Fluoroquinolone Caused Mitochondrial Damage and Oxidative Stress – What are the Consequences for Floxies?

I’m working on a couple of posts/articles/essays right now about how all sorts of chronic diseases, from diabetes to alzheimer’s to autism, are caused by mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress.  I’m pointing out that pharmaceuticals cause mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress.  Of course, I’m focusing on my least-favorite pharmaceuticals, fluoroquinolones, and am trying to make a case that fluoroquinolones cause many chronic diseases.

That line of thinking is scary as hell for those of us who have had a bad reaction to a fluoroquinolone.

What does the connection between fluoroquinolone induced mitochondrial damage / oxidative stress and chronic diseases mean for us?  What is our prognosis?  Are we going to come down with diabetes or Alzheimer’s?  Are our kids going to be autistic?  Scary stuff – aaaarghhhh!!!  New plan – run and hide on a tropical island far from the internet.

Just so you all know, I’m not sure what it all means.  I am doing my best to put together the pieces of the puzzle.  I’m doing my best to draw conclusions from reputable sources.  I’m doing my best to understand what happened in my body when the Cipro bomb went off in me.  In trying to understand what happened, I’m stumbling upon articles that point to the possibility that the problem is bigger than we think.  It is possible that fluoroquinolones are causally related to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome / M.E., all autoimmune diseases, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, autism, some kinds of cancer, and more.  Are all cases of those chronic diseases caused by fluoroquinolones?  Of course not – most of the diseases are older than fluoroquinolones.  But it’s possible that they have increased hand in hand with fluoroquinolone use because of the damage that fluoroquinolones do to mitochondria, and the oxidative stress that they induce.

It’s also possible that other drugs are the primary culprits.  And I suppose that it’s even possible that junk food that is full of free radical producting chemicals is the culprit behind all the oxidative stress that people who have chronic diseases experience.  Or maybe the problem is GMO corn or childhood vaccines or pesticides or something else.  There are pretty reputable sources that note that pharmaceuticals cause mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress though, so I’m betting that the culprits are Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, Abbvie and all the other pharmaceutical giants that are very good at making customers and very bad at actually promoting health.

Anyhow, the theory that fluoroquinolones cause mitochondrial damage / oxidative stress and that mito damage / oxidative stress are behind all sorts of chronic diseases is the theory that I’m going with.  Whether I’m right or wrong is yet to be seen.  Even though my theory may scare the crap out of you, your support is still greatly appreciated.  🙂

If I’m wrong, the case against fluoroquinolones is still pretty damning.  With fluoroquinolones, one can convert an acute problem, an infection, into a chronic syndrome that includes destruction of connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, cartilage, fascia, etc.) throughout the body, damage to the nervous systems (central, peripheral and autonomic), and more.  Fluoroquinolone toxicity can develop slowly or quickly.  It can last for months or years.  Tragically, some people don’t recover.  But most people do – with time.

How fluoroquinolones cause the damage that they do is hugely complex and difficult to understand.  Part of the damage mechanism is mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress, hence the trip down chronic disease lane.  Other aspects of how fluoroquinolones work – DNA adducts, RNA transcription errors, disruption of tubulin assembly, etc. are equally daunting and potentially harmful.  Ugh.  Bad news.

But people do recover from fluoroquinolone toxicity.  I did.  I’m fully recovered.  So are the other people who have shared their stories on www.floxiehope.com.  I wonder if the chronic disease prognosis for those who recover is any different from the prognosis for those who don’t, or for those who take fluoroquinolones but don’t have an adverse reaction.  I don’t think that a study to answer that question has been done.  It would be interesting to find out the answer.

Right now, we don’t know the answers though, so we have to make assumptions about our health and our future.  If you’re going to make baseless assumptions about your personal health prognosis though, they may as well be hopeful ones.  Try to believe that you will heal and that once you heal you will be as capable, resilient and durable as you were before a fluoroquinolone knocked you down.  Or, better yet, believe that floxing gave you some sort of health super-powers.  Here is a crazy thought – what if our floxing reaction was actually protective against damaged cells and the conversion of those cells into chronic diseases?  What if our horrible reaction was because of mass apoptosis (programmed cell death), and in dying, those cells kept from reproducing and leading to a chronic disease at some later time?  Now that is a far-fetched hypothesis, but I kind of like it.  I just hope that my recovery doesn’t mean that my bad cells are sticking around now.  :p

Back to fluoroquinolones being related to the chronic diseases – what if I’m right?  What if fluoroquinolone caused mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress is behind all of the chronic diseases of modernity?  Well, it’s a sad state of affairs.  But people should know about it.  They should hear about it.  They have the right to know.

But you are going to be fine.  Try to believe it.


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11 thoughts on “Fluoroquinolone Caused Mitochondrial Damage and Oxidative Stress – What are the Consequences for Floxies?

  1. Lloyd February 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm Reply

    This is a very intelligent post, Lisa. I’ve thought much along the same lines as you do. Thanks for taking the time to write on this topic.

    • Lisa Bloomquist February 12, 2014 at 10:52 am Reply

      Thank you for reading it, Lloyd! I never would have wished for the disease that brought about my shift in perspective. But now that I’m going through it, I see things pretty clearly. OF COURSE all sorts of chronic modern diseases are due to pharmaceutical induced mitochondrial damage. It’s almost easy. But it’s just complex and indirect enough that most people don’t see it. I’m working on changing that. So are you. Keep shouting about it and the word will get out.

  2. B February 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm Reply

    Same here guys. I also have this hypothesis that “fluoroquinolone caused mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress is behind all of the chronic diseases of modernity”, or at least many of the chronic diseases of modernity.
    I told this idea and send documents to the top one Rheumatologist doctor in China. I ever spoke with him on phone twice. He is open minded (he got eduactions & visiting professors experience in US twice) and he likes the idea, however, he told me that it is hard to do this research due to :
    1, there is still no medical test that can soundly prove some chronic symptoms are related to fluoro. (even though he admit it is a matter of fact that there is a relation)
    2, it is hard to trace back people’s drug history, given the complexity of the ways that people intake drugs, For one thing, most meats (pork, turkey..) contains some small amount of fluoros. In this sense, everybody is taking some sort of fluoros or the byproduct of fluoros. How do we quantize that ?

    Lisa you are doing a very good and meaningful job. I support you, and I will be happy to see your progress. Please let me know if I can help with anything.

    Bo HongBo Guo

    • Lisa Bloomquist February 14, 2014 at 4:15 pm Reply

      Hi Bo,

      Thank you very much for working on this matter and for discussing it with the Rheumatologist in China! I’m not sure where in the world this will all be uncovered, but attacking it from multiple angles and from multiple corners of the world is a good thing to do.

      The Rheumatologist brings up some good points that are difficult to overcome. I think that an easier way to go about this is to go after all drugs and chemicals that cause mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. FQs are a major culprit, but they may not be the only one. A couple of things that may make FQs categorically more dangerous than other mito damaging drugs is that they have been shown to deplete mitochondrial DNA – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472211/ AND some early testing has shown that they form adducts to DNA. I don’t know whether or not other drugs/chemicals do those things, but I doubt that they do. If it is shown more definitively that FQs create adducts to DNA, those adducts can be shown through tests. Connecting the damage to the adduct is still difficult though, because mitochondrial dysfunction can manifest itself in all sorts of different ways (check out this article – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/cyclic-vomiting-syndrome-mitochondrial-dysfunction/). The fact that the damage is so non-linear, and complex, will make proving a causal link between the cause – fluoroquinolone induced mitochondrial damage and oxidative stress – and the effect – chronic illness of various incarnations – to be difficult.

      I think that once the connection is made between all chronic illnesses and mitochondrial dysfunction / oxidative stress, the case against fluoroquinolones will be easy to make. Unfortunately, people don’t yet see the commonalities between the various chronic illnesses, and the link between them and mitochondrial dysfunction / oxidative stress has not yet been publicized enough.

      Because of agricultural use, FQs are everywhere. They’re in our water and on our vegetables in addition to being on our meat. Meat may have some protective vitamins in it that may help to alleviate the symptoms of FQ toxicity. So, I don’t think that vegetarians are much better off than non-vegegarians. However, most people don’t get floxed from eating meat or veggies or from drinking water. People largely get floxed from taking a high-dose fluoroquinolone in the form of a pill or from an IV. Basically, what I’m saying is that the FQs that are in our food (and water) should effectively be ignored from an experimental point of view. At least for right now, a place to start is by comparing health outcomes of those who take FQs compared to those who take other antibiotics, or no antibiotics. At least, that’s where I would start. 🙂

      Please feel free to bounce any ideas that you have off of me. I’m happy to brainstorm.


    • Wondering August 11, 2017 at 6:32 pm Reply

      What are the issues with the fascia? How long can oxidative stress be considered for related?

  3. B February 12, 2014 at 6:37 pm Reply

    If a survey can be made in the vegetarian community (where must exclude the vegetarians who ever took fluoros if possible)… and do a statistics of the rate of they having chronic disease ?

    Of course it is on the hypothesis that there are ONLY TWO ways of taking fluoros: drugs & meats.

  4. D Watson March 26, 2014 at 11:46 am Reply

    I am curious to hear more about Everyone who has “Completely Recovered” from the FQ Toxicity. And, very MUCH Appreciate the Work you are doing! I especially, appreciate seeing the Range of the Participant’s varying Dosages in your Research. Please do add me to your mailing List for Updates…
    Thank You Sincerely,

    • Lisa Bloomquist March 26, 2014 at 12:47 pm Reply

      Thanks Deb! If you click where it says +Follow on the top left of the screen on this site, you will be able to add your email address and will be sent an email every time I post something. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to add you manually. Thank you!!!!

  5. Lisa Maskevich December 28, 2015 at 9:29 am Reply

    I have been stuck in terrible condition for all.most NINE YEARS!!! I am thankful for your website just knowing I a. Not crazy and there are thousands of others suffering from these poisonous antibiotics have first angered ME because This Should Never Have Happened to Any One of Us. Secondly because it made me SLEEP ALMOST THREE YEARS OF MY LIFE AWAY!!! Perhaps that slowed down the tendon ruptures. But it certainly has ruined my life. Living like this is NOT LIVING. Please tell me everything and anything you might think will help Stop this Poison from doing anymore damage. Thank you just for being here. 3/19/2007, was the day I started to die slowly and quietly, with non- stop excruciating pain.Horrible to be told My swollen liver is ” just a fatty deposit ” ER three times in a month? Many bacteria in My urine, UT . I don’t think so….more antibiotics never. I pray to get better before this takes My Life.

  6. Jaci October 31, 2016 at 11:04 am Reply

    This post was so encouraging. Dr Naviaux’s work is a light of hope in my eyes. And what he says makes sense with what I’ve experienced and read. Other links to Dr Sarah Myhill’s site have also been encouraging and informative.

    In short, toxic/trauma/stressors, etc etc (he mentions Fluoroquinolones too I believe) cause the mitochondria into a dauer state as a form of self protection (like hibernation sort of..). He’s been successful in testing it in a lab. The mitochondria needs to be coaxed out of this state gently and because of genetic differences, the treatment varies, i.e. What to use first and how long or dose. His next trial is working on this.

  7. Anna September 5, 2018 at 8:45 am Reply

    Thoughts on taking Thiamine for mitochondria repair?

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