Monthly Archives: February 2016

Overcoming the Fear that Comes with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

Having your body fall apart is terrifying. Losing your mental capacity is even scarier. Hearing stories of people who have had their lives devastated by Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox or Floxin, when you are experiencing an adverse reaction to one of them, can be devastatingly frightening. Delayed reactions are scary. The connections between fluoroquionolone toxicity and autoimmune diseases are scary. This whole mess is scary and it’s completely understandable and normal for you to be afraid.

Try not to be though.

I know that it’s easier said than done to not be terrified, to calm down, and to know that you will be okay, and I’m not trying to minimize the legitimate fear at all, but, unfortunately, fear isn’t helpful–it’s actually harmful, and it needs to be nipped in the bud as quickly as possible.

Your symptoms are real, and they’re not in your head. But fear and anxiety can amplify all of your fluoroquinolone toxicity symptoms and make them worse. You want to get better, not worse, and I wholeheartedly believe that getting fear and anxiety under control are necessary for healing.

It’s okay to have a freak-out period. Most of us do. Forgive yourself for freaking out, but move on to less fear-based reactions as quickly as possible.

Tell yourself that you will be okay. Try to believe it. Try to believe that you will recover. Full recoveries are possible. I have fully recovered, and so have many others. Your body will heal. It will. I don’t know what your timeline will be, or whether or not you will make a full recovery, but I do know that each of us has a huge amount of resiliency and strength and that healing and recovery are both possible.

Take some deep breaths. Feel the air go in and out of your body and try to appreciate the beauty of being alive–it’s pretty amazing when you think about it. These horrible drugs knocked you down and hurt you, but they didn’t kill you. You’re still alive and breathing. With every breath comes healing. Breathe deeply–it helps, it really does.

I took a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction class early in my floxing. It helped immensely and I recommend it to everyone. It helped to calm me down and dissipate some of the fear I was experiencing.

I encourage you to get away from anything that increases your fear. The information about fluoroquinolone toxicity that you can find on the internet is incredibly valuable, but reading about the horrible things that fluoroquinolones can do can induce fear and anxiety. I encourage you to get off the internet (including this site). Do something that is enjoyable that takes your mind off of fluoroquinolone toxicity – take a bath, or a walk, or watch a funny movie, or hug a loved one, or meditate, or anything else that is enjoyable and anxiety-reducing. See if you feel better after doing an anxiety-reducing activity, and if you do, stick with it.

Have hope, my friends. You can get through this. You WILL get through this. It’s a difficult hurdle, and a horrible time in your life. I understand and appreciate that. But it will change, it will get better. Try to believe it. Try to have hope.

Hang in there.

I wrote these “attitude tips” when I wrote my recovery story. I still think they’re helpful:

Try not to compare yourself to how you used to be.  I used to hike 20 miles in a day.  I can’t do that anymore, but I can hike 3 miles today and I couldn’t do that when I first got floxed. Compare yourself to how you were yesterday, not to how you were before you got floxed.

Do something – anything – to work toward healing, every day.  Walk a little further than you did yesterday.  Meditate.  Take an Epsom Salt bath.  Get an acupuncture treatment.  Do a puzzle.  Whatever makes you feel good – do it.  Every little step helps.

Don’t kill yourself.  Have hope.  You will get better.

You’re not crazy.  You’re sick.  Have hope.  You will get better.

You’re not stupid.  You’re sick.  Have hope.  You will get better.

Try not to identify yourself as sick.  The mind is a powerful thing so try to stay positive. It’s hard, I know.  But try, because it’s worth it.

You will have bad days.  They will pass.  This all will pass.  It is not permanent.  You are strong –  present tense.  You were knocked down, but you weren’t killed.  You will get better.

Don’t quit your job.  Try to maintain as much normalcy in your life as you can.

It is not your fault.  Even if you knew better, even if you demanded the most powerful drug possible from your doctor, even if you self-medicated, even if you coerced your doctor into giving you the fluoroquinolone antibiotic, even if the infection that you were treating was something that you got because of doing something stupid, or from sex, even if you continued to take it after you started to get sick, even if you floxed your child/parent or other loved one – IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.  You are sick.  You are poisoned.  You are not to blame for your sickness or for the fact that you are poisoned.  Who to blame is a discussion that I don’t want to get into because I want this to be positive, but it is not you.  You are not to blame.  You are a victim.  It is not your fault.

Please don’t fall too deeply into the pit of fear and despair. Being scared and angry and anxious are all normal and appropriate reactions, but they’re destructive, so the sooner you can get past them, the better.

Know that the fear will pass. Know that everything you are going through right now will pass. Each breath is a new one–a new beginning. Breathe deeply, and try to breathe out some of the fear.

You will be okay. Try to believe it.




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Mitigating Fluoroquinolone Damage

What if a loved one must take a fluoroquinolone because it is the only option available to save their life? How do they avoid getting “floxed” and experiencing the devastation that fluoroquinolones have brought to too many lives?

Undeniably, there is a range of reactions to fluoroquinolones – from people not reacting badly at all, to people being permanently disabled and in excruciating pain, and everything in between. If a loved one must take a fluoroquinolone because it is the only viable option, is there any way to push them toward the “not hurt” end of the spectrum?

Who Gets Floxed?

At this time, no one knows what makes someone susceptible to getting “floxed.” No one knows why some people tolerate fluoroquionlones well but other people don’t. No one knows why an individual can tolerate fluoroquinolones fine at one time, but have a horrible reaction another time. No one knows what genetic predispositions contribute to some people getting hurt by fluoroquionlones.

The epidemiologists say that the risk of fluoroquinolone-induced tendon ruptures is higher in those over the age of 60. However, there are many “floxies” under the age of 60, and many of them suffer from tendon ruptures and other musculoskeletal problems.

It is hypothesized in, “Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics and Thyroid Problems: Is there a Connection?” that, “anyone with any underlying genetic predisposition, or possibly harboring a subclinical, latent, or silent endocrinopathy might be ‘pushed over the edge’ into full blown clinical pathology” by fluoroquinolones. But I have a friend who is over the age of 60 and who has thyroid problems, as well as osteoporosis, who recently took a course of Cipro and was fine afterward. I saw her yesterday and she is doing well. I would have thought that she would have been predisposed toward an adverse reaction… but she wasn’t.

As a strong and athletic 32 year old who had no history of illness, I certainly didn’t think that I was predisposed to having an adverse reaction to Cipro, but it happened. Cipro made me sick for a while.

There seems to be a certain amount of “Russian Roulette” going on when one takes a fluoroquinolone. There aren’t any tests to determine who will react poorly to fluoroquinolones, and even known risk factors only sometimes make a difference. Some people seem to get lucky, while others get very, very unlucky. I realize that attributing adverse reactions to bad luck and “Russian Roulette” is a frustrating non-answer, but, unfortunately, that’s where we’re at right now – the land of frustrating non-answers. Welcome to being a floxie.

Despite the seeming randomness of adverse reactions, there is sufficient evidence that people who are over the age of 60, athletes, those who have a history of psychiatric illness, those with a history of benzodiazepine withdrawal, people who regularly use NSAIDs, people using corticosteroids, people who have an existing autoimmune or endocrine disorders, those who are immunocompromised, and people who have a mitochondrial disorder (in any of its manifestations, including ME/CFS and fibromyalgia) should avoid fluoroquinolones if at all possible. (More about this can be found in the post, “Don’t Take Cipro, Levaquin or Avelox If….” on Hormones Matter.)

When it’s the Only Option

Given that few people think that an adverse drug reaction will happen to them, and that antibiotic resistance is reducing the number of safe antibiotics available to treat many infections, many people are stuck with fluoroquinolones being the only option available to them.

If this is the situation for you (yes, I do realize that many/most floxies would rather die than take a fluoroquinolone again, but that’s not the case for everyone) or a loved one, is there anything that can be done to mitigate the damage done by the drug?



Mitigating Fluoroquinolone Damage

Studies have noted that magnesium and vitamin E can mitigate some of the damage done by fluoroquinolones. In, Musculoskeletal Complications of Fluoroquinolones: Guidelines and Precautions for Usage in the Athletic Population, it is noted that:

“Pfister et al [25] studied the effects of oral vitamin E (tocopherol) and magnesium supplementation on ciprofloxacin-associated chondrotoxicity. Juvenile rats were divided into 4 groups: those fed a normal diet, a vitamin E– enriched diet, a magnesium-enriched diet, or a diet enriched with both vitamin E and magnesium. These diets were initiated 10 days before the rats were given ciprofloxacin. Two days after fluoroquinolone exposure, cartilage samples from the knee joints were histologically examined, and cartilage and plasma concentrations of magnesium, calcium, and vitamin E were measured. Fluoroquinolone-associated cartilage changes were observed in all groups, but the supplemented groups showed significantly less change, with the magnesium and vitamin E combination group demonstrating the least change. Both plasma and cartilage concentrations of magnesium and tocopherol were significantly higher in the supplemented groups than in the animals that received the normal diet, which supports the potential role of magnesium deficiency in the pathogenesis of fluoroquinolone-associated chondrotoxicity.”

Does that mean that magnesium and vitamin E should be taken along with fluoroquinolones to mitigate damage? Maybe. It should be noted that magnesium inhibits fluoroquinolones both for better and for worse, and that the magnesium may decrease the ability of the FQ to fight the bacterial infection.

Additionally, it is noted in “Bactericidal Antibiotics Induce Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidative Damage in Mammalian Cells,” that:

“Mice treated with clinically relevant doses of bactericidal antibiotics similarly showed signs of oxidative damage in blood tests, tissue analysis, and gene expression studies. This ROS-mediated damage could be reversed by the powerful antioxidant N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) without disrupting the bacteria-killing properties of the antibiotics.”

Since NAC doesn’t disrupt the bacteria-killing properties of the antibiotics, it’s a better bet (IMO).

It is also noted in Musculoskeletal Complications of Fluoroquinolones: Guidelines and Precautions for Usage in the Athletic Population, that:

“A mitochondrial-targeted form of ubiquinone (MitoQ) demonstrated a larger protective effect than did untargeted ubiquinone. Oxidative stress frequently occurs in the mitochondria [22], and fluoroquinolone-induced oxidative damage to mitochondria in tenocytes and chondrocytes has been reported [26].”

Some “floxies” have found MitoQ to be helpful in healing fluoroquinolone-induced damage. Perhaps it can also prevent the damage from occurring.

If a loved one of mine had to take a fluoroquinolone, I would try to get him or her to load up on magnesium before-hand, and I would try to get vitamin E, NAC, and MitoQ into him/her while the FQ was being administered.

I certainly wouldn’t claim to know for sure that they would be safer while taking those antioxidants, but it’s worth a try.

Russian Roulette

People should be aware of the dangers of fluoroquinolones, and they should know that there is a certain amount of Russian Roulette that is being played with every pill administered. For better or for worse, I don’t think that people really understand fluoroquinolone toxicity until it happens to them. As scary as it is for those of us who have been hurt by fluoroquinolones to stand by and watch while our loved ones take these pills, some of us will have to do just that at some point. Maybe some of the fluoroquinolone-induced damage can be mitigated by the supplements mentioned above. I hope so.


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K-PAX for Floxies

KPAX Immune

Just to note upfront, I have no affiliation with K-PAX. I have not been asked by them to write any of this. The following post is for your information only and I hope that it’s helpful!

In October, 2015 I received the following email:

I was recently introduced to K-PAX Pharmaceuticals who is conducting research on mitochondrial toxicity, thought to be a cause of the symptoms associated with Fluoroquinolone use.

Their main immune support formula was originally created to decrease the toxicity caused by antiviral medications in the HIV population. These medications caused similar symptoms, including peripheral neuropathy, as seen in Fluoroquinolone use. This Immune Formula was shown to achieve a 33% decrease in peripheral neuropathy for these patients. Their goal was to provide high levels of antioxidants in order to combat free radicals associated with the medication toxicity. Patients taking this formula also had a 26% increase in their CD4 count. This formula boosted their immunity by improving their mitochondrial health. This research was published in the Journal of AIDS (Kaiser, J. D., Campa, A. M., Ondercin, J. P., Leoung, G. S., Pless, R. F., & Baum, M. K. (2006). Micronutrient supplementation increases CD4 count in HIV-infected individuals on highly active antiretroviral therapy: a prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 42(5), 523-528).

The reason I started looking in to K-PAX’s Immune Formula was after coming across the 2013 FDA Pharmacovigilance Review entitled, “Disabling Peripheral Neuropathy Associated with Systemic Fluorquinolone Exposure.” This paper draws the same connection between damaged mitochondria function from medication toxicity and peripheral neuropathy. In it, the FDA states, “A human prospective study was done to evaluate oxidative stress in patients taking different doses of ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and gatifloxacin for 5 days for complicated UTI. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), and endogenous antioxidant enzyme that removes free radicals, glutathione, another major antioxidant, plasma antioxidant status and lipid peroxides were evaluated in the 52 patients. Results showed that ciprofloxacin had a significant increase in lipid peroxide levels from the first to the fifth day, almost doubling. There was also a significant decrease from (73% to 32%) in SOD, as well as glutathione. The results were similar for levofloxacin, although to a lesser degree, but these results were not seen with gatifloxacin. This study showed how increase in lipid peroxides can quickly overwhelm what is left of the plasma antioxidants, leading to impairment of cell integrity and cell death.”

From what I understand, K-PAX Pharmaceuticals is currently focusing their research on chronic fatigue syndrome and fatigue related to other medical conditions. They are looking at mitochondrial dysfunction as the cause for these conditions as well. They just published a paper about their clinical trial using their Immune Support Formula for mitochondrial damage in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. (Kaiser, J. D. (2015). A prospective, proof-of-concept investigation of KPAX002 in chronic fatigue syndrome. International journal of clinical and experimental medicine, 8(7), 11064).

I wanted to share this information with you and your readers as I have been doing a lot of research for my own condition and see more and more reference to mitochondrial damage as a culprit so I decided to give it a try. I have now been using the K-PAX Immune Formula for the past 6 months and have seen a significant decrease in my neuropathy and improvement in my energy level. My brain fog has lifted and I feel an improvement in my overall health. I like the fact that this product is actually helping to heal my mitochondria and reverse the cell damage caused by these toxic medications.

After corresponding with the author a bit, I sent an email to the folks at K-PAX asking if they had ever heard of it being used to help people through fluoroquinolone toxicity. The next day I received a phone call from the K-PAX Medical and Community Liaison, Deirdre. Deirdre wasn’t familiar with fluoroquinolone toxicity specifically, but she was familiar with mitochondrial toxicity, drug-induced mitochondrial toxicity, and many of the diseases that FQ toxicity resembles (like autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, Gulf War Syndrome, etc.). Deirdre and I chatted extensively about fluoroquinolone toxicity and we decided that there was mutual interest in seeing how the K-PAX supplements worked for floxies. Deirdre/K-PAX offered to send 15 floxies a month’s supply of K-PAX Immune Support to see if it helped them.

I selected 15 floxies (first come, first serve – and I tried to get a decent age and gender mix) to receive the K-PAX Immune Support supplements and, about a week later, they started taking them.

Please note that this was in no way an official trial or experiment. I asked that all the floxie participants be willing to give me feedback about their experience, but that was the only obligation.

After everyone had time to complete the supplements, I sent out a survey to see how people liked the supplements and how they reacted.

You can view the survey results HERE.

To summarize*:

  • 37.5% of respondents had FQ toxicity symptom improvement while taking the supplements, 37.5% did not, and 25% of the respondents answered “other” to that question.
  • Fatigue relief and increased energy were two of the symptoms that some people experienced relief of.
  • 62.5% of respondents said that they would recommend K-PAX supplements to other floxies. Their reasons for recommending it to others included, “I have 20 years experience trying to recover, bio-available nutrients have been the only thing to combat the symptoms I have found,” and, “I have seen improvement in my fatigue,” and, ” if ANYTHING can help, it’s worth a try.”

If you would like to try the K-PAX supplements, they are available through the K-PAX store – Additional information can be found on

I would also like to note that it was very generous of the K-PAX personnel to send their products to so many floxies, and for them to have a willing, open mind about fluoroquinolone toxicity. Their customer-service was phenomenal and I appreciate all their hard work on behalf of the floxie community very much! I also appreciate that they’re looking for solutions to complex, poorly-understood illnesses. Companies like K-PAX are part of the solution, as far as I can tell.

Again, I have no affiliation with K-PAX, and they didn’t even ask me to write this post. I’ve tried to be as open and transparent as possible, but if any of you have any questions about any of this, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks again to the K-PAX personnel and to all the floxies who were willing to try something new!

*Please note that the results of the survey may change if more people take the survey after this post is published.


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MTHFR Genetic Mutations and Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

I have been asked to write about how MTHFR (Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase) genetic mutations relate to fluoroquinolone toxicity. The question is – Are people with MTHFR and other methylation-related genetic mutations more likely to get “floxed?” And, can addressing methylation issues help “floxies” to heal?

I think that the answers to both are yes. However, that’s about as far as my insight into the matter goes. For some reason, I have been reluctant to study genetic mutations and how they relate to FQ toxicity. It has been too daunting for me, thus far. So, I’m going to post some information that I found interesting about MTHFR mutations / methylation. For more thorough information about genetic variations/SNPs/mutations, I suggest that you look through the following sites:

All of the people who run those sites are familiar with fluoroquinolone toxicity, so please reach out to them if you have any questions. Dr. Amy Yasko also has a lot of great information about methylation, but I’m not sure whether or not she’s familiar with FQ toxicity –

Here are a few things about MTHFR mutations that I found to be interesting, so I’m sharing them with you. Please note that these are interesting observations from other floxies, not peer-reviewed journal articles.

From fellow floxie Ken J:

If memory serves many people get some help from fish. Many types of fish are high in b12. in fact things like beans, fish, leafy greens they each contain parts of the b12 folate and b6 cycles.

Funny thing about the B12 is it’s not naturally occurring in plants… or animals for that matter. Only certain types of bacteria can create it and those bacteria can accumulate in animal meats like liver, beef, fish, eggs ect.

Deficiency in B12 has symptoms like:

Weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness
Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
Pale skin
A smooth tongue
Constipation, diarrhea, a loss of appetite, or gas
Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
Vision loss
Mental problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes
It can also result in high homocysteine which carries increased risk of heart attack, embolisms, stroke and bone breaks, as well as neuropathy, twitches, tinitis, nerve damage, and dementia like issues.

I’ve been shown in tests to have low folate and b12, and high homocysteine. Recently my homocysteine levels were 35mcmol/L where the standard should be 5-10. this is after the prescription of a z-pak antibiotic (post-flox).

The catch for me, and I find myself wondering if it may be the case for others, is I have a gene variant known as MTHFR that effects part of my bodies handling of b vitamins, and some variants in MTRR genes, which also relate to b vitamin cycles, predominantly in relation to neuro transmitters.

Where this becomes a problem is that the common vitamin supplements and “enriched” foods that use folic acid, b12 and other b vitamins, not only can’t be used by my body, but actually clog up things so they can actually behave like blockers for the natural FOLATE and methylcobalamin (b12). Making symptoms worse. and these fortified ingredients are everywhere.

So what does that have to do with the price of rice? or floxing? Turns out the cycles these vitamins regulate (and thus deficiencies or genetic variants that can cause deficiencies) are the methylization processes the body uses to get rid of toxins including the effects of some antibiotics. So an antibiotic may very well be the thing that sets things off balance and crash the whole house of cards.

I can’t say one way or the other if that is the case for other people, but I would definitely suggest anybody dealing with the effects of a floxing, get their folate, b6, b12, and homocysteine levels checked (and Vit D check wouldn’t hurt either). That will tell you some very important things to know.

I know about my gene variants because I’ve done genetic testing through 23and me and had my raw data checked against key genes in the methylization cycles through another site online. Some doctors can do a check for MTHFR these days as it’s starting to get attention. if you know or think this is an issue for yourself or a loved one, please use food sources of these vitamins rather than enriched, fortified or supplements until you can work with a nutritionist/holostic practitioner to get the right kinds of supplements that won’t actually make things worse. (Salmon, beef, liver, shrimp, clams, makerel, cod – for b12; beans, lentils, spinach, for folate; spinach, potato (including sweet potatos), and poultry for b6).

I think that getting B vitamins from foods that naturally contain them, and avoiding fortified foods, are excellent recommendations. Just a little personal note – I drank tons of kombucha post-flox. It is a good natural source of folate, B12, and other vitamins. Maybe it helped me to heal. I’m not sure, but I really do love the stuff.


Ken’s note also got me wondering if all antibiotics, not just fluoroquinolones, are killing our B-vitamin synthesizing bacteria and leading to high levels of homocysteine which leads to all sorts of ailments. Maybe… to be explored.


I also found the following information, posted by Carol on FB, to be interesting:

histamine and mthfr


If you took NIACIN and flushed and developed terrible itching that was not an allergy.

Flushing and itching is what would be expected to happened to a person who is an under-methylator. An under-methylator is someone who doesn’t have much SAMe to work with because their “Methylation Cycle” is not working very well due to any of the following genetic enzymatic variances.

MTHFR C677T…poor production of L-Methyl Folate
MTRR [slow]…trouble making Methyl-B12
MTR [slow]…trouble transferring a methyl group onto HOMOCYSTEINE
MAT [slow]…trouble turning Methionine into SAMe
CBS [slow]…a backup of the “Transsulfuration Pathway”
BHMT [slow]…poor conversion of Homocysteine into methionine in the LIVER and KIDNEY

When a person already has few available SAMe molecules and then they take Niacin they will develop this expected reaction of flushing and itching, but it is NOT an allergy.

………………..THE BIOCHEMISTRY….for those who are interested in details…….
The enzyme that inactivates Histamine inside cells is called Histamine-N-MethylTransferase [HNMT].
The HNMT enzyme requires SAMe [S-AdenosylMethionone] in order to do its job of inactivating histamine.

When such a person who doesn’t make enough SAMe takes Niacin their SAMe gets totally all used up.
Now, because there is insufficient SAMe the histamine doesn’t get inactivated as it should and the person will flush and get itchy because of the excess histamine that cannot be inactivated because of the lack of SAMe.

HISTAMINE Metabolism…HNMT enzyme uses SAMe to inactivate Histamine

Well, that struck a chord, because about 6-months post-flox I took a niacin supplement and proceeded to break out in hives all over my body and I turned a lovely shade of reddish purple. I went to the doctor and she said, “yup, it’s the niacin.” I haven’t gotten my genes analyzed by an expert yet, but I certainly understand that I had a massive histamine release upon taking niacin, and that that’s an indication that I’m an under-methylator. Noted.

The tie-in of methylation and histamine is interesting too. Most floxies have symptoms of histamine intolerance. More information about that can be found in this post –

Before you do anything to address your methylation issues, I encourage you to speak with an expert about it. The people who run the above-referenced sites can help you to analyze your genetic profile, and with that information it is best to consult with a doctor or naturopath.


Fellow-floxie Jason asked me to share this write-up:

Hello all. I’ve been researching Genetics and Methylation quite a bit in the last half a year, and I think of the few possibilities of why some people take a long time to heal, and why some never appear to heal at all, this has been one very very important reason that has been significantly overlooked and underestimated by the entire Floxie Community for a long time (of course in the Medical World this is all ‘relatively new’ though). I would like to discuss some aspects of this potential reason, and why I think they are important, in hopes that some struggling Floxies and anyone else out there suffering ‘might’ just find some healing.


Methylation is behind MANY important process’s in the body (DNA activities and detoxing 2 big ones for Floxies IMO), and many experts like Dr. Amy Yasko and many more are finding that by testing and then treating people accordingly, many find relief from serious multi-year Malaises. Here are some reasons why (this is not a full list) Methylation can be very important to finding good health for many people:

– Repairing and Building DNA & RNA
– Glutathione synthesis and Detoxification
– Controlling Inflammation
– Myelination (very important in nerve health)
– Metal Detoxification
– DNA Silencing
– Energy Production
– Immune function
– Digestive issues
– Membrane fluidity
– Homocysteine metabolism
– Gene expression
– Cardiovascular health
– Protein Activity
– Cancer prevention
– Neurotransmitter balance

All of these are incredibly important to Health, many are affected by Floxing some of which I’ll discuss, and then if Methylation is also impaired, healing will be that much more challenging IMO. It has long been thought by many experts that Autism and similar Mental Ailments, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and then even things like Chronic Fatigue, etc can all be caused by Metal toxicity, and they now think these accumulate more in these people than the average person due to under-Methylation and impairment of the above body functions.


Okay so here is one small example on how it could apply to Floxies on only one aspect from above, where many are very important. Take someone with Peripheral Neuropathy for example, some quick searching reveals several sites noting chemo drugs (of which FQ’s are a “failed” one) can damage the Myelin Sheath. (There is one rat study that says 2 of the drugs don’t, so it might not be conclusive). Several sites also come up saying damaged Myelin Sheath can be the “cause” of PN.

Now take someone with an impaired Methylation cycle. You can take supplements til the cows come home, 25 different ones, but if they don’t address your impaired Methylation Cycle, Myelination is likely also impaired and the Sheath will still have trouble healing.


Another example with Tendons. Both Fluoride/Fluorine, and FQ’s, are widely known to disrupt collagen synthesis/metabolism, and can result in calcification of ligaments tendons muscle and thyroid cartilage and thus break down of the collagen, bone, tendons, skin, cartilage, lungs, trachea, and kidney etc. Many Floxies have reported loose joints and ligaments, tendon issues etc, almost like it melted away.

Here is what one website says about this: Quote “When collagen breaks down, tissues simply lose their substance, their framework. Fluoride dissolves the body’s glue simply by preventing new collagen from being formed. DR Y gives a masterful explanation of fluoride’s disruption of collagen, not only is the collagen incorrectly formed, it is wrongly mineralized. Some things in the body like bones and teeth, should be mineralized in order to give it hardness. Other collagen structures, like ligaments, tendons and, and muscles, should not be mineralized, in order to keep them flexible and resilient. Fluoride mineralizes the tendons, and muscles and ligaments, making them crackly and painful and inflexible. At the same time fluoride interferes with mineralization of bones and teeth, causing osteoporosis and mottling or dental fluorosis.”

Here are a few other websites discussing the Fluoride aspect of this, there are many studies out there on this and then also on how the FQ’s do tendon damage as well:

Here are a couple more good links on Tendinitis, Tendonosis, Tendinopathy:

Why this is all important I think, is related to a couple quotes from the last website linked, noting “the Tendonosis cycle begins when breakdown exceeds repair,” and “Tendinosis (including Achilles, rotator cuff, lateral and medial elbow, posterior tibial, digital flexor, and patellar), as well as carpal tunnel syndrome and even TMJ disorders are associated with a failed healing response in which the body’s fibroblasts produce abnormal tendon and ligament collagen”.

Now I would like to take those statements and relate them to Floxies, DNA and Methylation. DNA damage, can cause “abnormal DNA” to be formed when DNA is getting rebuilt for some time, until the body slowly corrects this through its DNA repair process, if the process is working and if it is not being overwhelmed by continual damage from more toxins being released or reintroduced. IF DNA is the core of the problem for any injury (not saying it is for Floxie tendons etc, but the FQ’s DO damage DNA), and in the case of tendons not from other things like overuse, inflammation etc, its easy to see why NO supplements and/or therapies etc once again would seem to help someone who’s DNA repair process is hindered (unless they are addressing Methylation). However having said that, if there are many factors involved in the damage and not just the DNA, like inflammation adding to the problem etc, IMO this is where some things even other than Methylation supplements could likely help (In the case of my own Floxing where joints were falling apart for example, it was VERY noticeable the days I was away from home and not taking my usual supplements as things would always be worse, I was trying to at least ‘keep up with the damage’)

So another potential reason Methylation can be critical to healing here, because when it is inefficient/impaired, so is the DNA repair process. The more damage someone has, the more bad DNA gets churned out each time instead of good DNA, slowing and even preventing healing in some cases if the body is overwhelmed and not able to keep up.


Then there is the entire Detoxification aspect of FQ Toxicity and Methylation, which detox alone in my opinion is extremely important and again deserves its own article. I will keep this section relatively short though, bottom line the body stores toxins, Cipro is a very nasty toxin, it does a lot of oxidative and other damage like DNA damage. Fluorine is attached to the rest of the Cipro drug and has been cited to “mobilize” from body stores through exercise and other detoxification stimulating methods. If someone’s Methylation is impaired, their Glutathione synthesis and Detoxification ability can be impaired too, so instead of purging these toxins in an efficient manner probably like those that do not end up “Floxed”, much of it can stay stored and can occasionally circulate and do more damage, and then can be redistributed (reabsorbed) again instead of being excreted by the body, keeping someone sick for a long time or possibly even indefinitely. (stresses the importance of avoiding as many other toxins as possible as well)
This is a good little article with some great links in it and talks about the importance of Glutathoine, disease, the Genetic tie-in, and more. Here’s just one quote, “As Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum explains, your body needs ATP and NADPH (which requires TPP) to make glutathione. These building blocks may be low in people who have illnesses like chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction. It becomes a vicious cycle as excessive glutathione depletion causes mitochondrial dysfunction, low triphosphate and ATP which leads to chemical toxicity and medication sensitivity.” One more (long) link here from the late Dr. Konynenburg, talking about Glutathione, Methylation and more, how “his theory” started on why CFS is tied to Methylation issues, and about how he developed his own protocol for people, one that is still being used today by people in this forum linked. One quote, “Two of the most significant effects of a methylation cycle block are that neither the immune system nor the detox system can operate properly. If the methylation cycle remains blocked for an extended period of time, infections and toxins can be expected to build up in the body.”


So I talked about DNA repair before, now let’s look a little closer at actual DNA replication, and how it relates to repair, and to FQ Toxicity.

One of the most important aspects of the Quins, and why they are so effective against bad bacteria, is that they are designed to inhibit the DNA replication process of the bacterial cells, thus damaging the bacterial cells’ ability to reproduce. Here is just one study on this, I can’t remember how many others there are but I imagine there are a decent amount on this and recall reading at least a few in the past: This is not about Floxing, but an interesting study on how quote “unequivocally, mtDNA mutations are an important cause of genetic disease”

The problem with this mechanism as we know, is this doesn’t just happen with the “bad” cells/bacteria, in typical Chemo-like fashion it ends up damaging the good cells/bacteria too. So that is the bad news.

The potential good news again, is Methylation can possibly come to the rescue, IF that is one big factor holding someone back. Here is one good excerpt from a paper on this, one why that can happen:

“The Importance of the Methylation Pathway – New cell synthesis and repair

Mutations in the methylation pathway can cripple the ability of the body to make the building blocks (purines and pyrimidines) needed for new DNA and RNA synthesis. A reduced capacity for new DNA and RNA synthesis means that any new cell synthesis is impaired. For an organism to live, it must create new cells as fast as cells die. This requires that the body make millions of cells every minute, relying on DNA and RNA synthesis. A reduced synthesis capacity due to methylation cycle mutations is a particular issue for cells that already have difficulties meeting their needs for DNA and RNA synthesis under normal conditions.

Adding a significant methylation issue to the cell synthesis makes it nearly impossible to recover from damage or stress on these tissues. Stress increases the need for nucleotides to overcome negative effects of hormones released during stressful conditions. Cell repair after injury increases the need for nucleotides. In particular, the nervous system has the highest concentration of RNA in the body, and therefore has the highest requirement of methylation need.”

So my summary to this and apply it to a Floxie:

FQ’s damage a cell’s ability to reproduce. Genetic Mutations in the Methylation Pathway can cripple the cell’s ability to reproduce. What do you get when you add these things together? A DISASTER.


Now add up all the above, and then start considering some of the other aspects I never even went into like Gut Health, Inflammation, Energy Production and more, and hopefully you see why I think this is so critical.

So in having said all this, what can someone do about it? Someone can have their Genetics tested, like through a service called 23andme (note there are 11 Methylation SNP’s missing from the test Amy Yasko does, and a bunch included she does not test the better value by far is the 23andme test, it is a shame those 11 are missing but 23andme does included the majority of the most important ones currently). With this test, someone can then do some of the reports linked below (I think the MTHFRsupport one is said to be the best by most people, they all have their advantages though, like free in some cases etc) which help take the raw Genetic Data from 23andme and group things together on a report (like for Methylation). Here are some of the most popular options:

I believe this one is considered of the best, I think it is currently $30

This one is Amy Yasko’s own website, and I think is free, I would also recommend this one:

Here is a link to another one “Live Wello” and some ideas on what else to do with it, it is $20, and is similar to the mthfrsupport one, both are good I think mthfr one is a touch better:

Here is one more thread I have saved with many people discussing options/ideas:

There is also Genetic Genie, it might be free or cheap not sure, I don’t think considered one of the better ones but might still be worth doing, not sure

Once someone has these reports, they can then consult a Doctor who has studied the Methylation Cycle and determine if they are having problems, and what they can do about it.


*** IMPORTANT NOTE *** – There are a couple dangers here, especially for someone already damaged like a Floxie. If someone has a “stalled” Methylation Cycle, and they jump start it too fast the body can dump a bunch of stored toxins all at once and overwhelm the system in a big way. There are sadly MANY reports of this happening out there, in the Autism forums, CFS forums and other places, it even happened here in this forum, and these reports are only the people that actually realized what happened too, I reckon many many instances go unreported. One way this happens is when someone has significant hindrances due to MTHFR SNP’s they have, which are fairly common. What happens here is the body now has trouble processing Folic Acid into an “active” (usable) form of Folate, which is greatly needed for the Methylation Cycle to fully function, and in some people this can be a huge factor that impairs the whole cycle. So why not just take active Folate then? Ah yes, this is exactly where people get into trouble, either through self diagnosis and treatment or worse they trusted a Doctor or Advisor who told them, “just take 400mcg of active Folate and you’ll be feeling better in no time” (more than one ‘prominent’ Doctor even recommends a dose that high to start). Oh they feel good alright, sometimes for a day, maybe even a week, then many get hit by a freight train, and it can take a VERY long time to recover from, Rene from this website took a full year to recover from this.

So anyone who suggests to “just take active Folate”, is someone to avoid, and even more so if the dose is above 200mcg to start IMO. Moreover though, there is MUCH more to consider here before ever taking Folate. Vitamin B12 is another very important nutrient needed in Methylation, and some people find they are too low in this Vitamin also, some are even too high, and some people have bad reactions to some types of B12 as well like Methylcobalamin for example. The reasons here lead into the next important point, there is MUCH more to Methylation than MTHFR, Dr. Amy Yasko has outlined roughly 25 other important Genetic SNP’s that all play a part in the Cycle. Her focus is somewhat on Autism and thus her approach to treatment is on the cautious side IMO , however to me it does not undermine the importance she stresses on why some other important things in the body and Meth Cycle need to be addressed before someone ever adds active Folate, and to me they definitely apply to a Floxie here. This is a whole other in-depth topic beyond the scope of this article, however I will give one or two small examples. The Gaba/Glutamate balance is very important in Autism, Dr. Amy warns that this needs to be addressed early on in treatment or issues can be exasperated, many Floxies also have this balance disturbed due to Gaba receptor damage, so to me this is big one. For another, “CBS” is an important Methylation Genetic SNP discussed by Dr. Amy, it is an “upregulation” in the Methylation Cycle, that causes some undesired effects, if you start kick-starting the cycle more before addressing CBS you once again exasperate this issue. This all starts to get very complicated, for people that want to learn more I highly recommend downloading Dr. Amy’s 247 page book here (remarkably free!) and note the title is very misleading, this is mostly about the Methylation Cycle:

One more note here, as you can start to see from this section, much like Floxing itself, there is no “One size fits all”. Everyone has different Genetic variations, and only through testing and proper educated analysis can someone come up with a meaningful treatment plan to address their own personal shortcomings taking all the important SNP’s, and then their other many important personal factors into account.


In closing, I just want to say that though many suffering people out there are finding levels of success through Methylation supplementation, and to me it looks promising for some Floxies which I hope I outlined why; it takes a good amount of dedication and time, and right now there seems to be very limited reports out there on Floxies getting treated for this. So I’m not making any promises with all this info, its not a quick fix, and I’m not suggesting everyone run out and get their Genetics tested necessarily (even though I generally think it is awesome important info to have on yourself). However, I do hope the many points made throughout the article do get some of you thinking about the real possibility here, that Methylation could be a key factor behind why some Floxies are having trouble healing.

Good luck Floxie Friends. I really do hope, that this gives some hope to some of you out there, especially those Severely Floxed people who I think this is going to apply to even more so, and who really need that hope, and potential help, more than ever. My heart goes out to each and every Floxie out there. God Bless you all.

Thank you, as always, Jason! Those of you who follow the comments on this site know how much time, effort, dedication, and insight Jason puts into his posts. He does it all to help us – what a rockstar! 🙂


Last, but not least, Nancy wrote this in a comment:

I suspect some of you know of or have heard of Shawn Bean and Jess Armine over at Bio-Individualized Medicine since they tend to treat a lot of folks who have been floxed and/or who have chronic disease. I believe that the folks at the MTHFR team looked at the genetic tests (23 & Me) of 38 different floxies using Sterling Hill’s interpretative software and discovered that almost every floxie (in the group of 38 they examined) has one out of these three SOD mutations:


rs2855262 and/or rs4880

I thought this information would be of interest, particularly since the topic of SOD came up during this podcast.


I don’t know about you, but I find all of this to be quite daunting. I have no doubt that genetics and methylation are big parts of the FQ toxicity puzzle, but it’s still, well, daunting. At the same time though, it’s interesting and figuring the floxing puzzle out is exciting and valuable. I hope that those of you who are interested in this path find some answers either through this post or through the links in the post! Whether you find it interesting or not, I hope that it leads you toward a path of healing.

Please be cautious when trying to treat methylation problems. Again, it is something that should be done under the supervision of a professional (a doctor or naturopath or other expert).

Please also remember that your genes are not your destiny, and that people with all sorts of genetic mutations have thrived for all of human history. Lifestyle and epigenetics matter, and you are not, by any means, doomed.



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I Heart The Floxie Community


Diego, Melanie and Jose

Diego posted the above picture with the note, “Sometimes in life you come in contact with people whom God puts in your path! Although it was unfortunate that our paths crossed due to being affected by the same type of antibiotics we have supported and encouraged each other! Building our lives back to complete health! Thanks for ur friendship guys!”

Isn’t that lovely and awesome?

Diego also wrote:

There is something definitely powerful in uniting yourself with others who have a drive and determination to get better. This weekend I had the privilege of meeting other individuals who were affected by fluoroquinolones and we talked about our symptoms of course. However, there was conversation about our dreams, goals, and fire to keep pressing through this pain. I felt empowered to keep fighting and felt so much peace about knowing that we will all recover. We shared our remedies and gave each other tips about getting better. Our lives are definitely forever changed. I choose to believe that it will be changed for the better. Hang in there we will OVERCOME this!!! Now, I am blessed to call Jose and Melanie my friends. I can’t wait to meet more people affected by these antibiotics. Keep fighting, keep pressing, keep believing, YOU ARE WORTH THE FIGHT!


None of us would have asked to become a floxie. None of us would have asked for the painful peripheral neuropathy, the torn tendons, the chronic fatigue, the brain fog, the loss of money and relationships, or, really, any of it. But the awful did happen. It’s unfortunate, and if we could turn back time and re-do things, I think that most us never would have taken those drugs. But if we turned back time, and were never floxed, we never would have gained the friendships and community that many of us have as a result of banding together with other floxies. And since we can’t turn back time, we may as well appreciate the friends that have come into our lives because we are part of the floxie community.

As the wonderful admins of The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Group (4,600+ people – wow!) always say to new members:

welcome to a group that no one wanted to join! Actually, this is the best group of people you will ever meet but the reason we’re here really sucks. The friendly folks here understand what you are going through and really want to help, whether you are a victim of fluoroquinolone toxicity, or a loved one who is taking care of one.

Indeed–The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Group is full of friendly, thoughtful, wonderful people! People in the group spend hundreds of hours helping each other, advocating for each other, supporting each other, giving information to each other, and more. Floxies spend time and energy supporting friends who they’ve never met, who would be strangers if it weren’t for the unfortunate connection of being mutually poisoned, through some of the worst times in their lives. The generosity and caring of those in the community truly is amazing. Thank you to everyone who is part of this amazing community!

Floxie Hope also has a community of people who help, support and nurture each other. There are more than 15,000 comments on as a whole, and 10,000 on the home page. The thoughtful comments that reflect generosity, caring, knowledge, and a desire to help others, are beautiful and greatly appreciated! THANK YOU to all my wonderful friends who have made this site into a community. I am humbled by your generosity and grateful for your friendship!

I’ve had the opportunity to meet some floxie friends in person. Here is a picture of me with Suzanne:


It is amazing beyond words to connect with someone who really understands what you’re going through, and what you’ve been through. Fluoroquinolone toxicity is so strange, and so unintuitive, that it’s really difficult for those who haven’t been through it to understand. Fellow floxies understand. They “get it” without struggle. It’s wonderful to have friends who understand and empathize with you.

Empathy, friendship, connections, community and understanding – they’re what life is all about. I am thankful to everyone in the floxie community for their friendship and for the wonderful community that has been formed! You are all greatly appreciated!


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Loss of Faith in the Healthcare System

After getting “floxed,” I lost a lot of faith in the medical system.

I used to think that the medical system, as a whole, was trustworthy. I knew that the system was imperfect, but I thought that most of the problems had to do with cost and insurance, and that drugs generally were well understood and regulated, and that they did more good than harm.

Getting hurt by a prescription drug, an antibiotic no less, shook my faith in the medical system. Researching fluoroquinolones and other drugs made me realize how little anyone knows about how drugs work, and why they sometimes don’t work, and I further lost faith in the system.

As I witnessed a prescription drug causing people to be chronically ill, I started to wonder if many of the chronic illnesses (autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, mysterious diseases like ME/CFS and fibromyalgia, diabetes, etc.) were due to the cellular destruction inflicted by prescription drugs. Many prescription drugs, not just fluoroquinolones, wreak havoc on the microbiome, mitochondria, neurotransmitters, and more–and problems with those systems have been linked to many of the chronic diseases of modernity.

I saw that the only thing that the FDA is inclined to do about adverse drug reactions is to increase the size of the warning labels–as if anyone reads the warning labels and as if this is actually a solution. I noted that thousands of people are killed by prescription drugs each year, and I lost faith in the FDA’s ability to regulate the pharmaceutical industry.

The 21st Century Cures Act, a piece of legislation that is going through Congress right now, is a thinly-veiled give-away to the pharmaceutical industry that decreases drug regulation at a time when it needs to be increased. Congress is not only failing to recognize the problem of prescription drugs hurting and killing people, it is actively encouraging the pharmaceutical industry to do more of the same. I didn’t have a lot of faith in the U.S. Congress before I got “floxed,” but I have even less faith in them now. (If you want to read my take on the 21st Century Cures Act, I wrote about it in the post, “The 21st Century Cures Act” Is On Its Way – Here’s Why You Haven’t Heard About It that was published on Collective Evolution on 7/7/15.)

I wonder how many other people there are like me–who no longer trust the medical system after being hurt by it. I suspect that most (but certainly not all) people who get hurt by prescription drugs no longer view the system as a whole as trustworthy or credible.

Once a system loses credibility, many people opt out of it and seek alternatives. If the healthcare system loses credibility in the minds of most people, and most people opt out of it, it will, eventually, collapse. I have no idea when this will happen, or even if there are enough people who think like me that it will happen. We shall see.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are currently being hurt by adverse drug reactions, and more people will have to get hurt for a crash to happen. I don’t hope for a crash. I hope that the regulators (the FDA) start doing their jobs and that the pharmaceutical companies start upholding their credos and start having morals. I wish I saw that happening, but I don’t. Maybe we will reach a tipping point where it will happen–to be determined.

The healthcare industry is immense, and it is much more complicated than the sub-prime housing market that crashed in 2007-2008. However, I see some similarities between the sub-prime housing market crash and my assertion that the healthcare industry is going to crash (at some point–maybe). Those similarities are described in the post, The Healthcare System Collapse: Lessons from the Housing Market Crash and “The Big Short” that was published on Hormones Matter yesterday – 2/4/16. (This post started as an intro to the Hormones Matter post, and it just morphed into its own post. Please read and share The Healthcare System Collapse: Lessons from the Housing Market Crash and “The Big Short” – Thanks!)

I foresee a crash in the medical system because I’ve lost faith in it. Maybe I’m wrong and other people will respond differently from how I have after getting hurt by the medical system. Maybe I really am “rare” and other people won’t get hurt by the medical system. Or, maybe drugs will get more and more dangerous because of lack of regulation, and more and more people will get hurt by pharmaceuticals and they will lose faith in the system just like I did, and the demise of the system as we know it will arrive. To be determined, and we shall see. Hopefully I’m just being too pessimistic and the FDA will start doing a better job at protecting people from dangerous drugs. I really do hope that occurs.

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Meditation Retreat

I spent last weekend at the Shambhala Mountain Center doing a meditation retreat. It was a lovely get-away and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in that sort of thing.

As those who have read my story know, meditation was a key part of my healing process. Meditation helped me to heal from both the mental and physical aspects of fluoroquinolone toxicity. It helped to relieve my anxiety, and stopping the cycle of anxiety was necessary for me to heal. When I meditate my digestion is better, and I can even feel my GI tract operate more efficiently. (Maybe that’s just a feeling and not objective reality, but it is possible that meditation is helping to tone my vagus nerve and support my autonomic nervous system, and thus actually improving my digestion.) I sleep better when I meditate. My concentration and creativity improve when I meditate. Meditation also helped me to emotionally and spiritually come to terms with getting sick. It helped me recognize my strength and resilience so that I could get through the fluoroquinolone toxicity journey.

Meditation is simultaneously simple and difficult. On the surface, it’s just sitting and being. But when you do it, it’s actually quite difficult. It’s difficult to just BE, without the distractions that are constantly bombarding us.

The retreat that I just returned from focused on loving kindness. We all need loving kindness in our lives. Floxies are especially in need of loving kindness as many things that they value–health, relationships, a pain-free life, sleep, money, etc.–are stolen from them by fluoroquinolone toxicity. When those things disappear (or seem to disappear), it is easy to let shame, fear, anger and meanness build up. Meditation helps to dissipate shame, fear, anger and meanness–and focuses energy back on patience, love, kindness, forgiveness, etc.

My favorite advice from the retreat included:

  • If gentleness and loving kindness don’t work, try more gentleness and loving kindness.
  • Try not to be too focused on / attached to outcomes.
  • There is grace in every moment–even the horrible ones.

They’re important, and valuable, things to remember.

For those who aren’t able to do a retreat away from home, The Urban Monk is offering a free 7-day Reboot Program.


According to The Urban Monk, Pedram Shojai,

Over the next 7 days you will:

  • Get more energy from your food and burn fat all day…
  • Generate 10X more power in your body…
  • Create a ‘force field’ shielding you from stress…
  • Learn to stop time and drink from infinity…
  • Detox your body and soothe away anxiety with high quality sleep…
  • Tap into an unlimited source of hidden energy available to each one of us…
  • Gain extra clarity, focus and powerful intention…

Hopefully it can help you to heal physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually from aspects of fluoroquinolone toxicity too.

I recommend meditation to all my Floxie friends. If you can go on a retreat, please do. If you can do the 7-day Reboot, it’s a great place to start too.

I can’t guarantee healing from meditation, but it’s certainly a good thing to try.


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