*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.
I am a 41 year old solo Mum of four with one child still at home. I was in pretty good health and very active prior to the nightmare of a fluoroquinalone drug.
In August of 2014 I was prescribed Ciproflox by a doctor at the place I was studying (for my first ever UTI). This was the first drug prescribed – not a last resort drug. The pills came with no warning labels. The doctor gave no warning. No tests were done on my urine to diagnose the correct pills I required. I believe I took 500mg 2x daily for a week. The pills did not cure the UTI and I had to return later for standard antibiotics.
Within a day or two I was unable to get out of bed. I put this down to the UTI and the antibiotics needing time to work. I felt as though I was unable to fully wake up or function. Little did I know that would be my reality for weeks/months to come. I felt stone cold and could not warm myself at all and had no feeling I wanted to try.
In no time at all I was inundated with side effects. This is them in a nutshell.
- Inability to get to sleep or stay asleep or achieve a deep sleep.
- Foliculitus all over my back
- Brain fog
- Stomach issues – digestion and bowel
- Zero appetite.
- Severe bodily pain all over
- Tendon pain
- Extreme upper/middle back pain
- Extreme leg pain
- Tinnitus – I’ve always had this but it became severe
- Short and long term memory issues
- Inability to converse – forgetting words, mixing words, total blank outs, slurred voice.
- Disturbed thought processes, barely able to function.
- Very dry skin, EXTREMELY dry eyes and sinuses.
- Vision and hearing problems
- Feeling I had an electrical current passing through my body 24 hours a day
- Anxiety, panic. Pacing around outside in the middle of the night.
- Feeling emotionless – unable to laugh or cry.
- Pretty much I had every side effect there is.
Almost bedridden I would drop my son at school and return to bed. Even 3-4 months later I’d crawl into bed by lunch each day, not sleeping but a weird comatose state. I believe maybe your body, mind shut down to heal as well as this being a side effect.
Suicidal thoughts set in and I contemplated every day that if this hell did not cease I wouldn’t want to live. I missed A LOT of course despite that in the 4 years prior I’d barely missed a day. I considered I may have to quit my studies. I had months where I could only get up and do minimal things in a day. I let friendships go, the house go, everything go.
After a long time I was able to start trying to find out what was wrong with me. I stumbled across the floxie sites. There was my answer – along with further anxiety about irreversible damage; I was greatly concerned I had a permanent brain injury.
I set about to do what I could as I could. I had almost no support but I held onto hope.
From August 2014 to January 2015 where my worst months, (4-5 months) then slowly I improved.
Now it is November 2015. I have just completed an intense five year Arts degree. I have won an award at a local gallery to sponsor a further project. I bike ride almost every day. I can think, I can speak, I can read, focus, study. I garden, play with my son. I cry, I laugh. AND I can SLEEP.
My continuing effects are that I sometimes have trouble falling asleep. For this I will either wait it out falling asleep in about 1.5 hrs or break off a teeny bit of sleeping pill. This happens periodically and in between I sleep very well. Often 8 hours.
When I’m tired I get muddled. My memory is almost normal but I can have glitches and have to write notes more. I also have some episodes of tendon pain – these episodes were bad for a long time but have gradually become fewer and less intense to almost nothing. I feel 98% normal.
This is what I did.
- Visited a Naturopath – the standard doctors didn’t want to know and were disbelieving.
- Gave up dairy and most sugar then grains to allow/encourage healing – think gut/brain connection.
- Drank Golden Milk every single day (you can google this amazing stuff) for brain and body and cheap to! (You MUST add black pepper).
- Drank water that I can buy in my hometown which is straight from the spring and rebalances minerals. FLUSH by drinking 1.5-2 l a day.
- Took magnesium, forced myself to swim in the sea a lot (magnesium absorbs well through the skin, if you don’t want to swim I’d advise magnesium cream), Epsom salt baths.
- Tried to relax and trust – did meditation/body work type CDs. The less you worry the quicker your recovery.
- Allowed myself that it’d take TIME.
- Printed out and read recovery stories every day. Pictured myself well.
- The more I improved the more I could do for myself. (ie dietary – cooking and eating well). Try to find doable whole foods especially green veges.
- Avoid alcohol, chemicals and unnecessary drugs.
- AVOID all fluoride – water, toothpaste etc – forever.
I slept some nights for only 45 minutes a night – prior to this I was a 9 hour a night sleeper. This was my worst symptom as I felt constantly drunk and dysfunctional (in a bad way). It caused me a great deal of anxiety. Letting go of worrying about it is a skill you will need to develop. Many weeks I averaged 13 hours sleep total in a week and this went on for week after week month after month. I found people with severe insomnia and realised they hadn’t died from it so I likely wouldn’t (although apparently you can). I tried a sedative antihistamine which made me extremely bad tempered. I tried natural products which didn’t do much.
I then tried sleeping pills – Zopiclone – which I used sparingly. Think of using them to survive (ie get just enough sleep even if its not great sleep). Start with maybe 1/3 of one, increase and decrease to what works for you.
What I learnt is that these fluoroquinalone drugs give a massive dumping of fluoride which pushes out/imbalances other minerals especially magnesium and iron.
So if you think about it you’re rebalancing minerals which is a lengthy process, requiring certain ingredients.
My naturopath showed me that magnesium and iron are required two times in the chain to make melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin is required for sleep. I had zero sleep/wake cycle and felt the same 24 hours around the clock. This will disappear when you correct the mineral imbalance and flush out the fluoride. Magnesium is also required for over 4000 mechanisms in the body so it is understandable the wide ranging and odd/awful side effects. I also ended up suddenly and severely anaemic about 4 months after taking the Ciproflox. I corrected this with Carbonyl Iron and diet.
I hope that I have been of some help to those suffering from these pills. My heart goes out to all of you and only those who’ve been through this can have any grasp so please forgive those who do not understand and are unsupportive – we wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
No matter how teeny the steps you can take right now – the body naturally wants to heal – remove every obstacle and one day may you too be typing your story for others or making a stand against these drugs.
You will have your life again. Believe it and work towards it. Focus on wellness. You may not end up with perfection but so many live with less than perfect minds/bodies and life is worth living once you’re through the worst.
I recovered 98% from fluoroquinalone toxicity in 15 months and so can you in your body’s own healing time.
** 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, effect 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.