Francesco’s Story – Recovery from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

*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. 

Hi,my name is Francesco,i am a 37y/o italian chef.                                                                                                                                                                                   

In the last few months of 2014 after having some relapsing cystitis already treated with 2 weeks of cyprofloxacin,my urologist diagnosed me with a severe form of prostatitis which he decided to “cure” with massive cycles of levofloxacin+amoxicillin based antibiotics (augmentin)+cortisonics. Each cycle lasting about 2 weeks for a total of more than 60 days of this treatment in 3 o 4 months,even more if we consider precedent cypro treatments for cystitis.First time i took levofloxacin i felt my mouth burning so much that i could take that pill only sorrounded by water(told that to my doctor,he replied i should take it anyway). Ironically my prostatitis stayed the same,sometimes got even worse. Mid-treatment i began to feel some minor pain on the upper side of my feet,something like having a small pebble stone in the shoe,i told that to my doctor cause i knew there could be side effects taking fluorochinolones,he basically told me not to worry and so i went on taking the pills as the pain was really low,i still could go running with no problems and work in the kitchen,which is really hard on muscles and tendons. About 1 month after last cycle things began to get worse:after a short walk i started to feel intense pain in my right ankle and feet,it rapidly  got red,swollen and  i could barely drive with it. I was on vacation,so i drove back to my home city (100km from there) and things got even worse:i could barely move my right foot,i felt like my tendon got so weak i almost had no control on it,a feeling similar to when u’re about to lose a thoot. In about one week i had severe tendonitis almost everywhere ,especially in ankles and shoulders,plus my back was continuosly hurting and got rigid like i got 40 years older in one week. I also felt weak and had vision problems:when i tried to read something on a screen,black letters appeared green on their borders. I couldn’t lift anything,i couldn’t walk for the pain,even opening my home’s door was painful,sometimes even laying on bed. Useless to say i had to stop driving,working,walking,people had to go get me food etc.

Asking doctors for help led to almost nothing,they minimized saying it would get better soon or even denied it could depend on quinolones,so basically i was bed ridden,no medical help and my symptoms got worse every day. So i started  looking for information on the net,focusing on learning as much as i could from people suffering from the same thing and getting better somehow. I’ve read every healing story here on floxiehope trying to cross the informations and learn from the most frequent and common healing strategies.

One of the most important thing i learned for sure is getting in a mindset of absolute acceptance:this is not a flu,it makes no sense observing the situation everyday (also cause it usually has a wavy behaviour) and as someone said,things get worse before they get better. So i accepted the time i had to stay all day in bed,listened to my body carefully (that also came from my yoga training) and proceded step by step. I began to move,it took me 20 minutes to get to the grocery shop 20 meters away from home and 2 days to recover from that. But i kept patiently doing that,confident that no matter what,if it was possible to heal i would have done it. It was like being in the middle of the sea and confidently holding on,sure that one day i would see some land appear. This lasted 2 months,some days i got back to square one,what i tried to do was concentrating on  long period average changes,never caring  for 3-4 real bad days,just accepting them. In this period i basically took magnesium,D-vitamin (my level of this was REALLY low and it helped) and tried to have a healty alimentation, eating  vegetables,fish,wholemeal rice and staying away as much as i could from gluten and coffee(ironically THIS worked for my prostatitis way better then quinolones),as i felt those were the two things more related to relapses (i also got regular tratments from a very very skilled osteopath). Some months after i got to the point were i could slowly walk again,but i still could not drive or lift medium weights. I started walking in the park,that got me really excited after so much time almost bed ridden,so i got there everyday,exaggerating a bit and got hurt on my knee into 15 days stop.

So we get to current days,1 year has passed,i can walk,drive,cook and in the last two weeks i started running again,finally feeling the possibility and the deep desire to speed up things a bit,strenghtening muscles to make tendons do less effort. I feel like i grew so much psychologically having to face this year (this is not the only bad thing happened in the same period) and i’ll bring this attitude with me for the rest of my life.

My advice:never care for results,concentrate on what you can actually control,like calibrating your efforts the best you can,find your personal way to do it. There will be times when you will consider useless all you did till that moment,that’s where not caring at all for results will pay: you will simply continue doing your thing cause that’s all really matters. What i personally got doing this is that tomorrow morning i’ll go running for the 8th time in 15 days,driving my car, i never felt so happy ,alive,mentally strong,and i can hardly describe the feeling when my legs asked me to run again and i decided  to trust them. Keep believing.Even when shit lasts forever,it never makes sense to give up. Best wishes to you all.

** 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, affect 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.

21 thoughts on “Francesco’s Story – Recovery from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

  1. Jane April 18, 2017 at 4:12 pm Reply

    how long did it take for your knees to recover

    • Vladimir April 26, 2017 at 8:56 am Reply

      God bless you! Such storys give us hope that we recover. I am floxie victum for 10 days and is really hard. Thanks for the positive attitude.

      • Nicole March 18, 2018 at 12:25 pm Reply

        Hey guys so I was floxed exactly a week ago. I took 4 levaquin pill. I feel super run down, tired , and all over just ache like.
        I am also recording from pneumonia.
        My legs have been twitching a bit as well .
        I had muscle pain on day three. Did you guys feel tired and how long does the acute phase last ?

        • Sandi August 1, 2018 at 11:54 am

          Hi Nicole
          My name is Sandi. I was floxed 2 months ago on June 4th. How are you feeling? Much better i hope👍

  2. Barbara Arnold April 26, 2017 at 11:07 pm Reply

    Thankyou for your story. You are right in so many of the things you said, especially to focus on the progress and not the setbacks. You reminded me of how far I have come when I look back. One tends to forget because of the time it takes. It’s a marathon not a sprint. I am really happy for you.
    Barbara xx

  3. Francesco May 17, 2017 at 5:04 am Reply

    Hi,i’m really glad my story can be helpful. I had almost no problems on my knees,my ankles were the center of my problem,with lesser harm to shoulders,hands and almost all tendons in my body. I’d say it took 2-3 months to pass the worst/bed ridden phase,and 1 year to start heavier activities again like running for example. I had setbacks during this process,sometimes i’ve had to stop new activities for a while,that’s why focussing on long term progress is really helpful. At the moment i’m really enjoying long walks and running,gradually adding some more km per week and it’s going well,especially when i compare the average 50km per week i do now to the bed ridden phase. I wish you all the best,never stop calmly working on getting better,even when you see no progress for months.
    Thank you.

    • A October 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm Reply

      Ciao Francesco , se ti va perché non ti iscrivi al gruppo dedicato ai fluorochinoloni su Facebook , così magari puoi darci qualche consiglio e raccontarci la tua storia e la terapia che hai fatto. Ti aspettiamo.

    • Aaron November 20, 2017 at 5:47 am Reply

      Hi Franesco, I’m 4 months out now from being floxed by ciproflaxin though my leg pain has improved the phychosis I suffered from originally has come back though not as severe. Did you find some things improved but returned again later? also new symptoms long after being poisoned that whent as well? Sorry for all the questions it’s just good to know someone that’s been through this as well!

      • Francesco November 20, 2017 at 1:48 pm Reply

        Yes,most of my symptoms have come back in cycles,every cycle being less and less severe.Some relapses have been stronger than others so it’s always a good thing to observe the long term changes and never focus on one bad month,week or even day.In my personal experience 4 months after my first pill was more or less the worst moment,nothing started to get better yet at that time and new symptoms appeared everyday ,so an improvement in your leg pain sounds really good to me. Remember your mindset can help a lot,even more with the psychological aspects of the poisoning. The attitude i developed while facing this problem is something i have inside everyday now,and it’s SO helpful to deal with anything else. Don’t care about setbacks,just follow what you found being most helpful and repeat it listening to your body,not forcing too much,nor being too lazy. I’m glad to help,don’t worry about asking.

        • Azz November 22, 2017 at 6:32 pm

          Thanks for your words they’re very encouraging! This has made a huge impact on my life including loosing my job I yearn for my health before all this happened. I’ll try to stay positive and beleive things will eventually get better.

        • Francesco December 1, 2017 at 6:07 am

          I can perfectly understand what you are going through,i lost my job too at the time. But you have basically two choices:first one is crying on your misfortune and do nothing,second one is doing all you can to get out of it. And trust me,even if following the second one should give you the worst immaginable results,it still will be better than the first. I’d do again everything i’ve done even with ZERO results at all,you should never care for that,you control it only partially,focus on your efforts,cause you’re in control of that.It can be a long road,and sometimes you can have weeks with very little improvements or relapses,but NEVER stop working on it.That’s what got me from bed ridden to daily rope jumping and yoga again. Trust yourself.

  4. Sambo Luon March 20, 2018 at 5:28 pm Reply

    Hi Francesco,

    How much ch Levaquin did u take in total?

    Did u have depression/ anxiety?

    And digestive issue?

    What supplements help you most?

    Please help

    Thank you

    • Azz November 16, 2018 at 6:25 am Reply

      Hi Sambo I’d say time helps the most and if I could give advice I’d say don’t try anything, it’s done nothing for me but made things worse. I was a lot better 10 months out then I tried b12 which set me back to square one with depression and all occurring for the last 7 months.

  5. Francesco December 15, 2018 at 5:30 am Reply

    Hi Sambo,sorry for the late answer,i missed the notification.
    As i said i took quinolones for more than 60 days,it was 2 500mg pills per day. I had a bit of anxiety and for sure some digestive issues,being not so evident themselves but worstening the whole thing for sure.
    What helped me more at the start was magnesium and D vitamin. Later i began to understand these things were probably helpful cos for some reasons i struggled to assimilate them from my normal feeding. So,some years later i can say,focus on what you eat,find what irritates your intestine and eliminate it from your diet,this will help a lot.For me this translated into staying completely gluten free (only saw benefits after 2 months),and have a nice diet,rich in vegetables and healty food. The other great thing is physical activity,meaning if you can do ONE step in a whole day,do it,don’t hurt yourself trying to do two,i still remember those days and i can assure you doing 1 step then 2 then a short slow walk it’s really important.
    I still go to walk on a regular basis and those first steps are what led me to do 15/20 km now everytime i go out,respect your body,eat well and never stop trying even when everything goes wrong and you are forced to rest,just wait and slowly train again,it will pay at the end.

  6. Dan Jervis March 2, 2019 at 12:22 pm Reply

    Dear Francesco, I was floxed 24 years ago and continue to be in chronic headpain. Please consider sharing your story on CBS 60 Minutes.

  7. kristin jarrell October 28, 2019 at 8:43 am Reply

    Francesco – are you still able to run? What symptoms remain and what are the triggers?

    • yhrim October 30, 2019 at 6:15 am Reply

      Hi kristin,
      Yes i’m still able to run,the ankles got even better. The only remaining symptom is a certain stiffness on the right ankle,worstened by bad alimentation (gluten or caffeine overload) or lack of good sleep.Nothing serious or even remotely comparable to my situation when i was floxed tho. Have a nice day.

  8. Harry November 6, 2019 at 4:03 pm Reply

    Hi Francescos … Do u have pain in front of shoulder between collar bone and shoulder joint … im having pain in that tendon. ? but i do have full range of motion and no weakness. What i can i do to improve this pain in shoulder …. ? How long does it took for this pain to disappear ?

    • Francesco November 12, 2019 at 4:10 am Reply

      Hi harry,
      I did have pain on my right shoulder,more in the rotatory cuff segment than in the tendon itself.In my case it went away togheter with the whole body inflammation and it took some months.My best advice can be patience,good eating style,low on carbs and caffeine,magnesium and rest. Try to listen to your body and gently start to move your shoulders with little exercises,notice if at the end of those,in the medium period,your pain gets worse or not.If it get worse you’re doing too much and you need to be even gentler or simply rest. Keep in mind this is based on my personal experience. Good luck.

  9. S January 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm Reply


    I turn to your story during the dark times and it keeps me going and renews my faith that I can keep doing my thing, control what I can, and run again someday.

    Did you deal with any shortness of breath or racing/pounding heart beat? How did you manage that? Thanks!

    • Francesco January 22, 2020 at 8:42 am Reply

      Hi,i’m always happy to know my story can be helpful to someone.
      As for shortness of breath or racing heart beat, i had it sometimes,but not much worstened during my floxie period. Usually when i have that kind of symptoms it’s always because of stomach inflammation,as asymptomatic gastritis,so personally i focus on doing what i can in that sense,like avoiding completely caffeine and all things that can set my stomach on fire,even if i don’t feel any problem stomach-wise. This could be only my personal experience but it works for me.
      Stay strong.

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