Kim’s Story – Ciprofloxacin Poisoning

I am a 42 year old male (a husband and father of three children) from Tasmania, Australia. I have been suffering from suspected epididymitis since May 2017. After taking a number of courses of antibiotics (such as doxycycline) on and off over several months with some improvement, but no full cure, I was referred to a urologist. After a very cursory appointment of around 5-10 minutes he prescribed me Ciprofloxacin. No mention of any possible side-effects was made. Three days into taking this course of Ciprofloxacin (12 February 2018) I began getting pain down both shins. My legs also felt weak/heavy. By Day 5 the pain was considerably worse and had begun to spread to my ankles and feet. I decided to stop taking any more Ciprofloxacin tablets as the timing seemed to be too much of a coincidence (had now taken 10 tablets – 5 days of 2 tablets per day). I also read a number of peer-reviewed medical and research articles online and many other thoroughly researched articles online (from the US, Canada and Europe) that document thousands of cases of people who have had serious adverse reactions to Fluoroquinolone drugs – many whose initial symptoms were almost identical to my own. Over the next few days the pain continued to spread into my heels, ankles, feet, toes, shoulders, arms and elbows, with shooting pain in my tendons and muscles. I also started experiencing tingling sensations in various parts of my body – like little shocks of electricity that continued to move about the body – particularly limbs and face. My legs started to lose strength and I had difficulty walking. I also began to experience numb feet and toes. I have also experienced brain fog and considerable fatigue since this time.

On the 23 February 2018 my condition deteriorated rapidly. I was at work (I am a high school English teacher) and was walking to my classroom when my left ankle begun hurting much worse than I had been experiencing over the last few days. I was barely able to walk and just made it to my classroom by hopping. I went home and later that day to my GP, who referred me to Accident and Emergency. A number of tests, including blood tests were conducted there and the following week an MRI of my brain and spine was conducted. All results returned negative for other possible causes of my symptoms. A physician detected a lack of neurological sensations in my peripherals, particularly lower legs and feet. It is his opinion that my condition is fluoroquinolone toxicity caused by the Ciprofloxacin tablets I took.

I continue to have ongoing side effects. The pain has become more concentrated in my joints, especially ankles, shoulders, elbows and wrists, but I continue to have pain down my shins and arms. Just walking from my office to my classroom is difficult and painful as my ankles and lower legs become increasingly sore and weak with walking. Simply holding light objects such as a book for any period of time causes increased pain in my shoulder, arm, elbow and wrists. One of the side-effects that only emerged two months after the initial toxicity is a severe shivering/skin crawling that is very uncomfortable and bordering on painful (perhaps this is due to the weather cooling). I am taking the pain-killer amitriptyline (Endep) daily.

I have had to make the difficult decision of reducing my working hours to try to cope with the effects of this toxicity and give my body a greater chance to recover.

Other than my current physician and one other GP a few months ago who mentioned an antibiotic that might cure my epididymitis but could cause Achilles tendon ruptures (which he did not name but I now assume was Ciprofloxacin), all the other doctors I have seen have had no awareness of the well-documented and researched serious side effects of this drug. After speaking to two of the doctors, they (to their credit) went away and researched Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome and came back to me apologising that they had not previously been aware of this and intimated that this is likely what I am experiencing. In many countries this drug has been removed due to the acknowledgement of its serious and long-term side effects. In other countries, such as the US, this drug has the strongest warning label possible (black box warning), following pressure from many medical professionals and this issue resulting in court cases. The US has also already taken a number of other fluoroquinolone-based drugs off the market. It appears that currently Australia is considerably behind much of the developed world on this issue and it is my great desire that changes can be made in my country to avoid other people experiencing what I am experiencing – through the medical profession being made much more aware of the dangers of this drug, increasing the warning labels for this drug and prescribing this drug much more judiciously and as a drug of last resort (if at all).

I am grateful that I have a supportive wife, understanding children and a Christian faith and church community to help me wrestle with this condition. One of the most challenging aspects of this toxicity for me is the uncertainty: what will the next hour be like?  What will tomorrow be like? What will the next few weeks or months be like? I am still quite likely at the beginning of this journey (having read numerous people’s stories – many of whom are now years into their toxicity). I know that some have made almost complete recoveries within a few months and so am trying to be hopeful and realistic at the same time.

I would love to hear from any Australians who have suffered FQT, sharing what their experience has been like and whether they were able to get support from the medical profession or from others within Australia.

 

** The story above is truthful, accurate and told to the best of the ability of the writer. It is not intended as medical advice. No person who submits his or her story, nor the people associated with www.fqwallofpain.com, diagnoses or treats any illness. The story above should not be substituted for professionally provided medical advice. Please consult your doctor before trying anything that has been mentioned in this story, or in any other story on this site. Please also note that people have varying responses to the treatments mentioned in each story. What helps one person may not help, and may even hurt, another person. It is important that you understand that supplements, IVs, essential oils, and all other treatments, effect people differently depending on the millions of variables that make each of us unique. Please use appropriate caution and prudence, and get professional medical advice.

 

David’s Story – 15 Years of Being Floxed

David FQ Toxicity

I have also experienced devastating effects from taking Ciproxin. I was prescribed this drug for a suspected prostatitis in November 2000 .

I had a full health check before taking this drug and was in good health, in full time employment and taking regular exercise on a daily basis. I was 30 years old.

I was told I would need to take this drug long term 6 weeks at 2 x 500mg and 13 weeks at 1 x 500mg. The consultant also told me to take ibuprofen but I was unable to tolerate this painkiller as well as cipro.

Ciproxin did not help with my water works problem but it has left me with a number of other complaints. I have listed a few below

  • Peripheral Neuropathy – Moderately severe
  • Ulcerative colitis – with marked inflammation
  • Erosive Duodenitis with ulceration
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Thyroid problems
  • Joint pain
  • Ruptured Tendons
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Jauendice
  • Oedema
  • Panic Attacks
  • Eye/vision disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Fluctuating blood-sugar levels

I lost quite a lot of weight. My co ordination and concentration was very poor I stumbled on a daily basis and was only able to leave the house in a wheelchair.
My life was devastated and had become so restricted due to the side effects.

I had to stop work as I became so ill and wheelchair bound I was unable to look after my self at this point my partner was having to take care of me.

Although my symptoms started whilst taking ciproxin The Sheffield National Health Service turn a blind eye to this and told me cipro was a safe antibiotic.

The last 15 years have been very difficult my relationship broke down because of the severe impact these side effects was having on my quality of life I was unable to go on holidays or out for a meal.

I have tried to stay strong and with determination I managed to get out of the wheelchair and on to crutches and in 2010 I was able to walk short distances independently.

My diet is to eat plain bland food like boiled potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and poached cod. I take a liquid multivitamin as this is easy for me to digest.

My recovery started when I was referred to see a rheumatologists. I was tested for autoimmune diseases as my condition indicated that I could be suffering from one of these. All test came back clear but showed a number of vitamin deficiencies I was commenced on b12 injections and started to take a liquid multivitamin. Nerve conduction studies showed a Moderately severe nerve damage and a bone scan showed osteoporosis further blood test ruled out pernicious anaemia and there was no metabolic bone disorders causing the osteoporosis.

 

Lori’s Story – Levaquin Effects

Levaquin-Stick

I was prescribed Levaquin 2/19/2013 — 500 mgs once per day for 10 days. In the beginning of March 2013 I noticed a lump on my clavicle and developed pain through my shoulder down through my scapula.  My PCP referred me to an orthopedic doctor who took X-rays and found nothing out of the ordinary. He then gave me a steroid injection at the site of the lump and told me to take ibuprofen. Within a month the pain spread to my other shoulder. And within a year I basically had pain in every joint of my body. Especially my wrist, knees, and ankles. I even have pain in my knuckles. Sometimes the pain and ache is so severe it keeps me awake at night. I had all sorts of blood tests done. I was tested for Lymes disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Both came back negative. I showed no signs of inflammatory disease in my blood work. I was then referred to a Rheumatologist who I’ve seen several times. He basically just said I have chronic joint pain. I asked him about the Levaquin connection and he just blew it off. He just told me to take Naproxen and Tylenol. I went from being an active 49 year old to a 51 year old who feels like a cripple. I had a very active lifestyle of walking/hiking, attending exercise class, swimming and kayaking to not being able to hardly do anything without being in pain. If I walk or I am on my feet too much my ankles swell and I lie awake in bed with pain. If I clean my house I’m in pain afterwards. I sleep with a splint on my wrist because of the pain and I can’t even lift a baby with my right wrist due to the pain. At times I go to walk and can barely move my legs they are so tight and my knees feel like they’re going to give out on me. Thanks for listening to my story and I hope this information helps you to make a change.

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…