Monthly Archives: November 2015

Bulletproof Radio Interview

I had the honor of being interviewed by Dave Asprey for Bulletproof Radio, one of the best, and most popular, health podcasts in the world.

Check it out!

Bulletproof fluoroquinolone antibiotics

https://www.bulletproofexec.com/lisa-bloomquist-know-antibiotics-restore-mitochondria-263/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bulletproof-executive-radio/id451295014?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Please subscribe to Bulletproof Radio, download episode #263, “Know Your Antibiotics & Restore Your Mitochondria” and tell all your friends to do the same. Thank you!

Bulletproof Radio has more than 1,000,000 subscribers, and to be able to reach that many people with information about fluoroquinolone toxicity is, potentially, a very, very, very big opportunity, and a very big deal for the “floxie” community.

Where do I even begin describing what an honor it is to have the opportunity to be featured on Bulletproof Radio, Dave Asprey’s popular and influential podcast?

Dave Asprey is the ultimate Bio-Hacker. (You can read about his biohacking endeavors in this article – http://www.mensfitness.com/life/entertainment/inside-personal-health-laboratory-bulletproof-coffees-dave-asprey-worlds-most.) He has sought to optimize his health and performance in all areas, and he has shared his optimal diet, as well as supplement tips, on his web site, https://www.bulletproofexec.com/, and in his excellent book, The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life.

According to his bio on facebook, “Dave Asprey is a, biohacker, Silicon Valley investor, entrepreneur and the man behind Bulletproof® Coffee. He is the founder of Bulletproof Nutrition, which reaches more than 1.5 million visitors monthly. His top-ranked podcast, Bulletproof Radio, has 9+ million downloads. He has also been featured on the Today show, Nightline, CNN, and in Financial Times, Rolling Stone, Men’s Health, Vogue, Marie Claire, Slate, Forbes, and more. He lives with his family in Victoria, British Columbia.”

And, according to the iTunes summary of Bulletproof Radio, “Bulletproof Executive Radio was born out of a fifteen-year single-minded crusade to upgrade the human being using every available technology. It distills the knowledge of world-class MDs, biochemists, Olympic nutritionists, meditation experts, and more than $250,000 spent on personal self-experiments. From private brain EEG facilities hidden in a Canadian forest to remote monasteries in Tibet, from Silicon Valley to the Andes, high tech entrepreneur Dave Asprey used hacking techniques and tried everything himself, obsessively focused on discovering: What are the simplest things you can do to be better at everything? Welcome to being Bulletproof, the State of High Performance where you take control and improve your biochemistry, your body, and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or just acting like a stressed-out a*****e. It used to take a lifetime to radically rewire the human body and mind this way. Technology has changed the rules. Follow along as Dave Asprey and guests provide you with everything you need to upgrade your mind, body, and life.”

It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to share information about fluoroquinolone toxicity on Bulletproof Radio. Thank you for listening!

 

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Who Knows About Fluoroquinolone Toxicity?

Question-Mark

There are people who should know about the dangers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

The FDA should know about the dangers of all the drugs on the market. There should be people at the FDA who have read the 200+ articles I have HERE about the damage that fluoroquinolones do to cells. And there should be people at the FDA who track adverse drug reactions and therefore realize that adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones involve multi-system, often chronic, illness and disability. There should be people at the FDA who realize that a 43 page warning label for Cipro/ciprofloxacin is an indication that it’s a dangerous drug, and there should be people at the FDA who push for restrictions on drugs that carry black-box warnings–the most severe warnings possible before a drug is removed from the market. It’s the JOB of the FDA to regulate drugs and to protect the public from drugs whose benefits don’t outweigh their risks. The powers-that-be at the FDA should be working toward more prudent and appropriate use of fluoroquinolones, because it’s their job (and duty, and mission, and moral obligation) to do so.

Doctors should know about the dangers of fluoroquinolones because they prescribe them, and it’s not too much to ask that doctors know the side-effects of the drugs they prescribe. We, as patients, also ask that our doctors recognize adverse drug reactions when they see them. It would be even nicer if they could cure us and reverse adverse drug reactions, but maybe that’s asking too much. Some knowledge about the dangers of the drugs they prescribe isn’t too much to ask for though.

Pharmacists should realize that fluoroquinolones are dangerous drugs. They study drugs much more extensively than doctors do, and they’re the last line of defense before a patient receives a prescription, so it’s expected that they should know about the risks associated with all the drugs they dispense.

It is expected that all of these people will not only know about the dangers of the drugs they regulate, prescribe or dispense, but also that they will protect patients/consumers from using them inappropriately and getting hurt by them unnecessarily.

I don’t think that it’s too much to expect, and I think that some anger at the FDA, doctors and pharmacists is appropriate given their collective failure to minimize the damage done by fluoroquinolones.

There’s a problem with these assertions though. Even though the FDA, doctors and pharmacists SHOULD know about the dangers of fluoroquinolones and about fluoroquinolone toxicity, I don’t think they do.

I don’t think that they actually realize the severity of adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones. I don’t think that they realize that people who were previously healthy can have all aspects of their health and lives ruined by Cipro/ciprofloxacin, Levaquin/levofloxacin, Avelox/moxifloxacin, or any of the other fluoroquinolones.

It is too bizarre, and too unheard of, that a class of ANTIBIOTICS could cause multi-symptom, chronic, disabling illness. Fluoroquinolones are antibiotics, and even though medical professionals and regulators should know better, many believe all antibiotics are benign drugs.

As frustrating as it is for those of us who know first-hand how terrifying and destructive fluoroquinolone toxicity is, I think that it will behove us to recognize that, unfortunately, most doctors, pharmacists and even FDA personnel, don’t realize how dangerous fluoroquinolones are, or how devastating fluoroquinolone toxicity is to its victims.

I know of several physicians, pharmacists and scientists who have been “floxed.” They were just as blind-sided by their adverse reaction as anyone else. They didn’t know how severe and life-altering the effects of fluoroquinolones could be until they were personally affected by them.

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It can be difficult for those who have experienced fluoroquinolone toxicity to recognize, but many medical personnel truly didn’t know about fluoroquinolone toxicity. Doctors and pharmacists weren’t taught about fluoroquinolone toxicity in medical or pharmacy school, and the reactions are bizarre enough that they’re difficult to recognize in practice, so they don’t see it until it happens to them.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that the people at the FDA know either.

While listening to the FDA’s Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee at the November 5, 2015 meeting to, “discuss the risks and benefits of the systemic fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs for the treatment of acute bacterial sinusitis, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis in patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in the context of available safety information and the treatment effect of antibacterial drugs in these clinical conditions,” I got the distinct feeling that the FDA committee members didn’t realize the extent of the damage that fluoroquinolones do. Even though their meeting brief noted that fluoroquinolones can cause disability, the committee members still seemed surprised by the severity of the adverse reactions described by victims of fluoroquinolones.

Though they seemed to hear those who testified, and they listened respectfully, I think that stories such as the following were a surprise to the committee members:

B.C (Before Cipro):  I was a hiker, biker (rode my bicycle across the US carrying 50 pounds), hockey player, horseback rider, swimmer; thin, fit, worked in moderately physically demanding profession, no known health issues other than a simple UTI.

A.C:  (After Cipro):  Five days and 10 pills later:  crippled with unrelenting pain, unable to walk, sit, stand, use arms, fingers, or type due to severe body-wide tendon pain; hallucinations, tinnitus;  central, autonomic, and peripheral neurological issues;  severe neuromuscular damage; vision and hearing issues;  severe endocrine abnormalities (glucose, thyroid); severe cardiac issues;  autoimmune issues.

A.C. Permanently :  Five years later:  Still suffering and disabled; can’t work, lost profession, lost financial security, lost marriage, lost hope for any reasonable quality of life.   Denied by medical profession due to no known diagnostic biomarkers; denied legal recourse due to generic; denied SSDI due to the first two and denial by the FDA and everyone involved, and ultimately, will be denied as the most probable cause of my death.

I don’t think that the FDA committee members were aware that fluoroquinolones could do that much damage. How could an antibiotic do that much damage? It’s unheard of, but it’s still true–fluoroquinolones can, and do, an immense amount of harm.

The FDA’s Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee now knows about the harm that fluoroquinolones inflict. They sat through our testimony and they can no longer claim ignorance. They were told, in no uncertain terms, about the devastation that fluoroquinolones have brought to people’s lives. They acknowledged that the warning labels currently on fluoroquinolones do not appropriately convey the risks involved with taking these dangerous drugs to treat simple infections.

The FDA needs to convey to doctors, pharmacists, and the public, that fluoroquinolones are dangerous drugs with severe side-effects, and that it’s not appropriate to use them for treatment of simple infections. If the FDA updates the warning labels on fluoroquinolones to note that fluoroquinolone associated disability is a possible effect, maybe more doctors and pharmacists will recognize that they should not only avoid these drugs themselves, but that they should avoid them for use in patients too.

We, as victims of fluoroquinolones and patient advocates, are screaming loudly about the devastating effects of fluoroquinolones. There have been hundreds of news stories over the last year about the dangers of fluoroquinolones. The November 5th FDA committee hearing was a resounding success. The term “flox” is becoming recognized, and people who have not been “floxed” themselves are recognizing what it means when someone says, “I am bed-bound and I lost my job because I got floxed.” The word is getting out and those doctors and pharmacists who are paying attention are recognizing that fluoroquinolones are consequential drugs. At some point we will be able to say, “you should have known” when confronting a doctor or pharmacist about a fluoroquinolone toxicity reaction. Right now though, many doctors, pharmacists and even FDA personnel, don’t know how horrible fluoroquinolone toxicity reactions can be.

Our “bottom-up” efforts are making a difference, but some “top-down” efforts are sorely needed too. The FDA must thoroughly communicate the dangers of fluoroquinolones to doctors, pharmacists and patients.

Ignorance is not bliss when millions of fluoroquinolone prescriptions are being handed out, and thousands of people are being devastated by these dangerous drugs. Everyone involved in the medical system, including patients, needs to be informed about the dangers of these drugs. Currently, they are not. Currently, they don’t know about fluoroquinolone toxicity. Change is coming though. The more patients are listened to, the faster change will come. 

 

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Floxie Hope Email List and Free Ebook

HackingFQad

 

After 2.5 years, and more than 200 posts, I’m finally starting an email list for Floxie Hope. 🙂

If you sign up for the email list, you will get healing tips, links to interesting studies, updates on the recovery progress of those who have recovery stories on Floxie Hope, and more. You can sign up for the email list through this link – http://forms.aweber.com/form/15/753869915.htm – or through clicking the picture above.

You will also get a FREE EBOOK called HACKING FLUOROQUINOLONES if you sign up for the email list.

Hacking Fluoroquinolones describes the multiple levels of damage that fluoroquinolones do. Fluoroquinolones damage mitochondria, they leach minerals out of cells, they damage the microbiome, they damage the thyroid, and more. Information about each of these damage mechanisms is noted in Hacking Fluoroquinolones.

Thank you to all who sign up for the email list! I promise to share good information with you!

I won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone else. As is the case with all legal email lists, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Many people already “follow” Floxie Hope. Thank you to all who do! This email list is different from “following” this site. When you follow Floxie Hope, you are sent an email whenever a post goes up. If you subscribe to the email list, you will receive the Hacking Fluoroquinolones ebook and follow-up emails with useful tips and information. You are welcome (and encouraged) to do both.

Thank you all for your support! I hope that Hacking Fluoroquinolones, and all the information on Floxie Hope, is helpful to you!

HackingFQs

 

Victory at the FDA

Lisa Testifying at the FDA

 

I wrote a post about the FDA committee hearing about the risks of fluoroquinolones for Hormones Matter. Here it is:

Victory at the FDA for Fluoroquinolone Victims

As Chandler Marrs noted when she posted it on Facebook (BTW, shares are appreciated!):

“Who’s to say the experts know more than the patients? They don’t. This took years of patients speaking out, all the while the experts were silent. I am so impressed with the folks who were ill themselves, but still managed to launch a movement that was finally recognized by the FDA. Though there is still much to do, their stories and their struggles provide a guide to others. Suffering in silence does no one any good. Speak out.”

Indeed. I am very proud of all of the floxies who made this happen. Thank you to all!

 

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FDA Hearing – Victory for Victims of Fluoroquinolones

FDA Hearing Fluoroquinolones

On November 5, 2015, a meeting was held at the FDA’s White Oak campus in Silver Spring, Maryland, for the Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee to discuss, “the risks and benefits of the systemic fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs for the treatment of acute bacterial sinusitis, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis in patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in the context of available safety information and the treatment effect of antibacterial drugs in these clinical conditions.”

Hundreds of victims of fluoroquinolones from all over the U.S. and Canada came to the meeting to tell their stories of fluoroquinolone toxicity, and the pain and disability that fluoroquinolones brought to their lives. 35 victims and advocates had the opportunity to speak directly to the committee.

The stories of pain, disability, and death caused by Cipro/ciprofloxacin, Levaquin/levofloxacin, Avelox/moxifloxacin and Floxin/ofloxacin were heart-felt and poignant. The pain that these drugs have caused was noted by all those in attendance–including fellow victims, supporters of victims, the media, and the committee.

After deliberation and discussion, the FDA committee decided that the risk and benefits of systemic fluoroquinolone use for treatment of sinus infections, bronchitis in those with COPD, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections, are NOT sufficiently described in the warning labels for fluoroquinolones. The committee voted almost unanimously in favor of changing the warning labels. WE WERE HEARD! This is a HUGE step in the right direction!

FDA Votes1

The committee is now going to recommend that the FDA update the warning labels to better address the risks and benefits associated with fluoroquinolones. You can read in past posts about how the briefing for this meeting acknowledged that fluoroquinolones are no better at treating the conditions in question than placebos (https://floxiehope.com/2015/10/20/the-fda-notes-that-fluoroquinolones-are-no-better-than-placebos/) and how fluoroquinolones cause a constellation of disabling symptoms (https://floxiehope.com/2015/10/25/an-official-name-fluoroquinolone-associated-disability-fqad/). The entire brief can be read HERE.

An almost unanimous vote by the committee is a HUGE step in the right direction and it is a huge VICTORY that should be celebrated!

THANK YOU to all who came to the meeting testify or to support! You are all appreciated!

In a few days (maybe weeks) the entire meeting will be available to be viewed online. I suggest checking in at the FDA’s web site in a couple of weeks – http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/Drugs/Anti-InfectiveDrugsAdvisoryCommittee/ucm424449.htm. (I’m not sure that that’s the correct link. If it’s not, I apologize.)

Here are a couple of videos of the testimony provided:

Nicole Delaine:

Michael Kaferly:

More information about Michael’s journey to tell his story can be found at – http://thencamemichael.com/2015/11/08/david-vs-golliath-michaels-fda-testimony/

Here is what I (Lisa Bloomquist) said:

My name is Lisa Bloomquist. I flew in from Denver in order to testify about the damage that ciprofloxacin did to me, and to encourage you to cut the approved uses for fluoroquinolones so that they are only used in life-or-death situations.

In 2011 I took ciprofloxacin to treat an uncomplicated urinary tract infection. I experienced the following symptoms after taking it:

1. Hives all over my body
2. Weakness in my legs to the point that I could barely walk
3. Tightness and pain in my tendons
4. Brain fog
5. Memory loss
6. Autonomic nervous system dysfunction
7. Fatigue
8. Anxiety, fear and other central nervous system symptoms

I was sick for 18 months of my life in my early 30s because of a drug I took to treat a simple urinary tract infection. I have gotten rid of subsequent uncomplicated UTIs with d-mannose and my immune system. It is NOT APPROPRIATE for drugs that are as dangerous and consequential as ciprofloxacin and the other fluoroquinolones to be prescribed to treat simple infections that can be cured with more benign methods.

You will hear the testimony of people who have had much worse reactions than I did. You will hear from people whose lives have been destroyed by fluoroquinolones. The adverse effects of these drugs are severe.

Janssen and Bayer lawyers claim that there is no mechanism for the constellation of symptoms described today. They are wrong.

Fluoroquinolones cause:

  1. Mitochondrial damage which starts a vicious cycle of oxidative stress and further mitochondrial damage. 
  2. Acute fluoride toxicity.
  3. Fluoroquinolones chelate vital minerals from cells, including magnesium and iron. These minerals are necessary for hundreds of enzymatic reactions. 
  4. Fluoroquinolones cause a downgrading of GABA receptors and essentially throw people into protracted benzodiazepine withdrawal.
  5. Fluoroquinolones cause a massive histamine release and mast cell activation. 
  6. They cause collagen synthesis disorders.
  7. They cause microbiome destruction.
  8. All topoisomerase interrupting drugs cause epigenetic damage. They are chemo drugs. Fluoroquinolones should be treated as chemo drugs. They should only be used in life-or-death situations. 

I know these effects, and I can refer you to the studies documenting them. Why don’t you?

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Sherry Reiver:

Good afternoon chair and committee people,

I am so angry after hearing the drug companies but I have my speech written already!

My name is Sherry Reiver and I am 64 years old. I have been sick from FQs in all forms since I was 43. I moved from NY to Charlotte 10 years ago and for 21 years it is difficult to find a dr that will validate that FQs has destroyed my health and life. Each year that goes by, it’s harder for Drs to believe that these affects last so long. Over two years ago during a surgery at Duke against my consent, Floxin soaked GELFOAM PLEDGETS and steroids were placed in my head and I am 200x worse. Lets not kid ourselves, TOPICALS are just as dangerous as any FQs and the Topicals need to be INCLUDED not EXCLUDED from that PN warning the FDA came out with in August of 13.


The perils of the topicals used on children for ear and eye infections should cause great concern and should be researched as well. What are these drugs doing to their little brains and bodies?


This is a bittersweet day for me. Four years ago today, my 93 year old dad died. He FELL at home and was taken to the hospital by a neighbor. By the time my husband and I arrived in Florida, my dad had no idea who we were. They THOUGHT he had pneumonia so they IV’d him with Levaquin. It turned out that he did NOT have pneumonia but he continued to hallucinate for 6 weeks and then died. He was sharp as a tack before Levaquin dripped into his body. He did have an aortic aneurysm for many years which was being watched but it ruptured on November 4th. I would have never connected the AA with FQs until I read this research paper dated October 5th 2015. So here is another RARE side effect that can occur, which it did in my dad’s case. How many others have died from AAs and had taken a FQ drug? It took 10 years for this report to come to light. Was the FDA aware of this research from Tawain?

Do you know that after each cystoscope, Urologists hand out the gift of one Cipro, thank you Bayer, for the “just in case ” scenario? I know this for a fact. Cipro is also given out FREE at pharmacy so therefore it is prescribed more.


Three minutes does not allow me time to talk about my own health issues but understand there are many but Dr. Boxwell’s slides just showed them. We have flares which come and go at the whim of these drugs. It’s the drug that keeps on giving even years later. It has no time constraints, it holds no barriers. Doctors are clueless. We get no warnings, doctors DO NOT report our concerns and they dint read the labels themselves!

NOW EVERYONE, THIS IS THE PART I WAS UNABLE TO READ AS I READ TOO SLOWLY AND MY 3 minutes were up!!!


We are all disabled in different degrees. Don’t judge a book by its cover. I miss my life, i miss reading , I miss being productive and I miss my salary. What I have is not the “aging process” as some Drs have told me, but FQ Toxicity.


Unfortunately there are millions of people who have not connected the dots because they don’t expect an antibiotic to do such harm. Some of these people have died and their families will never know that the FQs were the reason.


Drug reps are NOT the ones who should be educating the Drs on the uses of ANY drugs. The drug companies need to come forward with information they are hiding. Their studies are flawed. PLEASE STOP THE MADNESS of these drugs being handed out so indiscriminately.

Although I am not asking you to ban these drugs, I personally, if on my deathbed would rather die than experience any worsening of my life as it is now.
Thank you for your time. I waited 21 years to be heard!

Rachel Brummert (President of the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation):

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Note: Rachel’s slide presentation referenced is available HERE.

Good afternoon. My name is Rachel Brummert and I am the Executive Director of the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation. Neither the foundation, nor I, have any financial ties to this hearing.

[SLIDE ONE: Fire pictures/pictures of pills]

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are incredibly powerful with the capability to save lives when used as a treatment of last resort for life-threatening bacterial infections like anthrax. These antibiotics have equal power to destroy lives when they are prescribed for routine infections like sinus infections and UTIs that don’t need their strength. Just as it is irresponsible to squelch a kitchen fire with the defenses we would mount against a wildfire, likewise, it is reckless to use a fluoroquinolone antibiotic to squelch a routine infection. There are safer, effective antibiotics for the treatment of routine infections in the event that an antibiotic is even necessary.

[SLIDE TWO- Pictures of my ruptures/scars]

I am living proof that the risks in using a fluoroquinolone to treat a routine infection far outweighs the benefits. In 2006, I was prescribed Levaquin for a sinus infection. Within weeks, my achilles tendon ruptured in a parking lot, the first of ten tendon ruptures I’ve suffered over nine years.

[SLIDE THREE- List of my adverse reactions with ICD9 codes]

A first-line of defense antibiotic like Amoxicillin, would have resolved my sinus infection, and I would not have been exposed to the relatively disproportionate risks of known fluoroquinolone-associated injury, which includes a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, from which I will never recover.

With just one prescription, a once-healthy wage-earner, parent, or grandparent – just like you, just like me – can no longer enjoy a reasonable quality of life and now lives with lifelong risks for the development of an illness that is life-threatening.

[SLIDE FOUR- HOW CAN THE FDA HELP?]

What can the FDA do to protect patients from profound, preventable harm? A preventable problem is a fixable problem. The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of a wide variety of consumer products including prescription medications. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are causing widespread disability and their overuse is also a contributing factor in the antibiotic resistance epidemic. Antibiotic resistance is such an important issue that there is a White House objective to do something about it. If fluoroquinolones are being prescribed for routine infections which don’t need their strength and they are disabling otherwise healthy patients, and their overuse is leading to an international epidemic, the answer is clear: The FDA must apply its highest level of scrutiny, regulation and surveillance of fluoroquinolones to achieve this shared goal.

Thank you for your time and consideration and for holding this very important meeting.

Linda Livingston:

I have 3 minutes to tell you about my side effects from Cipro, given to me for a simple UTI. I could take an hour trying to describe the two nightmarish months where my breathing was so suffocating I gasped for every single breath. Each night I had to take a pill to sleep and only got an hour if I was lucky. And each night before I took the pill I prayed I wouldn’t wake up. Words cannot describe the rage I feel for the torture I have endured.

I could tell you about the damage to the nerves around my neck that make it feel numb at times and like I am being choked at other times. I could tell you about the horrific olfactory nerve damage that made everything thing in the world asphyxiate me, making me a virtual shut in. I could tell you about my pericardial effusion, blurred vision, terrifying light show, excruciating back pain worse than when I had cracked ribs, or being bedridden for a month and having to have food and non-fluoridated water dropped off, and laundry picked up. I could tell you about my numb fingers and toes, constant bladder pressure, ravaged GI system and 32 pound weight loss in two months, with muscle waste and extreme weakness. There is the swelling over the ulnar nerve, the spasming uncontrollable fingers, the light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, newly acquired food sensitivities, electrical zaps in my knee and arm, popping in my spine and hip, extreme anxiety, depression, crying everyday for 8 months, and suicidal thoughts.

I could tell you about my fears —that my breathing will never again be normal; that my eyes will not improve or even get worse; that my DNA is permanently damaged or my fears surrounding the links to several eye diseases, ALS, Parkinsons and Altzheimers. No one deserves to have their life devastated for a simple UTI!

My life is so different from 9 months ago. I cannot work and worry about how I will pay rent, let along treatments which are not covered by insurance. I can’t meet friends for dinner or happy hour. I have not enjoyed a cup of coffee or glass of wine since January. I can’t exercise like I used to. (I was in incredible shape before this.) My diet is so restricted that there are few places I can go. I am tired all the time, and my anxiety prevents me from doing many things I used to do. My passion is theatre and I may never be able to perform again. There is little joy.

First we are poisoned, then we are left to fend for ourselves because doctors are mostly oblivious to any of the side effects. They are not reading labels or warnings. We are treated with ridicule and derision by the medical community, and then we are financially devastated as well.

If another country did this to us, they would be called war crimes. The pharmaceutical companies have known for decades about the hideous side effects. The FDA has allowed them to inappropriately market these drugs for simple infections. There was recently a GM car recall because of 78 deaths. These drugs may be responsible for up to 300,000 deaths (not to mention all the life altering side effects.) We are not just figures on a share-holders statement. We are people who have been tortured and have our lives decimated. So, why are you even still discussing it at this point?

Linda Landmon:

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My name is Linda Landmon. I’m here today with my husband David, we’re from Dallas Texas and I’m 58 years old.

In 2009 we bought our dream home that we planned to retire in. I had been self employed for 9 years working from home. I was an avid bicycle rider, I enjoyed swimming, entertaining , traveling, spoiling our 2 grandkids and I even had a personal trainer coming to my house twice a week.

Life was good !

But then things changed –

December of 2011 I was diagnosed with a kidney stone.

My Urologist gave me Levaquin “samples ” with no information on the medication or the side effects it may cause. My urine culture was negative for infection.

April of 2012 my Urologist gave me Cipro after a Lithotripsy , again I had no infection.

December of 2012 my Urologist surgically removed my kidney stone and again gave me Cipro. I had no infection this time either.

One week later, January 2013 I went to the ER with Kidney stone pain and I was given one IV of Levaquin and pain medication. My urine culture was negative for infection.

10 days later I went back to the ER with kidney stone pain and I was given 4 bags of Levaquin AND a prescription for Levaquin to take for 10 more days. My urine culture was negative for infection.

Since these medications I’ve been diagnosed with Peripheral Neuropathy, ringing in the ears, high anxiety , a torn rotator cuff, a torn meniscus , which has resulted in needing a total knee replacement , spinal stenosis and tendon damage in my foot. This has all led to depression and I’ve basically become a recluse. For me to speak here today is HUGE !

I’ve had numerous MRI’s , X-rays, steroid shots, I’ve been prescribed, Celebrex , Neurontin, Lyrica, Tramadol and Xanax.

I have a walker, crutches, a leg brace various boots and supports for my foot.

These drugs are prescribed way too often without any proof of infection. I know because it happen to me , FIVE TIMES.

Fluoroquinolones are the only antibiotics I’ve found that carry a Black Box warning and it hasn’t stopped doctors from passing them out like candy.

I didn’t have Anthrax, the Plague OR an infection. I had a kidney stone.

Christabelle Cruz Chajon:

Good afternoon Chair and Committee Members, my name is Christabelle
Chajon. I am 35 years old and live in Washington DC with my husband and
5 year old daughter.

Prior to February 2014, I was loving life. I was healthy and active, and on
no medications. I was a full-time mom with the ability to also work part-time
from home, and enjoyed exercising, hiking, reading, and playing music.

In February 2014, I went to the doctor for a lingering cough. I was
diagnosed with bronchitis and given a 5 day course of Levofloxacin. I
asked at the pharmacy if there were side effects, and was told they were
rare and that tendon damage was only a concern for elderly patients. After
the last pill, I woke in the middle of the night shaking, unable to speak, and
numb from head to toe with my heart racing, and my husband rushed me to
the ER. This happened 3 more times within 6 months after taking
Levofloxacin, and each time I was discharged with nothing more than heart
palpitations.

I also developed many other symptoms including insomnia, intense muscle
and joint pain and weakness, digestive issues, vertigo, fatigue, painful
neuropathy, cognitive impairment, and extreme chemical sensitivities. This
translated into changing my life completely – having to cancel planned
family trips, being unable to carry my daughter when she needed me,
falling asleep unexpectedly while caring for my daughter, being unable to
exercise and enjoy hobbies let alone walk and get out of bed some days.
Food that I ate with no problems before made me sick, and I also lost over
10% of my weight, which is attributed to my body no longer digesting fats
and proteins. Many of these symptoms I still struggle with today, and my
quality of life has declined tremendously. I do not work, and the proper
care and treatments I need are a financial burden on my family. It has
been a frightening struggle to say the least.

But what is most frightening is that most doctors fail to realize that
fluoroquinolones can cause this type of systemic damage. In my search for
help, I even encountered one doctor who was insulted that I considered
that my symptoms were caused by levofloxacin. How can that be when the
connection was obvious as I went from perfectly healthy to unable to get
out of bed and function normally most days?

I joined the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Group online in the spring of 2014,
which at the time had around 2000 members, all who have suffered from a
constellation of symptoms. That number has more than doubled since
then. It is evident that Fluoroquinolone Associated Disability is not rare.

And per today’s meeting’s briefs, it’s been concluded that antibiotics don’t
make much of a difference on uncomplicated conditions such as sinusitis,
bronchitis, and UTIs; yet, potent fluoroquinolones are being prescribed for
them. The doctors who are inappropriately prescribing these drugs for
simple infections are either unaware of these warnings, or are not taking
them seriously. Limiting the indications to only include serious and lifethreatening
infections, full disclosure to patients about these drugs, and
adding FQAD to the warning labels of fluoroquinolones are absolutely
necessary to stop the countless number of lives damaged and even lost to
these drugs.

If you would like to share your testimony on this site (to archive it, for search engines to find it, or just because you want to) please send it to me through the Contact link above. I am happy to post any and all testimony in any form.

Thank you again to everyone who came to the meeting yesterday! It truly was a huge victory! Great job, everyone!!!

 

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The Hardest Topic – Suicide

Suicide Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

People who are in pain, and depressed, and desperate for help, and who have had everything that they cherish taken away from them–their health, their mental health, their job, their family, their money, their stability, and more–often reach out to me. I am happy to do what I can to help. I tend to be at a loss for words when people are suicidal though. I don’t know the right thing to say or do when people are considering ending their life. I can tell them that I’m so sorry for all the pain and anguish, and I am–I truly feel sorrow. I can tell them that it will change and it will pass–but those things sound trite when a person is in constant pain and they’re wondering if the pain will ever end, or when a person is feeling like their life is already over, or when a loved one leaves them because they don’t understand.

I tell people to reach out to suicide prevention counseling services. I think they should. If you are suicidal as you read this, please, please reach out to a suicide prevention counseling service. Here are a couple:

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

1-800-273-8255

 

IM Alive

http://hopeline.com/

1.800.SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

 

The people who answer those phone lines are trained, and they know what to say to help you to get through to tomorrow. Please reach out to them if you need to.

I’m not particularly good at helping people who are suicidal because I was never “there.” There were moments in my fluoroquinolone toxicity journey when I thought that life as I knew it was over, but I never considered ending my life.

There are other floxies who have gone through such pain and anguish (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) that they did consider ending their life. There are floxies who have gotten through periods of being suicidal who can tell you from first-hand experience that it passes and gets better. There are even people who were severely floxed, and suicidal, who have recovered. They truly understand how horrible it can be, and they also know that it gets better.

I think that it would be helpful to floxies who are currently scared and suicidal to talk to people who have been through what they’re going through. If you’re a person who has gone through the worst of fluoroquinolone toxicity, who is willing and able to talk to other floxies who are in this horrible position, please let me know through the Contact link above, and I will put you in touch with people who can use your empathy and guidance when they reach out through this site.

If we can work together to help people who are suicidal because of the effects of fluoroquinolones, maybe we can help to save some lives.

Please, friends, use the resources that are available if you are feeling suicidal. The hotlines mentioned above are open 24/7.

And please know that there are people who understand, who have been “there,” who have made it through to a better place, and who are thankful that they lived to see the better place. Hang in there, keep going, it gets better, one step at a time, you can do this.

 

 

A few floxies have lost their lives recently, and my heart truly aches for their loved ones. To everyone who is grieving for the loss of a loved one, I am truly sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts. My deep-felt condolences to you and your loved ones.

 

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