Consumer Reports Warns Patients About Fluoroquinolone Dangers


Consumer Reports has published several articles about the dangers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics (including Cipro/ciprofloxacin, Levaquin/levofloxacin, Avelox/moxifloxacin, Floxin/ofloxacin, and a few others). Their help in getting the word out to their readers about the risks associated with fluoroquinolone antibiotics is greatly appreciated!

The picture above, from the August, 2016 print issue of Consumer Reports, states:

These potent antibiotics are often prescribed to treat bronchitis, sinus infections, and urinary tract infections. But drugs such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), and ofloxacin (Floxin) can cause irregular heartbeats, depression, nerve damage, ruptured tendons, seizures, and other serious side effects. The Food and Drug Administration issued an alert in May saying that fluoroquinolones should not be used to treat bronchitis, sinus infections, and UTIs, unless other options have not worked.

Avoid Problems. If your doctor suggests a fluoroquinolone, ask why. For sinus infections, you might need an antibiotic if your symptoms last more than a week or if you have a high fever, but the first option should be amoxicillin. For a UTI, fluoroquinolones are only necessary if the infection is resistant to other antibiotics or has spread to your kidneys. And they are necessary for chronic bronchitis only if you require hospitalization.

In Fluoroquinolones Are Too Risky for Common Infections: The FDA advises restricting use of popular antibiotics such as Cipro due to dangerous side effects, Consumer Reports notes that the FDA “is advising against prescribing fluoroquinolones, a group of antibiotics that includes drugs such as Cipro and Levaquin, to treat three common illnesses —bronchitis, sinus infections, and urinary tract infections.” The article also quotes Rachel Brummert, the Executive Director of the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation, and notes that her injuries from Levaquin include tendon ruptures and progressive nerve damage. The article also gives a guide of when to say no to fluoroquinolones. It’s an excellent article–please share it far and wide.

In Make Sure Your Doctor Prescribes the Right Antibiotic: There are safer, better options than fluoroquinolones and other frequently prescribed broad-spectrum drugs, the severe effects of fluoroquinolones are noted:

“For example, fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro and generic) and levofloxacin (Levaquin and generic)—which are frequently prescribed inappropriately for sinus infections in adults—can cause permanent and debilitating damage to muscles, tendons, and nerves.”

As the title of the article says, there are safer, better options than fluoroquinolones (in many situations).

In Surprising Remedy for Deadly Hospital Infections: New study suggests doctors cut back on antibiotics. Here’s what you need to know. it is noted that fluoroquinolone use can lead to c. diff infections:

“Research published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, shows that when doctors in U.K. hospitals cut back on prescribing Cipro, Levaquin, and other so-called fluoroquinolone antibiotics, the rate of deadly infections from the bacteria known as C. diff dropped a whopping 80 percent.”

Fluoroquinolones wipe out the good bacteria that keep c. diff bacteria suppressed. When those good bacteria are eliminated, c. diff infections can take over. C. diff infections can be deadly, and all healthcare professionals should take note of this (somewhat counterintuitive) study.

All of the articles linked to above also note that fluoroquinolone over-use is contributing to antibiotic resistance.

In Meds That Cause Blurred Vision, Hearing Loss, and More: Painkillers, antibiotics, and other common drugs can trigger surprising side effects Cipro is listed as a drug that can cause double vision.

In I Didn’t Know That Antibiotics Shouldn’t Always be Used to Treat Bronchitis, Mary H. describes how Levaquin (prescribed to treat bronchitis) led to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, which can be deadly.

All of these Consumer Reports articles are greatly appreciated, and I encourage you to read them, comment on them (where possible), and share them with your loved ones.

Consumer Reports has been a trusted source of information, and a strong advocate for consumer protection, since its founding in 1936. The articles linked-to above are from a highly respected source that is trusted by millions of people. It is a credible publication.

For a trusted and credible publication like Consumer Reports to be publishing information about the severe and varied health maladies that are associated with flouroquinolones is a huge step in the right direction. Their acknowledgement of the FDA’s updated warnings on fluoroquinolones, as well as the testimony of patients who have been hurt by fluoroquinolones, is appreciated immensely.

Thank you, Consumer Reports! Please keep it up, and hopefully other trusted news and consumer advocacy publications will follow suit.



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14 thoughts on “Consumer Reports Warns Patients About Fluoroquinolone Dangers

  1. kris t February 16, 2017 at 7:24 am Reply

    Lisa, I believe I got my double vision from taking Cipro two years ago! It started two months after I stopped taking it and then when I had gallbladder surgery, it got worse. My specialist thought it would go away in six months, but now one an one half years later, I still have it. Luckily, I wear glasses with prisms in them that correct the double vision as I could not drive at all until I got the glasses. At least the mental issues have resolved and I am finally able to do some normal activities. I get a lot of anxiety over the whole thing but I try to remember how I was when I first stopped taking the Cipor and realize how far I have come. Kris T

  2. Sarah Wells February 16, 2017 at 9:01 am Reply

    Thank God. Thank you Lisa for your tireless work. 💝

    • Daniel Sheridan March 19, 2017 at 3:48 pm Reply

      I had the same thing happen with my eyes right after taking Ciprofloxacin. they fixed my vision also with prism lenses.

      • kris t March 19, 2017 at 4:16 pm Reply

        Daniel, have your eyes gotten any better? Mine have not, even though eye specialist said they would. I only see double when I look to the far left or if I tilt my head to the right. I still wear the prism glasses and would not be able to drive without them. Kris T

  3. Barbara Arnold February 17, 2017 at 4:37 am Reply

    I have just seen a Cardiologist for a heart arrythmia which has recently developed. I told him about the Cipro connection, backed up with some written evidence. He wouldn’t even read it, and categoricaly stated that the arrythmia was not caused by cipro. Okay, he may well be right (I doubt it) I just dont understand why these Doctors are not willing to learn. You would think the very nature of their job is to be curious. Why do they think they know all there is to know? I asked him what’s the cause then. He said it could possibly be from a thyroid problem ??? Really, I, not my own Doctor, before seeing the Cardiologist asked for a thyroid test, as I have some of the symptoms of a thyroid disorder. So it’s possible that cipro caused the thyroid problem, which caused the heart arrythmia ? Who knows? My point is, the frustration and sheer anger at not been listened to by any of the vast array of so called specialists, has caused so much stress, even though I know this makes my symptoms worse. It’s really hard to get a grip. I truly believe, if these Doctors at least acknowledged and were more open minded, my recovery would have been quicker and easier. I have the double difficulty of not being fluent in Spanish, so I always have a sense of frustration at not being able to fully communicate, even with taking an interpreter.
    On a lighter note, I have found a Doctor, who does Complimentary Medicine and can speak some English. I am having acupunture, and he has put me on a gluten, sugar and dairy free diet, and is monitoring my weight. I, unlike other floxies gained 40 pounds after cipro. I am hopeful, but its not easy by any means. So I will post in the future how I have got on.
    I am eternaly grateful to Lisa for this sight and all the hard work she does. Without it I would be ignorant, just like so many Doctors I have seen

    • Madge hirsch February 17, 2017 at 11:05 am Reply

      I am sure that my hypothyroidism was caused by floxings when I was still living in England. The 2 floxings here in France definitely gave me arrhythmia but that seems to have settled down now. Did he say what type of thyroid problem? The weight gain would suggest an under active thyroid. Hope you get this problem sorted out. The doctors there seem even mor e arrogant than usual!

  4. Barbara Arnold February 18, 2017 at 12:14 am Reply

    Hi Madge,
    Yep they are very ignorant here, don’t forget its only 60 years ago they were living under the dictator Franco, so they have a lot of catching up to do. They think they are God, just like the Doctors of my childhood, but times have changed, it’s just that parts of Spain hasn’t caught up yet. I dont get my blood urine test for my thyroid until Monday, so I will post when I get my results.
    You say your arrythmia has settled down, how long did it take Madge ? Did you take anything for it. The Cardiologist says it’s pretty common, but I still believe it’s linked to Cipro, even though that was over two years ago. Anyway we shall see after the results of the thyroid tests. Which by the way I had to fight for, like everything else even down to a Vit D test which I am also getting next week.
    Thanks Madge

    • Madge hirsch February 26, 2017 at 3:44 am Reply

      Hi Barbara- sorry for the delay but I have only just seen your reply. I was put on Bisoprolol 5mg a day by the hospital cardiologist and Préviscan which is what they use instread of Warfarin here. I felt like death on the Bisoprolol after about a week and went to my GP who said I could reduce the dose. I think my liver underfunctions and I was getting a toxic buildup. I felt much better on the reduced dose but then I had problems keeping my INR in range on the anticoagulant. 3 months after the afib hospitalisation I went to see my own cardiologist who I normally see every 2 years and he did a Holter monitor test for 24 hours. He said all was ok and I could stop one of the drugs immediately and the other after Christmas and I could choose so I came off the Préviscan and weaned off the beta blocker. I still occasionally get palpitations but they don’t last more than a couple of seconds. The real problem is that the hospital refused to believe any of this was to do with Cipro . They said it was because my TSH was too low and I was hyperthyroid even though my T4 and T3 levels were normal. They stopped my T3 meds and reduced the T4. I am sure I was floxed at least once when living in England and that was what messed my thyroid up in the first place. Getting the T3 meds is in my opinion part of what helped me get better . Now it feels like I have been double whammied – poisoned by Cipro and meds reduced. The real problem though is that the floxing sems to have made me more sensitive to the T3 meds and though my endocrinologist has restored the prescription ( she believed me about the Cipro because she herself had had a bad skin reaction to it) I am having difficulty tolerating them now. My last TSH had gone up quite a lot and I have to have another next month. I have started suffering from hives recently which I remember having years ago before my hypothyroidism was diagnosed. But that could just be another floxing ” gift “! The vit D I think is crucial . Most of the vitD researchers recommend a level between 40 and 70 ng/ l. If yours turns out normal ( probably Spain’s norms are the same as ours in France 30 – 100 ng/l ) but below 40 I would still supplement. Older skin makes a lot less in the sun and none if you use sun cream ,very little to non if you take a statin ( another poison!).
      Now for some more promising news. I am in touch with a woman in the UK who runs a group for floxies. She said the German equivalent of the MHRA (MRHA?) in UK and our ANSM have asked the European Medicines Agency to investigate the FQs for their adverse permanent effects. Hopefully they will find the same as the FDA did last year. She is preparing a report with the testimonies of floxies and is including me in it as I am pretty sure I was first floxed in England. If you are interested in sending your story diectly let me know and I will root out the details.

      • Barbara Arnold February 26, 2017 at 4:48 am Reply

        Hi Madge,
        Thankyou so much for your very informative supply. I am so sorry you have gone through so much. I really hate these ignorant Doc’s. I am presently seeing a Naturalpathic Doc here, who is also an MD, and he hates the way Docs just dish out chemicals for everything and don’t look outside the box. I havn’t had the results of my thyroid tests yet, that’s next week. I am also waiting for an “ultra sound” of my heart, so I am in limbo at the moment.
        That sounds great news about the report being prepared in England. I really have no idea if I was floxed there or not, but I do know I was previously floxed here in Spain. Maybe you could post it on floxie hope as I’m sure there are others from the UK on there.
        I am presently bombarding “Bayer” Spain with information on how they are poisoning people here in Spain, and asking them why there is one rule here and a different rule in the States on warning people. I get stupid glib answers back where they keep telling me to go back to my “Health Professional” ha ha what a disgusting joke. I have already told them he doesn’t have a clue. I wish every floxie would do this as the more we do it, the better chance of it getting out there.
        I am also still trying to get it on British TV, But I dont get any replys, so I am going to change my tatics, but I am never giving up.
        Thanks again Madge and healing hugs to you xx

        • Lisa February 26, 2017 at 8:33 am

          Here is the notice about the EMA looking into fluoroquinolones – I encourage both of you, and any other “floxies” in Europe, to reach out to them – the contact information is in the notice.

        • Isabel July 26, 2019 at 12:43 pm

          Hola Barbara, me gustaria ponerme en contacto contigo. Tomé Cipro en el año 2011 y aún tengo secuelas.

          Un saludo desde Barcelona

        • Barbara Arnold July 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm

          Hola Isabel, lo siento mi Espanole es muy mal. Yo soy siento tomas cipro. If you can speak English I can correspond with you. I live in Alicante. Vive en Alicante.

  5. Barbara Arnold February 26, 2017 at 10:36 pm Reply

    Hey thanks Lisa,
    I will be writing to them as ap.

  6. […] Floxie Hope […]

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