What a difference a year makes
I was “floxed” in June 2019 at the age of 44. I was prescribed a two-week course of ciprofloxacin for orchitis and advised to also take ibuprofen. There was no culture taken during the doctor consultation nor was one subsequently arranged for me. I took 12 ciprofloxacin tablets (500mg 2x day) out of 28 before succumbing to the adverse effects and quitting the course.
The adverse effects started for me after 3 days with tendonitis, muscle tremors and severe insomnia which meant only sleeping/brain shutting down for 1-2 hours a night. I did not initially equate the adverse effects to ciprofloxacin and continued to take it until admitted to hospital where blood tests confirmed there was no infection. Unfortunately, around this time, the neurological symptoms started in my hands and feet alongside joint weakness, muscle twitches and ligament pain.
Following discharge from hospital and after subsequent discussions with my Doctor including various blood tests and scans it became very clear to me that the medical profession has no real treatment for fluoroquinolone toxicity and does not understand nor recognise the syndrome. The doctor said of my multi symptoms “you cannot blame ciprofloxacin for everything, this is just anxiety”, thanks doctor… for this cop out!
I soon realised from researching that if I wanted to get better then I would need to do everything possible to provide my body with the building blocks to repair the damage to my cells. I purchased the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution which was very useful and I basically followed the approach set out. This included a massive overhaul of my diet to organic, high protein, dairy free and low gluten wherever possible. I also took multiple supplements, switched to fluoride free water and quit all alcohol, caffeine and OTC medicines. The ciprofloxacin induced insomnia was eventually resolved by starting mirtazapine, an antidepressant which is also used off-label for insomnia. I was housebound for 4 weeks and over time slowly recovered enough to return to work. Recovery was not linear and there were many days and weeks where my symptoms were no better and new symptoms would randomly appear, this was somewhat depressing and set me back both physically and psychologically each time.
The good news is that am now 12 months since “floxing” and at least 90% recovered. I am hoping to reach 95% or thereabouts over the next year and even if I do not, can live with this – any improvement is a bonus. I am now able to go to the gym, eat and drink as per pre-floxing, although I do continue to maintain a healthy diet and take it easy on the alcohol.
This experience has clearly changed me and in many ways for the good as it has forced me to re-evaluate what is important in life and what is not. This has also been a real wake-up call to take responsibility for my own health and not to rush to doctors to be prescribed big pharma products. I have also been a strong advocate for friends and work colleagues in dissuading them from ever taking fluoroquinolones unless a life and death situation.
I am sometime asked what has helped the most, primarily for me is time and a belief deep down that I am strong enough to win the recovery battle. I would also attribute some of my recovery to the various antioxidant supplements, however I took so many that might have worked in combinations so is not an exact science. The following lists are those supplements which helped and those which might have helped:
Supplements which helped:
- Magnesium (gel/tablets/salts)
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
Supplements which might have helped:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B12
I have done a lot of Fluoroquinolone toxicity research on the web over the past year and for most people a good recovery is very possible, it just takes time, so be strong and keep believing!