In Memory of Dr. David Flockhart

On November 26, 2015, the floxie community lost Dr. David Flockhart, M.D., Ph.D., a beloved physician and researcher who passed away at his home in Indianapolis, surrounded by his family, after a year-long struggle with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme.

Dr. Flockhart was a beacon of hope for many people dealing with fluoroquinolone toxicity. He acknowledged the harm done by fluoroquinolones, and was able to help hundreds of floxies with both his vast knowledge of the harm that fluoroquinolones do, and personalized treatment protocols. His floxed patients loved him for his caring bedside manner and he was considered by many to not only be a physician, but also a friend. He will be missed by many.

A lovely obituary for Dr. Flockhart can be found here –

From the above obituary, it is noted that, “Over the course of his career, he (Dr. Flockhart) became one of the world’s foremost authorities on drug interactions and reactions. Patients from around the nation sought his opinion when other doctors insisted they were simply imagining or inventing sometimes painful and debilitating side effects.”

Dr. Flockhart spoke out to the media about adverse effects of fluoroquinolones. He noted in the PBS Newshour Frontline expose, “Certain Antibiotics Spur Widening Reports of Severe Side Effects” that, “You don’t use these big guns, if you like, for killing mosquitoes, for little limb infections. You should use them appropriately for big infections that they’re useful for.”

Also, reported in the Washington Post article, “It Pays to Read the Warnings When You Open Up a Prescription,” “’The vast majority of physicians don’t even know how to report side effects to the FDA. They don’t have a clue,’ says David Flockhart, head of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the Medical School of Indiana University. ‘And there’s a psychological resistance to believing that what they’ve done has hurt.'”

Dozens of other quotes from Dr. Flockhart about fluoroquinolones can be found throughout the internet.

Dr. Flockhart didn’t only focus on fluoroquinolone toxicity. His career in research and medicine had many facets. He was a pioneer and leader in the field of pharmacogenetics, the understanding of how an individual’s genes affect his or her response to drugs. Additionally, “He published more than 250 articles, reviews, and book chapters, and was a member of many prestigious professional organizations. He received numerous awards, including the Leon I. Golberg Memorial Lecture Series Award from the University of Chicago, the Rawls-Palmer Award for Progress in Medicine from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and the Nathaniel T. Kwit Memorial Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacology.” (quoted from his obituary)

Candy Markman, a past board member of Amnesty International’s U.S. section and a personal friend of Dr. Flockhart noted that, “He was an enormously compassionate human being who really respected other human beings.”

My condolences to Dr. Flockhart’s family, friends, patients and associates. He is missed.


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14 thoughts on “In Memory of Dr. David Flockhart

  1. Andrea December 7, 2015 at 5:15 pm Reply

    Thank you Lisa for this memorial for Dr. Flockhart. I had a few email exchanges with him and he was so caring and kind. It is a big loss for the FQ community.

  2. Linda January 27, 2016 at 10:27 am Reply

    Dr Flockhart was my first link to finding information on fighting this scourge. I never met him, but I came across some of his articles (before I found Floxie Hope) and started taking milk of magnesia every few hours. Of course that was not sustainable, but it started getting the much-needed magnesium into me. I tried to contact him at his office in Indiana, and instead got his successor (who gave me more time than any one of 12 physicians I was actually seeing here.) I hate to think where flq toxicity would be right now, were it not for Dr. Flockhart.

    • Grace March 9, 2016 at 9:24 am Reply

      Dear Linda, I read your message in memory of Dr. Flockhart. My daughter (18 years old) had a very bad levaquin adverse reaction last November. Do you mind if I can talk to find out who is Dr. Flockhart’s successor and also learn some hopeful experience from you? Thank you very much in advance. Grace Yang 267-306-0513

      • Linda March 9, 2016 at 11:28 am Reply

        Hi Grace, I just left a phone message. The doctor who replaced him is Brian Decker. He cannot treat you unless you live or travel to Indiana. He was willing to do a phone consult with another doctor, but unbelievably, I asked a half dozen doctors and NOT ONE would agree to do the phone consult! So I never did connect with him. It is possible that at least some of what he would recommend could be more pharmaceuticals—I don’t know. I just wanted to find out what I could personally do myself. There is so much information out there now though I don’t think he could add anything that I am not now aware of. Dr Jay Cohen’s last book “How We Can Halt the Cipro and Levaquin Catastrophe: The Worst Medication Disaster in U.S. History,” offers some suggestions. For me, the thing that really started turning my health around (in addition to magnesium and nonfluoridated water) was nutrient IVs from a naturopath.

  3. Andy Robertson March 1, 2016 at 9:26 am Reply

    I shared a flat with Dave in Canton , Cardiff from 1973-74. He was starting his PhD up at the University of Wales Hospital, Heath. He was a wonderful guy to know and certainly enriched my first year as an undergrad. He was a great one for folk music and I remember he had a particular love of Tom Paxton, whom he resembled quite closely. I was idly browsing the internet for news of old university pals when I came across his terribly sad news. My sincerest condolencies to all his family and anyone who knew him. He was a special man.

    • Linda March 1, 2016 at 10:08 am Reply

      For me and I am sure lots of others, he was my first connection to healing. I first saw him on a PBS documentary I found online of fluoroquinolone toxicity. I then started a search on him and that was when I first discovered the need to supplement with magnesium. I ended up corresponding with someone else in his old department at the U of Indiana, and even though I was unable to get help there since I was out of state, I did find compassion and understanding—far more than most of the doctors I saw here in person. A huge debt of gratitude is due him for really being at the forefront of highlighting these terrible toxins.Very sad that we have now lost Dr Jay Cohen too. Thanks for sharing about your friend.

      • Lisa August 9, 2016 at 11:22 am Reply

        Hello Linda,
        A loved one who had an adverse reaction to tequine (taken off the market just two months later) was first diagnosed and helped by Dr. Flockhart when he was at John’s Hopkins. He is still, years later is continually suffering and barely able to work. I’ve joined online groups but all they seem to offer is support which is great but your comments here are the first I’ve heard of someone saying that a treatment actually improved their life. Can I ask how you went about finding this help? I landed here sadly on Dr. Flockhart’s obituary in trying to find his number to seek out his help again. What an incredible loss for this community.
        Thank you.

        • L August 9, 2016 at 1:43 pm

          Hi Lisa, After I saw the PBS documentary with Dr Flockhart, I reached out to him at University of Indiana Medical School. He had retired but a Dr Brian Decker had taken over his patients. Since I was out of state he said he would do a conference call with one of my doctors. I could not find ONE doctor willing to do the call!!! I assume this was because it would be admitting that one of their own had poisoned me with the Cipro. So much for the hypocratic oath. So I never did get a consult with him, but it was nice to finally have a doctor acknowledge that Yes, Cipro causes all these things I was experiencng (and there was a LOT.) Now, having said that, I suspect that perhaps part of his treatment may include other pharmaceuticals. I am not sure, but I believe he is with the dept of pharmacology (teaching) as well as being a nephrologist. Plus, after begging so many doctors, and really giving up on allopathic medicine I had turned to a naturopath who really started turning things around for me, with IVs.

          I found his name on one of Lisa’s resource pages, whose link I will put at the end here. One doctor on the list I went to didn’t have any idea how to deal with FLQ toxicity, but she was the only doctor (rheumatologist) of all of them who thought at least a few of my side effects could have been caused by the Cipro and was far more understanding. The other one, a naturopath, was the one who put me on the road to recovery. It wasn’t cheap, and not covered by insurance, but I would still be getting IVs now if I had the money. They truly saved me. I would suggest that you friend check out that list, or if you want to let us know what city he is in, perhaps someone is already seeing a doctor who has helped them. At the very least, I hope he is supplementing with magnesium, taking probiotics (it’s unreal how much damage is linked to damaged gut microbiome), avoiding fluoridated water and non-organic meats as well as gluten. And if there are any specific questions, ask away! We are all different in our injuries, but there are some common denominators as to what has helped.

  4. August 10, 2016 at 7:44 pm Reply

    Lisa thank you so much for your reply. Starting to call doctors now! How often do you go for IVs?

    • L August 10, 2016 at 8:35 pm Reply

      HI—that wasn’t Lisa, that was me. I initially was going twice a week, but I had to stop when I ran out of money. All totaled I had around 52.

  5. sonja yarber March 13, 2018 at 12:42 pm Reply

    I remember that orange tie he would always wear to clinic. I told him that was my favorite tie. When he past I ended up with that that. I will forever be grateful for the time I got to work side by side with him. Fly High My angel.

    • L March 23, 2018 at 1:30 pm Reply

      I too will be forever grateful. When I was first struck with this nightmare I had seen him in a PBS video. I started on milk of magnesia because of him. Perhaps not the best way to get magnesium but it was a start. I contacted U of Indiana med school where he had been employed and got a very kind email from his successor who could not treat me out of state, but was willing to do a phone consult with a doctor here. I asked TWELVE doctors to do the consult an everyone refused! So much for doing what is best for the patient. I finally gave up on that, and most allopaths. In retrospect I think they do use some pharmaceuticals in treatment which I would not do now, but they were so concerned and kind and it all started because of Dr Flockhart.

  6. Gertraud Renner September 4, 2018 at 11:20 am Reply

    Who is Dr. Flockhart’s “successor”?

    • L September 4, 2018 at 11:57 am Reply

      It was Dr Brian Decker. Sadly, he passed away recently. He was only 54. I spoke with him on the phone several times and he was so kind. Since I lived in CA and he was in Indianapolis, he could not advise me, and I was too ill to travel. He offered to do a free phone consultation with a doctor here and not one of a dozen whom I asked—even my gyno. of 25 years, would do it! I think both he and Dr Flockhart may have included some pharmaceuticals in their regimen so not sure how much I would have complied with the protocol, but it certainly would have helped to know their suggestions. Anyhow, it was a very very kind and concerned doctor. So sad. I would suggest you contact the University of Indiana School of Medicine to find out who replaced him.

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