Dear Epidemiologists – Please Take a Look at Fluoroquinolones


This paragraph, in a 2013 New Yorker article entitled The Big Sleep, caught my attention:

“In a recent paper in the online edition of the British Medical Journal, Daniel Kripke, a professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, examined five years of electronic medical records collected by a health system in Pennsylvania. He compared more than ten thousand patients who had been prescribed a sleep medicine—most commonly Ambien—and more than twenty thousand patients who had not. After adjusting for age, gender, smoking habits, obesity, ethnicity, alcohol use, and a history of cancer, and after controlling, as much as possible, for other diseases and disorders, Kripke found that people who had taken sleeping pills were more than three times as likely to have died during the study period as those who had not. Those on higher doses of the drugs were more than five times as likely to have died.”

The drug featured in the article was a new sleeping pill called Suvorexant, and the quote is about Ambien, but it made me wonder–Can someone PLEASE do a similar epidemiological study for fluoroquinolones? I want to know how health outcomes are for those who take fluoroquinolones versus those who take other antibiotics.

The symptoms of fluoroquinolone toxicity are similar to the symptoms of autoimmune diseases like R.A., M.S., Lupus, scleroderma, and other autoimmune conditions–and several people have been diagnosed with those diseases after experiencing fluoroquinolone toxicity. Fluoroquinolone toxicity symptoms are also similar to those of fibromyalgia, M.E./C.F.S., P.O.T.S., and other “mysterious” diseases of modernity. Fluoroquinolone toxicity, like those diseases, features peripheral neuropathy and central nervous system disturbances (like brain-fog, intractable insomnia, etc.). Psychiatric disturbances have been commonly reported among those suffering from fluoroquinolone toxicity. Severe musculoskeletal problems among those taking fluoroquinolones have been reported (and actually studied). Frighteningly, some who have experienced fluoroquinolone toxicity have experienced symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases like A.L.S. and Parkinson’s.

The warning labels for fluoroquinolones are 43 pages long, and list many of the symptoms of fluoroquinolone toxicity. In the November 5, 2015 FDA meeting regarding fluoroquinolones, it was acknowledged that symptoms of fluoroquinolone toxicity are severe and that they resemble the symptoms of many diseases. Fluoroquinolones have also been noted as a source of permanent disability, and delayed adverse effects have been experience and documented. The FDA panel at the November 5th meeting noted that further studies of fluoroquinolones are needed.

YES, further studies are needed.

We need long-term studies that determine whether or not people who are given fluoroquinolones are more likely to be diagnosed with an autoimmune, neurodegenerative, psychiatric, or “mysterious” disease than those who don’t take fluoroquinolones.

I hope that someone takes a closer look at fluoroquinolones to see what the long-term health consequences of them are. Patients and physicians alike should know whether or not there are long-term consequences to taking a prescription drug–so they can adjust their actions accordingly.

Additional musings on this topic can be found in the December 14, 2015 post on Hormones Matter, “Dear Epidemiologists, Consider Fluoroquinolones.”

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8 thoughts on “Dear Epidemiologists – Please Take a Look at Fluoroquinolones

  1. December 30, 2015 at 10:50 am Reply

    Will any of this help my pain?…No.

    Sent from my HTC Device on the TELUS 4G network

    • Lisa Bloomquist December 30, 2015 at 11:03 am Reply

      But it may prevent someone else’s pain. That’s worth a lot.

    • maddy November 8, 2016 at 11:06 am Reply

      It may not help your pain. But it may lead to a class action suit which may bring you some just compensation for what has been done to you, and make those who did it to you pay the damages. We need a million person Floxie march on the FDA.

  2. Kathy Sherman December 30, 2015 at 11:19 am Reply

    UCSD is doing a study on people who have been affected by fluoroquinolones. I signed up for it last week, haven’t heard back yet but that’s expected as they are on winter break.

    • Linda December 30, 2015 at 11:37 am Reply

      I am disappointed they are still taking people. It has been going on a long time. I was hoping they were closer to coming out with some stats.

  3. bjacob131 December 30, 2015 at 12:29 pm Reply

    Yes, healing comes for many fwten but it takes time. Thank you Lisa for your research and for putting this site together. I went though many of these symptoms alone, Denied by doctors when I had a torn tendon, nerve pain,tingling, digestive, muscle and back issues but prescribed more damaging drugs and I was told Cipro doesn’t do this. My children were growing up without an attentive mother who didn’t have any answers. My last floxing in 2011 and resulting tendon tear gave me a reason to research even in the fog. However it wasn’t until fInding this site just over a year ago that helped me the most to understand what I have experienced. This never should have happened and I will continue to warn others around me about the damaging effects these drugs can have.

  4. […] Source: Dear Epidemiologists – Please Take a Look at Fluoroquinolones […]

  5. Mike January 16, 2016 at 5:02 pm Reply

    Good writing Lisa.

    We can talk floxing all we want and some floxies might even stumble onto something that might help us (personally I think diet is HUGE) BUT no real progress will be made for many of us until RESEARCH is done.

    The drug companies aren’t going to do the research because they don’t care about those that are affected. Also it would cut into their profit margin if they expose their own drug which is why they want to sweep us all under the rug and stay silent on the matter. The FDA is joke and is not doing their job so basically we have no real advocate, especially considering that the pharmaceutical industry seemingly bought themselves immunity by way of passing legislation that has taken away the ability of the public to hold generic drug companies responsible for damages done. We cannot sue. There is no justice. Nobody really cares. (Not to discount your David vs. Goliath efforts in this pursuit of change Lisa and QVF)

    I get so frustrated because daily I try to find a way heal myself. I want my life back. I read articles. I read forums. I read comments. I read studies. I read about stem cell therapy, prp, prolo. I read about research on pig tendons and bioprinting of connective tissue. I check in on this site. I check in on the multiple FQ facebook groups. I do this every day and it gets me virtually nowhere. Nobody really has a cure or any real answers. It seems the only thing that has helped is diet. By God’s grace Jason has helped me with this, although nothing has helped my tendons and ligaments from breaking down over the years.

    How on earth can a drug taken in January of 2012 only cause golfers tendonitis and some shoulder pain with NO other symptoms and then about a year and a half later cause a body to self destruct with a ton of different ADR’s including progressive tendon and cartilage destruction body wide! That is what happened to me. It boggles the mind. I was incredibly active in that year and a half period of time! I felt fine!

    Off the subject somewhat: I would NEVER have been able to connect the dots had this happened to me back in early 2000’s because many of these websites with anecdotal information and personal accounts did not exist. In fact I had a mild floxing in the early 2000’s but did not relate it to the levaquin in 2002. I thought I would be fine taking Cipro in 2012, after all I did not suffer any hypersensitivity reaction or allergic response.

    Fluoroquinolones are not your average drug. They need MUCH more research. Even if someone does do research on these life destroying medications, who is going to research how to treat us existing floxies. The only people that care about us are other floxies. Pretty much the only thing other floxies can provide is emotional support… which doesn’t really help me. I want my life back not emotional support. I get emotional support from God.

    It would probably be better to have cancer than to be severely floxed. Like cancer… there is no cure and the average lay person could most likely spend a lifetime on the internet searching for a cure and never find one. We need scientists for help. Who is going to fund that? I think it’s nearly miraculous that Dr. Golumb is researching this now.

    All this being said I do appreciate the work of FQV , Lisa, Charles Bennett, David from my quin story, and others for doing their part to expose the potential life ruining effects of this class of medication. Someday through the efforts of people like these, the public will know the risks.

    Unfortunately for many of us searching the web for a “cure for cancer” continues. Man has no answer for fluoroquinolone toxicity. Healing from this poison is an act of God… Guess I’ll continue to pray.

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