kept me from holding the doctors and J&J accountable. In the legal field, this is known as the “chilling effect.” Like many, I just didn’t have the money to find justice. So I let it go to work on awareness.

But the damage didn’t end in 2011. About the time I received that letter, I was at work, pivoted on my right foot to talk with a coworker, and felt a sharp pain in my hip. I would later learn this was one of two tears to my right hip labrum.

In May 2015, I had to have hip replacement surgery. This too can be directly connected to Levaquin and Avelox. In 2011, via Ulcerative Colitis. In June 2012, I suffered a severe colitis flare up that resulted in me being put in the hospital and the prescribed a lot of prednisone. I suffered a lot of pain in my right hip. In 2014, I gave up on my current surgeons and sought out a hip specialist, little did I know that there were changes taking place inside my hip. I didn’t know that steroids would do the damage I suffered.

By then I was smart enough to look at the side effects of drugs, and found prednisone and other steroids can cause a condition called Avascular Necrosis. Three surgeons denied a problem despite a statement in the hip MRI regarding an “abnormal signal” coming from inside my femur. It took a little over two years for the head of my femur to collapse, which could only be repaired with hip replacement. All because of Levaquin and Avelox and the steroids they prescribed with them. Today, after my change to organics, I now have the colitis in check. Haven’t had any severe incidents since 2013.

Like many floxies, I live with daily pain – something hurts. I have made many changes to include changing to an organic diet rich in plant based foods. I do my best to stay away from processed foods and meats with antibiotics. I took control from the doctors on prescriptions, and I question everything. This change has made all the difference. I have not taken a plethora of supplements, my food has it all.

I have a very difficult time trusting doctors. I do my best to work with my doctors and communicate with them. I inform them that I am the poster child for why antibiotics should not be overprescribed. One doctor, wanted to prescribe Cipro, I asked him what his estate is worth? He changed the prescription.

Many of the doctors denied the drugs did the damage. Not a single one of them looked at my prescription history, and none of them acknowledge the dangers of FQ’s. I will never trust the pharmaceutical companies ever again; it’s painfully obvious they put profits before people. I ask everyone that reads this story to please, Please, research those prescriptions before you fill them. You could be filling a prescription that has the potential to kill you. Please. Spread the word.

The FDA no longer protects us. Congress couldn’t care less. To all of them we are a meaningless statistic. Change needs to take place. You don’t have to wait for congress; you can make those changes and get better on your own. Find what works best for you. There is no magic pill for what happened to us. Only time, patience, and eating healthy have made a difference. I’ll never be back to 100%, but at least I have hope that eventually it could get better.

Heather’s Story – Cipro and Avelox

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Lisa’s Story – Avelox Effects

Lisa Brady Pic

Note – Lisa Bloomquist is the administrator of this site and all of the posts have her name at the top.  This story is not Lisa Bloomquist’s story.  It is Lisa Brady’s story.  Sorry for any confusion!

In February 2012 I was suffering from a fairly severe upper chest infection and after two weeks of feeling like I was close to having walking pneumonia, I was begged by friends that I needed to see a doctor as I do not like going to docs unless absolutely necessary and very rarely ever take antibiotics ( I am sure I was floxed before in past surgeries throughout the years without my knowledge). After going to see ‘Doc in the Box’ ( Immediate Care Clinic) and my regular doc was out, I was seen by an abrupt internist, after a brief 3 minute examine, she indicated, ‘yes, you have walking pneumonia, I’ll give you this antibiotic that will wipe this infection out in two minutes flat!’. I replied, ‘Really? You know from my chart I have an autoimmune disease, is this drug ok to take with my sensitive system?’ ‘Of Course!’ says she…and it turns out after a chest xray, no pneumonia. However, consumption of Avalox has already been consumed…

Within 24 hours, the infection was getting better, the deep, crupe type cough was beginning to ease, however, I was feeling this terrible dread, like all of my happiness or positive feelings had been squeezed out of me, I know it’s a strange way to describe it, but that was the first of many, many Adverse Reactions I began and still, to this day experience, almost 3 years later, and no, it does not ‘leave your system after a few days’.

The other ‘side effects’ came on like a sunami raging not only my body, but in my head too. I was already in deep chronic pain from a fall down a deeply steep hardwood stairway in my home, resulting in many fractures in my sarcum, also my cocxyx has twisted off and had attached itself to my lower spine, and went unnoticed by the Doctors for three months in 2008, resulting in two spine surgeries and chronic pain that felt like I was turning into the girl from the ‘Exorcist’. The first night I took one 500mg Avalox, my joints felt like acid was running through my veins, and it felt as if my olfactory was destroyed, I could only ‘smell’ deep, burning rubber. Then my heart started fluttering and felt as if it would come out of my chest. That night the hellish nightmares started and it has not let up on me. I was unable to walk for up to two weeks, could not lift my legs that had turned into water and the fatigue, and lethargy are indescribable. I also experienced psychosis, deeply disturbing suicidal thoughts, could not stop crying for months ( sounds like depression!) absolutely could not hold cognitive thought process, vomiting for days on end, tremors, anxiety, hallucinations, severe dizziness, numbing, burning sensations of hands, feet, legs, bleeding gums, bone pain, dry mouth, weight gain, increased thirst, problems with speech, complete brain fog and the list goes on and on. Because of 5 pills I took, (only took 5 of 10 pills prescribed) the results have been flung far and wide:

I lost a very lucrative corporate catering contract I had under my consult for the past 15 years that at times earned me over six figure income that supported my daughter and myself.

I lost many friends that thought ‘it was all in my head’ and ‘An antibiotic couldn’t do this to you or it would be banned from the market, right?!’

I lost the person I used to be. The person whom never thought something like this would happen to me. (Humility one oh one)

I lost the ability to support myself and my daughter and now looking at filing bankruptcy, cannot get disability, almost zero child support and now living day to day.

HOWEVER, I am not going to let this devil of a drug take the rest of my life from me, from us! I have always been a fighter, even though I fight from my sofa, I will get better!

Thank you to all the FB groups whom have been so helpful and in my darkest moments, have helped me crawl towards the light…

Shells’ Story – Levaquin and Avelox Toxicity

Shelley FQWall

Welllll…. I was prescribed Levaquin(Levofloxacin) a Fluoroquinolone, twice in 2003 along with 3 pills of Avelox(Moxifloxacin) also a Fluoroquinolone, making a total of just 20 pills, to treat the same sinus I’d been battling. No warning…. no discussion…. just told that this (Levaquin) was a “powerful antibiotic”…. I actually felt relieved, trusting that my Doctor really ca…red about my health. This was the first time I was ever diagnosed w/ a sinus infection…. I had never suffered anything more than a common cold or virus except for a bout of bronchitis once. I’ve always taken excellent care of myself, somewhat proud of staying active and physically fit well into my forties, and even after giving birth to twins at 40!!

You can read my actual words of horror and disbelief below…. this was originally an email I had sent to Gary Moller after reading an article he had written about Fluoroquinolones on his website. At that time, there were not too many online articles…. just mostly research articles or data. I had no idea he would publish my cry for help on his website, and in fact came across it by accident a few months after I had emailed him.

The words were from my heart…. the only thing I did not write was the subject line, which was added by Gary…. but I decided to leave it, since POISONING is what we’re dealing with as far as the Fluoroquinolones are concerned.

Also note that this was “just the beginning”……

Gary has since contacted me several times for follow-up. Feel free to post a Comment…. his page on the Fluoroquinolones could use a little action!! And we need all the exposure we can get!!

Thank you Tami for putting up this FB page as well. My heart goes out to every one of you!! United we can make a difference!!
Keep the FAITH ~~

~Shells~

Gail’s Story – Avelox side-effects

Gail FQwall

I went to the doctor with an exacerbation in February and was prescribed 60mg of prednisone a day, and Avelox 400mg for 10 days – I started having major issues within a couple days of starting the Avelox and even called the Pulmo’s office begging to be seen 3 times because I KNEW this was not my normal reaction to prednisone. She didn’t have an opening, after calling my PCP’s office begging my PCP’s office to give me an appointment, they told me to go to the hospital. I have been hospitalized twice since then – and they have run every test that could be run – still have the breathing issues, and have been miserable with multiple symptoms ever since with no explanation.

In the months that have followed, I have been treated by 9 different doctors the only one who knew I had been given the Avelox, let alone the combination, was the original pulmo. I had no idea Avelox had these effects so I had never mentioned it to any of them as we all thought we were only dealing with COPD issues and the complications of COPD.

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Betsy’s Story – Ciprofloxacin Poisoning

BetsyFQwall

My name is Elizabeth (Betsy) Hamill. I was an active healthy mother of 3 who exercised regularly. Then I took 4 pills of Ciprofloxacin in Feb. of 2007 for sinusitis. I had a severe reaction. I had pressure in my head, couldn’t walk without holding onto something, was disoriented, and was extremely tired but couldn’t sleep. I thought that once I stopped taking the medication that made me sick I’d be fine as long as I didn’t take it again. I was wrong.

I felt better after I stopped taking Cipro but then I began having chills so bad I couldn’t get warm. I went skiing and had much less endurance. I developed sore knees and quit jogging. I was losing pilates holds I’d done for years. As time went on the weakness got worse and new symptoms developed. I had strange burnt orange colored urine which I later learned is a sign of rhabdomyolisis and would explain why I was losing muscular strength. I developed right foot drop, right leg weakness, and my eyes became highly sensitive to sunlight. The next winter I could barely ski 3 hours before my legs would shake so badly I had to stop. My skin aged seemingly overnight and I developed IBS and other digestive track issues. I had trouble holding a glass or utensils, had muscle twitches, difficulty sleeping, vertigo, extreme pain/temperature sensitivity, tinnitus, blurred/smokey vision, memory loss, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty speaking, random shooting pains, cramping/muscle spasms, and sensations of chills or vibrations running up and down my legs. It was all I could do to get through a day at work. The cold caused me to stiffen up severely and I developed tremors that would come and go and I had no idea why. Continue reading

Lisa’s Story – Ciprofloxacin Side-Effects

Lisa wall of pain

Lisa’s story –

I took 500 milligrams of Cipro/ciprofloxacin twice a day for 3.5 days in 2009, and again in 2011, to treat urinary tract infections.  In 2009, I did not react badly at all and was able to continue living my life as a normal 29-30 year old.  When I took Cipro/ciprofloxacin again in 2011, I experienced a severe adverse reaction to the drug.

Before I reacted badly to Cipro/ciprofloxacin, I was a very active, healthy, happy 32 year old.  I enjoyed hiking, crossfit, reading, dating, dancing, traveling, etc.  I was so fit that I had hiked the entire 500 mile Colorado Trail in the summer of 2010.  I was “healthy as a horse” as they say and never needed to go to the doctor – except to treat the occasional urinary tract infection that I got about once every 2 years.

After I took Cipro/ciprofloxacin, I experienced the following adverse effects:

  • Weakness in my legs.  I could barely walk.  The steps that I could take took a tremendous amount of effort and energy.  I couldn’t stand for more than a minute.
  • Tightness of the tendons in my legs.  I had inflammation, and possibly tears, in most of the tendons in my legs and feet.  My hips, knees and ankles, to simplify things, didn’t work right.
  • Loss of use of muscles / loss of strength.  My muscles, especially the muscles in my legs, wouldn’t move like they used to.  All of my movements were slow and deliberate.

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Tami’s Story – Levaquin Poisoning

Tami Lucas

Tami Lucas

Wentzville, Missouri (right outside of St. Louis)

 

The pain, Charlie horses, muscles popping, deep muscle spasms, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, severe gastroenteritis, IBS, sores on my mouth, swollen tongue, insomnia, heart palpations, sore throats, confusion, memory loss, dyslexia, visions problems, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide and murder, vivid haunting dreams, extreme fatigue, my immune system shot. I remember when this all started. It started January 2005 I began to feel sick. My doctor insisted that whatever was wrong was viral. Finally the doctor did blood work and I had a bacterial infection. I remember it so well because it was around my 45th birthday and I was so sick.

 

March 15, 2005 this was the day I was given Levaquin. Continue reading