Bill’s Recovery Story – Avelox Toxicity

Avelox Side Effects

*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. 

My Approach to Recovery from Levaquin and Avelox

December 29, 2010 at 9:46pm

As promised, here is part 2, what I did to try to recover, a little late.  Sorry for the delay!

After I gave up on the mainstream medical establishment to cure me, I had to figure out what I could do with my rather limited resources and newly-won deep distrust of doctors.  I did go to a few for diagnostics, but of course they couldn’t find anything except to note that my “inflamation markers” were up.  Gee, thanks — I didn’t need a doctor to tell me I was feeling inflamed.

This is pretty much everything I tried to recover from quinolone antibiotics.   Some of it is pretty off the wall, and none of it was horribly expensive, relatively speaking to some medical therapies.  I think some of it definitely helped, as I saw a noticeable improvement right at or shortly after I tried it.  Other things are harder to judge.

Did I recover because of the “placebo effect”?  I don’t know, and I don’t want to.  Maybe it was simply my time to get better.  I tend to think they really did help me, although I’m perhaps biased.  Your kilometrage will undoubtably vary, so please don’t consider this medical advice.

1.  Medicine

Since the day I tried to put my bottle of avelox through the wall (hurting my already aching elbow in the process), I haven’t taken any medicine except for a couple of tylenol for a really bad headache.  Nothing else.  Perhaps I’m judging the pharmaceutical industry harshly and overreacting, but it seems to me that meds either treat only symptoms, or end up damaging the body as much as it does the invading infection.  This doesn’t seem like a good deal.  And since this was my second nasty antibiotics ADR, I’m feeling pretty stupid for not doing this sooner.

Also, trawling up and down the forums at the now sadly defunct, it seemed to me that those who got better were those who avoided all western meds — and those who kept taking painkillers or other things stayed sick.  I didn’t keep count, but this was my overall impression.

It is possible to live, and survive ailments, without the use of modern medicine.  Our ancestors did it for millenia.  We know a great deal more now about good nutrition and sanitation than they did, so why not?  After floxing, I contracted pneumonia.  I saw a couple of doctors, each of whom wanted to stick me with more antibiotics, steroids, and other nastiness.  I ended up treating the pneumonia with little more than rest, liquids, and “alternative” herbal concoctions such as thyme, colloidal silver, iodine, osha, mullein root, andrographis, herbatussin, and other such things.  (Full disclosure, this was the one time I used tylenol, but it honestly didn’t seem to help much.)

I tend to believe that, in spite of what the doctors told me, the quins do not leave the body of a floxie.  Not quickly, anyway.  That would help explain why we can experience “cycles” months or years after the fact.  Quins are probably still lurking around in me.  As a result I am determined to never take NSAIDs again — even over the counter ones such as Advil or Ibuprofen.  Nor corticosteroids.

Nor any quinolone antibiotic.  Except maybe in a life-or-death situation.  Maybe.  Maybe not even then.

2.  Magnesium

The most important supplement I took was magnesium.  Quins apparently leach this out of your tendons and joints very fast, which is why so many floxies have had their achilles tendons snap.  I don’t the quins attack these tendons more than others, but I think these have a tendency to such damage precisely because they are normally so tough.

To try to replace the magnesium, I did 800 mg of Magnesium chelate every day — not ordinary Mg, but the kind that is absorbed more easily.  Basically, 200 mg with every meal, and then once at bedtime.  Over time, as I felt better I tapered off.  Excess magnesium can give you all kinds of intestinal fun — I used this as a gauge to tell me when I was getting too much.  Excess magnesium makes me sleepy, too.  Nowadays I take about 400 mg once or twice a week seems to keep down joint pain — but if I stop, the pain comes back.

3.  Ozone

I spent about a week scrubbing the Internet trying to find any story of anyone who had recovered from quins.  I finally found one mentioned vaguely on a page that strictly speaking, didn’t exist.  It took some effort to track down the lady in question.

When I finally did, she told me she’d had two experiences with levaquin.  The first time was bad.  The second time was in a life-or-death situation, and the outcome was far worse.  She ended up in a hospital bed for three years fighting pain.

She wasn’t expecting any results when her naturopath convinced her to try ozone therapy.  Also known as “ozone autohemotherapy”, or “major autohemotherapy (MAH)”, what basically happens is that they extract 250cc of your blood, inject it with ozone gas, shake it up so that the blood absorbs as much ozone as possible, and then reinsert your ozonated blood right back into your body.  There is a filter on the intake line to ensure that no undisolved gas enters your blood.  I studied the blood chemistry of this a little bit, and there are some good things that this can do to bolster your immune system.  I forget details, but it had something to do with converting the ozone to hydrogen peroxide in the bloodstream, which is then used natively by the immune system to kill germs without harming you.  It seems like a great idea for treating all kinds of ailments.

That said, it makes no sense to me that ozone would help after a floxing.  But help it did.  Slowly but surely, within six weeks of her ozone therapy treatment, all her symptoms vanished completely.  She told me that so long as she avoids antibiotic-fed meat, she doesn’t even get twinges anymore.

I did ten rounds of MAH, going once or twice a week.  After each treatment, I would get very sleepy, and be unable to stay awake very much for about 36 hours after the treatment.  After I came back around though, my head felt clearer each time.  The pain was a little less each time.  And most measurably, my blood pressure receded not only back to my normal levels, but even lower.  My pulse rate has always been high, between 100 and 110, but after floxing it was normally around 120.  After ten rounds of ozone, it was 77.  I was absolutely elated.

It was during the ozone treatments that my balance started to go back to normal, and I was able to reduce my use of a cane.  And within six weeks, I started having days where I felt completely normal.  Not every day — but normal enough to return to normal life.

This was the furthest “out there” treatment I tried.  I researched it every which way I could.  I could not find any evidence of any adverse reaction, aside from some folks who felt a burning, stinging sensation when the ozonated blood goes back in.  I felt this on two out of my ten treatments, and I have no explanation for it, but it was bearable, all things considered.

4.  Deep Breathing

Since I had no explanation why ozone was working, I wondered if maybe all I needed was more oxygen.  When the ozone gas is mixed in with the blood, the blood turns from dull rust brown to bright red, as hemoglobin is supposed to do in the presence of oxygen.  I certainly wasn’t getting any exercise…  Could just breathing more be at least part of the answer?

I think it might just be.  I was able to leave off the cane completely within two days of when I started deep breathing.  The pain, balance problems, and mind fog didn’t go away completely at that point, but the change was nonetheless pretty dramatic.  I took the technique from a cheesy old Tony Robbins tape.  I don’t know how much of what Tony says on the tape is pseudoscience and wishful thinking, but I followed it anyway.

The procedure is pretty simple.  Breathe in, via nose, for a slow count of some number.  There’s no magic to this, just as much as you can hold.  I count to seven heartbeats before I’m full.  Apparently Tony counts to ten, but he’s also roughly the size and shape of Frankenstein’s monster.

Hold your breath for a count of four times how long it took to breathe in.  I count to twenty eight heartbeats, and Tony counts to forty, the freak.  Tony claims that this is the optimum amount of time for maximum oxygen absorption.

Then, slowly exhale COMPLETELY through your mouth, for a count of two times the amount of time it took you to inhale.  I can’t quite manage a count of fourteen, usually making it only to twelve or thirteen.  I have no clue how Tony makes it to twenty except to speculate about an extra lung, perhaps in his chin.  He claims that this maximum exhale stimulates the lymphatic system to flush wastes out of cells and eventually out of the body.

Do this between ten to thirty times per day.  I like to do it while driving.  The way I think about it, even if this has nothing to do with recovering from quins, it can’t hurt to try.

5.  Acupuncture

Some floxies recommended acupuncture for pain relief.  I saw enough floxies recommend this that I wanted to try it too.

The acupuncturist told me that I probably wouldn’t feel any of the needles, as he was inserting them very lightly.  There was unfortunately no truth in this advertising, not for me anyway.  I was very sensitive to the needle insertions.  There was one area of my leg, which he told me corresponded to my heart, that felt like he was shooting me with a .22 instead of a gently inserted needle.  I screamed my lungs out!  He said he’d never in his ten years of acupuncture ever seen anyone react to it like this.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that my chest and kidney pains, which had been worring me a lot, cleared up.  Immediately.

They came back again, although less intensely, and I went back for another PAINFUL round of acupuncture.  These particular pains vanished and have not come back to this day.  I’ll reluctantly go back again if I need to, but so far, so good.

Some of the other pains that the acupuncturist worked on were completely unaffected.  YMMV.

6.  Diet

Per what I saw on and other places, I cut out all soy.  This is harder than it sounds.  Soy lecithin is used as a bulk filler for almost everything, including vitamins.  It’s packed in everything, including canned tuna.  Stuff I thought was good for me turns out to be full of soy.  Crap!

Due to one of the supplements I was taking, I also had to cut out all gluten.  Wheat, rye, barley, and processed oats were off the menu.  So was all forms of sugar.  Oh, and peanut butter.  Giving up peanut butter is HARD.  I also had to cut out dairy.

It should go without saying, but antibiotic-fed meat was also verbotten.  No chicken produced in the US is fed with antibiotics, so this was pretty much all the meat I’d eat.  From time to time I’d eat Chipotle, whose pork is antibiotics-free, or I’d get that kind of meat from Publix.  I ate a lot of eggs.

No processed food, so far as I could tell.  If there was something freaky in the ingredients list, I skipped it.  Also, no caffeine or alcohol, although this wasn’t really a change for me.

I drank a lot of water.  I tried to take a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar twice a day.  I stuffed as much fresh vegetation down my gullet as I could stomach.  I tried to think of food as just fuel, not something to be enjoyed.  I never cheated on this diet.

The last time I tried this kind of diet, long before floxing, I lost 40 pounds and felt fantastic.  This time, I lost no weight and felt like crap, although possibly less like crap than I would have had I not done this diet.

Unlike many floxies, I have no food allergies.  I’m eating anything I ate before I was floxed.  I think this might be because I went kind of nuts on this diet and avoided all these foods for several months.

7.  Other Supplements

I read somewhere online that vitamin C can bind to quins and help remove them.  Since I’m of the belief that the medical literature on quins are frankly AFU, and that the stuff can stay in your body for a long time, I started taking a LOT of vitamin C.  I took 10,000 mg or more of C per day for several months, spread out in three doses.  Since you are supposed to combine C with vitamin E, I also took 400 iu of the latter twice a day.

Many floxies report that they’re low on vitamin D.  I was already low on D; a doctor actually found me low enough to give me a vitamin D injection a couple of years back, and told me that no amount of sun would probably be enough to get me up to speed.  Since floxing, I’ve taken 4-5000 IU per day of D3.

I’ve taken a lot of B-complex for a couple of years, for its antidepressant qualities, four or five times the normal quantity per day.  After floxing, it stopped being an antidepressant whatsoever, but I kept taking it anyway in the hopes that it would help mend my nervous system.

I took two different brands of acidophilus, a double dose of zinc, and a multivitamin.

A nutritionist put me on some detox stuff.  There were three little bottles, one for liver detox, one for lymphatic detox, and one for kidney detox.  I have no idea if they worked or not, but I took them in combination with a specialized non-dairy, non-soy protein shake.  This was the stuff that gave me all those dietary restrictions above, but I decided the restrictions were healthy for me anyway, so no harm done.

8.  Sunlight and Exercise and Rest

A lot of floxies reported nasty reactions from sunlight, rashes and weird subcutaneous streaks.  On the rare occasion I got some sun, I also saw that my blood vessels became very visible and almost blue.  It was freaky.  I avoided the sun all summer long instead.  It sucked.

It should probably go without saying, but I avoided all exercise.  Not that it was hard to avoid.  I was in a lot of pain, pretty much constantly.  Moving was not a temptation.  All in all, when I wasn’t sleeping, I was resting and trying to avoid any kind of stress.  It was not easy on the people around me.

9.  Dealing with Idiosyncratic Complications (maybe just me, Your Mileage Will Definitely Vary):

Eight months before I had my reactions to quins, I had a different reaction to a different antibiotic, amoxycillin.  Now, I’ve had amoxycillin many times over the course of my life and never had a problem before, until November 2009 when I had an ear infection.  After taking this med faithfully for a week or so, my stomach became horribly inflamed to the point where anything even remotely acidic — like a slice of tomato, for instance — felt like I’d just injected Tabasco directly into my tummy.  Doctors diagnosed me with a range of ailments, each worse than the one before it, before they gave up on creative guesswork and settled on a probable cause of “antibiotics ADR resulting in acute gastritis”.

Basically, they treated me as though I had too much stomach acid, and gave me medicine to suit.  Unfortunately, they never checked my stomach acid levels too see if that was in fact the correct diagnosis.  As it turns out, this is a relatively painless and easy test, called a gastrogram.  You swallow a pH sensor with a little transmitter, measure a baseline, swallow some sodium bicarbonate, and see if your stomach acid counteracts this.

As it turns out, the symptoms for too little stomach acid are identical to the symptoms of too much stomach acid.  They treated me for the wrong damn thing.

One of the very few doctors I *do* trust speculates that it was the antacid medicine that somehow screwed up my body’s ability to make its own stomach acid very well.  In any case, a lack of stomach acid can keep you from processing much of the food you put into it, and extracting nutrients such as protein, or even magnesium.

As a result, the most important non-flox-related supplement I now take is an HCl tablet.  I take two with every meal, and I take care to take one every time I take a Magnesium tablet.  I mention this here because I think that possibly the reason I felt the effects of the quins so strongly was because perhaps I was already magnesium deficient, from months of poor digestion.  I might not be the only one.  And possibly taking the HCl tablets along with the Mg has helped to get that mineral where I need it more quickly and efficiently.  It was an integral part of my recovery regime that I put together, and I still take these tablets with every meal.

The deeper point here is, try to be aware of what else might be going on in your body that is different from others, and try to see if it is somehow related to your flox issues.

That’s it.  If I recall anything else I tried — possible, since my memory of that period is really fuzzy — I’ll tack it in here.  Meanwhile if anybody has any questions please feel free to post.

** 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.

55 thoughts on “Bill’s Recovery Story – Avelox Toxicity

  1. floxedwarrior November 4, 2013 at 10:32 am Reply

    HI Bill- How long did it take to recover? When did you hit turning point how are you now? What is residual? How were u at 8 mo?

  2. Lisa Bloomquist November 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm Reply

    Bill, for the last month or so I have been convinced that I have heart damage from the Cipro. I’ve been keeping it on the DL because I don’t want to not be hopeful. I came to the realization today that it’s probably just heart-burn. I bought some HCL because of your story. Hopefully it will help. So the good news is that I’m probably not having a heart attack. The bad news is that I probably don’t produce enough HLC. Oh well. Thanks for your story – I could have gone a while thinking that I was going to have a heart attack. The anxiety could have given me a heart attack. You may have saved my life. :p

    • Tim Featherstone July 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm Reply

      Lisa, or anybody else taking HCL, how much did you take? did you work up to an amount? not that i should base what i need acid wise on what anybody else needs but would be nice to know, I bought NOW foods 648mg betaine HCL, i took one today but was scared to take more, it has already helped lots with my bloated stomach and slightly improved my acid reflux, i have felt bloated since Cipro and Lansoprazole, i was taking them at the same time, stupidly my Doc and I did not attribute my sudden onset of extreme GERD to Cipro so put me on a PPI anti acid med, Doc blamed it on the anxiety i was having, for the 1st time ever, which was, of course, also Cipro, now ever since my stomach feels full all the time, although i do still feel hungry, my stomach being bloated made me think about too little acid and low and behold here is Bill’s story mentioning exactly that, my stomach used to be quite acidic, i would always get a warm feeling in my tummy when i was hungry, now it does nothing apart from feel constantly over full and seemingly now 3 months later it now throws the little acid it does have upwards out of my stomach, causing sternum pain, burning oesaphagus and a sore throat.

      Oh and the afterburn coming off a PPI drug is real and awful, it lasted a week in the extreme and the pain was unreal, i even tried starting the meds again that didn’t work and nothing touched it, i had to go for endoscopy to look for damage, again my doc was wrong, said just stop no problem, but i read afterwards on the internet i should of tapered off, unfortunately i don’t think i returned to baseline acid production, rather it continued to taper off below my normal amount, eventually.

      • Mindy May 25, 2015 at 7:57 pm Reply

        Tim, I’m not on these websites often and hope you got your answer and are healing. Just in case someone else needs the answer to this question, you may want to start with 1 or 2 with each meal, working up until you have acid reflux. Then you cut back. I was floxed in December 2013 and my stomach and intestines were devastated. The bloating and pain was horrid… full but hungry. I regurgitated everything as well and lost immense weight. Basically, once these start to work you’ll need less and less. At one point I took 6 per meal. Half a lemon with warm water after eating and/or before bed has been helpful to me (a natural form of acid which promotes alkalinity). Another possible option is to take a high quality – very broad – digestive enzyme. My stomach is healing 17 months later but the all over muscle, joint and tendon pain, unfortunately, is relentless. I’ve done everything Bill has, including UVB ozonated IVs. Wheatgrass helps me temporarily with pain. I pray for all of us to recover and, as Bill said, to be more trusting of our own ability to heal naturally in the future. God bless! Mindy

        • Tim Featherstone May 26, 2015 at 3:17 pm

          Turns out I had Lyme Disease, now on Clarithromycin and other antibiotics (I will still never take a Flouroquinolone again though) all with great success and I cannot quite believe it, especially after thinking all antibiotics were the work of the devil, I truly thought I had been floxed for 6 months, then i ended up with severe chronic pancreatitis, I would of been a dead man in 6 months without antibiotics, the Pancreatitis just didn’t seem like a Flox symptom and i was suspicious of other causes, I Remembered a bite and flu like symptoms 6 months prior to Cipro, found out about Lyme on the internet, I sought a private Lyme Literate Doctor who sent my blood away for testing, which was strongly positive for Lyme! What I thought was being Floxed by Cipro was actually the classic Herxeimer reaction from treating Lyme Disease, I took the Cipro for a suspected prostate infection, which was actually the Lyme all along inflaming my Prostate! Once I stopped the Cipro the Lyme bacteria came back at me 10x worse than before, never partly treat a bacterial infection, it bites back hard. I feel for all Floxies and there suffering but please be aware of Lyme Disease, it has many similar symptoms to being floxed, quite frankly I had nothing to lose by taking antibiotics at that point so it was a no brainer for me.

          Take care

  3. Lee November 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm Reply

    Bill, what were your original symptoms- neuropathy? Tendon rupture?

  4. Bill Milligan November 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm Reply

    Hi folks! Lisa was kind to post part 2 describing how I worked to solve my flox problems. Let me also include part 1, the symptoms.

    In May and June of this year I was prescribed two rounds of antibiotics. The first is called Levaquin. The second is called Avelox. Both of these belong to a family of antibiotics called the quinolones, or fluoroquinolones, which also include Cipro, Floxin, and a few others. If you value your health and sanity, I recommend you avoid these. I was given these to combat a persistent cough that had not relented for two months. Neither Levaquin nor Avelox had any effect whatsoever on the cough.

    On the other hand, my life became a living hell for almost four months. First, I lost the ability to walk without intense pain in my legs. Joint pain spread throughout my body, from the feet upward. Then I lost most of my sense of balance. I’ve always thought of myself as calm, cool, and collected, but I developed some severe emotional issues: panic attacks, inexplicable crying jags, deep depression, and insane rages. I couldn’t cope with even small stresses. My memory was absolutely shot — I had to write myself notes sometimes on what I was going to do when I went into another room, like the guy from Memento. It was very difficult to think sometimes — ever felt like a word was on the tip of your tongue but you just couldn’t spit it out? After quinolones, I was like that, day in and out, for months. Further, I had peripheral neuropathy, which ranged from sharp burning pains on my skin to uncontrollable twitches, and debilitating weakness. I could not pick up even my youngest daughter for fear I would drop her either from lack of strength, or balance, or just muscular twitches. Even my hearing was diminished, and I had to focus on reading lips. My blood pressure went, almost overnight, from near-perfect to dangerously high. I had chest pains. I had kidney pains. I had insomnia, awful tiredness, and (unusual, for floxies) an insatiable appetite. I had a horrible taste in my mouth that made me fear the worst for my liver. I felt like I was 82, not 32.

    All in all, every day was torture. I was absolutely unable to work. I didn’t trust myself to drive. I became housebound. I became unable to take care of my children, and had to rely on my parents to basically take over. Hobbling on my cane to the bathroom and back to bed became my main form of exercise. Negotiating stairs was a nightmare. Sometimes my arms hurt too much to use my cane, and so walking became that much more difficult.

    I count myself lucky. Some people with quinolone toxicity have symptoms that are similar but far more severe. And whether it was due to some unusual treatments I’d lucked into, or whether it was just my time to recover, I’ll never know — but I’d recovered from most of these symptoms by the end of September, and the rest of them by November. Many people suffering from “levaquin poisoning” or “floxing” take years to recover, if they ever do. I’m hopeful that the symptoms won’t return. For many floxies, they sometimes do, months later, in cycles that can last a lifetime.

    Now, there are some interesting things to note about the quinolone antibiotics. First, they have been “black boxed” by the FDA because of serious adverse reactions linked to tendon rupture and tendonitis. This means that there is a warning on the original box in which the antibiotics are sold. Do you ever read these? I sure didn’t. In our litigious society we’re bombarded with pointless, idiotic warnings everywhere we look. BEWARE, STEAMING HOT COFFEE CAN BURN YOU. We go numb to these kinds of warnings, and the net effect is to simply ignore them. Only this time, the warning is actually important — and doesn’t go anywhere near far enough in explaining what can go wrong.

    There are other things to note. The chances of getting adverse reactions increase dramatically if you are taking corticosteroids (such as Prednisone), or NSAIDs (such as Advil) (,or if you’re over 65). My former doctor, a specialist in ear/nose/throat, knew about this increased risk. He prescribed me a corticosteroid called Dexamethasone, which is about ten times as powerful as Prednisone. Stupidly, I took it. When I called him to tell him about my troubles, his advice was to take Advil. Thankfully, I had wised up by this point, but the damage was already done between the Avelox and the Dexamethasone. I had trusted my doctor. This is a mistake, and I encourage you to please learn from my mistakes. Do your own homework. A doctor can be just as ignorant about medicine as you are, but his medical license gives your good old doc an excuse to be arrogant about his ignorance. Ignore the bluster. And don’t trust the FDA, either. When your doctor starts saying, “It’s time to bring out the big guns”, it’s time to start asking serious questions.

    Oh, and by the way, my cough never went away, although I had far more luck with “alternative” herbal medicines in minimizing it than I ever had with Levaquin or Avelox.

    Interestingly enough, there has never been enough adequate science to determine how these drugs work. They just don’t know! There have been some theories that the drugs work by altering bacterial DNA directly, but there is no science to prove this, nor any science to prove that it is not mutagenic to human cells either. Think about that for a moment.

    The scariest thing is that it can take months for these reactions to show up, long after your last dose. If you or someone you know has suddenly developed something that was diagnosed as fibromyalgia, crohn’s disease, tendonitis (or more accurately tendonosis), chronic fatigue symptom, kidney trouble, or other dire long term disorders, look through the medical history to see if these drugs have been given any time in the last year.

    Since I was “floxed”, I’ve met a great many people online who have been affected by these medicines. Many of them have had their lives changed forever. It doesn’t take a large dose — the worst case I know of was a formerly athletic man in his 30s who took a single 250 mg Levaquin tablet several years ago. He’s still in a wheelchair. Please do not be the next one in line. The risks are not worth any purported benefit. Do not take Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro, or Floxin unless your life itself is quite literally at stake. Talk to your friends and relatives about these drugs. Spread the word.

    For my fellow floxies, I’ll put together another note sometime about the treatments I went through that I think helped speed me to my recovery.

    Please take the time to watch this video of floxie John Fratti, a former drug sales rep, and now one of our best spokesmen for this horrible condition.

    • Enkel June 29, 2015 at 1:38 am Reply

      Hi Bill,

      Did you have spine problems, like back pain, neck pain?

      thank you

  5. Bill Milligan November 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm Reply

    @floxedwarrior, at 8-10 months (after I wrote these two parts) I had a full on relapse. Everything felt like it went back to zero and most of my symptoms returned. I doubled down on everything, went back on the diet, resumed the supplements, did everything except the ozone (I was trying to recover financially, too). It took about two months for everything to go back to normal-ish. Once bitten twice, I was wary of a third time.

    And the third time happened a few months after that. It was a lot lighter but lasted a little longer.

    The second year was almost an exact repeat. Heavy relapse in the spring, lighter relapse in the fall.

    The third year, this year, was a marked improvement. I had a couple of days in the spring where I felt like something was wrong, but bounced back quickly. In May of this year, three years after the flox nightmare began, I finally felt like my brain had fully recovered, and I’ve been brain-fog free ever since. I might still have the odd memory lapse, but that just might be something that’s coming on with middle age. I’ve had no floxie issues since.

    • Brooke Doverspike November 16, 2017 at 3:32 pm Reply

      Although antibiotics are indeed used in chickens, fluoroquinolones are not. They were phased out a number of years ago and are no longer allowed.

  6. Pati Engelstad January 5, 2014 at 2:47 pm Reply

    Bill M. Thank you so much for your 2 posting that shared your life post Flox. In many ways I could consider myself lucky for only having neuropathy. But now other things are starting to click into place; joint pain (knees bad), an unexplained inflammation – no arthritis markers, fatigue, and a almost non-existent Vit. D level – DR did catch this, balance issues, brain fog,… I have started some supplements, essential oils, increased my organic food consumption, but it is clear I must step up my recovery plan. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and your triumphs! Pati in Port Hueneme, CA

  7. Bill Milligan January 6, 2014 at 7:40 am Reply

    You are absolutely right, Stephen. I guess I did not know this at the time.

  8. stefani alexa February 13, 2014 at 12:35 am Reply

    Thanks for your story Bill it’s comforting to know that I am not alone in this journey. I had a stomach infection and was prescribed an antibiotic Bactrim, But I had an allergic reaction to it so I was than given Cipro. To be taken twice daily for ten days. Just after a few days I did feel a lot better. The infection had caused discomfort and I was relieved when my stomach felt normal again. While on the medication I noticed I had developed muscle twitching but didn’t think anything of it at first. Than my left arm began to feel very sore but I thought it might have been from sleeping on it. On the fifth night my arm became very sore I couldn’t sleep all night from how uncomfortable it was. The next day my sixth day on Cipro I woke up and my arm felt better I took the first pill of the day. Several hours later I took the second one and noticed after taking it my arm started to feel in pain again. It was than that I realized that Cipro was the cause of it. So I stopped taking it after that day. Went to my doctor the next day and told him I’d stop taking the prescription because of my arm pain he said that arm pain wasn’t a side effect of Cipro that it caused tendon ruptures. I could tell he was frustrated already with my complaints since this would be the second time he’d have to change my prescription. He than gave me a lecture on how it was a one in a million chance of having these side affects from cipro and googling symptoms wasn’t always helpful and so on and so on. I wasn’t surprised when hearing this because after reading other people’s stories on how most doctors claimed their symptoms weren’t from Cipro. He didn’t prescribe me anything else because I thought I was better from the infection. I had been feeling some slight discomfort after stopping the medication but thought it would subside. The next day i regretted saying my stomach felt better because it didnt so again there i am sitting in the Doctors office explaining the discomfort was back. He prescribed another antibiotic called cephalexin. Again my stomach is feeling better again. My arm pain hasn’t gone away it isn’t as painful but it feels sore and I now feel it in my hands as well. I would describe it like when your arm falls asleep. A tingling sensation. But I now have started to feel the soreness in my right arm and lightly in my left leg. This is what worries me the most that they’ll all begin to feel as sore as my right arm. I do want to stop taking the new medication my Dr has prescribed me because I want to avoid affecting my muscles more than I already have but I also don’t want to feel the discomfort of the bacterial infection in my stomach to come back again.

    • Lisa Bloomquist February 13, 2014 at 10:07 am Reply

      Hi Stefani,

      Thank you very much for your comment and for telling your story. I’m really sorry for all that you are going through!

      Your doctor’s attitude really pisses me off. How in the world would he know how frequent adverse effects of fluoroquinolones are? Given that the effects are often delayed, and his attitude of NOT NOTING that the symptoms of fluoroquinolone toxicity are, indeed, symptoms of fluoroquinolone toxicity and therefore not reporting them as adverse events – how does he think that he has a clue how frequent adverse reactions are? Besides, it’s a dismissive and rude thing to say to a patient. Your concerns are valid and appropriate. He should listen to you and address your concerns with valid information, not his opinion on how frequent adverse reactions “should” be. Please feel free to show him this – Also, tendon ruptures are not the only adverse effect of fluoroquinolones. There are other adverse effects listed on the 43 PAGE warning label –,020780s040lbl.pdf One of those symptoms is peripheral neuropathy and your arm pain sounds a lot like peripheral neuropathy to me (but I’m not a doctor – yadayada).

      I think that Bill’s tips are good ones and I certainly encourage you to heed whatever advice from him you feel will be helpful (but neither of us are doctors, this is not medical advice, etc.).

      If you want info from more people, please feel free to join the biggest fluroquinolone support group –

      Please let me know if you need anything.


  9. Natalie March 22, 2014 at 10:20 am Reply

    Hi Bill,

    Very glad you are in better health. I’m floxed at 23. Miserable, does not help that my parents have the back of traditional doctors and keep trying to force me to drink sugared teas and don’t understand why I want to distill water. They are convinced it is my mind, and I went to the rhumatologist with my mum, for her to keep telling him I was ‘so stressed’ and for him to dismiss me.
    Last night I woke up and it felt like my heart was going to stop beating with unbearable pain in the right hand side of my head and body and my arms once again are cracking in all joints and are so achey now.
    And they keep demanding me to get up and walk. I’m doomed
    Is it ok to have more vitamin d , mag and vit c than the daily reccomended diet.
    I;ve used the last of my allowance on these pills. I’m going to probably have to quit work soon, and my parents are trying to force me to have nsaids rather than listen to me
    I know I sound like a baby, but my parents are the only people I have to depend on.
    Would you have any other advice. Whenever I have paracetamol , which I;ve only had twice, I haven’t touched NSAIDS, the pain gets worse. Would you know what I can do for the pain.
    Thanks for your story

    • Bill Milligan March 29, 2014 at 7:54 pm Reply

      Hi Natalie. Sorry I didn’t see this post sooner. You are not the first person with this problem. I can do for you what I have done in the past, which is to have a phone conference with your parents to explain that I am (a) a professional in my mid-30s, (b) not selling anything, and (c) I went through exactly what you are going through now, and it’s serious. Find me on Facebook. If you are a member of the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Group, I’m still listed as an admin (though not really active anymore). Friend me and we will find time sometime this week if you think this will help, for me to talk to them.

  10. Melinda March 27, 2014 at 11:07 pm Reply

    Ask someone else (grandmother perhaps) to help you buy the vitamins and minerals you need, don’t take the nsaids, drink LOTS of pure water, and REST. I also take some Iodine along with the magnesium and it helps me. Melatonin at night. Eat as organic as you can, avoid refined foods. If you can afford some zeolite it helps take some of the toxins out. I’m 10 weeks from original floxing and felt as doomed as you do. I’m a LOT better, not well, better. Well is yet to come. Even the doctors I’ve seen don’t know how to help. The internet at least has some tips to try. The magnesium and iodine helped the pain for me, nothing else. My best.

  11. Charles Tooraen April 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm Reply

    Hi Bill, thanks for your update and story. For me so far, I have made the best improvements by not taking any meds or supplements at all. Seems I would react to all of them….

    • Brenda May 17, 2014 at 12:47 am Reply

      Did you exercise? Change diet?

    • Jimmy August 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm Reply

      Charles, are you continuing to improve? Still allergic to supplements? would you mind contacting me at to go over more how you are helping your recovery? Thanks.

  12. nancy May 6, 2014 at 7:15 am Reply

    Does anyone have ideas on how I can heal from lev toxicity without magnesium, which I feel pretty certain I’m deficient in? A big problem is that I get HORRIFIC headaches/joint pain/tendon pain everytime I take or use magnesium. Pain that put me in bed, unfunctional. I have gotten severe pain from 6 forms of magnesium: chelated magnesium citrate, magnesium aspartate, baths in magnesium flakes, magnesium lotion 11%, magnesium lotion with MSM, and magnesium oil. (the last four are transdermal.)
    Each form of magnesium gives me this reaction. I tried these 6 forms off and on, with careful attention to doses, quantities and side effect over a period of two months. I cannot continue with the increased pain when I use the mag. I never got diarrhea from the magnesium. BTW I have lots of pain even without the mag- it just worsens when I supplement the mag. I’ve tried pushing through the pain as some have suggested, tried tiny doses. Am very discouraged to not be able to take what my bod so desperately needs.
    I have taken recommendations for D3, B6, B12, gluten-free, no synthetic sweeteners, no fluoride, lots of water, lots of protein, good fats, etc.
    I took 10 pills 500 mg each last July.
    Any ideas will be greatly appreciated!

    • Kel May 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm Reply

      I have issues absorbing all these wonderful expensive vitamins I bought. I found out that Vitamin D and Magnesium were one of the two I could get down…Vitamin D in large doses and Mag in very low doses. I have just incremented up from 100MGs to 200MGs and have managed to keep them normal so far. I would try the natural approach by packing it in via my foods. Avocados/bananas/dark leaf/pumpkin seed/lentils/dark chocolate/etc… it’s the only thing I can dream of if they cannot run an IV into you.

      Heard someone mention water here earlier and I read elsewhere to stick to RO water, have your bottled water checked by calling to see if it’s RO water. Few methods remove Flouride from drinking or cooking water. A lot of brands say on the bottle, some require you call.

      P.S. I heard that Mag is a double edged sword on a forum support group…Some do great with it and some don’t

  13. Jan Bush May 14, 2014 at 12:55 pm Reply

    I’ve been following the recipes in “The Alkaline Cure” by Dr. Stephan Domenig and I feel much better than the acid type foods made me feel. Apparently most Americans eat too much acidic food and this can lead to problematic mental and physical issues.

    • Tim Featherstone May 21, 2014 at 12:11 am Reply

      Hi Bill

      How did you take so much vitamin c? Was it in ascorbic acid form? 500mg pills is 20 a day wow!!

      Thanks for your great story, great hope for us floxies, it’s been an eye opener and I have developed a deep distrust of modern medicine, especially as I was prescribed cipro and an meloxicam nsaid for suspected prostatitis with no testing, I don’t think I even have bacterial prostatitis, I have all the mind problems Inc fog, depersonalisation, depression, ended up in hospital with racing heart beat palpitations. Doc then prescribed me anti anxiety meds that specifically say to not take if you have prostate problems, do these docs have a clue what they are doing?

  14. jb June 4, 2014 at 11:14 am Reply

    hi bill, thanks for your story. would you mind if we communicated by email? i would like to ask you a few questions more about your recovery. thank you.

  15. Charlotte June 19, 2014 at 8:59 am Reply

    Hi Bill – How are you now?

    I developed a psychotic reaction and feeling very tired, and some numbness after taking Avelox. I have never had such an experience before and the timeline that the singing, chanting and wailing happened was at the same time that I started taking Avelox on May 1 – 8, 2014. I have still not recovered from the symptoms.

    After reading your article, I will try acupunture, taking Magnesium chelate, Vitamin C and D. I also pray to God for the symptoms to go away. It is now June 19, 2014, and I still have the symptoms. Needless to say, I am becoming very distressed.

    I saw a psychiatrist who prescribed Risperidone 0.5 mg, 1 tablet a day. I had to stop after two days as it was worsening my headaches and I felt feverish. Dr. Chlysta, the doctor that had prescribed Avelox to me, then prescribed Olanzapine 2.5 mg. The phaarmacist told me that Olanzapine is int he same family as Risperidone and I should perhaps thought of switching doctors.

    The symptoms only started after I took Avelox. It has never happened before, but I still have the symptoms even though I have stopped taking Avelox on May 8. It has been reported that the symptoms can last for weeks and months after treatment has stopped. I am terrified.

    • Elise January 24, 2017 at 9:09 am Reply

      Did you ever end up taking the olazanpine or did you fine another doctor?? Because I just got on it about 2 and a half weeks ago and I’m scared and I don’t know if the medicine is making my body worse or if it’s because it’s that time of the month for me..I’m worried and don’t know what to do….what did you end up doing?

  16. Tim Featherstone June 26, 2014 at 4:51 am Reply

    Hi guys, need some help which is related to Bill’s story!

    I am 3 months out from what i would say is a mild reaction to Cipro, some mild dizziness, mild joint popping and overall fatigue, i feel ok ish and have carried on as normal for the most part, i have recently tolerated some anesthetic in the throat for an endoscopy with no problems.

    How likely am i to react to a one time shot of 12 mg desamethazone? i need one shot as part of a procedure for my prostate, it’s only one, as i understand it the the Cipro may have blocked pathways for removal of certain drugs from my system which can lead to overdose with normal dosages, presumably as i am having only one shot i should be ok? although it may take a while for it to leave my system?

    • Keith September 10, 2014 at 10:26 am Reply

      Did you end up taking the shot?

      • timfeatherstone September 10, 2014 at 10:47 am Reply

        Nah i bottled it, glad i did in the end, Cipro had plenty more in-store for me soon after i considered treating the prostate after a reaction to Lipsomal Vitamin C, i can’t even imagine how bad it would of been if i had gone for the Desamethazone, i have since learnt i seem to react to everything none food i consume and some foods too! sorry i cannot be of any more help!

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  20. Jason February 23, 2015 at 8:22 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing Bill, and sry about your plight. Lots of good advice in both your Part 1 and part 2.

  21. Aidan Walsh May 13, 2015 at 4:01 am Reply

    Wa wondering how many people above or in this entire Forum have been tested for a Genetic born mutation called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome all types??? Seems to me all the

    things that help like vitamin C large doses plus Vitamin D3 & Magnesium are all used in patients diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome ir is also related to Syncope and/or

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    Father…It may not be the medicines it could be your genetics that makes one unable to take these medicines…Some say radiation which has not yet been proven as ‘Replicated Science’ *Anything is possible until proven/replicated until then everything is presumed…Remember this ASSUME has 3 words…

  22. Brian May 13, 2015 at 7:59 am Reply

    Genetics almost certainly plays a part in why certain people are more affected by FQs than others. For example, under-methylation due to MTHFR mutations (among many others) comes to mind. But this doesn’t necessarily indicate EDS. All of these conditions: Lyme, EDS, CFS, Fibromyalgia, FQTS, etc are difficult to diagnose and can masquerade as other conditions. So I suppose that EDS is one of the many difficult-to-impossible to diagnose syndromes that might explain the symptoms that floxies have. You’ve posted numerous times about this in this forum and I’m not sure what you’re hoping to achieve by continuing to do so.

  23. June 7, 2015 at 5:50 pm Reply

    Great info. Lucky me I ran across your website by accident (stumbleupon).

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  24. Randy Eckardt June 30, 2015 at 3:55 pm Reply

    Bill: Your writing is beautiful, and your story, incredible! Thanks so much. Diet rules! What we put in our system is how it functions, oftentimes…for most ailments, diseases and illness anyway. Many thanks, once again, and nothing but a road of health and feeling great ahead, for you, friend.

  25. tarkonis September 17, 2015 at 2:40 am Reply

    Hi Bill,

    Not sure if you still come here or not. I was recently floxxed in July and your story seems to be the only one on here to do with Avelox. I too took Avelox and am experiencing the symptoms you describe.

    I wanted to ask you about a particular symptom to do with my vision. Basically it feels as though my eyes don’t line up straight. When i read or look at the TV my vision is very weird and I cant stand to look at it. Which is really bad as my main job involves computing all day and I loved to watch the tv and play games as a hobby and now i cant even look at the screen,

    If I look at a person or try to have a conversation i can focus on a persons face but the surroundings appear all trippy blurry and spaced out, making me feel really anxious and uneasy.

    Did you or anyone else that still comes to this thread experience these symptoms? Did they ever go away.

    • smooth September 17, 2015 at 7:43 am Reply


      I was floxed in Feb, 2015. I too have been having strange vision problems, including pain in the back of my eyes as if someone were pulling on the back of my eyes constantly. My issue started while taking cipro, I saw flashing lights and couldn’t see anything I looked at, but could see in the peripheral. That went away and I haven’t had that symptom since. I now see floaters constantly, which were not there before. I have trouble focusing at times and my left eye twitches constantly.

      The severity has become less and less with time. I have started eating completely organic and that really seems to help. I also went gluten free. On top of that I cut as much sugar as I could, plus now I limit my alcohol intake, I did this because the sugar and alcohol seemed to make my symptoms come back. I do have other symptoms but I’m not going to go into them right now.

      What helped me was getting as much rest as possible, eating organic, drinking lots of spring water, taking the occasional magnesium citrate before bed, Epsom salt baths, exercise and time.

      I haven’t found much information out on the net about the eye problems and this bothers me, since those are my most worrisome issues. I work as a programmer and need to see to do my job.

    • joanne g September 24, 2015 at 5:40 pm Reply

      Hi Tarkonis i dont know if this will help your eyes but it helps mine a lot it also helps with brain fog soupy head ect. Olive leaf extract – i take 400 mgs of f (25% oleuropein) the capsules every 5 hrs cause it does wear off and symptoms come back but i was just soo happy to find some relief. I only discovered this because at 16 months broke out with shingles and i was to afraid of the pharms tried this cause its a natural antibiotic antiviral antifungal with no known adverse side effects It has helped me with MANY things

    • madge hirsch December 27, 2015 at 4:22 am Reply

      I had iv Cipro along with Flagyl in hospital for acute diverticulitis. One of the first side effects I noticed was my vision being affected though I was hard put to say exactly how. I had pressure behind the eyes but felt my eyes were just not working normally. I get a recurrence of this from time to time plus floaters. I have suffered from blurry vision when I wake in the morning on a cyclical basis for years which I suspect was due to a previous milder floxing of which I was unaware. I also had tendon probs and was diagnosed as hypothyroid. Since the latest floxing my blurry vision in th morning is there most of the time and a floater has appeared in my right eye which is worse affected with the blurriness. To much time on my tablet does not help! I am hoping these will diminish as they did in the past and now I am aware of floxing I will never take another FQ again.

    • Bran February 27, 2016 at 11:06 am Reply

      Tarkonis, I took Levaquin 500mg for 7 days because I believe in the medical community like the rest of us. Now I am in pain and I also can’t see straight. My vision symptoms are 100% exactly as you describe. Any update on your progress?

      Anyone with vision problems can see straight again?

      Hope you all are doing alright. It’s scary, and I get anxiety wondering if my life is going to be hampered forever…

  26. Terry November 17, 2015 at 2:58 pm Reply

    How is Bill as of now

  27. Jackie June 28, 2016 at 4:12 am Reply

    Hi Bill. I read your story and was wondering how many days past getting floxed did you start taking ozone.
    Im rather skeptical about the ozone in this scenario as reading through literature it seems quinolone toxicity is mediated by free radical injury and ozone means a lot of free radicals. Thats why it seems anti oxidants play a role in relieving side effects.
    Id think it may work fine much later if you have detoxed the quinolones from your system with tamarind or any other way.
    I think i may have developed quinolone toxicity with very miniscule doses of oflox as i was on ozone for other health issues already.
    If ozone truly is the answer i should not have developed symptoms while being on ozone already.

  28. Robert July 29, 2016 at 3:21 pm Reply

    I worked as a pharmaceutical chemist for 20 years. I will not touch most pharmaceuticals or any Western meds which are OTC (over the counter). I know too much. The industry is completely corrupt and the FDA and AMA are all one big happy family with Big Pharma. They lies about so-called “side effects” (I call them unwanted toxic effects). If you keep your bodies in balance with TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and/or Ayurveda, you won’t experience “infections”. Even if a body does have an infection, there are way more effective ways to deal with it than anti-biotics. By the way, anti-biotic is a fitting terms for these poisons. Biotic refers to living things, so anti-biotic is against living things anti-life!

  29. Ciprosucks!!! November 10, 2016 at 3:41 pm Reply

    Bill, So I had a terrible reaction to cipro in 2013. Lots of cns issues, headache, panic, heart palpitations. Vertigo, brain fog, week, feeling hypoglycemic etc. symptoms slowly got better. Then I got pregnant and had a boy in 2015. No issues while pregnant. Ffw to now. October 2016 pinched a nerve and took prednisone and Advil. November, almost exact 4 weeks after those old feelings are back!!! I’m so bummed. Could the prednisone cause a relapse?? I’m so angry.

  30. Dan January 3, 2018 at 6:23 am Reply

    Bill, Can you please describe your balance issues but very preciesly, because i am experiencing bug balance and keeping straight problems, like i am in a boat feeling all the time, when i walk, stand upright. please how you managed the balance issues?

  31. Tom July 18, 2018 at 7:54 am Reply


    I ve been floxed 10 years ago with Izilox. I recovered then felt again with food containing quinolone. I tried to detox with glutathion but all came back, maybe too much release or a problem of evacuation because of cytochrome p450.
    I will tell you what i did to recover and it ‘s working even if i m ‘not 100%, i can live like others except avoiding sports but will be possiblle after the healing process.

    -First you have to limit the oxidative stress with anti-oxydative. I take quercetin(2g per day) and it ‘s fantastic. It reduces oxydative stress but also bind to the same site of FQ so they can ‘t less affect your body even if in it.

    – Vitamine C at high dose is also a key of healing process, it helps detox and participte to the building of collagen via the hydroxylation of the proline which is an important amino acid in collagen and studies shown that quinolones affect the hydroxylation of the proline and that can be a really important part of the side effects felt by people because if collagen is poor or bad quality, it leads to desease like floxed have. Of course you can take collagen alone . i wanted to take hydroxyproline directly because your body can ‘t do it like before but each time i tested collagen from animals, i got a rollback so i stick to amino acid now.

    -FQ affect the mitochondria and lead to a lack of atp. you have to boost your mitochondria replication because floxed cells are non efficient and you have to replace them. For that you have to take PQQ, vit B3 (niacinamide).

    -You also have to protect your cells from quinolones and R.O.S. Vit E and resveratrol have shown to protect the cells.

    So , to feel better you have to take:

    – Vit. C, E
    – Quercetin
    – PQQ
    – niacinamide (vit B3)
    – l-proline (collagen if you have non contaminated source)
    – resveratrol

    very important. You have to take activated charcoal in cure of 15 days ( because everyday it lead to insufficiencies because activated charcoal absorb the good and the bad,4 hours minimum after supplements) because studies have shown that the fq are widely evacuated by the bile .

    I hope my message will help some people and if you have others tips to give me, it will be welcome.

  32. tenapitzing August 5, 2018 at 8:00 am Reply

    I am a 46 yr old nurse , I’ve been struggling since March 2018 after taking Cipro and Avelox, I’m about to give up hope , I started ozone on 7/28/18. My legs spasm now arms since the ozone Tx if u would please reach out to me . I am taking mag along with vitamins every day . I’m so desperate for help

    • Lisa August 5, 2018 at 7:37 pm Reply

      I am so sorry for all that you’re going through! Please don’t give up hope. Hope truly is healing – try to believe that there is reason for hope and that healing is possible. It’s difficult, I know. Here is a post with some tips that I hope help. It also has some suggestions for other places to find help.

  33. Dan Jervis March 2, 2019 at 4:27 pm Reply

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

  34. Roxanne May 15, 2019 at 12:10 pm Reply

    Where did you go for the ozone treatments?

  35. Joshua November 14, 2020 at 1:36 pm Reply

    Bill, could you give us an update of how you are doing? I have the same massive increase in hunger, what did you find helped that? Thanks.

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