Greg’s story of Cipro Toxicity and Recovery

My story: athletic 59 year old, male, very active cyclist (fyi: gravel riding mostly, for those fellow cyclists out there, with tons of climbing, singletrack on geared and singlespeed—pretty hard riding). Very healthy. No current issues, no other medication, etc.

About 3.5 months ago, I was prescribed Cipro at an urgent care for potential UTI (which turned out to be negative). The doctor did not sufficiently warn me of the potential side effects. I even talked about how active and athletic I was. And when I went to get it at the pharmacy, the pharmacist asked if I’d ever taken it before. I said “no”, and she simply said “OK, don’t take it with dairy”. That’s it.

I’ve never in my life had a bad reaction to any medication. Granted I’m very lucky with my health and rarely have to take medications, but still-no adverse effects ever from an antibiotic—no stomach issues, nothing. So, I got the med and went home and popped one pill, 500mg. Then, I started reading about it, and freaked out.

I immediately called the doctor and said I can’t take this stuff. Without any questions, they gave me Bactrim instead. Clearly, they knew why I was refusing to continue with it.

I hoped I had dodged a bullet by stopping after the one dose. But 24 hours after that one dose of Cipro, I noticed sort of a tweaky feeling in my left ankle/foot. Almost like I was getting plantar fasciitis. About 48 hours after the dose, front of right shoulder started to ache a little. The next day a bit of tension feeling in the forearm, like carpal tunnel. I then started getting a weird fatigue, and by then the anxiety had kicked in bad. A few days in, my shoulders were killing me, my biceps hurt, my feet and ankles felt crunchy and like I couldn’t go up and down stairs without taking very slow careful, old man steps. My forearms felt like I had full-on carpal tunnel. I felt like I had aged 20 years in a few days, like parts of my body weren’t going to hold together. I had a feeling of dread. I was wrecked, and the terror of wondering if my athletic life was over led to crushing anxiety. I was traveling at the time too, in less than pleasant circumstances, which made matters even worse. As I researched what had happened to me, I got more and more depressed and scared. I was pounding ibuprofen because I didn’t know what else to do. I got home and started researching and reading everything I could find about this nightmare drug.

The suggestion from the medical industry that these drugs cause “tendonitis” is very misleading. I’ve always been active and pushed myself. I know what tendonitis feels like. This is different. Sure, the pain resembles tendonitis, but you can feel there is something very wrong going on inside of you. You can feel that you’ve been poisoned. It is damn creepy. Once I got home from traveling, I pretty much just laid on the floor. I slept a ton, but getting to sleep was hard because of panic attacks. My wife said it was the most afraid she’s ever seen me.

Into the second week. I did two things: I saw my ortho/sports guy. He knew about Cipro and how doctors throw it around like candy, but said in his years of treating hundreds of Achilles ruptures, only one was from Cipro. He calmed me down a bit because the thought of a rupture freaked me out.

Next, I ordered the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution. I attribute this to what I consider my fairly speedy recovery.

I immediately implemented the whole plan in the book pretty much to the letter, right down to the bone broth and massage. It was indeed a bit expensive getting stocked up on all the supplements, but I was determined to do whatever it took to get better, at any cost. I also reported my case to the FDA as described in the book, and I now wear a medical ID bracelet saying I’m allergic to these drugs (if I end up in an ER someday I don’t want to take any chances!).

Not long after pounding myself with the supplements, in particular I assume, the mega doses of magnesium, I started to turn the corner. It was pretty fast. I’d say within just a couple days I could feel things changing for the better. The fatigue and brain fog cleared, it felt like the aches were diminishing, and started becoming more of a “comes and goes” kind of thing. I started going out for easy walks. I started feeling more hopeful.

I emailed a few times with the authors of the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution. They were extremely gracious and helpful. They deserve a medal for writing this guide. Mainstream doctors won’t tell you any of this stuff.

I went for a very easy bike ride end of week 3. Compared to what I’d normally do, it was pathetic!:) But it gave me more hope. There were days that were worse than others—it has not been a linear recovery at all. Weird pains would pop up out of nowhere and fade in and out— hip, groin, knee. There were even times where my vision was affected. But that has settled out back to normal.

If I went too hard on the bike, I’d feel worse for a couple days. But, I steadily ramped up. I’m back to riding at about 70% of where I was before. 3 months ago I wasn’t even sure when/if I’d be riding again at all.

I’m still careful about my movements though. Anything that resembles jumping I’m still wary of. My achilles never hurt that bad—it was more the surrounding area, the ankles, and bottom of feet, but any kind of fast explosive movement I’m avoiding for now. So, no basketball with my son for a while longer. I haven’t resumed any upper body weight training yet, as it’s the discomfort in my shoulders that seems to be lingering the most, but it’s getting better. Occasionally I’ll tweak my foot riding my bike off road and it’ll remind me that all that tissue is still recovering, and that there’s likely some structural damage in there. But ultimately, I’m lucky cycling is my activity of choice – you can go out for easy rides in low gears and slowly work your way up, and your feet can be in a relatively static position. A stationary bike would be great too (as long as your knees or hips feel well enough—btw, I’ve never had a knee issue in my life as a cyclist, yet my knees bugged me for a while due to the Cipro). My stamina and endurance of course took a big hit but I can tell that’s from the greatly reduced activity, not the weird, unnatural fatigue and malaise I felt from the drug at the beginning. I have to resist going too hard because I feel like I could go out and hammer a long ride with tons of elevation.

But I’m being patient. Very thankful that 3.5 months on, I feel this good.

There were a few lemons that came out of the lemonade too. My digestion (I’ve always been prone to a bit of IBS) got better. I think all the bone broth I’m drinking every day is healing my gut. And, I can see no downside to the parade of supplements I’m taking. I probably should have been taking more of them before anyway.

Which leads me to one thing I’ve considered, based on what’s in the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution, and what I’ve read elsewhere: perhaps I was vulnerable to getting hit with the side effects because I was a bit depleted, possibly magnesium deficient. It adds up: middle-aged guy, goes really hard with endurance sports for extended periods (often in hot temperatures because of where I live). And admittedly, I’ve always been a “work hard, play hard” guy. I’ll go out and hammer my body on the bike all day, and then reward myself with some high-test double IPAs. So, maybe I was prone to get hit because as fit as I thought I was, I was actually run-down. Or, maybe it was just bad luck. Or, malpractice by the doctor . . .

So, 3.5 mos. in and doing good. This site helped me immensely at the beginning when I was in bad shape and trying to learn about this (of course, sometimes visiting here would also make me more terrified and anxious—you have to be careful!). Mark’s story (another cyclist—more hardcore than me: I found very encouraging—I kept going back to that one. He sounded like he was a lot worse off than me at first, so I figured if he can beat this thing I could too. Find a story that encourages you, and don’t read the scary ones.

But as I say, I’m convinced the biggest factor in my recovery is jumping right into the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution whole hog.

And, getting out there and moving has been a huge factor. Increased blood flow, which speeds up tissue turnover as I understand it. Plus, even if I can’t go as hard as I’d like, all those endorphins firing off always have me feeling waaaay better after a ride.

I hope that my story might help someone else who is at the beginning of this and worried if they can heal, and if so, how long it might take. The first couple weeks I had no idea how I’d be in 6 mos, or a year. I was not optimistic. But it’s been less than 4 mos. and now I can see myself back to pretty much “normal” in the very near future.


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.


12 thoughts on “Greg’s story of Cipro Toxicity and Recovery

  1. Hazel February 11, 2020 at 8:05 pm Reply

    Greg, hi and thanks so much for writing this lucid and optimistic commentary. So much chimes with me, especially the creepy ‘dissolving from within’ aspect of FQ tendinopathy. You very much sound to be on top of the situation having accessed Floxie Hope early on; I’m just hoping you’ve avoided much of the weird FQ chronicity I’m now experiencing 10 months out: stubborn tendonitis and insomnia. It may be because I’m a little ‘Floxier than thou’ having been given corticosteroids to calm down the optic neuritis I had as an initial FQ symptom. Just wondering how much Magnesium you’re taking daily; 1gm (10x100mg Mg glycinate tables washed down with dissolved citrate) per day buys me about 5km/7000 steps of gentle walking/dancing and 2×4 hours of sleep. Also, any supplements you’d particularly recommend, perhaps that have addressed other issues in addition to the FQ ones? I’ve found mucolytic antioxidant N-Acetyl Cysteine useful in keeping chest infections at bay (although it may affect athletic performance so best avoided around exercise times). Keep us up to speed with your progress, all best wishes and thanks again Hazel (Avelox Floxie, recovery story posted last year).

  2. Greg February 12, 2020 at 4:56 pm Reply

    Hi Hazel,
    Thanks for your comments. I read your story. Very sorry to hear what you’ve been through. I hope as I write this you’re having a good day.
    As for magnesium, at first I was taking up to 1000mg a day, spread out. As time went on, I felt it was starting to affect my gut(perhaps because I was beginning to get enough?) so I’ve backed down, currently at around 500-700mg. I also use the topical gel, and take epsom salt baths a few times a week. As for other supplements, nothing to add other than what I describe. I did recently get some Ashwagandha Root capsules which are supposed to help with stress and GABA. I think they may be helping me chill out a little bit.
    The other biggest factor for me feeling better is simply getting outside and exercising. I’m trying to be careful and not go too hard only being 4 mos. out, which is frustrating for me, but it’s OK – simply being in the outdoors makes me feel physically and mentally better without fail, every single time, even if the exercise is not up to me previous level (yet).
    Please hang in there – sending positive healing vibes your way!

  3. Bruce February 13, 2020 at 6:38 pm Reply

    Thanks for writing this Greg. Gives us hope.

  4. Dee February 14, 2020 at 9:39 am Reply

    Greg. Congrats on getting better!! I think you had two things in your favor. You were healthy and fit and more then anything you only took one pill! You were lucky to have discovered the potential side effects before you took more!! Unbelievable that out Docs and pharmacists don’t give us more serious warnings! I don’t get it!!!!???? Continued healing to you!!!

    • Greg November 22, 2020 at 5:18 pm Reply

      Hi Dee, thanks for the well wishes and comments. As for the one pill, I have learned since that taking ibuprofen at the time may have made that one pill more like 5. Or 10. Or..who knows! Even some docs I talked to at the time who were at least aware of the cipro danger still said to “take ibuprofen”. It’s nuts. The information is out there, why do they do this? Anyone who has taken cipro should avoid NSAIDS.
      I hope you are well!

  5. cordovanmusic February 15, 2020 at 11:19 am Reply

    Thanks for the comments folks. Ironically I’m having a “not great” week right now, but I’ve accepted this isn’t a linear journey–sure hasn’t been so far! Still feel good enough to ride, so thankful for that, just need to take it down a notch and not push too hard. As for the 1 pill factor, I sure like to think that’s in my favor, but who knows? I took ibuprofen at the time which I understand could make that one pill more like…more pills. The anxiety from pondering all the what-ifs is a real beast as you all know.
    I do hope my story is helpful. Now I’ll go back and read Mark’s story and comments again…:)

    • Greg February 15, 2020 at 11:22 am Reply

      Ooops–somehow I got logged in as an old WordPress account for the previous comment–but that’s me, just to clarify – Greg

      • Hazel February 15, 2020 at 11:55 am Reply

        Hi Greg, sorry to hear you’re on a down week, but with your positive attitude and strategy they’re sure to become less frequent. Thanks for the ashwagandha tip: I’ll give this nightshade adaptogen a try (my GABA supplements don’t seem to be having much effect). And I’ll commit to getting outdoors more, too. All best wishes for your continued recovery, Hazel.

  6. Greg February 18, 2020 at 5:22 pm Reply

    Thanks for the support Hazel! Right back at ya! Feeling better the last few days. It’s a journey for sure. Onward!

    • Greg June 10, 2020 at 11:40 am Reply

      Hi Folks. Been quite a while, thought I’d post an update if it’s helpful for anyone. Of course, with Covid-19, everything has changed all around us. I hope everyone is staying safe. Fortunately, I’m happy to report excellent progress with my recovery.
      I’m about 8 mos. out now, and what I’m left with is some occasional “crunchiness” under the ball of one foot, and one bicep that sometimes feels a bit spasmy. But, it’s all intermittent. Most days I feel basically “normal”, though it’s always just below the surface in my mind. I’m pretty much back to cycling as intense as I was before, including singlespeed mountain biking (if you’re into cycling, you know that it’s a very dynamic style of riding with lots of “body english”). My bicep feels a little tweaked sometimes after a hard ride like that, but honestly, I’m pushing 60 now, and if it wasn’t for the cipro factor, I’d just chalk it up to being an old guy who likes to go hard:). If you had asked me 6 mos ago if I thought I’d be doing this kind of riding again, I would not have been optimistic.
      Also, I made a few changes in the last 4 months that I believe helped. I switched to Angstrom Magnesium, after reading about the absorption of that vs pills you ingest. And I upped my Vitamin D3 intake even more. Also, I had consulted with Dr Mark Ghalili here in SoCal who is an expert on this stuff, and he got me taking a few other things, notably L-Proline, which aids in collagen production, as well as other supplements to aid in detoxing. I have been 100% diligent with the supplement protocol, the diet, the self massage–I have not missed a single day. So, around 8 mos out and doing good.
      Regarding Covid-19: I believe (like many) I had it way back earlier in the year, before anyone could get tested. 3 weeks of the weirdest lung stuff (and I never get respiratory issues). But it was fairly mild. I fought it with lots of oil of oregano, garlic, vit c, and black elderberry. I also think that my immune system is possibly in better shape than it was before since I’m on such a steady intake of all these healthy things now. So, perhaps a little lemonade there, from the lemons….
      Hang in there everybody and stay well, and safe!

      • marie wheeler November 22, 2020 at 4:12 pm Reply

        hi are you doing any better. I took 3 cipro of 500mg then switch to bactrum 800/160 for seven days. Can you let me know how long you took the bactrum for. im 11 months out and still are having lots of issues. Do you have any suggstions that i can use.
        Marie wheeler

  7. Greg November 22, 2020 at 5:07 pm Reply

    Hi Marie – sorry to hear you’re still having problems 11 months out. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem uncommon. I’m now just past a year. I feel essentially back to normal. But you can tell from my story, it took this long.
    To answer your question, at the time, after the one dose of Cipro, and then switching to the Bactrim, I took that only for a day or two and then stopped. I noticed some weird red spots on my leg, and thought “this is crazy” and stopped taking that too. Turns out my UTI was negative anyway (thanks to the urgent care Doc for convincing me to take this poison for nothing). Unfortunately, I did continue w ibuprofen as I explained, until I learned about that.
    As for what I’ve been doing, one year out, I still treat it the same as when my symptoms were bad–I take Angstrom magnesium, the vitamins, ubiquinol, etc etc every day, same as before. I eat really healthy, and hearty, including a lot of clean meat, fish, eggs. I will not touch any animal product unless it’s antibiotic-free. I’ll eat vegetarian if I can’t be sure. The type of antibiotics they use in meat are, guess what? – fluoroquinolones. Dr. Ghalili told me the drug can stay in your system for up to 7 years. If I ate some antibiotic laden meat, it could trigger symptoms again.
    I take no pharmaceuticals of any kind. I haven’t had an ibuprofen, aspirin, you-name-it, in a year now. I’d have to do plenty of research before popping a pill these days. I use oil of oregano as a natural antibiotic/antiviral if I feel like something is coming on.
    Again exercise was key for me–getting back on the bike. I may have rushed it, but I went easy at first. Helped my mental health tons, got me feeling stronger. But I know it’s hard if you’re feeling crappy to get out there and get moving.
    Don’t know if any of this is helpful, but that’s what I’ve been doing. I hope you start feeling better soon!

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