Crystal’s Recovery Story – Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic Health Dangers

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

I wanted to give an update here (10 1/2 weeks post Rx) to give other people hope – as I check in often to see if there have been any new stories posted.

To let you know where I was just weeks after my prescription: I had what I can only describe as peripheral neuropathy, pains in my arms and legs that would crop up and disappear many times throughout the days. I had pain in the tendons of both forearms, and in my pointer finger after “exerting” it. I had pain in the top of my foot when I walked and in my calf, as well as achilles. Even while sitting, I could feel the tendons in my thighs hurting. They would ache at times when I walked. Lots of anxiety, and I cried easily every single day and very foggy minded. The insomnia- I could only sleep about 4 hours a night (with night sweats and nightmares). There were two occasions where when doing simple movement of my legs, I felt something ‘pulling/tearing’ inside, a sensation I had never felt in my life. It was not painful, but the next day I would feel the pain or on and off for the next few weeks. One was the side of my knee, the other was the back of my thigh. One of my saggital bands (top of the knuckle where the finger meets the hand) suddenly started to slide off my knuckle and to the side. It was not painful. My appetite was gone, and I lost 13lbs in one months because I didn’t want to eat, and I didn’t have 13lbs to lose, so this was disconcerting.

I am a college student in my final year and had to dropped two courses due to the pain in my forearms and I did not want to make them worse. I’m a fine arts major, a lot of hands on work. Luckily, I’m still full-time and I will still graduate on time, though next semester will just be much more work than I anticipated.

The good news: I have not had any pulling or tearing sensations in any part of my body for over 8 weeks. It seems that my body, at least, was most frail in the following couple weeks after taking my Rx. The saggital band is still the same, but has not worsened nor do I feel pain here. The neuropathy has mostly subsided, with only occasional fleeting pain. This is usually when I am very, very tired. The insomnia has also subsided, with only one night in the past 4 weeks where I awoke and could not fall back asleep (and no more night sweats!). I no longer feel very anxious nor depressed, but I do have days where I have that fogginess. I hear this eventually passes, so looking forward to that! The pain in my calf and foot have subsided with hints of an ache on occasion. Some days the achilles acts up, but it is very manageable. No more tendon pain in my legs from just sitting. My forearms ache at times, but not near to the point they did initially. It is passing and very tolerable. I also have my appetite back! And the weight! I know that my body is healing, just comparing myself to where I was only 8 weeks ago.

When I was most desperate for sleep, I never took anything to help me fall back asleep. No anti-histamines, melatonin, prescriptions, etc. Nothing. I wanted my brain to eventually work it out on its own (though every site you may find will tell you insomnia doesn’t go away on its own, I refused to believe this). Instead, I walked some everyday (always outdoors) and made sure I was in bed at the same time every night. Eventually, it regulated.

I stretch every single day, every part of my body. It is worth the extra time it takes me every morning. It has been so helpful, even if I have pain in an area, I stretch it, though gently.

I don’t take anything for pain, not even tylenol. I have also cut out caffeine, but have coffee as a treat sometimes. I don’t drink much alcohol now. One night, I had a bit too much fun with friends, and let’s just say I was paying for it the next week instead of just the next day! Mostly mental fogginess, but I did notice neuropathic pain reappeared as well as some tendon pain.

Starting the semester being recently floxed was very hard. There were times where I wanted to give up, or not get out of bed or get dressed, or just not continue with life. That was not me. What added to this hopelessness was reading stories about worst-case-scenarios in which the author declared to me that my life was officially over.

No matter what, I always got out of bed, got dressed, put on my makeup, and went where I needed to be, again, no matter what. Continue with life. Do something that counts and makes you feel good. Your life is not over. I thought mine was just weeks ago, and now I am very excited for my future again. I’m walking three miles everyday, easily, and have three art exhibitions coming up, have completed many paintings, started an internship, am in school full-time and work part-time. Every day is not perfect, but before being floxed, every day wasn’t either. Life is good, and we will be okay.

** 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.

141 thoughts on “Crystal’s Recovery Story – Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

  1. Danielle June 19, 2015 at 2:04 pm Reply

    Not sure if people still come here but I took cipro 500 mg twice a day for 3 days for a UTI. Third day I could not keep anything down this went on for two more days. I became overwhelming anxious I couldn’t be in public. My arms and legs were tingling and burning. Extreme brain fog felt like I was in a dream. My face felt as though it was sunburnt. Could not sleep had nightmares and strange scary dark thoughts (so not like me). dr ran blood tests everything was perfect he said maybe I am suffering from aniexty. He wrote me a prescription for Xanax. Over the next week symptoms got worse, crying all the time. Shortness of breath, I’ve had to call out of work. Been to the ER twice and now I’ve been perscriped anti depressant Zoloft. Feeling very hopeless and confused.

    • Ruth Young June 19, 2015 at 2:40 pm Reply

      Danielle,
      It’s going to be ok but it’s going to be a long road. It will take everything you’ve got but you can fight your way back out of this, back to a normal life and back to who you used to be.

      Some doctors put floxies on Benzodiaxepines, but many of us at Floxiehope feel they are nothing more than a band aid and certainly can’t cure the damage done by fluoroquinolones. That being said you cannot stop the Xanax cold turkey. You must do a very slow taper, slower than your doctor will advise. The way to do that is available at Benzo buddies. I never took a benzo, but people there can help you. Many symptoms of floxing are the same as protracted Benzo withdrawal. We have similar central nervous system damage.

      You might want to think of it as imbalance instead of damage. Your sympathetic nervous system is on overdrive. That’s “fight or flight.” Your parasympathetic nervous system is not responding as well as it should. That’s the “rest and digest”part. This is probably due, at least in part, to downgraded GABA receptors. Gamma amino butyric acid (I think I got that right) or GABA helps your nervous system calm down and relax. Your receptors for GABA are not very responsive to it right now. They will upgrade over time, but not if you keep flooding them with substances that have an affinity for them. Your body will think you have too much GABA and will not upgrade those receptors and may even turn more off. Do not supplement GABA directly.

      I have found L-Theanine to be safe to help with the anxiety. It was recommended by a doctor who knows what he’s doing. It raises dopamine and serotonin and blocks glutamate (the stimulatory neurotransmitter.) If it has an affinity for GABA receptors it is weak enough to not do any harm, at least not in my experience. I used to take 200 mg 3x a day between meals.

      You may also want to look into Idebenone. It’s a great antioxudabt that just happens to have positive effects on brain chemistry. I used to take Prozac for depression many years ago. Idebenone is better and no side effects, at least for me. I take 50 mg with each meal. The serotonin boost is only four hours. It has a similar side effects profile to SSRI’s, and some find it gives them insomnia or increases anxiety. I did not have that– just the opposite. If you are tolerating the SSRI you may, with the help of your doctor, want to try to transition to Idebenone. You need that antioxidant benefit– it’s a targeted antioxidant. I get mine at HBC Protocols.

      FQ’s chelate magnesium, calcium and zinc. You need to replenish functional minerals as well as pushing antioxidants. You can get magnesium transdermally through Epsom salts baths and that has been shown to be a very effective way to replace lost intracellular magnesium.

      If you push antioxidants, functional minerals and find some things to help through the psychological stuff you’ll be just fine. There is also a product called CalmPRT from a company called Neuroscience. It made me feel a bit stoned but it cut that anxiety for me really well.

      Good luck to you. It’s scary, but you can turn this around.
      Ruth
      P.S. Push the probiotics too if you can– yogurt, kefir, unpasteurized red apple cider vinegar– very important as FQ’s kill off everything, even our good bacteria.

      • danielledolinger@yahoo.com June 19, 2015 at 3:02 pm Reply

        Ruth thank you for your quick reply. I am so scared. I’m only 22 years old a month ago I was completely normal. Now I’ve had to have my mom come stay with me because I can’t be alone without having an anxiety attack. I have no appetite I’ve lost over 10 pounds and j don’t have any weight to spare. I’ve only been taking 0.5 mg Xanax before bed. And I’m only on the third day of Zoloft I’m wondering if I should stop before it gets too into my system. It’s hard for me to move or even watch tv or have a conversation my sensory overloads so fast.

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

        • Ruth Young June 19, 2015 at 8:14 pm

          It’s completely normal and part of the reaction to find watching tv difficult and the world too stimulating. But you will also get normal windows where you feel like yourself. Symptoms cycle, but when they come back it just means your body is working at healing. You feel it when you’re healing from this– that’s my theory, anyway.

          I was floxed in my late teens or early twenties and I recovered very quickly then. Too quickly. I forgot about it and took Cipro again. But some of my symptoms came later so I did not make the connection. I thought I was aging prematurely or something– it was just weird. I suspected something was just off in my body but I had no idea that side effects of a drug could happen after you quit taking it.

          Magnesium, antioxidants, probiotics. Follow that protocol and you are giving your body what it needs to heal. I did nothing in the 1980’s, because I didn’t know and I still healed absolutely 100%. I may not get to 100% healing this time, since I am much older. But you will. And the truth is even if my body is never quite what it would have been had I not been floxed, it doesn’t matter. I’m living my life. It was a hard thing to go through, but I’ve met some wonderful people, learned about Idebenone, learned that I need to supplement magnesium and should have been long before Cipro and my faith in God has been strengthened through this experience.

        • Ruth Young June 19, 2015 at 9:19 pm

          The Zoloft does not affect GABA in any way. Don’t be afraid to be on it. However, it’s a toss up as to whether it will help, do nothing or make your anxiety worse.

          Sometimes Idebenone makes anxiety worse for floxies. For me it worked great within fifteen minutes if my first pill. I was scared to take it, so I was surprised it worked so well. The nice thing with Idebenone is it does not have to build up in your system to work and the serotonin boost is short lived so if it makes you worse you won’t feel that way for very long. Definitely something to look into, but until then the Zoloft won’t slow your healing in any way.

          For most people it seems like there is an acute phase to their reaction to fluoroquinolones but then it gets easier, because even if all symptoms haven’t resolved, they are less intense and there are normal windows where they feel like themselves.

          Yes, it can take awhile to heal all the way, but you can get to 85% or 90% better than how you are now in a very short time. For me it’s like that last five or ten percent of healing is taking a long time, but it’s kind of like the last ten pounds when you are dieting. The initial weight comes off fast. The initial healing is fast. That’s how it was for me.

          I had a bad downturn at 2 1/2 months out, but since then it’s been gradual improvement. So if that happens to you, don’t be scared. I think my body finally got the functional minerals and antioxidabts it needed so then it took on the central nervous system damage. When GABA receptors get turned back on again you feel that. You’re feeling it now and it means you are healing.

          I worked on professional fireworks crews hand lighting shows at five months out. A little adrenalin actually helped me– doing something stimulating seemed to actually help reset my nervous system. I have a Floxie friend who recently went on a roller coaster and got a nice normal window after that. I don’t recommend this approach in the acute stage, but as you get better you’ll see that it helps to just live as normally as possible.

          Recently, I noticed that when my symptoms are flaring just a little bit and the world seems just a tad too stimulating, I can play counterpoint on the organ like nobody’s business. It’s like I get this laser brain. It’s amazing and fun. I don’t think it’s going to last. But for a little while I had Floxie super powers. If you are a musician you’ll probably experience super brain at some point and you are going to enjoy that.

          Do not allow yourself to believe this will disable you. It is rarely permanent. Very few people get worse and worse. Of course, they are often the most vocal on Internet forums. And who can blame them? But those who get well seldom come back to tell their story or they do it once and they are gone. It gives a lopsided view. But you are young and you know what happened and what you can do about it. It may take a little while, but you’ll get there. If you feel you are at the end of your rope just tie a knot in it and hang on. That’s what I do.
          Ruth

        • danielledolinger@yahoo.com June 20, 2015 at 3:36 pm

          Thank you for your support Ruth. My whole body feels like it’s burning, when I lay down my mind goes crazy I can’t focus except for on the fear I’m feeling. I have no appetite my mom is trying to help me eat but it’s difficult. It’s been almost a month since I’ve stopped the cipro, I know everyone says it gets better but the days are going by so slow.

          Sent from my iPhone

          >

      • Nita Jain October 19, 2015 at 8:43 pm Reply

        Hi Ruth, may I ask what brand and dosage of L-theanine you took to help with anxiety?

  2. BodiesHeal June 19, 2015 at 3:46 pm Reply

    Danielle-
    First I want to say I am so sorry this happened to you. But most importantly…DON’T let yourself think you are doomed! And don’t let yourself think you have a long road in front of you. No one knows that. Some people heal in a month. Some a few. And yea, some it takes awhile. But DON’T hold on to the worst case scenarios. That’s not your story. And if you hold on to that fear of it being a horrible long journey that will only make things more difficult for you. TRUST me!! I know this from experience. Your best bet on getting well is supplements(don’t over do it) sleep, eat right, exercise, get off the internet(reading scary stories will do you NO good) pray and most importantly be POSTIVE!! You are bigger and stronger than Cipro. You need to BELIEVE you WILL heal!! Bodies are designed to heal..have faith!!! Tell yourself, “I will be ok, I can do this, I WILL HEAL!!” Rememeber to pray often, God is alway listening and willing to help…..

    • Amy September 13, 2017 at 8:56 pm Reply

      Thank you for the post Danielle.

  3. Ruth Young June 20, 2015 at 6:27 pm Reply

    I remember that feeling that time was passing too slowly and thinking that people were saying it gets better but I was not feeling it. But they were right and it did get better. The beginning is rough. Just keep trying to eat as much as you can. I like to put some strawberry flavored whey protein powder into my kefir and stir it really good with a whisk until it’s like a shake. There is so much nutrition in that I often just have that for supper in the evenings. If you can find some kefir at the grocery store you could try that. I get the organic kind made with whole milk. Fat with a food high in calcium is actually beneficial and helps your body utilize the calcium. It’s something you could try. The kefir alone tastes kind of icky, but a little flavored protein powder and it’s actually tasty. Makes me feel good, even if I’m having not the best day.

    • danielledolinger@yahoo.com June 27, 2015 at 11:08 am Reply

      Hey Ruth, Danielle here again. Yesterday I had acupuncture done and he gave me pills called calm ES he said it was roots and what not to help with my anxiety, have you heard of this? Also I’ve been taking magnesium citrate powder the brand is natural vitality, i can’t tell if it’s helping or not. It seems my muscles and tendons haven’t been hit as hard as my nervous system has. I’m trying to be social with my boyfriend and my dogs, it’s just hard because I feel so not like myself, I relate to when you said you’d look in the mirror and felt outside of yourself. I know I’m only ending the first month of not taking cipro and the first is very hard, I’m just hoping as time goes on I’ll start feeling like myself again. I really don’t want to take anti depressants but everyone that knows me says I’m not myself and I’m depressed

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      • Ruth Young June 27, 2015 at 2:45 pm Reply

        Danielle,
        I took a product called CalmPRT. It is probably similar. It helped a lot. I don’t need it anymore.

        Getting floxed is hard. Be kind to yourself and give yourself credit for how well you are handling such a stressful life event at such a young age.

        It is tough, but you are one of the lucky ones. I want you to always feel grateful for everything Cipro did not take from you. Focus on what you have, focus on every good moment you have, on anything that is still good about your life. That’s how I got through this.

        The anxiety stuff gets less intense, plus you get used to it. You might try Idebenone for anxiety/depression. I take 50 mg 3x a day with food. I buy it at HBC Protocols online. Be sure to scroll down for the 50 mg pills.

        Hang in there. I can’t write much now, I’m in the middle of working on a fireworks show. I’m back to doing everything I did before I got floxed. You will too.

  4. Enkel July 10, 2015 at 10:42 pm Reply

    Hi Crystal,

    Do you have joint cracking or neck cracking anymore. Do you still feel your vertebrae sliding against one another? I have the same symptoms and I am interested to know if they go away.
    Have your popping improved?
    Thank you

  5. Zuzanna July 27, 2015 at 3:28 pm Reply

    Crystal,
    I just want to thank you for publishing your story.It pulled me through the darkest time in my life for I experienced very similar things after taking Cipro in March this year.Thank you,thank you,thank you!
    Much love and Blessings,Zuzanna 🙂

    • Mark July 28, 2015 at 10:36 am Reply

      Zuzanna,

      How long did it take you to recover and how do you feel now? I’m two weeks post cipro and my legs have been killing me. Scared.

      • Zuzanna July 28, 2015 at 12:38 pm Reply

        Hello Mark,
        I wrote a wonderful and terribly long reply and it got lost – darn 🙂 To make a long story short: My adverse reaction started at the end of March this year.Had its peak about three weeks into the reaction and is slowly fading away from then on.BUT: I completely lost some symptoms and gained others – it’s a pandora’s box and every story is different. But I’m doing great now. Not completely recovered, still relapses…but life is treating me good. And YOU will heal as well,Mark. Be patient and kind to yourself – you only have this one body.
        Feel free to email me anytime when fear gets the best of you. Been there,done that… 🙂

        • Mark July 28, 2015 at 1:23 pm

          Zuzanna,

          That is great to hear! Being only two weeks since my last pill, this whole thing is still very new and frightening. I’m in my early 20’s and the thought of being hobbled by FQ related problems has caused great anxiety these past two weeks, which has probably made the symptoms worse. Especially since I am in the process of leaving the nest and moving into my own place. Not exactly the best timing for all of this to happen (like there’s ever a good time right?) I guess all I can do now is give it time, eat right, take some good supplements, and pray for a speedy recovery. Thank you for the kind words, it means a lot right now.

          Thanks,
          Mark

        • Zuzanna July 29, 2015 at 8:19 am

          Mark! There is no “Reply-Button” to your last message,so I hope you’ll notice this message here.If you like,lets talk via Facebook (my name there is ZuMaTa and I’m located in Germany) or Email me at: Zuzanna.Tabis@gmail.com
          I think you moving out might even have triggered the adverse reaction.My adverse reaction started when a whole bunch of emotional (private and work related) problems came all together at once…but let’s talk,if you like.Maybe I can erase some of the worries you have 🙂

  6. Kelsey September 25, 2015 at 12:04 pm Reply

    Hi Zuzanna, Ruth and other encouragers,

    looking for some hope here. I’m in my 30s, one week out from my last cipro pill (and I’ve been reading stories on this site to stay positive). I’ve had foot pain primarily, but also some in other places as well neck, hands, thighs and knees. A few 1 second episodes of tinnitus (not the first time in my life) and what I can only describe as skin burning around some joints. I have some previous anxiety, so some of what I’m experiencing is from that coming back. I’ve started a supplement regimen right away of mg, acetyl carnitine, omega 3, coq10, probiotics (which I was actually taking during the cipro anyway), vit c and quality whey. I’m grateful that it’s managible right now, even if it changes. Any encouraging words out there?

    • Ruth Young October 20, 2015 at 2:08 pm Reply

      Hi Kelsey,
      I just saw your comment. I hope you are doing well and that things continue to feel manageable. I am at 20 months out and I’m really just about to 100%. Everything is definitely going away. My exercise tolerance is back to normal. In pretty much every way my body feels like my body again. I can watch tv all I want, listen to the radio while I’m driving whenever I want. I don’t have that feeling anymore that the world just seems too stimulating. It’s like I’ve just finally dropped back down into my old life and my old self. When it first started happening I cried I was so happy. Now I guess I’m sometimes taking it for granted that everything is back to normal. I know there could still be some bumps in the road. I believe that when our nervous system is healing we feel that and I know I have a little more healing to do. But I don’t feel so frightened now. I know I can handle it, whatever comes up, and that I’ll get through it and just get on with my life.
      Ruth

    • Angie May 21, 2016 at 12:53 pm Reply

      Hi Kelsey,

      Can I know how ur doing now?

  7. Ruth Young October 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm Reply

    Nita Jain,
    I got an email of your comment, but I’m not seeing it here, so I hope you find this. I don’t remember what brand of L-theanine I used and I haven’t had any on hand for a long time. I did take 200 mg 3x day without food. Make sure it is L-theanine, not D. The L type was proven safe at high doses, the D was not. It might be ok, we just don’t know. Some people say the effect of theanine is subtle. I definitely could notice it. I hope it works for you.
    Ruth

  8. Dmitriy October 24, 2015 at 3:08 am Reply

    Hello everyone…
    I believe I’ve been floxed from just 4 pills of Cipro. Since then I’ve been having tinnitus in my both ears for 2.5 months now. As far as I understand this happens due to GABA receptors downgrade. Anyone knows if this is a permanent damage or GABA receptors can be recovered somehow?
    Many thanks.

  9. Kathy Sherman December 20, 2015 at 5:59 pm Reply

    I took 14 levofloxacin for a resistant bacterial infection in a surgical wound. I had no choice as the wound was not healing on other antibiotic and was a deep ulcer in my foot. I have tendon issues in shoulders and possibly neck, knees, and hands as well. I read about a compound that is in the roots of mushrooms as well as some other sources but I cannot find the info again. I watched a youtube interview with 3 doctors who are at highly respected research hospitals and I even googled their names to verify they are on staff at the respective institutions. They talked about how this compound can clear the flouroquinolone out of the cells in the body. I can’t find the info now. Does anyone else know what compound this is so I can get some?

    • Lady (Phoenix) MountainChief August 13, 2016 at 9:21 am Reply

      Did you ever find the name of the supplement??

    • P1 February 6, 2017 at 10:39 am Reply

      That name is silly marine , and it is like a magic;-)

      • Kat Sherman February 6, 2017 at 7:32 pm Reply

        I looked up silymarin, it is milk thistle which does help detox, not the mushroom compound that I’d read about tho. Thanks for your thoughts tho.

  10. Prince May 26, 2016 at 3:39 am Reply

    Good day.. I m currently in the 5th day of my withdrawal from tramadol. I went cold turkey and the insomnia got unbearable to the extent that two days ago I went to the pharmacist and he prescribed Lexotan, G-Glutamine and Amitriptyline as sleep aids. They helped alright but I m thinking of quitting them and taking Care and Mg supplements instead in order to avoid withdrawal from the Lexotan.. Please what are your thoughts on this?

  11. Debra Antonie September 8, 2016 at 6:10 am Reply

    Really appreciate your story of your journey. I’m 2 1/2 years out.. But seem to be in a set back with tendon pain/ neuropathy / anxiety.
    Feeling quite helpless. Reading your words will help me today to have hope for healing.

  12. Kelcie Quiel May 4, 2017 at 3:37 pm Reply

    I can’t help but wonder, did any of you try taking Plexus Supplements to help? If you did which products did you take?

  13. Neil Clarke October 9, 2017 at 6:38 pm Reply

    What doseage did u take ? For how long.
    Glad ur feeling better . i am 5 days post one 500mg dose . Achilles shoulder pain . muscle tightness all over . weakness. Your story is helping me to be positive

    • Kat Sherman October 9, 2017 at 6:46 pm Reply

      Neil, have you joined a facebook support group? You’ll get quick responses there, usually. There is even a 24/7 group for those who can’t sleep at night or are from the other side of the world & on different time schedule. Hope you find some healing. https://www.facebook.com/groups/floxies/

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