Brett’s Story—Levofloxacin toxicity and recovery


*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. 

Ive delayed writing this for quite a while.

I have had the terrible fear that my recovery was tenuous, short-lived, like an anvil of pain and sorrow was still hanging over my head on a thin string, just waiting for an excuse to fall. But Ive given it time, a lot of time, and it hasnt fallen.

I have been poisoned, lied to, and gone unbelievedand yet I am here to say it gets better for most, to say many floxies do recover and heal and find meaning through this journey.

All that may seem well-intentioned but facetious, so let me just tell the story, my story, which is not yours but might be a cousin of yours, and hopefully you will find some kind of solace in that.

My early birthday present in June 2014 was levofloxacin. After recovering from an ear infection in late May with the help of Omnicef, I was still experiencing nasal congestion and mucus in the corners of my eyes upon waking. My pediatrician examined me, concluded I had a sinus infection, and prescribed a ten-day round of levofloxacin, the generic for Levaquin.

Each pill was 500 milligrams. There, on the list of side effects dutifully printed out by Walgreens, was a warning: sudden tendon rupture could occur in people 60 or older.

I wasnt 60 or older. I wasnt even 21. That would happen in a little over a week.

I took a dose before going to work. At night, peculiar pains stole through my legs, the heads in a whack-a-mole, popping in and out in different places. I tried to focus on their origin, but they evaporated just when my attention found them.

It was on a walk, late in the afternoon the third day of so-called treatment, four or five hours following the pill, when the damage threshold for my mitochondria broke.

An unbearable tightness coiled around the back of my right knee. I limped home. I put ice under my knee, thinking somehow I had strained it. Its funny how our first impulses of blame tend to fall on ourselves, even for things we did not do.

Then I remembered the half-read printout from Walgreens. Frantically I checked it. There was little, if anything, about people my age, but it said to call your doctor if you experienced any adverse effects.

I did so the next morning. She said nothing of the sort had happened to any of her patients in the twenty years shed been practicing. There was a tint of doubt in her voice, but not enough to keep her from switching the prescription to Augmentin.

As far as I can tell, I had no negative responses to the Augmentinand I had 20 daysworth, to combat a sinus infection I would later learn was never there in the first place.

Most illnesses are acute. They last less than a week. You might take a day or two off work, but thats it. Youve got bills to pay, work to do, social activities to partake in.

Fluoroquinolone toxicity is not acute. It usually gets worse before it gets better.

And it got worse for me. There was a general weakening of my muscles and my fitness. Things I once did with ease left me breathless. Various parts of my body began twitching, almost in a morbid choreography, passing the electrical baton to other areas.

About a month and a half after being floxed, I went for a bike ride. I was young, after all, and young people are invincible. I pedaled slowly, as if I were trying to cross a gulf of air on a tightrope. It seemed to be going okay. Then I got off while the bike was still rolling, and my right foot hit the ground fairly hard. I would have absorbed it just fine if I had been healthy, but I was not healthy. Perhaps on the outside, but not the inside.

The next day it felt like my achilles tendon was trying to snap. When I read Ruths story several months ago, she described a pain that was like a thin sheet of cells tearing, and then the pain would disappear. I recognized that pain; that was my ankle.

I didnt bike again that summer, and it made me restless. I have two outlets for stress in my life: writing fiction and biking. Floxies dont do well with restlessness.

Autumn sliced into summer, stealing away its warmth and humidity. It would have stolen mine, too, as it does to many other Chicagoans, but levofloxacin had already done it. Three pills had left me unable to exercise, run, swim, or be creative.

Because the symptoms were not just physical. They were mental. I was depressed, anxious, and constantly on the internet, looking for answers, looking for treatments, looking for people who have done this and gotten through to the other side.

I found Floxie Hope in August. I clung to it. I monitored it every day, to see if someone new had put a hopeful message in a bottle to drift across the ocean of cyberspace and reach me. (Some days I did; that is why I am writing this now.)

There are far too many small instances of weakness and decline to delve into here, or anywhere. They are best left to the dustbin of memory, safely undisturbed. But I do recognize certain events that delayed my recovery, and certain events that helped it.

In late August, the week before returning to college, I got all four of my wisdom teeth pulled. The surgeon was kind, understanding, and gentle as a person can be when they are extracting bits of reluctant bone from your head. He agreed that he would not prescribe me any fluoroquinolones after the surgery.

He did prescribe me dexamethasone, to keep down the chipmunk cheek swelling many people experience after a four-tooth extraction. Dutifully I took it, though I had read somewhere or other that fluoroquinolones and steroids dont play well.

The weakening accelerated. My ankles felt brittle. I no longer walked on curbs, because I feared if one foot slipped, so would my achilles tendon. Whenever I got in the water to try swimming, the tightness behind my knee would always be there.

Even my fingers were atrophying. Just pressing the lock button on my car hurt.

And then I found something that I credit with saving me. Because it did. Actually, I found it through Ruth, whom must have been guided by God to find it herself: MitoQ.

I am not a salesperson for MitoQ, but I am a grateful customer. I started taking it in February, one dose a day, and I have only seen consistent, dramatic improvement.

It is wonderfully powerful. I do not consider myself sick anymore, and that is only after four months since starting it. I ride my bike. I swim. I run. I play sports. I laugh, I eat, I write, I live. It is expensive for a supplement, but the gift of recovery is priceless.

It is exceptionally rare in medicine, especially do-it-yourself medicine, to identify causation. So many factors interfere between cause and effect. But this is one situation where the relationship is undoubtable. MitoQ has freed me from the shackles of fluoroquinolone toxicity, and I tell everyone I know about it, even those who suffer from other afflictions such as multiple sclerosis, POTS syndrome, or chronic fatigue.

Some people heed my story with wide eyes. Some people receive it with narrowed ones. Eventually I realized I cant decide for them whether they ever knowingly take a fluoroquinolone. Its not my body. Its not my life. But it does little good to get angry at those who have heard you and still take the Cipro their doctor gave them for some green mucus that lasted a couple days. They are just trying to rid themselves of their affliction, however temporary, the same as we are, and they happen to trust their doctor.

You can ask them to reconsider. You can ask them to discuss it again with their physician. You can give them information. You cant extract the drug from their blood.

Speaking of drugs: I spent a lot of money on supplements and alternative treatments, as Im sure you all have. I was born with a wooden spoon, not a silver spoon, and so Ive learned firsthand which ones are probably worth it and which ones arent.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive, definitive list of what works and what doesnt. Its not meant to be professional medical advice. Im not a doctor. Im not a nurse. But it is a comprehensive, definitive list of what worked and didnt work for me.

As always, your mileage may vary.


  • Vitamin D (2,000 IU daily). I never noticed any difference between taking it and not; however, if youre in a place with harsh winters/little sunlight, definitely keep up on it.

  • Vitamin C (500 mg daily). I only still take it for my immune system.

  • Cissus quadrangularis (500 mg daily). This is a plant extract that some bodybuilders swear by for injury recovery, but it didnt work for me.

  • Vitamin E (200 IU daily). This supposedly has antioxidant properties, though I didnt benefit from them.

  • Magnesium lotion (Ancient Minerals). Many floxies report this being effective on twitching muscles, but I never experienced that benefit. It doesnt mean you wont!

  • B Vitamin Complex. This only gave me diarrhea (too much biotin can do that).

  • Magnesium citrate (250 mg per dose, one or two doses daily). Magnesium in any form is great to take, but this form is harder to absorb than liquid configurations.


  • MitoQ ( I take one dose in the morning. Be consistent.

  • Good multivitamin. Im not sure it matters which brand.

  • Quercetin with bromelain ( Quercetin helps with histamine regulation, so its nice for allergies. Bromelain is naturally occurring in pineapple; it helps down-regulate inflammation. Now Foods is based the next town over from mine, and they are a very reputable manufacturer.

  • Time. This is the hardest to accept. We floxies feel weve wasted enough time already. Havent I lain in bed enough? Havent I lost enough fitness? But we can be patient, we must be patient; its not really a choice.

  • Activities and routines. Whatever activity you enjoy and can still do, do it. Write. Read. Paint. Walk (carefully). Sing. Listen to music. Play music. Talk with friends. Watch a movie. Fight the brain fog with brain food. Pain is worse if its all you feel.

  • Take care of yourself otherwise. Brush and floss your teeth. Wash your body and your hair. Get dressed in the morning, even if it takes you a while. Lounging around in your pajamas 24/7 isnt good for anyone.

  • Dont withdraw from the world (as much as you can). Its a primal instinct to retract yourself when you are injured. Floxies ARE injured. But try to expand your sphere, even if it hurts. Talk to family, talk to friends, talk to neighbors, help them if you can.

It may be obvious, but I will never return to my pediatrician. Im not sure how much blame can be assigned to her. She did prescribe levofloxacin, of course. As a physician, she also tries to base her decisions on empirical data. If the data on adverse drug reactions in the fat little book of prescription medications every doctor seems to carry isnt accurate to begin with, is it really all her fault? Can everyone be expected to independently verify every piece of data all the time?

No, they cant. But I still wont return to her practice. Forgiveness may comeeventuallybut its not eager to arrive yet. It will have to happen, I know. It will. Often the poison of withholding forgiveness is worse than the crime being forgiven. And dont we floxies have enough experience with poison?

I was lucky enough to find an allergist in August who not only practices nearby, but was sympathetic in trying to understand my situation. There was no immediate dismissal, no turning to the computer, no perusing the fat little book to see if I was telling the truth or not. He blocks off two hours for every intake appointment. He listens.

I suppose thats what all of us, floxed or not, are trying to find. Listening.

And out of listening comes comprehension, and out of comprehension compassion, and out of compassion recovery. If not physical, at least emotional.

One of my coworkers likes to recite a certain motivational phrase: success through a positive mental attitude. Out of that, Ive come to find, all good things flow.

P.S. I need to write this little postscript just to thank Lisa for all of her dedication and hard work. MitoQ saved my body; Floxie Hope saved my mind.

If I can be so bold as to suggest a bit of music therapy: Mumford and Sons have an absolutely gorgeous song called After the Storm:

There will come a time, youll see

With no more tears

And love will not break your heart

But dismiss your fears

Get over your hill and see

What you find there

With grace in your heart

And flowers in your hair

** 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.

70 thoughts on “Brett’s Story—Levofloxacin toxicity and recovery

  1. rich July 1, 2015 at 5:47 am Reply

    great stuff did the twitching go?

    • Brett July 1, 2015 at 10:15 am Reply

      Hi Rich,

      Yes, the twitching has almost entirely disappeared. It’s only very sporadic now—back to the low level I was experiencing before being floxed. Also, the popping and cracking joints have subsided, too, to actually lower levels than I had before being floxed.

  2. Jimbo July 1, 2015 at 8:07 am Reply

    Wow this is shocking. Does anyone have a list of antibiotics that DONT have side effects??? I don’t want to take ones that do.

    • Lisa Bloomquist July 1, 2015 at 7:43 pm Reply

      Unfortunately they all have potential side-effects. People seem to tolerate antibiotics in the penicillin, cephalosporin and tetracycline class better than many other antibiotics.

  3. gandolf381 July 1, 2015 at 11:48 am Reply

    Hey Brett,
    You have obviously been through a traumatic experience. I have been researching this issue and from the sample I have pooled, psychological effects have also presented in those who have been termed “floxed.” After brain imaging methods were conducted, my team found atrophy in the frontal lobes, impairing the executive functioning capacities of patients. They have complained of acting on impulse and apathy. Have you been evaluated? I am looking for more evidence to push my research forward.

    Best wishes,

    • Lisa Bloomquist July 1, 2015 at 7:44 pm Reply

      Potential brain damage is terrifying, Gandolf, but I’m still quite interested in your research. Please let me know what you find. You can reach me through the “contact me” link on this page.


    • Mary Hop July 7, 2015 at 9:38 am Reply

      HI Brett,
      When you say brain imaging do you mean an MRI?

  4. Melissa July 1, 2015 at 12:09 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story!!! I was floxed in Feb and starting to feel a little better. I have a couple of questions for you:
    1. Did you do any kind of diet or avoid certain foods (gluten, gmo, sugar, etc)? If so, do you still continue this diet?
    2. Did the liquid magnesium have any laxative side effects? For some reason, I am having trouble taking it and try to get it from food. The epsom salt baths made me more sore. I tried Magnesium Citrate vitamins and Nature’s Calm (only a 1/4 tea). Both times I woke up a few hours hater with my stomach making a weird rumbling sound and upset in the morning. I tried another magnesium vitamin but did not like the way I felt.

    Thanks so much!!

    • Brett July 1, 2015 at 12:44 pm Reply

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for the message.

      1. The only restrictions on diet I tried was dairy-free, as I was diagnosed in mid-August by my allergist as having a dairy sensitivity, but since I started the MitoQ that sensitivity has largely dropped off. I can’t guarantee the MitoQ caused that recovery, but I can’t rule it out either.

      2. The liquid magnesium can have those side effects; I rarely get them, and only if I drink the entire dose in half an hour or less. It’s best to put it in a large water bottle/drink (20 oz. or more) so you don’t drink the whole thing so quickly. Like I said, I’ve tried the magnesium citrate, but it didn’t seem to work nearly as well as the liquid configuration.

      I’m glad you’re starting to feel better!

  5. Carole July 1, 2015 at 7:14 pm Reply

    What brand or type of mito q did you use?

    • Brett July 5, 2015 at 3:07 pm Reply

      Hi Carole,

      Sorry for the late reply—the holiday weekend has been busy!

      I use the bottle of sixty 5 mg pills, found here:

      I just take two in the morning after breakfast.

      If you look at Ruth’s Story, she will mention the CYP450 pathway of the liver must be healthy and unblocked in order to process MitoQ correctly. Apparently, certain fruits (grapefruit and lemon, in particular) seem to mess with or partially block this pathway.

      I have not eaten grapefruit while taking MitoQ—never did like grapefruit very much—but I do have lemon almost every day, and I’ve never noticed any ill effects from doing so.

      That being said, I’m young, and have recovered very quickly compared to some other floxies. I also haven’t developed the multiple food and chemical sensitivities some do.

      If you have, I would recommend avoiding lemon/grapefruit if you do decide to try MitoQ, or start with half a dose of MitoQ as a test.

      As always, your mileage may vary.

  6. Daniel Hsieh July 5, 2015 at 12:49 pm Reply

    gandolf381, my wife was diagnosed moderate brain damage 5mo after cipro. She has gone thru insomnia, panic attacks, anxiety, depression, depersonalization… etc, her brain mri shows her frontal brain sagging, no doctor can identify what that is, thought maybe it was born like that… in your research had you see something like this? you can message me at

    • Danielle August 17, 2015 at 9:05 pm Reply

      Hey Daniel how is your wife doing now? I seem to suffer from insomnia, depression, and anxiety more than any psychical issues since taking cipro 3 months ago. What does she do to help her problems?

  7. Summertime Sufferer July 5, 2015 at 10:52 pm Reply

    My anvil just fell on me, right now, when I thought I had turned the corner on fq tox – meaning my better Achilles is failing like the way the Titanic had gone down. Did you do anything special for the ankles to remain walking? – you spoke of just being careful to stay off curbs. I do not have your youth but I do so appreciate so much that you have shared. I have to try something because flox really means we do not have the luxury of indecision. I admire your seizing the many decisions, when you are not even half the age of many.

    • Brett July 8, 2015 at 4:03 pm Reply

      Hi Summertime Sufferer,

      I’m sorry to hear of your relapse—the Achilles is both the first and easiest tendon to be aggravated. Something I did to speed it along was wear a brace from Tommie Copper; you may have seen the commercials. Supposedly copper is woven into the fabric, and that is to help quicken recovery; I can’t guarantee that’s true, but my ankle felt better with it on.

      Of course, there are ways to preserve your ankle without spending money. I know it’s obvious, but just watch how hard you put your foot down, especially going down stairs. The way I aggravated my Achilles in the first place was landing my foot too hard getting off my bike, so it can happen.

      You’re right—floxies don’t have the luxury of indecision. That’s an elegant way to put it. We must first decide whether we think we can recover, or whether we are going to retire permanently to our beds. I think very few, if any, people want that.

      So then we’re pushed to the next decision, which is really a thousand little decisions we clump together as one: how do we recover?

      Everybody has their own answer, and just like fingerprints, there can be similarities between people but all of them remain unique. MitoQ was the biggest help for me. It may not be for you, it may not be for others, but it was for me.

  8. Enkel July 9, 2015 at 7:14 am Reply

    Hi Brett,
    How months did it took for you to recover?

    I have joint cracking all over, maybe the ligaments are not in natural shape. Do you think that mitoq can help?

    Thank you

  9. Linda Livingston July 9, 2015 at 2:28 pm Reply

    Glad you’re doing so well, Brett. Your “Forgiveness may come—eventually—but it’s not eager to arrive yet,” really struck a cord with me. I can see in the future perhaps forgiving the doctor who gave me Cipro at the same time as 1 oral and two inhaled steroids; but forgiving Bayer —not gonna happen. They (and Johnson & Johnson) have known about this hideous, often permanent side effects for decades. This is just plain criminal behavior to continue to market them for simple, non-life-threatening, illnesses. And for them to say that if you notice any of the myriad side effects, to contact your physician–that is just so disingenuos. The damage is already done by then.
    Glad to here your return to health has not been short-live…something we all fear. Just yesterday a phantom “cigarette smell” from damage to the olfactory nerves, returned after I thought it was gone for good. Hopefully it will soon leave me permanently, all with the other “hangers on.”
    a fellow former Chicagoan

  10. Linda Livingston July 9, 2015 at 2:29 pm Reply

    OMG…next time I will proofread! sorry

  11. Evab July 24, 2015 at 6:26 pm Reply

    Hey Brett,
    thanks for the story and the hope. I just noticed my tendons getting sore 6 days into cipro and stopped 6days ago. I jumped on this website and searched for potential cures. I started on magnesium straight away, I’ve had an IV of glutathione, magnesium and vitamins b and c already. I’ve ordered mitaQ.

    I wanted to ask, how long did it take to see the effects of mitaQ for you?

    Currently I have constant twitching all over my body, tight tendons and not the best sleep. I just want to get on top of this before it gets on top of me.

    • Brett July 27, 2015 at 4:47 pm Reply

      Hi Evan,

      I’m very sorry that you were floxed! This is a journey nobody ever wants to start—however, I would stress that it IS a journey, a marathon, not a sprint.

      But you are acting very early and quickly, and that is always good. I acted immediately, too, but I don’t think I chose the right things; I took NSAIDs (which you should NOT do).

      As far as I can tell, you’ve put together the most thorough plan that I’m aware of being effective. Magnesium is a natural binder to the drug; it even says in the patient insert, if you look closely, not to take magnesium products within a few hours of a dose.

      I don’t know how much Vitamins B and C helped me, but they probably won’t hurt.

      I’ve never tried glutathione, but I have heard from several anecdotal sources that it is usually effective, but it takes time for the effects to build up.

      Which, actually, is the way MitoQ works. It’s hard to say exactly when I felt major benefits from it, but I would say within two weeks is when I started noticing at least minor ones.

      Again, I’m sorry to hear of your floxing. But hopefully this community and these stories can provide enough emotional and psychological support and advice to see you through.

      • Abhi May 5, 2020 at 9:15 pm Reply

        Hi Evan
        Just wanted to check in with you . I started having the same reaction to cipro 5 days into the course and stopped taking 3 days back . Would really appreciate your help to counteract the toxicity as early as possible
        Please reach out to me at

        Forever in your debt . Peace to you

    • Abhi May 5, 2020 at 9:14 pm Reply

      Hi Evan
      Just wanted to check in with you . I started having the same reaction to cipro 5 days into the course and stopped taking 3 days back . Would really appreciate your help to counteract the toxicity as early as possible
      Please reach out to me at

      Forever in your debt . Peace to you

    • abhikumar9 May 6, 2020 at 12:36 pm Reply

      Hi Evan
      Just wanted to check in with you . I started having the same reaction to cipro 5 days into the course and stopped taking 3 days back . Would really appreciate your help to counteract the toxicity as early as possible
      Please reach out to me at

      Forever in your debt . Peace to you

  12. Linda Livingston July 27, 2015 at 5:27 pm Reply

    And just today, TWO more news pieces on m facebook feed about the FLQs. (One mentioned the FDA having a meeting with one of the manufacturers. Hey, maybe one of my letters finally paid off!) I truly believe that FINALLY after decades of this insanity, there may be some changes. But they don’t need more labeling. They need to restrict their use to only life/death situations and only when nothing else is available.

  13. Mark July 29, 2015 at 5:12 pm Reply


    I’m so happy that you have recovered. And I’m also very glad I stumbled across your story. I’m two weeks out from 10 Cipro pills and I’m having a bunch of the same symtoms. My knees feel weak and my Achilles has a general burning feeling. MitoQ has me VERY intrigued. The price is a bit steep but if it worked as great for you as you say, I think it is definitely worth it. Do you know the science behind it? I’m desperate.


    • Brett August 1, 2015 at 9:35 pm Reply

      Hi Mark,

      I’m so sorry to hear of your floxing! Every time I learn of another person being injured by these drugs, it makes me that much more resolved to heal and stay healed, to beat this thing for good, and help other people do the same.

      On that note: I do know the science behind MitoQ. I was a science journalist for three years, so I’ve come to understand biological processes pretty well.

      Basically, MitoQ is a modified version of CoQ10. CoQ10 is one of the cell’s favorite antioxidants, repairing damage as it occurs. However, floxies can take high doses of CoQ10 and still experience no benefits; that’s because the cell is very selective about what can reach its mitochondria (they’re too precious to let potentially harmdulharmful molecules in).

      Unfortunately, the fluoride group attached to the antibiotic base structure of fluoroquinolones allows them to reach the mitochondria. In fact, it allows them to cross the brain-blood barrier, which can explain the brain fog, hallucinations, psychoses, and struggles with normal mental processes many floxies experience.

      So, we need a powerful antioxidant to reach the mitochondria and repair the damage the fluoroquinolones have done. Regular CoQ10 can’t do it.

      MitoQ can. Almost like how fluoride is attached to the fluoroquinolones’ basic structure to let it penetrate more areas, MitoQ’s basic antioxidant structure has a molecule attached to it that is strongly attracted to mitochondria; specifically, the mitochondrial membrane.

      What does this mean in plain(er) English? Fluoroquinolones selectively damage mitochondria. MitoQ selectively heals damaged mitochondria.

      As I’ve said elsewhere, it took about two weeks of continued use before I noticed positive results. I’ve been on it since February and I consider myself–dare I say it–100% recovered.

      I can’t rule out other factors helping, of course. I eat better. I sleep better, and get enough sleep. I distract myself from focusing on any pain by doing things that make me happy.

      I sincerely hope you will recover quickly and fully, too. If you have any questions about the science behind all this or need anything else, please feel free to look me up on Facebook (Brett Everett John).


      • deborah cohen March 27, 2019 at 1:17 pm Reply

        Which mitoq do you recommend? Basic? For blood sugar? For heart? Etc……if I tend to want to control blood sugar, and have been floxed should I take mitoq blood sugar?

  14. Troy Fichter July 31, 2015 at 8:02 am Reply

    Thank you so much for your story. I did mitoQ 6 months ago but stopped because of finances, but have been thinking about reordering and your story convinced me to try it again. I was floxed Sept. of 2013 and the main symptoms hanging on for me are brain fog, depression, and cannot run to fast. (The last would not be a big issue if I wasn’t a college Cross Country coach).

    You mentioned brain food for brain fog, Did you find that certain foods helped or worsened your brain fog? I have not had a day without brain fog for 23 months but I thank God it is slowly getting better.

    I also, live in Chicago.

    • Brett August 3, 2015 at 1:01 pm Reply

      Hi Troy,

      I’m very sorry to hear of your floxing!

      I found out from my allergist in August 2014 that I have a mild to moderate dairy allergy. It’s nothing life-threatening, but it’s also something new, and it’s hard for me not to think levofloxacin had nothing to do with it. (Other floxies report new allergies and sensitivities during and after toxicity, too.)

      I am, of course, not making a diagnosis, but perhaps it would be a good experiment to try what’s called an elimination diet. Basically, you take out one of the big allergens (nuts, dairy, gluten, seafood, etc.) at a time—for at least two weeks—and see how you feel.

      Along with skin tests, this is used by allergists to determine precisely what allergies a patient has; it’s more comprehensive and longer-lasting than skin tests.

      Personally, I limit dairy and processed foods (i.e., most of what you find in many restaurants and frozen food aisles).


    • P October 5, 2018 at 11:07 am Reply

      Have your symptoms improved?

  15. Linda Livingston August 1, 2015 at 9:53 pm Reply

    Ney Brett–do you have any info on ubiquinol? I have been taking that because I read it was better absorbed, especially for those of us over 50. Do you know how it compares to mitoQ? Thanksn Linda

    • Brett August 3, 2015 at 12:53 pm Reply

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for the message.

      Unfortunately, I don’t have much information on ubiquinol. I did take the Jarrow Formulas combination of PQQ and ubiquinol a while back, but I’m not sure how much it helped, if at all.

      However, if there is evidence saying it’s better absorbed in older folks, then I would see no problem in trying it. I personally have never had problems with absorbing MitoQ; that doesn’t mean other people don’t, though.


  16. Linda Livingston August 3, 2015 at 4:38 pm Reply

    Thanks…gonna try to ubiquinol with pqq

  17. cjcanton6752000 August 28, 2015 at 5:31 pm Reply

    I was on Levquin for 37 days in total this year, recovering but frustrated. I would love to speak with you Brett or any other floxies, my facebook is CJ Canton, feel free to reach out to me there. I am going to try to MitoQ, hoping for the best here.

  18. Making Godsense September 8, 2015 at 9:01 pm Reply

    Loved this – was desperately looking for hope tonight. I saw MitoQ on here and knew that’s my next step. Thank you for sharing your story.

  19. claude September 15, 2015 at 2:47 pm Reply

    maybe this could help they say fibro disturb the way the frontal brain work same as us i do think

    June 25, 2015 at 14 h 50 min

    Researchers at the University of Tel Aviv, in collaboration with a team of Rice University in the US and several medical centers in Israel have managed to significantly improve the condition of patients with fibromyalgia,

    [See the full post at:

    Learn more about

  20. Vee October 4, 2015 at 8:53 pm Reply

    Do you feel anything with mitochondrial q? Like speedy?

  21. claude roy October 13, 2015 at 10:42 am Reply

    gandolf381 please contact me i am interesting in your reseachrs i have informations for you

  22. Aron November 27, 2015 at 6:51 pm Reply

    I don’t really know where to put my story so I’ll just leave it here…

    First of all, I’m glad that you’re feeling better, Brett!

    I was only mildly floxed – if there is such a thing. I’m still unsure what would have happened if I didn’t stop my medication in time. Maybe nothing? Maybe I’m just paranoid? Or maybe I was nearly hit by a train. And if it’s the latter I can certainly thank it to you all, who have shared the terrible effects this drug caused in your systems and your heroic battles trying to recover. I wish you all the best luck!

    I’m 34 (male) and I live in Hungary, Europe.
    4 years ago I had prostatitis. I was prescribed Levofloxacin (7 pieces, I believe 500mg). I was fairly scared as I read the warning about possible side effects (I always read it). I think tendron rupture scared me the most so I decided that I’ll be careful about my tendrons as much as I could.

    I’ve never had side effects from medicines before (except for stomach ache after antibiotics courses when I was a child – doctors didn’t give you probiotics aside antibiotics back then).

    I figured I’ll take the pill at night so that my tendrons won’t be stressed while the drug is in action. (I can’t tell if it has any significance regarding the severity of side effects whether one takes the pill in the morning or at night.)

    So I took the first pill. Later I woke up in the middle of the night feeling anxious and unable to tell whether I’m too cold or I’m too warm. It was strange but I managed to go back to sleep soon. Early in the morning my little son started to cry so I rushed to his room and it felt as if my knees were made of rubber. That reassured me that I indeed need to be very careful about my tendrons (I have a history with weak joints unfortunately).

    I felt very drained and lethargic throughout the week. I had a stressful work environment back then, I just wanted to survive.
    I needed to visit the doctor again after a few days for prostate massage. I told him that my prostatitis improved a lot (it really did), but I also told about the weakness in my joints and my lethargy. He said that those were normal side effects. I was happy that I only needed to endure 3 more pills. But he told me that I will need to take another 7 pills after these. I really felt bad about that.

    After the 5th day I started to feel a weird feeling in my knees – as if they were poked with needles but only very mildly. I started to worry so I searched the net for Levofloxacin side effects. Needless to say, I was horrified by what I found.

    I didn’t take any more pills. My tendrons were hurting (especially next to my shin).
    My doctor was abroad next week. When he came back and I saw him again I told him that I stopped the medication due to side effects. He thought it was muscle pain instead of my tendrons and maybe it was, I cant tell.

    He gave me Ciprofloxacin instead! However I could tolerate this one better. I think it was smaller dose. And this time I took calcium and magnesium 4-5 hours after every pill. (This time I took the pills in the morning and took Ca and Mg at night so that my tendrons could refill.)

    In the end I didn’t get badly floxed, but I’ll never again take Levofloxacin unless it’s life and death. I’m also very cautious about medicines my children have to take. I won’t let them take this drug because I read that Levofloxacin can cause permanent cartilage damage in children.

    I remember that it was uncomfortable to go down the stairs for weeks after the medication. I also remember shouting at the top of my lungs at my poor kid – something I never did before or after my medication. I remember realizing probably a few days after of the course that “wow, I have emotions again!”. I never realized they were gone. For months I got tired easily and I felt as if I was 10 years older.

    In the end I’m not really sure how severely I was affected. My joints have always been kind of bad anyway.
    And how I got here after 4 years? I was travelling on the bus the other day when I thought “I used to have deeper feelings. What happened?” and then I remembered Levofloxacin and the time when all my feelings were gone. Have they all returned? I’ll never know.

    • greendingy November 28, 2018 at 9:28 am Reply

      Aron, your comment about not having deep feelings stuck out to me. I have also noticed a lack of feeling anything deeply. I see your post was made over three years ago, but if you see this, let me know if your feelings have “changed”. Thanks!

  23. Nita Jain April 28, 2016 at 8:34 pm Reply

    Does MitoQ work for people who cannot tolerate Ubiquinol or CoQ10 orally? I suffer severe depression and heart palpitations when I try these supplements and was wondering if MitoQ is without the side effects that come with other forms of CoQ10.

    • Ryan L May 5, 2016 at 1:03 pm Reply

      Nita, I tried MitoQ and did experience a racing heart, confusion, and increased anxiety the next day. I’ve read that people with heart issues (Or who have an immediate family member with heart issues) should probably avoid it. It’s a shame, because my tendon pain was much less the day after I took it. I also have problems with CoQ10 (Digestive issues). P.S., I recommend posting most supplement questions on the home page as there are many wonderful people with far more knowledge than I who check it everyday to see what they can learn or to help others who are struggling.

      • Nita Jain May 5, 2016 at 2:39 pm Reply

        Thanks so much for your reply, Ryan. I’ve been hesistant to try MitoQ because I’ve had severe issues with other forms of ubiquinol, and I figure it would end badly for me. I experienced tachycardia when I took anti-fungals as well, so I guess I’ll pass on this one. Thank you again for your input!

  24. Arthur Basílio July 18, 2016 at 1:11 pm Reply

    Hello im Arthur, i have been floxed.
    Its 4 months out, the first ones were, a nightmare.
    U have a share of experience with toxicity because of Accuttane severe side effects.

    each day is a battle, for those out there suffering from it Never give up, tell yourself each day no matter what that you can and you will rise above this.

    My love goes out for each one of you suffering from this, you are not alone and won’t ever be.

  25. Laurie T. October 13, 2016 at 11:57 am Reply

    yes, can you please specify the type of MitoQ you purchased? there are several varieties…. t hanks

  26. Miranda Remington December 25, 2016 at 1:04 pm Reply

    I am knew to looking this all up because I had a friend tell me her friend experienced permanent nerve damage on Levaquin this year. It scared the hell out of me because I’ve been struggling with what feels like arthritis, tendonitis and fatigue all wrapped up into one since being on Levaquin in the last month.

    I just went through an episode of bacterial pneumonia (I believe). My doc thinks I had bronchitis. When my son ended up with bacterial pneumonia not long after I was still suffering I was clear it had to be that. I was originally on a z-pak. It did nothing really. Doc put me on a ten day course of prednisone. I went 7 days and it was not doing a lot, so he had me stop it.

    A friend of mine who had pneumonia had taken Levaquin and told me it was the only thing that helped her. I’m allergic to amoxycillin (I get hives), so I suggested Levaquin to my doc as a next step. I was given no warnings about it by my doc and none by the pharmacist. I just got a paper print out but those things are ridiculously long and you have no idea of the percentages or “chances” you will get it. I got a 10 day/500mg dose for ten days.

    Before the Levaquin I was physically able to go up and down stairs with no issues. But I developed itchy calves for a few days, was concerned it was about to be hives and contacted my doc right away. My doc said if it continued to stop. It actually subsided so I continued it. At first I thought only the muscle weakness and tendon swelling were an issue. I think I popped my left knee tendon at some point and an elbow. The knee that is occurred on was one that I had been hit by a car on and have muscle damage.

    However, I’m severely depressed, have been having suicidal and hopeless bouts and I have not slept. I had heart palpitations too now that I think about it. I have not had any Achilles issues at all. I feel it all in my knees and my hips. I’m probably less likely to have Achilles issues because I’ve pulled the tendons in my ankles SO many times in my life and I have fairly loose calves that I may be “lucky” on that score. But the knees and hips are the problem. And the mental health part. I’ve battle depression in my life before and I was just FINE in the last few years after extensive therapy. I also have to take thyroid medication for Hashimoto’s Disease. I feel like I went back to ground zero. I cry all the time, and I feel like my life is over. I already had an impaired immune system and this just cut me at the knees, literally.

    I’m already a single mom of a child with autism (Aspergers). I’m 49 years old, he’s about to turn 18 and I have no health insurance because I can’t afford it. I’m already scared I won’t be able to take care of him if this health set back is permanent. I’m SO ANGRY that I so capriciously was able to put this toxin in my body after YEARS of being vigilant about not putting antibiotics in my body (for fear of damaging my immune health from the good bacteria die off). I had a good understanding with my doc about this.

    I really feel hopeless and am PRAYING my reaction is not as severe as others. I’m praying that I can improve my health and possibly repair damage. I’m not feeling confident and I AM already feeling reclusive, to be honest. I’m scare to death and I have no idea if that is “normal” scared to death or I have brain damage. It’s maddening.

    I spent YEARS researching and working on repairing my son’s immune system when he was first diagnosed with autism, going homeopathic, holistic and organic… I did it ALL and made such progress only to know that some things are not going get I immediately went researching what I could do to repair the damage. I”m doing the same now and I just can’t believe this is happening.

    • Lisa December 25, 2016 at 5:55 pm Reply

      Hi Miranda,

      I’m so, so, so sorry for everything you’re going through! Unfortunately, your experience sounds very familiar. Fortunately, that means that you are not alone. For a better sense of this community, and the support and advice they can offer, I suggest that you post on the home page of this site, or if you want to join a facebook support group, you can try this one – There are lots of wonderful, supportive, thoughtful people who comment in both.

      Here is some advice that I have –

      I suspect that what you learned while helping your son will help to get you through this.

      Take a deep breath and tell yourself that you are going to be okay. Try to have a warm and nurturing Christmas and/or Hanukkah. Hang in there.


  27. L December 25, 2016 at 1:22 pm Reply

    Miranda, it sure sounds like fluoroquinolone toxicity, and prednisone can exacerbate it. Some things you can do right away: avoid fluoride, take magnesium (if you avoid the citrate you won’t have the diarrhea problems), avoid gluten and buy organic. This is especially important with meats, so you don’t accidentally get more antibiotics. Take probiotics, because these drugs ravage the good gut bacteria, which leads to a host of problems. I would urge you to find a good naturopath or integrative physician, esp one familiar with fluoroquinolone toxicity—because most western medicine doctors are woefully ignorant on the damage this family of drugs does. If you want to post the general area where you live, someone on this post might be able to refer you to a door practitioner.

  28. L December 25, 2016 at 1:22 pm Reply

    ack! GOOD practioner, not door

  29. Michelle harris February 12, 2017 at 11:39 am Reply

    Which mito did you order
    They have several

  30. Brooke March 14, 2017 at 5:11 pm Reply

    Brett, is there any way to get in touch with you now? I’d love to hear from you. I haven’t been floxed, but I have been similar poisoned by MRI contrast. I will include my contact information. Much love to you for sharing this.


  31. glenn billingsley August 18, 2017 at 3:48 am Reply

    thank you

  32. glenn billingsley August 18, 2017 at 6:10 am Reply

    how long did you have this and I hope it works for me my knee doc did me in skin infection like to killed me.still is I feel very very lucky ?

  33. agirlwhomakes October 9, 2017 at 12:33 am Reply

    well that s great , good to read about you , you’re the real man good luck

  34. Alexandra November 22, 2017 at 12:36 am Reply

    Hey i got floxed recently i really dont know what to do to help me the vitamins i take dont work alot i feel pain in my back alot n headaces n i vomit alot please let me know what helped the most for your recover ? My email is

  35. Matthew Grace December 3, 2017 at 4:22 pm Reply

    Brett is a great writer. Very nice.

  36. Renee February 14, 2018 at 12:58 pm Reply

    This sounds alot like what I’m going through. I am allergic to Penacillin. So I’ve been prescribed cipro and levofloxacin but could never get through the whole script because I felt like I was going to die. First it was the restlessness. Not able to I have migraines almost everyday. And all my joints will hurt if used I little too much. This has been going on for 6 years now. But for some reason I feel a bit better in the summers. I’m 36 now and the problem seems to be getting worse as the years pass. It is so difficult to get through each day. I feel so depressed and anxious all the time. I take a prescription to help me sleep.I’m getting shakey. And feel older than I am. I can barely get out of bed. Leave the house. Spend time with my family. Anything….it’s been getting very discouraging. Until I read this. Because I’ve been trying to describe what I’m going through and everyone looks at me like I’m nuts. I’ve even been called a hypochondriac. Thank you for sharing!

  37. Selcem July 14, 2018 at 9:45 pm Reply

    Hello Brett, could you please tell how many ills of tavanic you took? I took only one and having same issues. And doctors did blood tests, and says antibiotic already left body so they don’t blame it.

  38. selcem July 17, 2018 at 4:52 am Reply

    It has been 1 week since my one dose tavanic, and I am in idea of suicide. I have a 3 year-old kid and my living like this only damages people around me. When I see it takes years to recover from this ilness, I dont see another way…

    • Sandi January 22, 2019 at 9:39 am Reply

      Hi Selcom
      I’m sad that nobody commented on your post. I pray that your mind is in a better place. These drugs are poisen and how you were feeling was not the real you. I was floxed last June and I experienced these thoughts too. I’m 7 months out. My mind is in a much more accepting & stable place. My body has improved but still struggling with lots of pain & tendon issues. I look back months ago and I could barely walk but now I’m walking so much. It’s hard to see improvements on a daily basis. I just wanted to reach out to you. Lots of people understand what your going through & care. I hope you have found some healing.

      • L January 22, 2019 at 10:26 am Reply

        I never saw this post for some reason. And this is the first time I have heard tavanic. This really pisses me off. Since “flox” is no where in the name, one would not even guess that it is actually levofloxacin. First, know that everyone heals at a different rate. While it may take years for some, others are doing much better in months. There are SO many variable, not the least of which the person’s own chemistry.

        And any doctor who says it can’t have an effect because it has already left the body is a complete idiot and has no business practicing medicine. Dr Jay Cohen in his book “How We Can Halt the Cipro and Levaquin Catastrophe: The Worst Medication Disaster in US History” says this: “(p 72) “To say a side effect cannot persist after the drug has exited the human system is total ignorance of basic pharmacology. The entire field of toxicology is predicated on the fact that many drugs have toxic effects that last long after the drugs have exited…eg liver failure from …Lipitor…what is so hard to understand about that?”

        The best thing you could do is find yourself an integrative doctor or a naturopath. This doctor you saw is either ignorant, or doesn’t want to admit the damage is linked to a drug (s)he prescribes. A doctor who is treating the WHOLE body, and knows how toxic most prescription drugs are, can help you. You might post what area you live in to see if anyone can make a referral.

  39. Shauna August 8, 2018 at 10:50 am Reply

    What brand and dosage for MitoQ?

    • L January 22, 2019 at 10:26 am Reply

      MItoQ is the brand. The dosage is two a day in the morning.

  40. Dennis September 21, 2018 at 11:41 pm Reply

    It took me three weeks to feel normal again and be able to work out. Above anything else I had severe depression and panic and anxiety attacks. This is one nasty drug. I am now thank God back to normal but I am taking vitamin mineral supplements every day with magnesium.

    • Dennis September 21, 2018 at 11:42 pm Reply

      ED Was also a side effect that went away with time.

    • Jackson March 20, 2019 at 2:31 am Reply

      Did anyone have severe nasty head to toe body weakness. I have that really bad . No one seems to have it.

  41. Kristin October 30, 2018 at 9:50 am Reply

    Brett – how long did it take you to recover?

    • Kristin Jarrell November 13, 2018 at 6:52 am Reply

      And how do you feel today?

  42. Dan Jervis March 2, 2019 at 2:39 pm Reply

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

  43. abhikumar9 May 7, 2020 at 5:38 pm Reply

    Hi Brett
    Just wanted to check in with you . I started having the same reaction to cipro 5 days into the course and stopped taking 3 days back . Would really appreciate your help to counteract the toxicity as early as possible
    Please reach out to me at

    Forever in your debt . Peace to you

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