Jim’s Story – Ciprofloxacin Toxicity and Recovery

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
  • MitoQ
  • PQQ
  • Probiotics

 

Supplements which might have helped:

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B12
  • Collagen
  • NAC

 

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!

 

*****

12 thoughts on “Jim’s Story – Ciprofloxacin Toxicity and Recovery

  1. Roxanne July 7, 2020 at 8:19 am Reply

    Was floxed 5 yrs ago by Cipro. Still dealing with the damage it did to my body. I take almost all the same supplements you took, but haven’t had the results you did. I think age plays a part in the recovery. The younger the better. I was over 60 when floxed. Let my doctor talk me into a flu vaccine in February and have regreted since. Caused a terrible relaspe in Cipro side effects syptoms. Just have to keep plugging along.

    • Jim July 7, 2020 at 10:33 am Reply

      I sometimes feel dodged a bullet as the Cipro / Ibuprofen combo was an additional layer of risk. Thanks for the advice re. the flu vaccine, usually have one, last year did not so will steer well clear. I embraced the mantra ‘you cannot change the past and you cannot predict the future’ during the ups and downs of the Cipro cycles, this seemed to help from a phycological perspective. Hope you start recovering from the relapse soon..

  2. Marco Karrer July 7, 2020 at 10:16 am Reply

    I was floxed in may 27th 2019. Taking the same supplements and being 27 years old. My current symptoms got way worse beginning of this year and now I am mostly bound to crutches + wheelchair. So this is not only about age.

    I think one of the most important factors is belief! We have to belief we do get better. It’s not unusual for a heavy reaction to take 4-6 years. Roxanne: Maybe you’ll get much better in the 1-2 years coming.

    I hope for myself one day be able to walk again. There’s no need for heavy sports, even if my big passion was dancing. but beeing able to walk along a see or the ocean would make all the difference.

    Just let us keep going and believing. We can do this.

    Best wishes
    Marco

    • Jim July 8, 2020 at 12:40 am Reply

      Thanks Marco, you’re so right re. belief, hope you get to walk along the ocean

  3. Claw July 7, 2020 at 5:32 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story! Sounds like an incredible recovery! God bless!

    • Jim July 8, 2020 at 12:41 am Reply

      Thanks Claw, has been one journey am not planning to repeat!

  4. Bj July 7, 2020 at 5:41 pm Reply

    Has anyone had a problem with Amoxicillin?

  5. Michael July 7, 2020 at 10:40 pm Reply

    I was flexed June 2019 also. I had about 4 weeks of a total 6 week prescribed course of Ciprofloxacin. And I had been taking various NSAIDs prescribed as well. Right now I’m a lot better, I still have some neurological symptoms in my feet and lower legs mainly, but they are mild and some fatigue and reduced energy. I’m getting there though.

    Good to read your recovery story Jim. Do you still have any pins and needles or anything like that?

    • Jim July 8, 2020 at 12:44 am Reply

      Yes – still have some mild cycles of neurological symptoms in hands and feet, these tend to last few days and then pass, cycles are becoming lesser duration and longer spaced out so see this as a positive sign and part of body’s healing process

      • Michael July 8, 2020 at 6:05 pm Reply

        I think that will pass also Jim in due course. I think we are on a similar timeline. I went from feeling like my legs were being blow torched to just some tingling sensations in 12 months so I’m hoping another 6-12 months … fingers crossed. I do also feel like I dodged a bullet. Good luck with the rest of your recovery Jim. I took a lot of supplements also including mito Q10, B12 and NAC. I’m trying fasting now as I’ve heard good things.

        • Jim July 9, 2020 at 12:03 pm

          Thanks Michael and hope you continue progressing on your recovery. I feel we are spiritual ‘floxie’ brothers. I will look out for your future recovery story..

  6. Anne July 15, 2020 at 9:28 am Reply

    Good work and congratulations Jim! Wonderful to read that you are healing. I wrote a recovery story on this list a while back, and am now 4 1/2 years out. I still can’t run (someday I will), but biking is great for me instead. Every year I feel better and better… all the symptoms fade and then fade some more as time passes. Yes, to believing that you will get better!

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