Amber’s Recovery story – Cipro Toxicity


*The following is an individual’s story of surviving fluoroquinolone toxicity. It is not medical advice. Please see the disclaimer at the bottom of the story. Thank you, and please be cautious with all treatments. 

November 4th 2013 I was prescribed Cipro for a UTI.  I can’t remember the mg at this point but I do remember that the doctor wanted me to take two pills a day for ten days.  Which I thought at the time was a little strange but I didn’t question it.  From the beginning the pills made me sick.  I just didn’t feel right on them but I kept taking them for about five days then decided to go off of them.  Please keep in mind the beginning of my story starts with having no clue what was wrong with me.  I did not know about Cipro toxicity until one year later when I started to do research on my own.

Unlike many others my symptoms did not hit right away.  The first system was sciatic nerve pain up my left leg.  I thought I pulled it at work and just took it easy for a week.  That went away.  The second symptom was a small itchy, throbbing pain on my right foot.  I thought I had a fungus since my boyfriend had slightly the same symptoms on his foot.  Both of these symptoms came two months separate of each other.  In February four months after taking my first pill I was hit with so many symptoms I had no idea what was causing it.  My hands and face started to go numb and tingly.  I started to read up on my symptoms and that right there could be the worst thing that you can do.  I found out that search engines are not your friend and you soon become a hypochondriac.  I of course thought I had MS or ALS or any other disease.  I couldn’t eat, I barley slept, and started drinking nightly.  I would wake up every morning and wonder what new symptom of some sort of disease that I had would poke its head up today.

I went to two neurologists.  The first one did what she thought was best.  I had an MRI with and without contrast, EMG, and some blood work was taken.  She found nothing wrong and then told me sometimes you just get tingly.  That wasn’t a sufficient answer for me.  By the time I went to the next neurologist I had twenty-five different neurological symptoms going on.  They did a series of tests and found nothing.  At that point they wanted to start giving me different prescriptions to basically cover up what I was feeling.  I refused.  When I told her my anxiety was high (I had little anxiety issues before my floxing) a light bulb must of went off because that is when she recommended me to see a behavioral health specialist.  Because you must be crazy if the medical community can find nothing wrong with you right?  That was the turning point for me.  I was officially done with doctors and started to research things on my own.  I just by accident stumbled upon the “small” percentage who have Cipro side effects.  And they matched me! I was so excited to learn that what was going on was real.  It didn’t matter to me that there wasn’t a cure I was just happy to learn that what I was going through was real and others had the same experience.  I was directed to a facebook site and met lots of great people on there.  Many of them have the same symptoms as what I did and knowing that there were others out there just like me made me feel a million times better!

I can describe to you some issues that I had and what I did to help myself.


Brain fog – Even though I had a hard time concentrating I still had work and school and was not about to stop either.

Eye issues – including pain, light sensitivity, and dry eye.

Bee stings throughout my body

Vibration sensations

Muscle twitching

Pain in my legs- I had a hard time walking up the stairs to my apartment.  I would feel like I just ran a mile when I only took a few steps.


Sensitivity to alcohol and caffeine.

Sunburnt sensation all of my body

Hot spots on my legs


Back ache


Magnesium- to help with the twitching


Folic Acid

Vitamin C




Before I knew what was causing all of my issues I was in a very bad place.  But as they say knowledge is power.  Once you know what is causing your symptoms you can then try different things to see what helps YOU.  The number one thing that helped me was/is staying positive.  Your mind has the biggest power over your healing.  I try to turn the situation around and make it a positive one.  My friends and family now know the dangers that these drugs can cause.  I try to make sure that others will not have to go through the pain and confusion that I did. 

I am 95% better. I had a flare in June which lasted about a month. All very small issues most of which I ignore.

The road to recovery is not an easy one and I am not saying that you won’t have relapses because you will.  And when you do you have to push through that no matter how long it lasts and how frustrated you are.  At two years out I want to say that I am 95% healed.  Only thing lingering is some dry eye and random twitches.  But I can handle it in hopes that one day it will be completely gone.

** The story above is truthful, accurate and told to the best of the ability of the writer. It is not intended as medical advice. No person who submits his or her story, nor the people associated with Floxie Hope, diagnoses or treats any illness. The story above should not be substituted for professionally provided medical advice. Please consult your doctor before trying anything that has been mentioned in this story, or in any other story on this site. Please also note that people have varying responses to the treatments mentioned in each story. What helps one person may not help, and may even hurt, another person. It is important that you understand that supplements, IVs, essential oils, and all other treatments, affect people differently depending on the millions of variables that make each of us unique. Please use appropriate caution and prudence, and get professional medical advice.

43 thoughts on “Amber’s Recovery story – Cipro Toxicity

  1. Kelly January 23, 2016 at 4:52 am Reply

    Hi Amber, I’m so glad you have made such a great recovery in 2 years. I have used that same description, sunburnt feeling. Doctors definitely have to think I’m crazy! My worst symptom is the eye pain, dryness and sensitivity. How long until you started seeing improvement with that? I am 9 months out.

    • Amber February 9, 2016 at 8:56 pm Reply

      Hi kelly,

      Sorry it took so long to reply. I would say about 15 months out. Relapses got longer in between and symptoms got smaller. Please find me on fb for additional questions. Amber Marie on fb. 🙂

    • Anna September 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm Reply

      I first had an episode with eyes that sent me to the ER, symptoms were tightness and pain behind eyes and severe light sensitivity. Now, 2 months out, I have a little aching behind eye, a weird movement feeling in sinus cavities, and extreme under eyelid swelling. Eyes were thoroughly examined, concluding eye itself is very healthy, which means the Cipro attacked tendons/muscles/or sinuses – Any idea why the eyes may have tightness or light sensitivity? Anyone have under eye swelling?

      • L September 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm Reply

        AS far as the light sensitivity I think it has something to do with the cones or rods and/or the brain. I had such extreme light sensitivity I had to wear a hat, sunglasses, and hold something in front of my eyes outside. It was actually painful. I was also sensitive to fluorescent lighting. I had all sorts of eye issues post cipro. I had blurred vision; enormous, unmoving floaters that made it like looking through gauze. I saw hundreds of those little black dot floaters. There was a period of a couple months where I could not see more than a couple feet in front of me. For a while I was seeing two different images…not double vision, but two distinctly different images through each eye. My brain wasn’t melding them together, something that happens without our thinking about it. I have experienced light flashes and one particularly frightening “light show” in one eye that went on for about 10 minutes, in the center of my vision. I also went from 20/20 to 2/60 overnight in one eye and I am being monitored for a section that appears to be pulling away from the vitreous. (I am a little over 3 1/2 years out.) However, I never experienced any pain (other than upon exposure to light)

  2. Lisa March 20, 2016 at 6:59 am Reply

    Were you taking b6 that whole time?

    • Amber bankerd April 7, 2016 at 10:10 am Reply

      No, I was not taking b6 the whole time.

  3. L July 26, 2016 at 10:20 am Reply

    Glad you are doing so much better…and that you put “small” in quotations marks!

  4. Anetta July 26, 2016 at 1:26 pm Reply

    I took Cipro a few years ago. I started having severe anxiety issues. Insomnia, depression. My bowels stopped working and I had a severe sensation of a knot at the location of my appendix. I had severe constipation and abdominal pain. I never recovered from the anxiety and ended up on benzodiazepines. These took many years of my life. Apart from this antibiotic affecting the CNS it most probably wipes out most of the good bacteria in our intestines. Now I try to stay away from any antibiotic as much as possible.

    • Richard August 24, 2016 at 12:11 pm Reply

      When did your constipation subside as mine started a week ago and is horrific.

      Really terrified that it will never diminish..

      Please reply asap *hopefully with encouraging news!!


  5. L July 26, 2016 at 1:54 pm Reply

    yeah, I hope to never have to take another antibiotic again. oil of oregano is great for many infections.

  6. Dani July 29, 2016 at 4:48 am Reply

    Hello there!
    I am glad to hear that there is hope of recovery from this. I took cipro for 2 days (started Saturday) and felt awful (whole body hurt and I was sick to my stomach). I just didn’t feel right so I stopped taking it Sunday and asked my doctor’s office to switch my antibiotic Monday morning (which they did). I told them I was having muscle pain with the cipro, but they pretty much dismissed it. On sunday night my heel was a bit sore, but I didn’t think much of it then or when it hurt a bit Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday at lunch, I couldn’t even stand on my left foot because it hurt so badly. I looked back at the FDA warnings that came with the medication and sure enough, a page and a half was dedicated to Achilles tendonitis and tendon rupture!
    My doctor couldn’t fit me in that day and so I went to the ER. Luckily, the doctor there said that its Achilles tendonitis caused by Cipro and put le in a boot for the next 3 weeks at least with instructions to keep it elevated and iced. I can’t even begin to describe my relief, especially after reading so many cases of people who’s doctors didn’t believe them!
    Yesterday, I noticed numbness/tingling in the left side of my jaw and pain in my left arm. So far, things seem to be confined to that side. I go to a podiatrist on Tuesday and I’m hoping that he’ll connect the dots like the ER Doctor did!
    Thanks for posting your story and for giving others some hope!!! So glad that you’re doing better!

  7. L July 29, 2016 at 8:21 am Reply

    Your doctor no only ignored earlier warnings, but the latest one saying do NOT use for UTIs. If I were you, I would go after him legally.

  8. Luz February 7, 2017 at 1:06 pm Reply

    Hi Amber thank you so much for sharing your story! It is very inspirational! I am 19 months out and I am too having problems with headaches. How are your headaches going? Have they gone away. Did you do anything in particular to help that? Did you take any supplements for the headaches. Any advice will be really appreciate it! Much light your way.

    • Amber February 7, 2017 at 9:34 pm Reply

      Hi Luz,

      My headaches were very early on. I did notice that birth control was causing me to have more headaches (not sure if that is even an option for you). In the beginning I didn’t know about how advil and the like can effect us so I always took advil to relieve the headaches. I don’t really think they bothered me to much. Young Living makes essential oils and I believe they have different oils to rub on your head to help relieve pain.

      I hope you are feeling better soon!

      • Luz February 8, 2017 at 5:15 pm Reply

        Hi Amber thank you for taking the time to get back with me. No not birth control and i dont take anything for the pain i try to weight it out but its painful. My headaches were worse at the beginning but still havent gone away completely. I have them most of the time. I really dont find a culprit for them. I will try YL eo and see if that helps. Thank you again and i am happy to know that you are feeling great.


  9. lmoverman March 3, 2017 at 7:43 pm Reply

    Hi Amber,

    Thank you for sharing your story! I have similar symptoms to the ones you listed. Right now it’s mostly hot spots in my legs, tingling on my scalp, blurred vision and the sunburned feeling. Do you recall how long it was until the sunburned feeling subsided? Or if there was anything that helped ease the symptoms? Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.


    • Amber March 6, 2017 at 7:32 am Reply

      Hi Linda,

      I had the sunburn sensation early on when I didn’t know what was causing it. With that being said I didn’t take anything for it. For me, I found that it was more annoying than painful. I’m going to say it was completely gone in about a year. I didn’t have the sunburn sensation or hot spots constantly. It would come and go. Towards the one year mark it would only come on when I was stressed or angry about something. My emotions and state of mind definitely had a factor on what my body was doing and how I was feeling.

      • Joseph April 14, 2018 at 3:28 am Reply

        What made you better? Just the supplements?

        • Amber Bankerd May 20, 2018 at 5:59 pm

          I think time and supplements

      • teju May 6, 2018 at 4:28 am Reply

        have u experienced back pain? how many days u have taken multivitamins?

        • Amber Bankerd May 20, 2018 at 6:00 pm

          I took them for a very long time.

    • matt June 25, 2018 at 8:45 am Reply

      Are you still feeling the sunburnt sensations? I am 3 1/2 months out and that is my mane symptom tingling and feeling like a mild sun burn that moves around and comes and goes. What did you do for this?

  10. Amber Bankerd May 20, 2018 at 6:04 pm Reply

    My name is Amber and i wrote this story. I have been asked by many people who have contacted me to give an update. Well it’s been almost 3 years since i wrote this and i am doing well! I have no issues at all and just had a baby via c-section (without reaction). Things do get better just stay strong if not for yourself but for your families. ♡♡♡♡

    • h May 30, 2018 at 3:35 pm Reply

      congrats on your baby and for also being healthy! Just wondering if you had neuropathy and if you did anything for it? And also wondering how long it took you to say you were feeling normal ? im currently almost a year out and still dealing with some stuff but overall feeling decent. Hoping that in a couple more months and “time” will help me to fully recover. i was actually worried about getting pregnant etc. but so glad you had a baby with no reaction or whatsoever!

      • Amber Bankerd July 30, 2018 at 7:36 pm Reply


        I’ll say about 2 years out i felt pretty normal. It sounds like you are on the road to recovery!

        • Heba December 26, 2018 at 2:43 am

          Hi amber how are u doing ? Congrats for ur baby , I wanna know did U go to naturopath so they will help with that problem my naturopath suggested taking gluthotiane shots and I’m worried I don’t wanna miss with things what u suggest going with oral supplements

        • L December 26, 2018 at 11:26 am

          Hey Heba, don’t waste your money on oral supplements. Personally, I hot glutathione in an IV, but I do know some others have had a problem with that. So if you don’t want to go that route, I would suggest liposomal glutathione. It’s way more expensive, but certainly far cheaper than IV or a “push” of it, like you doctor wants to do. (Although not as effective.) I also nebulize glutathione. There is a particular brand available for this. Another thing to consider is taking NAC (N Acetyl-cysteine) which is a precursor to glutathione.

        • Amber Bankerd October 25, 2019 at 6:28 pm

          Hello! Sorry I do not check this site often. You can reach me on facebook at Amber Marie or email me at

    • Kim March 2, 2019 at 1:23 pm Reply

      Hi amber I hope you can still check this site. How long did it take for the brain fog to fully 100 percent resolve when you were sick ? Thank you .

  11. lymedefeaterpassionate December 29, 2018 at 11:27 am Reply

    Check to see if you have the MTHFR gene…if do don’t take folic acid…u need folate. Thank u 4 ur article.

    • L December 29, 2018 at 11:38 am Reply

      I posted about this just a few days ago. (If anyone is interested, you can do a word search—I included several places that do the test. My doctor ordered it through True Diagnostics, with some other things, and insurance paid for it.)

      So important on so many levels. Not only does the folic acid build up in your body and negatively impact different systems, you are unable to get the folate that your body needs because you are unable to convert the folic acid. And folic acid is added to SO many foods (at least here in the US.) Of course most of us should be avoiding processed foods anyway, but you really need to check everything. EG I avoid gluten, but found that traditional sour dough bread actually does not effect those with gluten sensitivity like other breads. So as an occasional treat, I would buy organic sour dough bread. One day I noticed on the label “folic acid” Surprise! I have found some that don’t have it added, but recently discovered a bread that is grain free. Made with stuff like sprouted sunflower, sesame, chia, etc. VERY expensive, but one slice is all I can do at a time. (5 grams of fiber!) It is called BUK and is in the refrigerated section, if your health food store carries it. (I think it’s pretty new, and it’s made in CA.)

      • Jade March 2, 2019 at 10:12 pm Reply

        Hi I have severe intense brain fog but what is scarier is the dying weakness I experience . I have to resort to crawling to get to the bathroom I am 8 months out. Someone please help.

        • L March 2, 2019 at 11:42 pm

          I was that weak as well, along with dozens of other side effects. I couldn’t believe anyone could feel as I felt and still be alive. You will get through it, but it takes a while. Eat clean, avoid all NSAIDs, fluoride, any foods that might have antibiotics, coffee (for now). Make sure to get a good amount of magnesium. There are many different kinds, some good ones are mag taurate (also good for the heart), mag orotate and mag glycinate. These also will not cause as much of a diarrhea problem as the citrate form. I was taking 800 mg for the first year. The weakness is likely due at least in part to mitochondrial damage, so those that help with mitochondria like R alpha lipoic acid, Co q10 (ubiquinol form if you are over 40), D ribose, l-carnitine, PQQ. (There are others. I started with the co q 10 & R ala) Dr Jay Cohen also recommends E (I personally ever took it.) He also recommends SAMe for depression.

      • Jade March 3, 2019 at 10:06 am Reply

        L I’m getting weaker by the day . I swear I’m on my death bed. I’m so weak I can’t leave my bed and it keeps getting worse and worse. I agree must be mito damage maybe weakness comes from the neuro as well? I feel so much worse on my period. All my symptoms get worse on my cycle . I’m so weak it feels like bricks are attached to all my limbs, and my chest feels like it can barely expand to breathe from the weakness . I keep trying to figure out what’s wrong. I load up on magnesium, potassium, electrolytes to no avail. And I am now 87 pounds despite eating .

        • L March 3, 2019 at 10:51 am

          Jade, if you do a word search, Lisa I believe wrote something about how hormones effect all this, so that is no surprise that your period worsens everything. Other than what I wrote earlier about the supplements for your mitochondria, I don’t know what else to tell you. You would do well to find an integrative doctor or a naturopath to help you with all this.

      • Jade March 3, 2019 at 10:56 am Reply

        Ohhhh so other women have had this issue as well around they’re cycles …… How long did it take for your weakness to fully resolve ? Brain stuff ? I’m in Wisconsin nothing up here except windmills and country .

        • L March 3, 2019 at 11:45 am

          About a year and a half, but everyone is different. I also had so many issues, over 30, that things kind of melded together, and it’s difficult to pinpoint when different side effects fell by the wayside. Just did a simple search.

      • Jade March 3, 2019 at 11:28 am Reply

        L you have the brain fog? I have that ….. like my IQ has substantially gotten depleted . Super strange .

  12. Randall Richardson February 26, 2019 at 12:12 pm Reply

    Amber, how long did the muscle twitches last

  13. Dan Jervis March 2, 2019 at 2:20 pm Reply

    Dearest Amber, I am Dan Jervis, the last one on the long list. Would you please consider sharing your story to CBS 60 Minutes?

  14. Randall Richardson March 3, 2019 at 11:37 am Reply

    You might have already answered this but how long was it until the muscle twitches stopped.

  15. Lorenzo Paglaiccetti October 14, 2020 at 2:55 pm Reply

    Thank u so much for sharing your story!
    Been suffering for over two years!
    Neurologist, like u found nothing, trying to live with these systems! I am 74, and my family just does not understand!

    • L October 14, 2020 at 3:30 pm Reply

      It’s tough, Lorenzo, for anyone who has not experienced it. I was devastated head to toe, and even people who saw me, dwindled down to 97 lbs and barely able to walk, talk, or breathe…still in no way could understand some of the terrifying things I experienced. There are likely even people on this site, who were fortunate to have only mild symptoms, who could not appreciate how crushing these side effects can be. And most MDs, who are taught in schools that only teach chemical treatments, cannot fathom the destruction these can cause. (These are actually adjunct CHEMO drugs, but if you tell that to most doctors, they will just laugh and say “stop relying on Dr. Google.” To which I reply, “dr google saved my life.” (although I am not a fan of google so now I use a different search engine, but that’s another story.)

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