Fluoroquinolone Warning Labels Updated to Include Low Blood Sugar Levels and Mental Health Side Effects

On 7/10/18 the FDA announced that fluoroquinolone (Ciprofloxacin, Levofloxacin, Moxifloxacin, Ofloxacin, and a few others) warning labels are to be updated to include adverse effects on blood-sugar levels, as well as serious mental health effects:

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics: FDA Requires Labeling Changes Due to Low Blood Sugar Levels and Mental Health Side Effects

This is a HUGE development! To have the FDA acknowledge that fluoroquinolones cause both hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and that the effects of hypoglycemia include:

  • confusion
  • pounding heart or very fast pulse
  • dizziness
  • pale skin
  • feeling shaky
  • sweating
  • unusual hunger
  • trembling
  • headaches
  • weakness
  • irritability, and
  • unusual anxiety

is a massive move in the right direction for patients and advocates alike.

Additionally, in the same announcement, the FDA noted that the following mental adverse effects can occur with fluoroquinolone use:

  • disturbances in attention
  • disorientation
  • agitation
  • nervousness
  • memory impairment
  • serious disturbances in mental abilities called delirium.

Fluoroquinolone toxicity victims have long known that fluoroquinolones cause both blood sugar disturbances and serious mental health adverse-effects.

Information about the effects of fluoroquinolones on blood-sugar can be found in these posts/articles:

Information about the mental health adverse-effects of fluoroquinolones can be found in these posts/articles:

Additionally, the book, Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs by Stephen Fried goes over his wife Diane’s severe psychiatric adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone (Floxin/ofloxacin).

WE know about the blood sugar and psychiatric effects of fluoroquinolones. The FDA does too. Now they have acknowledged that they know about these horrible, life-altering, sometimes life-threatening effects of fluoroquinolones.

This acknowledgement from the FDA is a big step in the direction of getting fluoroquinolone toxicity more widely acknowledged. However, whenever there are updates to the warning labels, there are many people who say, “so what? It’s just a warning label that no one pays attention to. When is the FDA going to really DO SOMETHING to fix this problem – like find a cure for fluoroquinolone toxicity and/or remove FQs from the market?” Those people have plenty of good points, and I went into some depth in addressing them in the post, “Change the Warning Labels: Why it Matters.” In that post, I assert that one of the things that changes to warning labels does is open the door for people to sue the drug-makers:

“Warning labels themselves may be useless, but during the time when a warning label has things added to it, they can be a great tool, and a big gun we can use against the pharmaceutical companies. The ONLY times lawyers are willing to take cases to sue the drug companies are when warning labels change. For example, when the fluoroquinolone warning labels were adjusted in August, 2013 to note that permanent peripheral neuropathy is a possible effect of fluoroquinolones, several law firms took cases of those who are suffering from peripheral neuropathy after taking fluoroquinolones. Before the warning label changed, they wouldn’t take the cases, because, appallingly, you can’t sue drug companies for hurting you, you can only sue them for “failure to warn” of the harm they’ll do. It’s a really stupid situation and stupid system. BUT, the time when warning labels change is the brief period of time in which you can sue the drug companies for “failure to warn” and it’s the brief period of time when we have the chance to fight the pharmaceutical companies.”

Everyone who has suffered from hypoglycemia or mental health issues post-fluoroquinolone exposure now has a window open to file a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical companies that made the drugs that hurt them. Here are some law firms that have taken fluoroquinolone-harm cases in the past:

There are others too (feel free to let me know if you know of firms that are taking these cases). I hope that Bayer, Johnson & Johnson/Jansen Pharmaceuticals, and all the generic producers of fluoroquinolones pay for the harm that their products are doing to people, and I encourage all victims to seek justice through the legal system.

I hope that this warning label change will help fluoroquinolone toxicity victims to gain acknowledgement and justice. Everyone who has been hurt by these drugs deserves both.



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21 thoughts on “Fluoroquinolone Warning Labels Updated to Include Low Blood Sugar Levels and Mental Health Side Effects

  1. Nathaniel July 11, 2018 at 6:57 am Reply

    Funny because I already emailed my lawyer this morning before your post asking if this changes anything. They won’t take my card but hopefully this is a new avene to pursue.

    This feels like a big Domino to fall to admit the mental problems. They must have a lot of real, hard data on it to have issued a warning. Would love to know what that data is.

    I’m happy for that progress but I think many are angry they’ve had the data for who knows how long. Myself included. Of course part of me wants to go throw this in the face of all the Drs I’ve seen that suggested I relax and rxd SSRIs.

  2. Barbara Arnold July 11, 2018 at 7:02 am Reply

    I really hope this helps some people get justice. Call me a synic but this looks like another fob off to protect the drug companies. They ask you to report any side effects to your Doctor, which is a crock because they already have TWO black box warnings and Doctors still dish this poison out, so when you tell them they either….have no clue what to do,…they don’t believe you… .or they treat you like an imbecile. Also how can you report side effects if you haven’t connected the dots, or if the symptoms don’t appear until weeks or months later. This to me, is just another useless insert. At best it informs the floxie of another horrendous side effect of which they can do nothing about.
    What is vital now, is that they BAN this poison unless it is a life or death situation, with INFORMED CHOICE. so that others will not suffer as we have, which by the way is happening EVERY day. It’s outrageous that they are still just putting warnings in the inserts.
    In depth research funded by the drug companies needs to be done. ( yeah I know, dream on )
    I will be sending this to the EMA in London to go towards they’re decision in what they decide to do about this criminal situation.

  3. tarkonis July 11, 2018 at 8:45 am Reply

    Anyone know of any UK/European based law firms?

  4. Katy Purcell July 12, 2018 at 7:28 pm Reply

    Does this include those that took generic Ciprofloxacin? I am in Wisconsin. I don’t know any attorney here.

    • Nathaniel July 12, 2018 at 7:53 pm Reply

      Hi Katy, let me know what you find. I’m in WI as well. Are you recovering or not? I’m at 2 years and some things better, some worse.

      • Katy July 13, 2018 at 8:43 am Reply

        I’m still recovering after 9 separate dosages from 2014 – 2015. I haven’t found anyone yet in Wisconsin. I’ll let you know if I find anyone.

  5. Docdent July 14, 2018 at 5:40 am Reply

    One of my first symptoms was the feeling of hypoglycaemia. After a carcrash- resulting of that sudden appear feeling of hypoglycaemia- i had a blood sugar test of 68 mg/dl. In such hard case the blood sugar must be high because of the high adrenaline after the crush. But mine was still low.
    After 10 months postflox i dont feel hypo any more.

  6. Lizzie July 14, 2018 at 3:06 pm Reply

    I took Tequin in 2003 and ended up in a coma in the hospital. It’s now 2018 and it’s taken this long to disclose the well-documented dangers of these antibiotics. Disgusting!

  7. Edur August 7, 2018 at 7:44 am Reply

    I am a 55 years old woman who has taken Levofloxacin 6 months ago. I shall tell you my case:

    After the flu on January 18, 2018, and on the diagnosis of possible atypical pneumonia, on January 30, 2018 I was treated with Levofloxacin 500 mg/ day, for 6 days: I started taking it on January 31 and ended on February 5 of the 2018

    In the first 2-3 days of starting with the Levofloxacin I felt: Asthenia, diffuse chest pains, dyspnea and occipital muscle pain.

    Symptoms I had never had before.

    After stopping and during the first weeks: Alteration vision eye left of half an hour of duration( two days after finishing). Sore throat, pain right rib cage and sternum. Others: Dyspnea, asthenia, paresthesias for 3-4 days (sensation of “punctures” quite annoying in the thighs)

    One month after leaving: Thoracic pain and sporadic occipital muscle pain. Dyspnea, fatigability.

    After 4 months,:Chondrocostal pain and severe sternum pain that made me going to the Emergency Department.And sporadically, crisis of “dyspnea”, “sudden fatigue”, as if they were hypoglycaemia crisis to be confirmed with analytical but my feeling is that: Fatigue access severe and sudden for which I have to sit down, eat something …

    This last, nowadays, continues happening to me sporadically … And I have been waiting to denounce these effects to see what this experience ended with the Levofloxacin and since it seems that there is nothing “new” I have decided to bring it to the attention of the Health Administrations of my country un Spain.


    For the rest I consider myself a healthy person. I do not have any diagnosed illness, do not take any medication. I just want to report my unpleasant experience with Levofloxacin.

    Thank you

    • Barbara Arnold August 7, 2018 at 8:04 am Reply

      Edur, I am British but live in Spain in the province of Alicante. Where are you?

  8. edur August 8, 2018 at 6:24 am Reply

    From Bilbao Barbara
    Can we speak by e mail if you want

    • Barbara Arnold August 8, 2018 at 7:04 am Reply

      I have a floxy friend from Bilbao, his name is Bettan and he spoke at the EMA hearing. If you let Lisa know you want to give me your email, she will send it to me and I will ask Bettan if he will correspond with you. It would be better for you in your own language. At the moment I am dealing with a lot as my husband is very ill and I have to give all my attention to him. So hope this helps a bit.

      • edur August 8, 2018 at 11:13 am Reply

        It´s ok.
        I let Lisa to give you my e mail.
        Please tell me how to do ..if you Know!
        Or perhaps with this message it may be possible

        • Barbara Arnold August 8, 2018 at 9:36 pm

          Edur, if you look at the top of the page you will see ‘contact’ you can email Lisa there.

      • Edur August 9, 2018 at 3:03 pm Reply

        Thank you very much.
        I know who is Bettan.
        A friend of one of my friends.
        I just have discovered today!
        He lives near to me so I hope to meet him and talk as soon as possible.
        Best regards for you and your husband.

  9. edur August 9, 2018 at 12:39 pm Reply

    I have wrote to Lisa …and to thismorning@itv.com

  10. Sophie September 12, 2018 at 7:29 am Reply

    Hi! I still suffer from severe hypoglycemias. Floxed in August 2015. No solution so far.

  11. Denise Beshears September 14, 2018 at 6:39 am Reply

    I’m just now seeing this. Funny thing is while I was having the ADR I was still working as a Nurse and I felt like I had either hypo or hyperglycemia several times. I checked my blood sugar at least once and it was OK..but I was at a point where I had so many symptoms going on at once I don’t think that I did it again.

  12. Mac November 1, 2018 at 6:08 pm Reply

    I was “floxed” 1 month ago. It’s been about 4 weeks since I stopped taking it. If I had continued, I would have ended up with delirium. After 4 days (8 pills) I had every one of those mental side effects and more. I am slowly improving. The attacks of sheer terror and horror are nearly unbearable but they are lessening in frequency and intensity. To my knowledge my only other exposure to and Fluoroquinolone was in 2015 with Cipro ear drops. I have a long list of CNS side effects, it’s like nerve damage. I have just been able to start reading more here without panicking and I have to take it in small doses. I am in Canada, our FDA tends to be more strict yet I was not even given a patient info sheet from the pharmacy when this was dispensed to me. If I had seen a patient info sheet with a fraction of the potential side effects I never would have put one pill in my mouth. I will never again take a pill of any sort without reading everything I can find. I no longer trust my doctor to safely prescribe medication. She claims I am the first person to report such an adverse reaction. She seems to believe me but of course I have not received even an “I’m sorry you went through that”. This drug and all others in it’s class need to be taken off the market.

    • Elizabeth November 2, 2018 at 11:01 am Reply

      Your doctor is full of BS when she tells you that you are the first to report…blah blah blah. At least she changed things up and didn’t tell you the usual , ‘ You’re unique and difficult one of the 3 percent”. Honestly, if any doctor tells me anything like that, I will walk out. I’m so tired of their lazy chosen incompetence. They are even playing stupid in regards to the ‘ opioid crisis’ that they created and blaming drug companies as if they didn’t know that opioids are addicting. Shame on them. When will they hold themselves accountable for prescribing dangerous drugs. Doctors want to have all the prestige of their profession but they don’t want to behave like professionals. Doctors want our respect but they don’t want to earn it by educating themselves and becoming professionals worthy of our trust. I don’t trust any of them anymore. I dread the day that I will have to visit one.

  13. […] one that notes that the risks of fluoroquinolone use outweigh the benefits, one that notes that fluoroquinolones cause blood-sugar irregularities and mental health adverse-effects, and one that notes that fluoroquinolones increase the risk of aortic aneurysm and dissection) […]

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