Fluoroquinolone toxicity and other multi-symptom, chronic, illnesses are not mutually exclusive. It’s possible to be floxed and have Lyme Disease. It’s possible to be floxed and to have Epstein Barr Virus. It’s possible to be floxed and have an autoimmune disease. It’s possible to be floxed and have mercury or lead poisoning.
Often, people have to fight for fluoroquinolone toxicity to be acknowledged. Doctors, nurses, other medical professionals, as well as skeptical loved ones, will often dismiss fluoroquinolone toxicity as ” not real” or being “all in your (the patient/loved one) head.” When they suggest that fluoroquinolone toxicity isn’t real, they often suggest that maybe you, the patient/loved one, really have some other disease such as Lyme Disease, ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, lupus, M.S., Sjogren’s Syndrome, Epstein Barr, etc. This often puts floxies on the defensive, and they fight with their doctors to say, “No, I’m not sick because of ___ recognized illness, I’m sick because of fluoroquinolone toxicity. I was fine before I took Cipro, Levaquin, or Avelox. Now I’m sick. It’s the drugs.” You, the patient, the floxie, the person whose body hurts, is right. These drugs hurt you, and anyone who dismisses the possibility that fluoroquinolones can do serious, severe, and long-lasting harm to a person is wrong and misinformed. There is a massive amount of evidence of the damage that fluoroquinolones do to people. There are several mechanisms by which fluoroquinolones can cause multi-symptom, chronic illness. The warning labels on fluoroquinolones reflect that they are dangerous drugs with serious consequences. You ARE suffering from fluoroquinolone toxicity.
With that said, you may also have Lyme Disease, or Sjogren’s, or mercury poisoning, or something else. It’s possible, and I think that examining all possibilities for acknowledgement and treatment are helpful.
Having an autoimmune disease, or Lyme, or some other more acknowledged illness, does not mean that you aren’t floxed. As I just said, There is a massive amount of evidence of the damage that fluoroquinolones do to people. There are several mechanisms by which fluoroquinolones can cause multi-symptom, chronic illness. The warning labels on fluoroquinolones reflect that they are dangerous drugs with serious consequences. Fluoroquinolones are dangerous drugs. They are hurting, and disabling, too many people.
Illnesses do not always occur one at a time–they can occur simultaneously, and they can overlap. Definitions of diseases are fuzzy too, and if you want to read about how diseases are defined by the drugs that treat them (i.e., the pharmaceutical industry), read Dr. Terry Wahls’ book, The Wahls Protocol, in which she discusses how diseases are defined and developed.
Some people have suggested that fluoroquinolones trigger other diseases. Is this possible? Maybe. In I Believe I had a Predisposition on www.fluoroquinolonethyroid.com, JMR discusses the possibility that she had a predisposition toward autoimmune thyroid issues, and that fluoroquinolones triggered the expression of that illness. People have suggested that fluoroquinolones trigger the activation/release of dormant Lyme or Epstein Barr. In Do Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Trigger Charcot-Marie-Tooth and Other Genetic Diseases? I discuss the possibility that fluoroquinolones trigger epigenetic changes in that lead to the expression of dormant genetic diseases. In Lead Toxicity: Secondary to Hyperthyroidism, Hyperparathyroidism . . . and Fluoroquinolone Toxicity?, JMR suggests that fluoroquinolones may have triggered the release/activation of lead in her body. Similarly, in Fluoroquinolones and Mercury Poisoning, I note that fluoroquinolones may trigger the release/activation of mercury in the body through the disruption of mineral homeostasis (or maybe through keeping the liver from detoxifying the body properly). Many people have noted that there is a huge amount of overlap in symptoms between fluoroquinolone toxicity and fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, and other “mysterious” illnesses of modernity. All these connections and possibilities should be explored.
The possible connections between fluoroquinolone toxicity and other illnesses doesn’t mean that fluoroquinolone toxicity isn’t real though. It is real–it’s very real. Whenever people assert that fluoroquinolone toxicity isn’t real, and that people are really suffering from some other illness, I always go back to the beagle puppies that were made lame by fluoroquinolones, and their precursor nalidixic acid. Those puppies may have had some sort of genetic predisposition toward being hurt by fluoroquinolones, but the damage done to them wasn’t really something else. Their lameness, their pain and suffering, was from the fluoroquinolones – period.
I also go back to the mechanism of action for fluoroquinolones. Fluoroquinolones are topoisomerase interrupters. The mechanism of action for Cipro/ciprofloxacin is:
The bactericidal action of ciprofloxacin results from inhibition of the enzymes topoisomerase II (DNA gyrase) and topoisomerase IV (both Type II topoisomerases), which are required for bacterial DNA replication, transcription, repair, and recombination.
This video illustrates the mechanism of action for fluoroquinolones:
Fluoroquinolones have been shown to deplete mitochondrial DNA, and otherwise damage mitochondria.
The ARE dangerous drugs that ARE hurting people.
AND, you may have Lyme Disease, or lupus, or another illness, as well. So, get tested, and determine a course of action that treats all your symptoms and illnesses. These illnesses are not mutually exclusive, and knowing what you’re dealing with is key to understanding how to approach it. Of course, be careful with the treatments, but knowledge, and an open mind, are almost certainly helpful.
Multi-symptom, chronic illnesses are difficult to understand, and they’re even more difficult to treat. Dealing with multiple multi-symptom, chronic, mysterious illnesses is even worse. Luckily, the things that help people with fluoroquinolone toxicity are often similar to the things that help people with chronic Lyme Disease, or ME/CFS. So, please don’t feel disheartened or overwhelmed if you are facing both fluoroquinolone toxicity and another disease. Hang in there, and know that hope is helpful no matter what the ailment.
Please please think about the possibility that Cipro and Levquin “awakens” lyme disease…think of it as a herxeimer reaction. My husband took Cipro in June of 2013…6 months later he developed a horrible peripheral neuorapathy….he took Cipro again in April of 2016…he immediately developed psychiatric symptoms….1 year later he was diagnosed with late stage lyme….just think about it.
There is a 200 year old system of medicine in which the doctor takes every illness and symptom into account and prescribes one medicine for the overall symptom picture of the individual.. homeopathy. I’m sure this would be a great option for those who have been ‘floxed.’
I have a new episode and my leg hurts so bad I cry. I can walk. I have seen three doctors and they see nothing wrong. My left leg is red almost to purple at times. I need a doctor in St Louis that can help me. This has been going on for years now progressing to my complete disability almost to where I cannot get to the bathroom. I’m begging for help. April Rinaldi.