A couple of amazing new facts showed up on my radar screen as strong blips I cannot let go without a show to the general public. Some of you thought that perhaps all the discussion on Cipro (ciprofloxacin, which by the way is just one of the many quinolones but is the most prescribed) was over but it has now two additional facts that were the best kept secrets until now.
One is that if you take anti-anxiety drugs from the class benzodiazepines such as Valium or Lunesta or Ambien (atypical benzo ligaments that attach to the benzo receptors and act like benzo even though they are not true benzos), interact with ciprofloxacin such that it can seriously hurt you. The list of fluoroquinolones that are known to do these serious damages:
- ciprofloxacin (CIPRO, CILOXAN)
- enoxacin (PENETREX)
- levofloxacin (LEVAQUIN)
- moxifloxacin (AVELOX)
- norfloxacin (NOROXIN, CHIBROXIN)
- ofloxacin(FLOXIN, OCUFLOX)
And the damage is copy-pasted from the above link just so you can read it without having to link to the site:
“In addition to being associated with other serious side effects such as the rupture of the Achilles tendon and retinal detachment, this class of antibiotics has impacts on the central nervous system and for this reason SHOULD NOT BE USED BY PEOPLE WHO ARE USING OR WHO HAVE WITHDRAWN FROM BENZODIAZEPINES. We do not have the information on their impacts on people using or withdrawn from other psychiatric drugs. There have been reports of people who have withdrawn from benzodiazepines for many months and have had a severe neuro-muscular or nervous system response (i.e. a return of withdrawal symptoms) after taking only a few of these antibiotic pills.
Dr. Heather Ashton has also issued a warning about this class of antibiotics. … ‘quinolone antibiotics which displace benzodiazepines from their binding sites and should not be taken by patients on, or recently on, benzodiazepines.’
The U.S. FDA requires Fluoroquinolones to have “black box” warning about the risk of tendinitis, tendon rupture and the drug’s ability to block neuromuscular activity (seen by prescribing doctors; seldom by patients). However, Health Canada’s warnings are only for those with Myasthenia Gravis, a relatively-rare condition” (emphasis is in the original).
This is amazing information because many people with migraines, depression, fibromyalgia, and veterans who return from war and have nightmares receive some type of benzodiazepines. I think this should have been number 1 on the doctors’ radar as well—including my doctor—who has been prescribing both benzodiazepines and Cipro for me for years. I have been on benzodiazepines since I was 19 after a traumatic event—very low dose but still it is there. So I have personal issue as well! I did have my Achilles tendon partially tear and I thought it was unrelated to anything in my life but odd since it happened for no reason.
The reason is clearly stated above as the first serious side effect of the drug even without taking benzodiazepines but with that the chances of getting hurt is significantly higher.
The second warning came as an even bigger surprise on my radar screen since it came from the FDA via the Air Force Times. The title of the article is telling without any further explanation: “New FDA warnings on Cipro may tie into Gulf War illness.“ I must say I am not even surprised by this news after the two links I received from readers to my original blog post. One to an article from Toxicologial Sciences; Oxford Journals titled “Inhibition of Human Topoisomerase Iiα by Fluoroquinolones and Ultraviolet A Irradiation” and the other from chemist Stephen J. Telfer’s who sent his article link in Medical Hypotheses Journal titled “Fluoroquinolone antibiotics and type 2 diabetes mellitus,” which goes a step further from “just” UV damaging the mitochondrial DNA. His hypothesis suggests that it also leads to diabetes II.
Boy do we have a handful of information against this drug and drug class of Quinolones in general!? So my natural question is this: why is this class of drugs still possible to prescribe for a common urinary tract infection or a sinus infection, when clearly the risks in these simple illness cases outweigh the benefits of the drug!?
This drug class, and particularly Cipro, which has been prescribed for just about everything without concern to its danger, should only be used when no other drug can do the treatment! Interestingly a large number of our bugs are already resistant to many of the drugs in this class and so it is no longer such a super drug that it must be prescribed since there are alternatives that do better when the situation is so dire.
Why UV light you may ask?
I wanted to grab two more important factors in the drug and the side effects listed on consumer type inserts in the package when one gets the drug so you understand the UV connection.
- First of all, if the drug is a generic, there is no box. The pharmacy types up the information and most people just trash that without reading. Please read albeit it gives you very little useful information.
- Secondly, one of the listed items on the printout (and on the bottle) is “avoid excessive sun since you burn easier while taking this medication” or something equivalent. From this point on, when you see this on a drug, DO NOT LEAVE HOME! This is a sign that UV light modifies something in the drug and thus in you! If it did not, there would be no warning on the drug about the sun and you would not burn easier than when not taking the drug. We are not told that this little happy warning actually causes major damage.
The damage apparently that UV light causes—in case you don’t have the time to read the links above—is that the UV light activates an enzyme that attacks the DNA in the mitochondria in your cells. Mitochondria are the little energy manufacturing machines in every one of our cells, without which we have no living cells. It may be difficult to comprehend all this in one reading but I must add what mitochondria really are and why we potentially are facing this problem.
Mitochondria are bacteria that have become symbiotic with our cells. They have given up their “bacteria” nature and all they do is function as a “half bacteria” if you will. They digest all the food we take in and convert that to little energy packets our cells live on. When our cells take a breath, it is actually the mitochondria that take the breath. Thus when we take an antibacterial agent that attacks bacterial DNA and mitochondria are bacteria in their DNA, it is obviously very tricky to kill all bacteria except the mitochondria. Not all antibiotics are after the DNA approach but the quinolones class is. This is one of the reasons why we are having so much trouble with them.
In addition to modifying the DNA of the mitochondria, the drug also pulls massive amounts of magnesium and ATP, the fuel that allows the cells to actually open and close their sodium-potassium pumps among other things. No magnesium, no ATP, and nothing comes or goes in or out of the cells except by little channels where osmosis is the method. Since the outside of our cells is full of nutrient rich liquid and the inside of the cells is full with old used up stuff that needs exchange, some of the liquid may go into the cell and come out of the cell but not sodium (part of salt) because it is too big in size. Thus your cells get dehydrated as well. Plus no ATP and so no energy.
It is a very complex problem that I recommend we all avoid! Take charge of your own health and do not allow your doctor to prescribe to you the 6 drugs listed above!
I have a suspicion that what we today call fibromyalgia is actually toxicity from Quinolones drugs.
Comments are welcome as always!
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I agree on everything.
I was floxed 13 years ago by Cipro,
Ciproflaxcin and Tequin (Gatioflaxcin) which was taken off the market in 2006.
Thank you for sharing!
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Very sorry to hear Mimi! ❤
I wish you well.
For now my thought is a great “Thank you!!!!”
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A week ago i was prescribed Cipro for pseudomonas aeruginosa on my feet. I am 65, have pulmonary hypertension, atrial fibrillation, asthma (on symbicort), probably prediabetic, on natural thyroid, and know I cannot tolerate fluoride in any form. From tracking adverse breathing events through my life, fluoride was involved every time. We do not have fluoridated water where I live. The dr did a skin swab then posted the script to the pharmacy. My husband asked when he picked it up if it was fluoridated and was told “no” by the pharmacist. I already knew about Cipro so I freaked out when I saw it was Cipro and refused to take it. Went back to the dr who also denied it had fluoride in it, dismissed my concerns, and said there was nothing else she could prescribe as the alternatives were iv and had to be administered in hospital. I saw another dr the next day who also said “no fluoride”. “no risk, no alternative”. Apparently I am not sick enough to be admitted to hospital and the other drugs have to be prescribed by a specialist. But they wouldn’t refer me to one because I should just take the Cipro.
I am due to see new cardiologist tomorrow. Not sure how to approach that problem.
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Sorry to hear your struggles. I have no idea why they suggest that the only other antibiotic option you have is IV. What about tetracycline class of drugs like Doxycycline? It is actually even more powerful than Cipro and way less dangerous. I would request that if you have the chance.
Now in terms of what causes the toxic effects of Cipro; not sure it is the fluorine. While that certainly is its core and it is a toxin on its own, the long term damage is more the mitochondrial DNA modifications that permanently damage mitochondria.
Without mitochondria the cells cannot produce energy and hence the problems. It does not seem permanent damage in all cases. Yes, some extreme measures may be needed to recover but it is possible.
However, my biggest problem is why they tell you that you have no other options and I wonder if they know that over 80% of the bacteria types already developed resistance to Cipro so forcing a drug that can hurt you plus one that may not work seems like a rather pointless exercise… Are you in the US???
You may want to print this out and discuss with your doctor.
Also, if you do end up having to take Cipro because for whatever reason that is THE medicine, make sure you do not take magnesium while you take Cipro. I have yet to see one doctor or pharmacist who knows the interaction!!! Also avoiding UV light is absolutely essential. UV light means ANY outdoor light and not just sun so lock yourself away from the world while you are taking it. This way you may avoid some issues.
Hope this helps!
I just found your reply to my post and thought I would update you, just for interest. I am Australian, btw. I saw this Indian cardiologist who knew nothing about skin and infections but thought I should be taking digoxin and some other drug that affects heart function. I of course looked up Rx list website to find they should not be taken together, so I chucked the scripts in the bin. I didn’t bother with follow up visits. My husband and I hit the internet and found colloidal silver, and white vinegar are used in India to heal this infection which is common there as it is water borne, I eventually added baking soda to the mix to diddolve all the dead skin and I keep a bottle of white vinegar handy to spray on my foot just in case it comes back. The joys of tropical living!
I had read that Cipro should not be prescribed to over 60, thyroid problems, etc and I was quite amazed that my objections were completely ignored and that the drs were so ignorant. My husband when he picked up the Cipro from the chemist was told about magnesium. I guess the fluorine would bond with the mg and make the drug ineffective.
He has been prescribed Cipro three times in the last year prophylactically after bladder treatments, even though no infection. I complained so much that the last two times he has been given something milder.
I consult with a dr every three months who monitors thyroid, liver, kidney, hormone functions and follow his advice regarding supplements. I am not leaping over tall buildings but I am not poisoning myself with unnecessary chemicals either, so life goes on. I have become quite a prolific artist and am currently hand painting a white skirt with poinsettias for next Xmas. Keeps me sane.
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Sounds wonderful how well you are doing Marg. I was shocked too how ignorant doctors are they ignore the FDA regulations completely. I asked the FDA how that is possible. They said they can create regulations but have no right to enforce them! And this goes for all drugs and medical treatments–including epidural steroid shots that are very common but are not FDA approved! The world is crazy so we have to keep an eye out for ourselves!
Enjoy your art and fun! ❤
Sorry to hear that your drs are idiots but I am 99.9% it has fluorine in it and not fluoride but it’s just as bad anyway so perhaps that’s why your drs are saying it doesn’t gave fluoride in it just like many drs will give you Levaquin when you say you don’t want Cipro. Stupidity. I will be 65 in April and have been sick since in my 40s due to these drugs. Per the inserts for some unknown reason because younger people are affected by the steroid and FQ combo, they say people over the age of 60 should NOT use them together. They need to redo that line.
I am a huge advocate against using them and went to a big FDA meeting in November of 2015 regarding the use of these deadly drugs and spoke along with 30 other people. My dad died from Levaquin IV 4 years ago. A new finding this past October now finds that FQS can cause aortic aneurysms and dissections.
Having said all this, I have no idea what you should take but Bactrim and Macrobid should be off your radar as well!
Join our FB group, Fluoroquinolone Toxicity. We will welcome you and perhaps other people can guide you.
Sherry what us with Bactrim and Macrobid that you are recommending them also to not be taken?
In terms of fluoride versus fluorine… I am out of the country and that is a phone correction typo I can only change when I log in from pc. I will change that.
Now I have a citizen petition at the FDA for over a year against Cipro but they are not moving. They sent me a letter saying the problem is too complex and they could not decide.
Not sure how this can be increased in speed before more people get hurt except by people refusing to take them.
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I really believe we need to share, share and reshare this. Due to a life being taken out of nowhere. Thinking they were in good hands. How many lives do we have to loss before they take control. I believe these meds need to be taken off the market. Should have never been put in there. We have enough issues to go through w/o adding more to our plate. Some of us can not afford to take the chance on something we could lose a life over. Count me in if I can do anything to help this along. Thank you Angela again for your true concern.
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I could not agree more Diane! ❤
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My brother committed suicide two years ago because of the side effects of cipro he was truly poisoned and could not after 3 years copy any longer he left a wife and two young children
he was a brilliant musician google Dick Decent and you will see the write ups
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Oh my gosh Sue! That is terrible! I am so sorry! This is the first story I hear when a life ends in suicide as a result of Cipro! I hope I can bring peace and closure to your family by trying my best at placing a ban on this drug for use unless it is a life or death situation. Very sorry to hear what happened to your brother and your families! 😦 Thanks for your note! Please keep on following my updates as the case with the FDA is moving along! Hugs to you! Angela ❤
Here it is now December 2016 and actor Judge Reinhold is in the news for a bizarre reaction to Cipro (and then a followup of prednisone). These toxic drugs are destroying MILLIONS of lives. I am now permanently partially disabled thanks to Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox. Fluoroquinolones should be used ONLY for anthrax, plague, and/or MRSA.
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Agree Debbie! Very sorry to hear that you have been hurt–as have millions, including me.
I worked very hard–together with some other scientists–to get the FDA to limit these drugs to emergency life-saving situations and the FDA AGREED! It made new regulations and new label with the permanent damages listed in a black box!
The problem is that the FDA can make any regulation but it cannot enforce it.
There is no doctor on the planet that will not override the FDA; and that is the problem. The FDA did what was necessary. Now the problem is: who will enforce it? There are no regulations for that; the FDA has no power. I faced many doctors in the recent past who flatly told me that “in their professional opinion…” and were overriding the FDA.
There is no other way than to educate the public and to make them aware that quinolones are NOT to be accepted as an antibiotic for anything where an alternative medicines will do. I am working by spreading the info. Please ask everyone to spread the information. Perhaps it takes a famous person to run with it. My reach is limited.
As for being disabled from Cipro, it is the mitochondrial DNA that is damaged. There is (potentially) a way to fix that to some degree using long-term fasting while in the ketogenic mode. That is the only way in which the body dumps all non-functioning cells with the damaged mitochondria and replaces them with new cells made from its own stem cells with healthy mitochondria–and more mitochondria per cell than before. Not much information is out there about this because everyone went crazy about using the keto diet for weight loss–it is not meant for weight loss. So the prospect is confused in the media. But that nutritional method is used therapeutically for many diseases. I am using it now. Try it.
Best of luck!
Angela, I have your book on migraines and it has helped me immensely. I, unfortunately am also a victim of Levaquin toxicity. I have gone from a full-time RN working in a busy ER to a disabled RN who is pretty much housebound, somedays bed bound. I live in a smaller city and the realm of doctors available to us is limited. Thus, I have yet to find anyone who believes that my torn Achilles, Achilles tendonosis, miniscus and ACL pain and quadriceps pain is in any way related to the quinolone family. Not to mention, I received them in conjunction with prednisone (high dose), am a diabetic and on benzos….Thanks for compiling this info and for believing in this cause.
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So sorry Laurie that you are suffering so badly! I have talked to several doctors and today to 2 nurses and I asked every one of them if they know of problems with the quinolone family drugs and they said.. yeah.. they heard that there were problems but did not know what they were. Then I asked if the knew that there is a restriction on taking it at the same time with steroids (like prednisone) or NSADs (like Aspirin or Ibuprofen) and they all said they had no clue. They have heard of peripheral neuropathy but would not be able to recognize it in connection with Cipro! Although they have heard of the Achilles tendon “thing” they would not confirm that they could tell it is from the drug class–like I had that as well, I have a partial Achilles tendon tear and I did not even think of Cipro (the drug I took) and also benzos as being connected! It seems that the whole medical community is blind.
Now I talked to the FDA yesterday about this and they said (and I cannot quote since I did not record it) but something like this: …it is each individual’s responsibility to watch out for their health. It is each doctor’s responsibility to update their knowledge. It is not the FDA’s responsibility to educate anyone… Something like this she said. But she and I had a nice chat and she helped me file a petition to either ban the drug or restrict its availability by special prescription only for life-death, surgery, ER, etc. Definitely block its prescription for common illnesses that can be treated by other family of antibiotics. I hope that the petition will be successful.
Have you placed a complaint in the FDA database about your reaction to Levaquin? If not yet, there is no time limit on how long you can file a complaint, so please do here: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm it takes less than 2 minutes and it will enhance the case. I wish I could ask everyone who had problems to submit a complaint! That would help the petition to remove easy access to the drug by doctors!
I am very glad you received benefits from my migraine book! 🙂 Happy it helped.
If I may recommend you read the comments under my original blog post on quinolones and also the story of one person because there is a way you can get your life back only it takes consistent permanent attention and effort. But several people have recovered! I find that vitamin B-12 helps with peripheral neuropathy and magnesium with the tendon! I am not sure if you have tried any of these. I get the B-12 in shots since I cannot absorb it from food or pills and take the chelated magnesium for better absorption. There are many other things recommended. The story is of an RN and how she is recovering, and a chemist responded to a story with his findings and then his personal recovery. You may find these helpful!! I wish you all the best of recovery and please keep in touch! ❤
To Whom It May Concern,
Currently I am in pretty bad shape. My story is unfortunately similar to many that have taken Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, and many other Fluoroquinolone antibiotics. All started in June of this year with a kidney stone. Previous to this, I have been an active, healthy individual with virtually no health issues other than a couple bad stomach bugs, over the years. I have not had a flu shot in 20 years. Have not had any major illness ever. I worked 14 hour days in the southern New Mexico oil fields for Halliburton as a Tech. Keep an entire production and stimulation crew running. After that I was managing 40 oil wells for Concho, the largest oil producer in the state. Great job, great friends, had a good life. Little did I know………
From June to September of 2013 I had 4 kidney stone attacks. The 4th one ended with me getting lithotripsy to remove the stone. Levaquin IV was given preoperative and week followup of cipro 500 mg 2x day. All was fine then had the stent removed during outpatient procedure. Single 500 mg cipro dose given then. After this all was good for about a week. Then started having groin pain for about 3 weeks. Dr did another outpatient cytoscopy and said all was fine. Another single 500 mg dose of cipro. Still had pain. So doc did prostate exam and found elevated white blood cells. No culture was done. Script was 500 mg 2x day of cipro for 6 weeks. No help with pain. Dr added sulindac NSAID to help. 12/7 had another surgery performed to make sure no small stones or strictures were present. None found. More preoperative Levaquin given via IV. About a week later started feeling better. I knew of risk factors with cipro and was paying attention to them. On 12/28. Noticed tight muscles in my calves and by next morning the burning in my legs began. Stopped taking cipro that day. Dr said that cipro could cause the muscle issues but did not know of issues with neuropathy. So now 8 months out I have insomnia, peripheral neuropathy, tinnitus, cognitive dysfunction, suicidal thoughts, depression, some anxiety, and mild depersonalization, chronic fatigue, dye eyes and ears, dry mouth, intolerance to heat and cold. Cold hands and feet, improper sweating. Gi motility dysfunction, lost 30 lbs so far.
Cannot work, cannot sleep, cannot walk correctly somedays, cannot care for myself. My spouse now does 90 percent of the work for both of us. I spend most of days in bed. This issue has created a lot of stress and depression not only for me, but for my entire family, which now has to help me with many aspects of my life. The uncertainty of recovery also plays a large role in my overall stress/anxiety level.
Now it’s October of 2014. Been to Mayo, University of Washington, The Peripheral Nerve Clinic, and Anderson Specialty Medical Clinic, and Progressive Medical Center in Atlanta so far. Tried IV Therapy, supplements, vitamins, Physical Therapy, Analgesic Nerve Therapy, etc. Had almost every test imaginable. MRI, CT Scans, Blood tests, autonomic tests. Have more tests coming. Until September, there had been not much of any improvement. Some better with sleep, but still have to take all kinds of drugs to get sleep. Anxiety is not bad, tendinopathy is better, and some slow improvements in GI function, but have bad relapses every couple weeks. From Sept to Oct, had a nice recovery with sleep and tinnitus, and some improvement in energy. But still have relspses and cycles. The one thing that seems to have helped was fermented foods. I seem to react to almost all supplements and medicines. Have spend 10’s of thousands of dollars, not including insurance paid costs, for treatments, supplements, travel, etc. What works for some, does not work for others. Coq10 and PQQ both caused horrible (3 month long) acute relapses in me. Benzos where the only thing that helped reduce the symptoms. Magnesium helps a little bit, but my levels were already high and my B 6 and B3 were low, but those make me very ill when I take them. So for me it seems everything that people say to take, makes me sicker. I seem to do best with nothing but GI enzymes. Probiotics also flare me up. I feel like I have PTSD, terrified to take anything or do anything. I just sit most days…… I have days or weeks that go by and I get some better, but for reasons unknown, I just fall right back down and start over again. Seems these cycles never end.
There are reports that many of the symptoms are tied to mitochondrial dysfunction and autonomic system dysfunction. I have added a file outlining the new request to the FDA about the dangers of Mitochondrial toxicity caused by fluoroquinolones. Mito dysfunction causes an entire cascade effect and creates a vicious circle of ROS and cell apoptosis. I could kill you with the technical details regarding NO/OONO cycles, Electron Transport Chain, oxidative phosphorylation, anerobic cell respiration, etc, but I have posted some references at this end of this email.
I just want people to know what many practitioners, do not tell you when they give you drugs. There is no INFORMED CONSENT, no consultation, no nothing, they usually just give you a pill and send you home. They leave it up to you to find out what the pill may do to you. For me, I have never had issues with any drugs, especially an antibiotic, so I trusted the Dr to know what he was doing. Now I am screwed up permanently. Please just do your homework and make sound decisions before you trust your health to someone else.
I totally understand that not all doctors are idiots. Actually, I have met quite a few that are very good, and informed, so I don’t fault the entire medical profession. I do however blame the “system” we have, that promotes 15 minute DR visits, insurance companies that deny claims based on cost/benefit analysis, regardless of what the best interests of the patient, or if the doctor deems a procedure necessary. There is too much emphasis on costs, not the care of the patient. Both insurance and the medical profession are to blame. Case in point when I had my tests done at Progressive Med Center in Atlanta, the cost to the insurance company was 13K. My costs for the same tests if I was paying for them was 3K……
I also see that responsibility lies in the realm of the patient, and society to a certain degree. Many people in our time, either are not patient enough to allow an illness to take it’s time pass, or just (due to the demands that society puts on us), don’t have the time to wait for an illness to pass. So they come in to doctors office and demand a quick fix. “Don’t you have a pill for that” is a common phrase that comes to mind. So doctors are trained to make sure a person is not dying, run some labs and based on lab results, prescribe a bill recommended by the companies that make the pill. Look at how many pharmaceutical commercials you see now.
Not that long ago, in many cases, doctors would prescribe things less noxious, and or would recommend diet and lifestyle changes to help with issues we had. Now it’s 10 minutes in the office, a few cursory glances, and a script. Some of this is simply dictated by the insurance company and what they will pay for office visits.
Case in point, my urologist did not even culture my EPS, just looked under a scope and said “WBC count high, consistent with infection” and loaded me up with cipro, no consult, no warning, no nothing. I am not a doctor and I know that high WBC can also be due to inflammation, not related to infection. I was in pain, and suffering after the surgery for months, and I attributed it to the surgery, and maybe infection, so I keep taking the crap, not realizing that it was in fact most likely the cause for my symptoms. By the time my legs went out on me, it was too late. So now I am a prisoner in my own house, bound to the recliner. I am lucky as my spouse takes good care of me, but she is very stressed trying to keep it all together.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think these kinds of antibiotics are useful, and in some cases are the the only option, but doctors really need to be more informed of the dangers. I cannot tell you how many doctors have no idea of the adverse affects this class of antibiotics can cause. Secondly they need to make sure the patient is fully aware of the possible issues they could have with these drugs and that all other options have been tried before hand.
If I was a practitioner, I would be damn certain a person needed a fluoroquinolone, and I have exhausted all other options before prescribing it. Then if needed, informed consent to the patient would be mandatory, and I would have weekly follow up and labs done to ensure they were responding well to the drugs. Of course the minimum dosage and duration would be paramount.
Here are some links that further describe what has happened to me, and thousands of others.
All the Best,
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I hear you Charles! My name is Angela. I have just had a discussion with the FDA and I do have an amazing news that I will post on a separate article! Please come back to read that later today and follow the instructions!
I developed very painful neuropathy after being on levaquin, tequin and avelox off and on for 2y. I am now in year 8. I am 49y and had to go on disability. I was bed bound for a year while my daughter took care of me. Nice to see the word getting out as I have yet to find a doctor that recognizes my issues as FQ toxicity.
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Sorry to hear Elizabeth. I found one doctor so far who knew about it–my pulmonary specialist. Not sure to the depth of his knowledge but then this really is not his field. The rest of the doctors I talked to were ignorant and could not care less and also would not be able to diagnose this problem given that they are not knowledgeable on what it is. I have sent a complaint to the FDA and they called me this morning–of course, they called me at the wee hours because they are not thinking that California is a few hours behind them. Thus my phone was in silence mode and missed the call. I am hoping to hear back from the pharmacist who called (they have pharmacists answering the call rather than scientists… not sure how far I will get. But I will push. Thanks for your comment and I hope you will continue to improve over time!
I want to thank you for bringing Fluoroquinolone Toxicity to the forefront. I am a 6 year victim of this horrific poisoning, I am very blessed to be alive. The tragedy of this poisoning continues day after day, creating new victims….. please help stop it, by all means possible.
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I will do my best Virginia! Very sorry to hear it happened to you too! And it has been unknown to most! I have written a letter to the FDA. We’ll see if I get any response from anything other than a machine. I wish you the best of recovery!
Very interesting article. Just another reason not to take Cipro. I found out all my tendon problems were due to Cipro after they started putting the warning in their literature. After going through all of my old calendars (where I always posted first day of starting an antibiotic and the name of drug), I found that my deQuervains tendinitis (both hands), Plantar fasciitis, and partial Achilles tendon tear happened not long after taking Cipro. After reading your article I just wonder if Cipro may have effected me in some way whereas I cannot take aspirin or use Maxair anymore (since the late ’90s). Being that your specialty is the neurotransmitters I wonder if you could explain why, on three different occasions, I became mute after taking certain drugs – 1)immediately after – epinephrine when the dentist put an epinephrine-soaked string on my gums before making a mold of my teeth, 2)immediately after niacin when I took part in a diabetic study at Stanford (I was a norm), and 3) five days after taking Imitrex. The Imitrex was because the doctor thought I suffered a migraine – at a Christmas party I was jumping up and down dancing (remember the kangaroo?) for about ten minutes after eating a heavy meal and two glasses of wine (at age 56); started feeling funny and knew I needed to go home right away, which I did. When I got home I turned on my computer to check my email and things didn’t look right, I couldn’t see right; so I went into the bathroom and discovered I couldn’t see out of my right eye – and I had a headache at the base of my head on the right side. I went to doc a few days later on Monday since I still had headache in back of head and he put me on Imitrex – only took one – and my mood started getting black and blacker until seven days after event I took to my bed and just lied there until my son-in-law came over, being alerted by out-of-state mother who became very concerned because I hung up on her after saying “What!”, which took everything in me to say. I couldn’t talk after each of these drugs. My son-in-law took me to Stanford ER and after they treated me for low blood sugar (50) it was like a cloud was being lifted off my brain and I slowly became okay. All three of these incidents happened an the late ’80s early “90s so I’m wondering if they may be connected to periods where I had taken Cipro (never thought to research these connections!)
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Wow, you had the worst case of reaction @lessandragr. Now if you read the comments on the original article I wrote on Cipro and read one of the comments by Stephen Telfer, a chemist, who has a paper published in the Medical Hypothesis journal, link provided on the bottom of the article but here it is again, then you will see that there is a possible connection of taking Cipro, being in UV light (not sun as the prescription warning suggests but actually just being outdoors even in cloudy foggy weather), specifically UV B light according to another scientific article I since read in an Oxford journal, and diabetes II. Such low blood sugar that you ended up with (hypoglycemia) is an indication that your insulin glands were modified by the Cipro with the combination of the UV light.
This is an addition in the next two paragraphs since I just discovered I forgot to respond to a few of your questions: your dentist experience and niacin.
You said you received epinephrine from your dentist. Epinephrine is an allergy drug that is used as a life-saving measure for people with severe allergic reaction. It usually comes in an injectible form that is called Epipin. I am not sure if this is a typo on your part or if the dentist did not know what he was doing but he certainly had no business giving you anything soaked with epinephrine for dental work. So I am not clear on that.
I also forgot to respond to niacin. Niacin. This one is an interesting one and should be analyzed by a chemist! Niacin has some well known jobs in the human body with respect to cholesterol but it is also participant in DNA repair! This is important because Cipro damages mitochondrial DNA and so getting Niacin may have some role in your muteness as a result but it is unclear without a full chemical analysis. However, one of its functions is also helping in steroid manufacturing in the adrenal gland and the use of steroid and Cipro do not get along at the same time. But I have not read anywhere that it would have a negative interaction after you have already finished Cipro.
In terms of Aspirin or Maxair, I have a different thought. Your becoming mute is a throat tightening that probably constricted your voice box such that you could not speak. This is an allergic reaction (could have just been a momentary intolerance)–same with Aspirin I am afraid. Now if this is a true allergy (or intolerance) to Aspirin, you should also suffer the same symptom when taking Ibuprofen or Aleve or any NSADs since Aspirin is in the same class of drugs as those. I was warned some time ago by my asthma specialist that people with asthma often become intolerant to NSADs. Maxair is for asthma so I assume you have become intolerant to NSADs. This may or may not be connected to Cipro. It is possible that it has brought the intolerance closer and faster than it would have occurred without Cipro.
In terms of becoming mute from Maxair, is actually not as uncommon as you think. Some of the asthma inhalers (not the powders but the sprays) come with propellants that can cause such affect–in fact it happened to me a couple of weeks ago on Dulera that I had an amazing adverse reaction of all my muscles just dropped like I was a rag doll, blood pressure went to over 170 in systolic, and I felt I was about to die. As it turned out this was a reaction to the propellant. In my past I had the mute reaction to a nasal spray that came with a propellant and I have problems with the powder inhalers that slowly they take my voice away too.
I am very glad your son found you and took you to the hospital at Stanford (my old turf on the Farm too!) since sugar level of 40 would have meant a life/death situation. This also indicates to me that you need to watch the amount of sugar (added or naturally in the food) you eat and never ever should eat sugar substitutes since that enhances diabetes II–in fact it can cause it. For future, any time you eat food that has sugar or converts into sugar from simple carbs like rice, eat protein immediately with it. Protein (and also insoluble fiber) slows (protein) and diverts (insoluble fiber) the absorption of the sugar to be less of a “hit” on your body. I hope this will help you prevent issues later in your life. Please also know that there are many drugs in the family where Cipro came from, all with the same negative warnings and properties. In fact other drugs have similar problems only not to that extent. I am just finishing my dose of doxycycline after a tick bite and the warning states photosensitive… this means exactly the same as on Cipro. So any broad spectrum antibiotics you take you must be locked up with in your house to avoid UV light–which is what I have been doing now for 6 days; 4 more days to go. Unfortunately the warnings are not clear and few actually understand what “getting burned easier” actually means.
In terms of Imitrex (outside of the fact that it disrupted your sugar balance), your doctor gave you a totally silly medication for a headache in the back of your head. Imitrex is given for migraine–I am not sure why since serotonin drugs were developed for depression and even for that only 30% of the cases are helped by it–Imitrex is serotonin. Particularly given that you could not see out of your right eye indicates to me that you had either a blood clot or a blood spillage in the occipital lobe, which is in the back of your head. Shaking and jumping can also cause damage to the brain. Migraines rarely start in the back of the head. You may have had a headache for some other reason or even perhaps a mild Aneurysm. Has the doctor examined you using a color tracer iodine using CT Scan or MRI when you had that? Or did he just pump you up with Imitrex?
I have published a book on migraine that explains what migraine is and simple hydration balancing prevents all migraines–I have been migraine free now for over 3 years as a result and many are migraine free who have read my book and followed the instruction.
I know the drs will blame the benzos before they will blame the FQs. I have been on a low dose of Xanax for 17 years because of being floxed. If you read orher benzo sites they pretty much have symptoms like us floxies have. I always ask them if they have taken any FQs. Many say yes. So which came first? The chicken or the egg? When I was refloxed again in 2013, I was taking Xanax. Nobody asked. Nobody knows. Sad.
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Well that is actually a simple answer and I am happy to be an expert witness on that since as a result of a childhood trauma I was put on benzos from age 19 and now at 61 I still am on that in the same low dose. I have never ever had any problems on that until I was floxed. So we know precisely which came first in this case! I also know that when they say that benzos affect your memory is not true. I have never ever been sharper in my life, got my doctorate on benzo, had all my other education on benzo, and it has never ever affected me a tad. The problem is that obviously we all are different and what is not affecting me may affect others. Same with Quinolones. It does not hurt everyone! But those whom it hurts also do not get hurt the same way. So the genetic makeup mixed with the drugs combined make the drug bad or good or neutral. Because not everyone gets floxed, or if they did they do not know–like I had no idea that the partial tear of my Achilles Tendon was connected to being floxed and I have been taking Cipro for years since that is one of the best tolerated drug for my bugs. So I had no idea that my Achilles Tendon;s sudden story related to Quinolones in any way. I am now thinking that fibromyalgia is also the result of being floxed and I sent many of my FM contacts in FM groups on FB to check their records to see when they came down with their symptoms and what drugs they were taking prior to that. One person was already able to identify that her symptoms started after her latest Quinolone exposure and that was recent enough for her to remember. I bet that all FM problems originate form the issues of the mitochondrial DNA damage in the cells. I just bet!
Cipro can bind to GABA receptor sites all by itself, without help from a BENZO or NSAID. I took only Cipro and had significant central nervous system damage. My GABA receptors were downgraded as if I’d been on a heavy dose of Benzo’s for years. I took seven Cipro.
Had I taken so much as an aspirin with the Cipro it could have been much worse, even fatal. Cipro’s weak affinity for GABA receptors is enhanced 20,000 times when combined with an NSAID. In experiments with mice they found that a 30% loss of GABA receptors caused by an FQ and an NSAID given together lead to seizures. Greater than 30% loss caused convulsions and even death.
Why would a doctor give a drug made so much more dangerous when combined with such a commonly used OTC painkiller and not warn patients? My pharmacist also did not warn me of this interaction.
I believe that Cipro by itself harms the nervous system because of the loss of intra cellular magnesium. Magnesium must give a protective effect. My guess is people who are having difficulty with Benzo withdrawal are magnesium deficient. Cipro is horrible because it makes you magnesium deficient, sort of ensuring it can harm you all by itself, even without taking a Benzo or NSAID concurrently.
Remember years ago when they pulled Seldane because of harmful side effects when it was combined with erythromycin? Seldane was safe unless combined with that antibiotic, yet it was pulled quite quickly from the market . What is going on today? A class of drugs made horribly dangerous when combined with simple OTC painkillers stays on the market, a class of drugs dangerous in their own right, a class of drugs that cannot be combined with steroids and should not be combined with Benzodiazepines– there aren’t enough problems yet to pull it from the market? Are they insane?
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Ruth, your question is very well placed and I hope many doctors read this because in my experience I found no doctor who knew the interactions–in fact I am not sure Bayer (manufacturer of the brand name of Cipro) knew or even now knows about that interaction. There are many things about this drug that are just coming to the surface. I suspect the reason for this is several fold.
1) The internet allows people to post their complaints and come together to understand the general bad trend in a drug that in the past was not possible
2) for clinical trials–given that I also have experimented with drugs–the selection criteria is such that it includes people with no preexisting conditions or who take no other drugs so that they can test for only the efficiency of the drug under trial. How the drug works in the body in a 30-year old male who is otherwise healthy–will be very different from how the drug works in the general population
3) It has surfaced that test rats/mice they use in labs freak out from male scientists and relax from female scientists. At the time this drug was created (in the 60’s through the 80’s depending on which quinolone) I would venture to say that 99.9999999% of the scientists were male… hence the experimental rats/mice responses are not reliable
4) Up until a short while ago only male humans were part of the clinical trials because of a) pesky female hormones and b) too much risk in case pregnant or planning to be pregnant or lactating.
5) Up until now it was not clear to the scientists (not sure why!) that the female brain and body are extremely different from the male. Thus we have been overdosed on probably all medications. Lunesta and Ambien were the first 2 drugs that were tested on both male and female (after lawsuits of females getting into accidents) and they have reduced the dose for women by 45%. This is very important since the antibiotic doses are by weight/age relative to male and female has not yet been considered for retesting. Why is that so important?
6) Consider the belief that the mini Aspirin prevents heart attacks and so everyone over 50 should be taking it. Even though it has now been shown that indeed it does so in men, in women baby Aspirin does not help with the heart! In women it actually helps with strokes. Yet I still see commercials in which they advertise the 81 mg Aspirin for women against heart attack! And it is all incorrect and they know it! Yet in spite of that they are still promoting and promoting the wrong thing to the wrong audience and there is no one to stop them!
So we have several issues, that include: competence (or lack thereof), politics, money (as always), lack of ethics, lack of proper guidance from the FDA, and many more. I am in touch with the FDA and the NIH on several counts on this. I also have problems with the inactive ingredients that they test to be “bio equivalent” but in fact generics I found for Cipro contain completely different ingredients from the brand that could not possibly ensure bio equivalency. I also looked at other drugs, like Singulair, an asthma drug, where the generic drugs are not coated with film to dissolve in the right place plus contain 2 known carcinogens: aspartame and red food coloring. Aspartame is a carcinogen and an allergen and the red food coloring actually causes asthma–I found that funny to add to an asthma drug… lol… not so funny when you nearly die form it like I did.
As you see we have very serious problems with the FDA’s process of testing, approving, and the deeming a product bio equivalent in generics where only the active ingredient is the same–in fact I even found in one drug so far even to active ingredient is mistaken by the FDA who labels Montelukast the same active ingredient as Montelukast Sodium (Singulair) where the two active ingredients actually have completely different molecular chemical formulas. I am fighting!
Am I doomed? I was diagnosed with what was thought to be non-bacterial chronic prostatitis about two years ago. In my quest to try to find relief I was put on Ativan which helped a little with my pain but did not cure my situation. A visit to a third urologist suggested that I might have to give a strong antibiotic a good try so he perscrbed cipro. After the 14th day on cipro I had what feels like my head exploded from the inside. My vision has been damaged, my sense of smell is gone, my ears ring (tinitus) LOUD!, and the left side of my head burns deep inside constantly! I feel like I am dying. These symptoms have not improved, I am in constant torture. Please help!
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So sorry Joseph. Your condition is in the adverse reaction literature called intracranial pressure. It is one of the more severe adverse effects. You need to go to the hospital to have them release the pressure. If you are still on Cipro, stop it right away. In either case, head to the ER immediately please!
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Joseph, your symptoms sound similar to those I experienced after taking ciprofloxacin last year. I developed tinnitus and vision problems, and felt as though a tight band had been wrapped around my head and that something was pulling backwards on my left ear. This was in addition to insomnia, high blood pressure, muscle pains, cramping and fasciculations (especially in my left leg). I am not a physician, but I can at least tell you that I have almost recovered (except for tinnitus), and describe the steps that I took in order to try to heal myself. Firstly, I used topical and oral magnesium chloride supplements. The latter can be obtained online or at stores like Whole Foods — one brand is called Mega-Mag. I found that other magnesium salts were less effective (I suspect that they are absorbed too slowly). I did not exceed the recommended daily dose and I consulted my doctor before taking magnesium supplements (they are contra-indicated, for example, in people with renal issues). Secondly, since it is possible that fluoroquinolone antibiotics can cause problems with the synthesis of glutathione (an important antioxidant), I supplemented with vitamins C, E and K as well as with N-acetyl cysteine and alpha-lipoic acid. I also took Coenzyme Q-10 to try to alleviate mitochondrial problems, and a stress-B complex that contained copper and zinc. I do not know, of course, whether any of this was better than doing nothing, but I certainly felt much better after beginning the supplementation with magnesium chloride, and I believe this to have been the most critical component.
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Oh Stephen, I can tell you that what you did was way better than nothing. On the medical leaflet of the tiny 43-page book it says neuropathy is irreversible. The symptoms described here are partly (not all) neuropathy and it seems most of your problems are gone. I am learning from you in terms of what to do since only people who have it seem to know the solution. The scientists and Bayer have no clue what to do. One thing that influences me Stephen from your previous comment is the UV light damage (UV B according to an Oxford paper) so now that I got a tick bite and I am taking Doxycycline which is also UV light activated to do the same so until I am taking it, I am locked up in the house… and started magnesium already… amazing that we have to do all the research that Bayer and FDA and NIH should be doing! Shame on them!
Here is a link that explains Idiopathic intracranial hypertension which is what the pain and pressure in the head is.
No, u are not doomed, Joseph, my friend, and fellow floxie. It may take research, effort and money. I had very similar symptoms along with horrendous all over. I felt like my brain was herniating, terrible pressure, pain of the stabbing buzzing burning variety, dizziness, intermittent loss of vision and hearing but constant hearing and vision issues along with horrible systemic body pain. I did so many things I’m not sure what helped the brain, sight etc but I started taking alpha lipoic acid (the 600 mg tabs 3x day), I got glutathione pushes, alpha lipoic acid iv, uvb iv, I have to take horse chestnut for circulation..too many things. The only internal magnesium that helps a bit is Magnesium chelate 125, about 6 day. I suggest u try one thing at a time to know what helps. Some people were helped with hydrogen peroxide iv, I got worse. But everyone is different. The things I tried helped the brain and sensory symptoms like yours but my body continues to suffer. I hope you have no other symptoms…heaven knows it’s enough. I’m so very sorry this has happened to you, Joseph, and pray you have relief and recovery. God bless you.
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Glad to hear Mindy that you are recovering. As you are writing experimenting with what might work is essential. Everyone has somewhat different damage and thus different recovery of success. I agree the damage may be reversible in most cases. There are many things that people have to try before they get some relief. Good luck to you!
Posting to the group!
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Thanks Ms. A