Warning Signs of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

Signs of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

Almost every time I mention how Cipro messed me up, I get the response, “Oh yeah, I’ve taken that – it doesn’t affect me.”  To which I respond, “I took it several times before I reacted to it too. My body went completely hay-wire the second time I took Cipro. Don’t take it again.”

Adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones aren’t allergic reactions, they’re something else. The pathology of adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones is unknown – to anyone (or, if someone knows, they’re not publishing research papers about it). My guesses to the pathology can be found at https://floxiehope.com/2013/06/20/what-is-fluoroquinolone-toxicity/.

Unlike allergic reactions, adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones often occur long after the fluoroquinolone use has stopped. Antihistamines do nothing to stop an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone (though they may be able to help with some of the inflammation symptoms and they don’t seem to hurt most Floxies).

Though some people react to their first dose of a fluoroquinolone, many don’t, which leads them to falsely believe that these drugs are safe and that they won’t react to them in the future. Unfortunately, an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone can occur even if (maybe especially if – because there is (anecdotal) evidence that fluoroquinolones accumulate in the body and that there is a “tipping point” at which the body overloads) they have been taken with no adverse reaction in the past.

Looking back, I had some of these warning signs after I took Cipro the first time, in 2010. My eyelid twitched and I developed strange, but passing, abdominal cramping.  I experienced a “weak bladder” that I attributed to genetics and age. I had itchy legs at times and just thought it was dry skin. I didn’t connect any of these things to the prescription antibiotics that I took to treat a urinary tract infection.

If I had connected those symptoms to the fluoroquinolones, I may have been able to avoid taking Cipro again, and I may have avoided the pain and suffering that I went through starting in December, 2011.  (https://floxiehope.com/lisas-story/). I hope that this list of minor symptoms serves as a warning to you.  Please don’t take any fluoroquinolone antibiotics no matter what, but especially if you are experiencing any of the following, heed your body’s warnings and stay away from these drugs!


Perhaps you have taken quinolones in the past and you think that they worked well and that you did not react negatively to them. Check the following subtle symptoms of the beginning stages of a quinolone intoxication from an earlier treatment and the normal interpretations that people make of them.

* You had a strange bout of tendinitis, for instance in the outer tip of the hip, normally diagnosed as trochanteric bursitis caused by tight belts or resting on you side at night. The same applies to other areas of the body, like the elbow (epicondylitis) diagnosed as an overuse of your tennis racquet or gardening practices, but you remember that you had never had it before.

* It takes you longer to recover after exercise. It is not alarming and you have not paid much attention to it.

* You sleep worse than before; it seems normal as you have a lot of pressure at work.

* From time to time you have some small throbbing pains in different parts of the body. They last only for a few seconds, so there is nothing to worry about it.

* It is strange- but you have occasional twitching in an eyelid, or any other part of the body. It is not painful.

* Some nights you feel some mild itching migrating along your body. One brief itch here, and another there. It is more intense in the scrotum or groin. Instead of identifying it as a peripheral neuropathy, you conclude that your clothes, your perspiration or the new brand of soap that is more irritating must be causing it.

* You feel some stiffness, and your range of movement is not as full as before, especially in one or both legs, but it is normal because you are getting older.

* You do not tolerate coffee as well as before. Now you have to reduce the amount of coffee that you used to drink.

* Your memory is not as good as it used to be. The cause may be too many things to think about and too much stress. And you are no longer a young person.

* There is an urge to urinate when the bladder is partially full. When you feel the need to urinate you have to rush for the toilet. Most urologists think that it is due to a dysfunction associated with a benign enlarged prostate but in reality it is a neurological deficit caused by the prescriptions of quinolones that they gave you.

* You cannot flex fully, or strongly, your big toe (one or both), or sustain the flexion for more than a few seconds. This is an indication that your large nerves (anterior tibialis) have started to fail due to the toxicity. This sign is a strong warning that your body will not tolerate more quinolones.

* Sometimes, you have nightmares while falling asleep that scare you. How strange you think. They are toxic panic attacks that reflect toxic damage to your brain.

If you have experienced some of these symptoms since you took your first quinolone, perhaps you have reached your first threshold of tolerance, that -once surpassed- can result in the destruction of your life soon thereafter if you take more quinolones.



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29 thoughts on “Warning Signs of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

  1. Mazieta Júnior July 10, 2013 at 11:02 am Reply

    I wouldn’t want even my enemy took fluroquinolonas (Ciprofloxacin, Levaquin and Avelox), are true poisons!

    Cipro brought down my life, but din´t kill me!
    Thank you Lisa for everything!

    Many people have stories of healing, (one of them is Lisa) and I also have faith that my healing will come!

    Thank you Lisa for everything!


    Faith, Faith,Faith, Faith,Faith, Faith,Faith, Faith

  2. kateekat July 10, 2013 at 6:10 pm Reply

    I’ve someone in my life i WISH i could share this with, but she doesn’t want to hear it. Thank you so much.

  3. Debs July 29, 2013 at 4:58 pm Reply

    The delayed severe adverse reactions and the the fact fluoroquinolones have a cumulative effect in the body is the most insidious way this poison does its damage . I see time after time people commenting that they were fine and did not have any side effects , or maybe they just had a twinge here or there,don’t be fooled people, the damage is being done, it is just at present occurring ” under the radar ” , you just do not notice it yet, because you
    have not exceeded your own tolerance level. I took levaquin and norfloxacin in the past, and it was only when I was prescribed cipro (unfortunately along with an NSAID) that I exceeded mine, this was three years ago, Some things have improved for me, the balance coordination, twitching, so their is a light at the end of my very long tunnel, any improvement Is a blessing, so things can get better. Thank you Lisa, It is so nice to find a site that lifts you with positive vibes , we sure need it !

    • Leanne November 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm Reply

      I took Avelox (2 pills) in June & had panic attacks after each pill (didn’t associate it with the 1st pill). Fast forward September & I now have body wide muscle twitching & burning sensation in face. It has to be the Avelox–I was normal before.

      • Lisa Bloomquist November 11, 2013 at 10:19 am Reply

        Yes, you’re right, Leanne. It’s the Avelox. Lots of people heal in lots of different ways (as you can see from the stories on this site). I hope that you feel better soon! Please be sure to stay away from NSAIDs and Steroids. If you need anything, please feel free to contact me through the “contact me” link on this site.

  4. Lisa Rolins August 16, 2013 at 7:01 am Reply

    Thank you Lisa for this post. I took Cipro for the 1st time back in July 2013 and sever nerve pain in my neck and head started within 24 hours. My Dr. keeps telling me Cipro isn’t the cause and that I just sleep wrong. Saw a neurologist yesterday and he is almost certain it’s from the Cipro. Going for an MRI today to see how much nerve damage has been done in my head and neck. Pain is better since I stopped Cipro, but I can tell my neck still isn’t anywhere near what it used to be. Plus I am shaking all the time now. I will NEVER take this class of drug again

    • Amy March 22, 2014 at 2:23 pm Reply

      Lisa, How are you feeling now? I had the same thing happen after Levaquin.

  5. Greg Spooner June 20, 2014 at 7:51 pm Reply

    I developed dry eyes and mild insomnia after my first few rounds of fqs (in addition to a couple of the symptoms you mentioned above). Several other floxies I know also had these 2 symptoms before the “last straw” dose that pushed them into acute FTS… I think they’re definite harbingers.

  6. Sue June 23, 2014 at 9:03 am Reply

    You all can be helped. I am recovering quickly. I am seeking help from a Classical Homeopath, who btw is 80 years old, no aches and pains and going strong. I have also found out my blood type and eating the diet that works well with my type. I am seeing an amazing difference already in just a week or 2. WOW! I was about to give up hope, when God sent someone to me, to tell me to seek this particular Homeopath. I have a cleaning business so can’t afford to go down. I have always been an active person and I am now 58 years old, back to exercising and walking the dog, cleaning and carrying on with my day. Now I won’t say I am 100% but the journey has just begun and it’s working and I am praising God every step of the way! My symptoms were muscle pain, bone pain, burning in tops of feet, all the symptoms of neuropathy. I have (not gone yet) but improving) floaters in my eyes, and noises in my head,urinary problems, including leaking, horrible groin, bladder and pelvic pain and too many symptoms to list but I was getting so sick of it, I was asking God to heal me or take me home. Life is NOT fun spent feeling this way. It is not an overnight journey, but my journey with God. He took me on the journey with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, and I beat it, without chemo, radiation or drugs. He never gives me a quick healing but chose me to show me the way, because he knows I will speak out and speak truth. Don’t give up, there is always hope. 🙂

    • Nikki Page August 23, 2016 at 11:10 am Reply

      Hi I know this comment was a while ago But would you mind speaking to my husband about your health now and who was your homeopath? How you found your body type diet.

    • Amanda April 2, 2017 at 8:50 pm Reply

      Can you please share the exact homeopathic remedies that you are taking? I know that this is the only route to go, and I need help!! .. Thanks!!

    • Dion Schwulst September 16, 2017 at 3:52 am Reply

      What worked for your actual healing?

  7. Patty Alexander Sr. March 30, 2015 at 10:31 pm Reply

    Sue, what state are you in? I’m asking to see if he is anywhere near me. I am in Pa

  8. Sunny July 12, 2015 at 5:37 pm Reply

    Do cipro ear drops do damage? I have been so dizzy and sick since 2009, and yes I’ve been on a steady supply of cipro pills and drops for chronic ear issues. Now I have migraines ” fibromyalgia” neck pain. Every joint in my body hurts, as well as some embarrassing other stuff. Could this be associated?

  9. […] are all Warning Signs of fluoroquinolone toxicity. After the first time I took ciprofloxacin I had a twitchy eyelid and […]

  10. Susan Higgins May 19, 2016 at 8:39 pm Reply

    I have opted not to take this drug for Lyme (bartonella). I took a sulfa drug recently and had the most awful reaction to it and this sounds exactly the same. The fact that it might happen again is more than I can endure. I’m going to have to try something else.

  11. Miss Riley August 11, 2016 at 12:28 am Reply

    I have also experienced fluoroquinolone toxicity. About 8 years ago, after just a few doses, I went to bed one afternoon feeling exhausted. I woke up after having horrific vivid nightmares, and found myself sweating, shaking, and literally having auditory hallucinations, anxiety, tachycardia, and a strange prickly sensation covering my entire face. I started vomiting profusely. I felt like I’d been given really bad LSD.
    I stopped taking them and my synptoms went away after a few days, luckily.
    To this day I can’t find anything that describes the kind of CNS effects I experienced while taking the fluoroquinolones, and I’ve had several doctors act like I’m just crazy, or insist that it must have been triggered by something else. But I know these antibiotics definitely were the cause.

    • Ruth Young August 7, 2017 at 1:35 pm Reply

      It was the quinolones. I had some very wild and weird stuff happen both times I took Cipro. The first time I was young and did not know a medication could cause hallucinations. I thought that either my parents’ house was haunted or I was crazy. An inner voice told me the demon was in the bottle of pills so I got up and threw them away, hallucinating the whole time. It took several days after stopping it for me to stop seeing crazy stuff at night when I would try to sleep. These were not dreams. I was awake. It was like being in a waking terrifying dream.

      I think if I had known for sure it was the Cipro I never would have taken it again. I really thought it was just me. It changed how I perceived myself. After that I went on to struggle with horrible depression for decades, which I now suspect was due to functional mineral deficiencies caused by the Cipro. I’ve been taking a gram a day of magnesium (sometimes a little less) every day for three and half years. No depression. I just feel a lot more stable. I do still take Idebenone (something I discovered post flox) because it gives a serotonin boost and is a good antioxidant, but I usually stop it for a month every year since it is only proven safe in studies for up to a year. I manage just fine without it, but slightly better with it.

      I think I naturally am a little low on serotonin, but I think my main problems with depression in my twenties and thirties were due to a huge loss of functional minerals from the chelating properties from the Cipro I took in my youth. I thought less of myself for all those years– bought into every stigma about mental illness and carried a lot of anger and resentment over it for years. The psychological effects of quinolones are real and they are horrible. Recovery is possible if you know what happened. I didn’t. No internet back then.

  12. David A. Faiello August 22, 2016 at 1:52 pm Reply

    Permanent CNS damage: Shingles (active mild), Sjogren’s, Reynaud’s, plaque psoriasis, drug-induced lupus for over six years following a course of Cipro. None of these will ever completely resolve. The molars on the right side of my jaw are now all crowned or cracked from clenching my teeth in my sleep from the pain. I have awakened several times with a mouth full of broken tooth fragments. Sleep deprivation and continuous neuropathy are the norm. Pain management drugs such as dilaudid, Neurontin, and tramadol made me even sicker, so I have learned to tolerate more than I would ever have believed possible. Thank you VA and thank you Bayer! This will no doubt eventually kill me. I’ll ignore the wrong pain and pay the price. Things hurt that shouldn’t and don’t that should. I’ve had shingles in my eyes and heart more times than I can count. If I went to the ER for every pain I would soon be the “boy who cried wolf” with no credibility and mountains of bills. What is worse is that I’d be giving the doctors that did this to me a chance to do more! No thank you! I take special forms of magnesium and vitamin C which helps with symptoms without being laxative. I take 1 tbsp. of magnesium solution daily in a monoatomic form that is nearly 100% absorbable. This helps with both the neuropathy and especially with sleep. Now instead of waking up every hour to hour and a half, I only wake up every three to four hours most nights. Sometimes I even sleep for five straight hours. What a blessing! When the pain index is up even the Mg doesn’t help much. The vitamin C I take is lipospheric and also highly absorbable. I take 10 grams of it per day which helps control the shingles. It limits the amount of new vesicles to about a third of what I would normally have. I also limit the amount and severity of shingles with a low arginine/high lysine diet. Permanent CNS damage is exactly that. The flouroquinolones cross the blood/brain barrier to directly attack the brain which cannot heal itself. The worst part of this is that one year after this all started I went to my doctor for another problem. I shared my suspicions about a Cipro cause of my symptoms and syndromes with my doctor, and he not only ignored me but referred me to another doctor who put me on another course of Cipro which made it all even worse. Silly me for listening to doctors. I don’t do that anymore. Either they listen to me or I fire them. The sad thing about this is that the people who read it likely have already taken a flouroquinolone. The people that need to read it are the ones who haven’t taken it yet!

  13. Geoffrey Madewo November 29, 2016 at 4:57 am Reply

    True I have seen many patients who have got ciprofloxacin toxicity especially the adverse effects on tendon and joints. Some patients get copying tendonitis and arthritis like symptoms.

  14. Gail February 5, 2017 at 8:42 pm Reply

    That’s it! You are absolutely right! I will never ever take them again. They are causing most everything you named. I can add that it moves around from elbow to wrist to thumb joint. It’s crazy! I know it was the Cipro. I don’t take any meds so when I took this one I was left with these lingering effects. Two years now….

    • David Faiello February 6, 2017 at 9:39 am Reply

      Among the symptoms that are more ominous for us floxy sufferers are bladder/urinary difficulties which may be an indication of a collagen defect. And yes, I have suffered from the spontaneous total failure of a tendon. (The peroneus brevis in my right leg failed while on a field trip several years ago, and this also relates to collagen problems.) While the bladder aspect is very annoying, what is scary is that it is a fair predictor of aortic enlargement as the aorta and bladder are similar in composition. If you are on speaking terms with a doctor get an echocardiogram to rule out this more serious condition. The real difficulty we all face is physician skepticism and denial. They don’t want to admit that they or any of theirs had any responsibility for what we have, and will go to great lengths to avoid admitting what it is that we have. My own VA doctor who wrote the initial RX for Cipro has conceded to all of the related syndromes ( Reynaud’s, Sjogren’s, plaque psoriasis, neuropathy and symptoms but refuses to call it what it is: flouroquinolone toxicity syndrome. Instead he refused to see me anymore. The reason I ended up with this “rare” syndrome is twofold. First it isn’t as rare as Bayer would like you to believe. Second, my Viet Nam exposure to harmful chemicals (agent orange and DEET) had already damaged my CNS and brain. I was particularly vulnerable to Cipro’s harmful effects. Monsanto and the VA fought the agent orange battle and now have a rather narrow list of illnesses that they reluctantly concede to be possibly agent orange connected. You can bet that they will never admit to contributing to floxy with DEET. Isn’t it special that Bayer and Monsanto are now expected to be joined at the hip? I live from day-to-day with more good days than bad days and continue to manage my symptoms with magnesium and vitamin C, taking valcyclovir PRN when the shingles get in my heart muscle (myocarditis) or eyes. As to the VA: I use them to get the acyclovir and Restasis for my Sjogren’s related dry eyes and otherwise try to limit my contact with them to them minimum. They’ve done enough damage. When I visited this site and figured out what all of my symptoms and syndromes meant, it was the worst day I can remember in a long time, and yet a relief. I finally had an answer….but nobody wants to see the words “permanent brain and CNS damage”! My heart aches for all who visit this website. I am an experienced combat medic coupled with over 25 years as a medical paraprofessional and have been able to both do the research and even figure out a lot on my own and am comfortable telling a doctor or nurse where to get off. Most of you don’t have that background, and I know how frightening this must be. My prayers are with you.

      • Lisa February 6, 2017 at 9:54 am Reply

        Thank you very much for your service, David. I’m so sorry for the damage that these criminal companies (Monsanto and Bayer) have done to you, and I am also sorry for the corroboration of the military and VA in hurting you.

        These delayed adverse effects are tricky, and they make it difficult to connect the cause (endocrine disrupting chemicals) to the effect (illness and disability). I’m glad that you made the connections, and I’m sorry that you had to.

        Thank you for your thoughtful comment. We’re in this together.

        Best regards,

  15. Emily March 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm Reply

    I had a 4 month sinus infection last year and within days of taking Levaquin last March, I developed tendonitis in my elbow (non-dominant arm). I had my first surgery in November and am getting ready for my 2nd one. All of my lateral tendons will need to be removed. It wasn’t until a friend shared the blog post from Mountains and Mustard Seeds with me today that I realized there might be a connection between my sinus infection and my elbow injury. So scary. Thanks for all of the info on your website. I look forward to learning more and am grateful I haven’t had worse issues.

  16. Amanda April 2, 2017 at 8:37 pm Reply

    First, I want to say..WOW!! I’m very impressed with the amount of time, and research, that went into the site, cause, articles, posts, etc. Very informative!! After reading the overwhelming evidence regarding the potential theories, especially at the molecular level, I would like to add a strange question and/or thought. Yes. Unfortunately, no answers, although it seems like you guys are practically there. Of all of the facts stated, it seems we know that it must be one, or several in combination, that are doing this to our bodies. So, we know the cause, more or less. But because all of us experience it differently and for an undesignated amount of time, it seems that we are looking for the different variables among the affected group? If so, my curiosity wonders if blood type would play a vital role in the adverse effects/longevity? For example, I’m Rh-, which means that I do not have the “monkey” gene. The study done on animals showed positive relief of symptoms after given…”blank”?? Would this mean people with Rh+ blood have a better chance at recovering​more quickly, or at least a treatment for the symptoms become available? Also, if blood plays a significant role, how do they compare in terms of reacting to Quinolones during and after poisoning? If this does have any importance, MAYBE… One day, this specific drug class would only be used on a specific target group..? Sorry, I wish I had more. I hope my crazy mind/thoughts helped in some way. Thanks again for letting me share. Keep up the good work!!

  17. Dodi July 7, 2017 at 5:28 pm Reply

    So what do we do now? Suffered for 20 years, just getting worse and worse.

    • Dion Schwulst September 16, 2017 at 4:02 am Reply

      The $64,000 question and no one seems to really know. Hit and miss. 😦

  18. Laura August 4, 2017 at 6:05 pm Reply

    Yes, I have lived this nightmare. Avelox permanantly blurred my vision. It boiled my blood as a chemical reaction when it hit my. Bloodstream. I have tendon ruptures in hip and pain in elbow and Neck. I had taken Cipro, levequin in the past. Six (6) months after my 4th FluroQuinolone RX I had tendon damage all over my body.

  19. alison November 9, 2017 at 6:33 pm Reply

    Wow…I am completely amazed at the amount of suffering that has been caused by these antibiotics. I am a 35 year old female, mother of 4, and I have been on a search for the past 8 years to figure out what has been causing pain in my pelvis and legs. This year the symptoms have gotten a lot worse including CNS symptoms (twitching, decreased sensation in legs, pain, blurred vision), and it led me to seek out a neurologist, one of the only of many, many specialist I hadn’t seen yet. After MRI and CT scans he couldnt find any evidence of MS, which is what he thought it was, but concluded that there was something attacking my spinal cord; however, he hasn’t been able to come to any conclusion following several lab tests. I stumbled on this information after being prescribed Levaquin by a new urologist, after being diagnosed with a UTI a couple of days ago. I had been prescribed Cipro by a urologist in the US (Im now living overseas) about 8 years ago for chronic UTIs and had been taking it 2-3 times a year for the past 8 years. I am realizing now that more than likely my symptoms are from the very drug that was supposed to be helping me. I am very grateful that the Lord has sustained me this well, especially after taking it about 20 times! I am praying for more answers and ways to advocate for the safety of patients. Blessings to you all and I am so sorry for your pain.

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