Mark’s Recovery Story – 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. 

Mark was floxed about 2 years ago.  His floxing included insomnia, weight gain, anxiety, crippling exhaustion, brain fog that made doing his job difficult, and tendon and muscle issues that made doing his passion, biking, difficult.  I asked Mark to write his recovery story for this blog.  I’m sure that he’ll get around to it once he finishes winning bike races.  Yup, winning.

Here’s an article in his local paper about the win –

That’s a pretty thorough recovery.  Go Mark!  Congratulations on your recovery and your win!

Per Mark –

“So, how did i get better? Lots of positive mental attitude and ignoring the pain. The depression is a bitch and you need to kick it in the teeth.  6 months in i was walking around the park, barely a 100 yards,it wiped me out. every week i walked further, getting slightly more strength and endurance. Then at Christmas (12 months) i started riding a stationary cycle. 7 minutes a day was all i could manage. By February I rode to work and back – 24 miles, steady though not full belt. Bare in mind, I was an elite cyclist previously and used to pain and hard work on the bike. It felt like a hundred miles at race pace used to. when i was tired i rested, but i had to be really tired to do that. I got on the bike whenever the exhaustion wave first hit to see if i was really tired or just mind tired. Come April I still had extremely painful feet but entered a local race and won by a handful of seconds. This was a massive confidence boost that made me continue to press on.  I get stronger and fitter every day now. I ride the 24 miles to work and back every day no problem and may do a mid week race or one on the weekend.

What am i left with out of this ordeal? My feet sting from time to time and my toes are numb. My little finger on my left hand side stings all the time and my shoulders and forearms ache like I have done a good days work. But I am a load better than I was and I hope in time these things will disappear into the background. Anxiety is still there (it was extreme) but not as bad as it was and sleep is still disturbed but I get about 7 hours a night all be it in chunks. The body responds to stress and will repair itself when stimulated – hence why athletes get muscles and fitter when they train. Sitting around for recovery to happen was doing nothing for me and I realized this at 6 months, i was 40 and needed to do all i could to get better. So I basically started to train. Tissue turnover increased and I started to repair at a greater rate than when sedentary. I have moments each day of feeling spaced out but they are getting less and less.”

** 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, effect 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.

52 thoughts on “Mark’s Recovery Story – Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

  1. Alex Barrios August 6, 2013 at 11:20 am Reply


    How did he recover
    Please I want to get better

  2. Lisa Bloomquist September 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm Reply

    Mark told me that Beta Hydroxy Methylbutyrate, which is a derivative of leucine and is lean muscle promoting, and an amino acid called Beta Alanine (which is an ergonomic aid), taken with Creatine helped him to improve immensely. It helped him to promote muscle growth / tissue turn over and he is now doing well. I don’t know anything about these supplements. I’m just passing on the information. Please do your own research. But if it looks like these supplements will help you, know that they did help someone else.

  3. chris December 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm Reply

    Mark I wondered if you could drop me an email? I’m in the uk and a cyclist who’s had a recent reaction to cipro, I could do with some advice. Many thanks.

  4. Jeremy Schneir March 9, 2014 at 6:08 pm Reply

    Mark, I too would like to hear more details, I am/was an athlete until Sep 13th, almost six months ago. I am still in heaps on pain and mostly on crutches except around the house and office. Skier, biker, kite surfer, dirt bikes etc. Mainly biking, road and mountain up to 25 hours a week including Transrockies, 300 mile rides etc. I can do about 3-10 min on my trainer with no resistance, 25-30 RPM’s, and almost no watts (15-20). Any advice would be most appreciated, if I can get back on the bike I will be a MUCH happier person.

    • Lisa Bloomquist March 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm Reply

      Hi Jeremy,

      Mark doesn’t check in here very often, but I will let him know that there is a question/comment up here and he may answer. I’ll do my best to give an answer in the meantime.

      The supplements mentioned in the second comment on here helped Mark. I haven’t heard from others that they have been helped by those supplements, but Mark did report that they helped him.

      Do you do any sort of meditating or visualization? Meditating was immensely helpful for me. I have no idea if it helped or not, but when I first got floxed I would listen to yoga podcasts and visualize myself doing them. I think that mental/visualization exercises along those lines are generally good for you.

      Please DO NOT make yourself a human guinea pig to satisfy my curiosity, but I always wondered if EPO and other “doping” techniques would be helpful for floxies. So far, no one has wanted to experiment on themselves to satisfy my curiosity. It’s not recommended, I just wonder if it could be helpful.

      Please try to be patient with yourself. It’s hard, I know. Especially when you get knocked down from such a phenomenal place (physically at least). It is natural to get mad at your body for not being able to do what it used to do with ease. If you can try to be kind and patient to/with yourself, it is helpful.

      Both swimming (I think that just being in water was helpful) and pilates helped me immensely. I highly recommend both.

      Be careful. Rupturing a tendon can certainly set you back.

      I’m really sorry that you got floxed! It’s rough, I know. And I’m really sorry that it happened to you. I hope that you are able to recover. With time, most people do improve quite a bit.

      Best regards,

      • Mark June 5, 2014 at 12:26 pm Reply


        Are you still replying to questions?

        I’m a young athlete that got 10 days of 2x500mg Cipro.
        My last pill was 3 weeks ago.

        During the treatment I didn’t have many side effects even though I drank coffee with it, but 2 days after the last one tendon pain and anxiety started.
        I stopped the coffee which made some difference but the all over tendon pain stayed with me.

        I’m on TRT as well and took my last shot a week ago, I felt as if it made the tendons a little more sensitive, maybe because of bodywater rushing back in the muscles and increasing their size.

        Right now I’m eating only chicken, turkey, eggs, brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salads fruits and veggies.

        I take magnesium, magnesium oil and also footbaths with it.
        I ordered several subs (b vitamins, vitamin c, multi mineral).

        Do you have any other recommendations?

        I want to get 100% again to being able to train.


        • Keith September 9, 2014 at 9:51 am

          I have similar symptoms. I didn’t notice any problems while on Cipro (10days of 2X500mg) but a day or two later i have anxiety and tendon/small muscle spasms.
          It been 9 days since i stopped and the tendons in my feet and hands are pretty sore but get better with rest.
          I wish i could say it wasn’t going to get any worse but i know thats not true. What has happened to you since you posted this.

        • Haroon July 31, 2017 at 9:32 am

          Hi I realize this was a while ago but have your symptoms improved by any chance?

      • Mark June 6, 2014 at 1:47 am Reply

        Hi again,

        I got throat pain since yesterday with a white spot in my throat.
        Any recommendations as to which medicine doesn’t interfere with the Cipro symptoms?


  5. Jeremy Schneir March 9, 2014 at 8:33 pm Reply

    Thanks for getting back this way. I am on the supplements in the “Levaquain Manual” though I have no idea if anything is helping… plus some things suggested from my acupuncturist. I have a Pilates reformer we go when this first happened, though I am limited with what I can do, it’s amazing how even upper body stuff pulls on the Achilles. Both are equally bad and I still have swelling after nearly 6 months.

    I do often have wrist pain, shoulder pain, hip pain and of course leg pain 100% of time. It’s hard not having even a minute a day where it’s not hurting. Being athlete it’s hard finding an outlet and distractions. I never had any pain issues prior to this even with riding dirt bikes, snowmobiles, mtn bikes, road bikes, kite surfing, skate skiing etc etc. Swimming helps once I am in the water but getting to the pool is another story, the hallway seems like miles though I suspect it’s much shorter. I can’t do my job as a real estate broker and I am having some “mild” cognitive issues. I read a book every few days but the brain isn’t wasn’t it used to be. Luckily I can have normal conversations, emails and some work but it still feels off. Some days my brain is great and other days I grope for words, names and details. I can’t sleep which makes things even worse on this end.

    Like everyone I have good days and bad days. Just making it through each day is a milestone. I keep hoping the pain will subside.

    I have started some meditation and QuiGong but it’s hard since I can’t do much. I can’t sit still or get comfortable for more than a few seconds at a time.

    None of the doctors I have seen have any clue, including the one that administered the drug. 2 hours after the 500 mg IV dose I couldn’t walk and my wife had to carry me to bed. It’s a tiny bit better in that I can move around the home and office without crutches. The pain is still absurd and can’t find anything to help that. I had my tonsils out a 7 months ago at 40 and thought that was painful, turns out that was nothing compared to this. I often have numbness, circulation problems, I am always cold, I often have painful tingling like if one hits their funny bone in my ankles and around my ankle bones.

    A friend of the family has a friend that is doing PRP and swears that’s it’s helped him 50 plus percent. I have found just as many that it hasn’t helped and in some cases have made it worse. At $2,500 a pop and the potential of making things work has me not try that.

    Anyway, thanks for your site, your kind words and for encouragement. Aside from a few internet sites and this page most people have no understanding of what it’s like. Many think it’s all in my head. Half the doctors I talk to have never heard of this and the other half say they don’t give out fluoroquinolones,

    I did know about Cipro and have avoided that. I had Cipro on our honeymoon kite surf trip and chose not to take it based on what I had read. Unfortunately I didn’t know about Levaquain. It was to treat Klebsiella and was told I needed antibiotics asap as this can be life threatening so I took one dose in the doctors office and that was it.

    Anyway, thanks again.

    • Lisa Bloomquist March 10, 2014 at 4:06 pm Reply

      I’m really sorry for everything that you’re going through, Jeremy! I wish that I could tell you something better than these things, but it’s what I’ve got for you:

      Tomorrow is a new day. It may be better. Hoping that it is better is helpful. Most people get better with time. The days start getting better. It’s hard not to compare yourself to your former capabilities, I know – but if you can try to compare yourself to how you were yesterday as opposed to how you were before you got sick – it’s helpful. Pray. Regardless of whether or not you believe in a higher power, I think that there is power in positive intention, asking for what you want and surrendering.

      I don’t know if these drugs really do hit athletes harder than sedentary people or if it just seems that way because athletic people really scream about their loss of abilities. But it is rough on athletes, no doubt about it.

      The hallways get shorter. I remember thinking that the 20ish feet to the printer at the office was an insurmountable distance. I am back to not thinking about it when I need to get something from the printer. I hope for the same for you!

      Best regards,

      • Stephanie February 7, 2015 at 3:09 pm Reply

        It REALLY does seem that people who are most fit seem to get hit pretty hard, at least us in the younger spectrum.

        I’m actually at the gym right now attempting a gentle recumbent bike session (I was only floxed 3 weeks ago). Hoping if anything it may help to move vs. making it worse. No way of knowing at this point. :/.

        Prior to this I was a very committed vinyasa yoga practitioner. At this point I’m NOT attempting yoga. 😦

        • Haroon July 31, 2017 at 9:34 am

          Hi Stephanie , just wanted to know if your symptoms ended up improving at all

        • Abhi May 4, 2020 at 7:34 pm

          Hi can you share an update on your recovery

  6. virgi March 10, 2014 at 12:30 am Reply

    Hi Jeremy and Lisa, can you please share the link for the supplements on the Levaquin manual ? Thank you !

    • Lisa Bloomquist March 10, 2014 at 3:39 pm Reply

      Here is the link to where you can get the book –

      • Ruth Young June 19, 2014 at 1:38 pm Reply

        I found the Levaquin manual really, really helpful. They recommend Milk Thistle, but watch out for that one. If you get hay fever, you are probably allergic to it. Turns out I was. So some of my early suffering was actually from anaphylaxis. They couldn’t even figure that out in the ER. I’m sitting there having an allergic reaction and because I mentioned that I had been dealing with a reaction to Cipro they treated me like I was a nut case. “Cipro’s very safe,” said the ER nurse over and over. Yeah, that’s why it has two boxed warnings from the FDA. Because it’s so freaking safe.

        But I did like the manual otherwise, especially the parts on manual therapy for tight calf muscles. I used the techniques he described and they really helped.

      • Ruth Young June 19, 2014 at 1:40 pm Reply

        I brought the manual (I printed it out and we have a book binding machine) to Dr. Whitcomb and he said that FQ toxicity can’t be rare. They wouldn’t have made that book to sell online if there weren’t a market for it. No one would waste time compiling something like that if there weren’t a market for it. I wonder what their total sales of that e-book are in a year? That would be very revealing.

  7. Jeremy Schneir March 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm Reply

    I know this is going to sound stupid but we had to buy the publication. It and he seems very keen on his copyright with 9 million warnings… I am not saying it right or wrong, though it’s not how I would do it. Anyway, I am already in enough trouble so can’t afford to get a lawsuit. What I can say I am on Cheleated Magnesium, D, Omega (I recommend flavored). COQ10, Milk Thistle, C, small amounts of Alpha Lip, Zyflomend and Jade Screen.

  8. Jeremy Schneir March 10, 2014 at 3:26 pm Reply

    I can’t say if anything is has helped or is currently helping. It’s very expensive to get good quality of everything. I do like the magnesium gel for my legs, that seems to offer a tiny amount of relief until you take your socks off and it rips the legs hairs off with it!

  9. Nick March 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm Reply

    Jeremy I feel what your going through. I was a heavy weightlifter about 5 weeks ago and after 3 cipro pills I got flexed. I have been doing whatever I can do, but I have to be really careful. I can’t really push anything, just more blood flow type stuff. I get spasms in my calves all the time. I also get spastic muscles all over. After listening to others I too believe that athletic people get slammed hardest. We know our bodies we know when somethings off even a little bit. I suppose I was lucky that I stopped after 3 pills as I felt something was wrong. Time will heal most wounds. The body is a natural healer. best of luck man.

    • Lisa Bloomquist March 17, 2014 at 8:42 pm Reply

      Thank you for your comment and your positive attitude, Nick! I think that you are right – the body is a natural healer and time helps.

      I wonder if athletic people truly are hit harder than non-athletic people – or if athletic people just notice the symptoms more because they suddenly can’t do the things that they used to be able to do. It would take a large-scale study to answer that question. Anecdotally, FQ toxicity seems to hit good looking, athletic people. Seriously. Perhaps good looking, athletic people have especially long telomeres that get hit by FQs easily. Our mitochondria are responsible for our aging process, and FQs hit mitochondria – so maybe there’s something there. Or maybe people who are good looking and athletic are the ones who feel entitled (that word has negative connotations but I mean it positively) to feel and look good and when that’s taken away we scream about it. I don’t know. But the theory that FQs specifically hit good looking people is my favorite theory. :p

      Good luck with your healing and please let me know if you need anything.


      • Abhi May 4, 2020 at 7:39 pm Reply

        Hi nick , could you share the latest on your recovery and supplements you are taking

    • Abhi May 4, 2020 at 7:38 pm Reply

      Hi nick , could you share the latest on your recovery and supplements you are taking

  10. Lois Deisher April 23, 2014 at 7:51 am Reply

    Jeremy: I am 10 months into this journey. I’m 65 years young. I have been a breeder of performance quarter horses and rode and showed cutting horses. When this hit me I did not go up to the barn or take care of my horses for about 4 months. My husband would bring them to the house and I would go out and give them a pat. That was about all I could manage. I have been able to work part time as a cashier in the buffet at a local casino. The brain fog thing makes it challenging, but I think that is good for me. There were many days I really thought I was dying. I know it is very hard, but hang in there. This takes so much time to heal but time is your best friend. I doubt if I will ever ride performance horses again, but I
    will ride again. I think even gentle riding will help me mentally and neurologically. So try to find little things right now that make you happy. I love just being outside, it is good for my mental outlook on life.

    I just discovered this site and I think it will be very beneficial just being able to share with others going through this Hell. Again, Jeremy, stay positive and baby steps going forward.
    Our bodies took a big hit, but it will get better.

    Take care,
    Lois D

  11. Mark June 30, 2014 at 1:19 am Reply

    Hey Mark,

    From one Mark to another Mark :), and from one athlete to another athlete:
    IS there any way that I can get in touch with you?
    I’d like to pick your brain regarding sports while on Cipro and specific things you did to recover.


  12. Mark October 2, 2014 at 2:55 pm Reply

    Hey guys, Its been almost 3 years and i am pretty much all good. no problems with exercise at all. in fact i recently won a national medal for my cycling. My toes are still numb but considering the state i was in this is minor and not worth stressing about. Everything else has resolved and i was seriously messed up. So whats the secret, there isnt one. just get on with life, Regular exercise helps your body and mind recover. Get off the forums. Stop worrying. Enjoy life. It will all fall into place in time. All the best. Mark

    • Lisa Bloomquist October 2, 2014 at 7:24 pm Reply

      I’m really proud of you, Mark. 🙂

    • Mark October 3, 2014 at 5:14 am Reply

      Hey Mark,

      Did you take any supplements apart from the creatine?


    • Gérard February 13, 2018 at 6:37 am Reply

      Quel bonheur de lire cela

  13. jeremy October 2, 2014 at 7:27 pm Reply

    So happy you are pretty much better. I just did my first single track in over a year, I am on an electric bike. Still so happy I was crying. It’s been over a year thus far. Pain is slowly getting less and less.

  14. Charles Tooraen October 2, 2014 at 8:48 pm Reply

    Great to hear Mark. I am around 10 months and slowly some things are improving. It’s a real slow ride, but there are good things happening! 🙂

  15. rich October 6, 2014 at 7:39 am Reply

    great news

  16. rich October 6, 2014 at 7:41 am Reply

    what and how much did you take mark

  17. mark October 8, 2014 at 11:57 pm Reply

    cipro 5 days on 1 g per day then 6 days of 500mg per day. It doesn’t really matter. It seriously messed me up half way through and i was encouraged to carry on. But now its resolved. i used to obsess on quantity and all that really matters is the future and getting better. A lot of the symptoms i am sure are down to people worrying so much and the side affects of the anxiety you create. A lot are also due to being smashed to pieces by an allergic reaction but you will soldier on and enjoy life again. stay focussed about other things, not the state your in.

  18. rich October 9, 2014 at 5:43 am Reply


  19. rich January 13, 2015 at 10:43 am Reply

    sdid you lose foot padding?

  20. joshua March 24, 2015 at 7:35 pm Reply

    You lose foot padding?

  21. Mark February 18, 2016 at 9:31 am Reply

    whoop, whoop national champ for my age bracket over 25 miles this year (2015) and another couple of national medals to boot. Exercise was the key. stop worrying and get out there and enjoy life.. all the best. mark

    • Lisa Bloomquist February 18, 2016 at 12:48 pm Reply

      You’re awesome! 🙂

    • Mark February 18, 2016 at 9:36 pm Reply

      wish I could…

      • Mark S March 4, 2016 at 9:09 am Reply

        Keep fighting. No matter how long out you are, better days are on the way. I know a couple people who didn’t start to really heal until 2+ years, another 3 years. Soldier on. Sometimes I can’t follow my own advise and have good days and bad days.

    • Gerard February 13, 2018 at 12:26 pm Reply

      Go back to the gym ….
      very gently and cautiously

  22. James L. Campbell July 6, 2016 at 7:59 am Reply

    I wish I had the mind and energy to give a description of the last 10 years but its so overwhelming that I put it off. Like most things i don’t have the ability. This has hurt me in so many ways and it never gets better. I,m not a quitter at all. Nothing has ever beat me. I believe in fighting to the last breath. It is much harder to force myself to do what has to be done. Living alone at 57 in this condition sucks. It’s no life at all.

    • Sandi October 24, 2018 at 10:57 am Reply

      I’m sorry James😔 I really hope you found some healing since this post 2 years ago. I am a woman age 53. 4 1/2 months out from Cipro. Still wounded but healing slowly. When I get down about my aches & pains everyday, I tell myself at least I’m still walking. If I can still function and walk then I’m ok. I have to put this perspective on myself everyday so I won’t spiral down into despair. God Bless

  23. Martin July 22, 2016 at 12:18 pm Reply

    Great to read your story Mark. I’m a cyclist who raced but not to an elite level like you. I believe I’ve been ‘floxed’ as I’ve just started getting symptoms 5 months after taking ciprofloxacin. This things not going to beat me I’m going to smash it like the local chaingang.

    • Amy January 16, 2020 at 10:17 am Reply

      Hi Martin. Wondering how you’re doing now? I just started gating symptoms 5 months later too. I’m a runner and only 24 years old and so scared.

  24. Kurt March 14, 2017 at 5:26 pm Reply

    Hey Mark! Congrats on your recovery! Not sure if you still post here, but ‘ll give it a shot.

    Wondering about your numb toes. I’ve got them too! Has your numbness improved at all, or at least stabilized? It seems after 2 years, mine numbness is still progressing. 😦

  25. Jason April 11, 2017 at 8:24 am Reply

    Reading these recovery stories and comments has GREATLY helped my mental state. I am grateful for these and the follow up comments. Thank you.

  26. Linda May 23, 2017 at 3:14 pm Reply

    Hi, I read a little bit about Cipro and Levoquin. One article said that the drugs do something to the gaba in the brain. I find it very interesting because I took two awful drugs called gabapentin and Lyrica. Both of them damaged my muscles. The withdrawal off of both of them is horrific so I could not get off of them quickly and the whole time I tapered off of them, they were damaging my muscles. Lyrica caused permanent muscle issues. The drug stiffened the muscles in my thighs and butt, and caused hardened knots. So I have a tendonitis in the pelvis where these muscles are pulled from the knots and have attachments. The drugs also cause terrible anxiety, movement disorders, and all the things listed in the information about Cipro and Levoquin. I find it very interesting that I had very similar miseries with Gabapentin and Lyrica! All these drugs affect the gaba in the brain. Wow. I wish I had a better understanding of Gaba. I have to say that there isn’t anything more painful that damaged muscles and tendons.

    Over the past year and a half, I have benefited from massage, but it has to be the right massage therapist. The old bread dough routine could be horrific. The guy I see gently squeezes the stiffened muscle and they let go. He gently breaks up the adhesions without making me sore. I would never have recovered as much as I have if not for him.

  27. levofloxacin pill looks like - fqhelp April 26, 2018 at 10:12 pm Reply

    […] Mark’s Recovery Story – Fluoroquinolone Toxicity | Floxie Hope […]

  28. Eli April 12, 2019 at 9:54 am Reply

    Hi I just took two tablets two weeks ago. I got insomnia and felt weird so stopped taking them then found out they are banned for use with small infections ( I had ear infection) tried to ring my doctor but no response eventually got him on this Tuesday and he threw me out of his office. I wasn’t blaming him just concerned he was really agitated and said I was being agressive which I was not just trying to raise my concerns he didn’t ask about my side effect ls he was incredibly rude. Just closed the door in my face saying ilyour not my patient I only helped you cos I felt sorry for you. So that s ucked. I booked a herbalist that evening. My legs were tight like an old woman. It’s gotten worse. Tight lumps in my muscles stabbing searing pains ..the first suicidal thought I’ve ever had . Today I woke up with the shakes. Really weird heartbeat pulse. Read that calcium was good for flouride poisoning which has similar collegen destroying affects so I got my son to walk with me to the chemist and got calcium… I was too wobbly twitchy to walk alone. Took one tab and felt a lot better after 20 mins. Have taken magnesium vit c and another calcium and eaten banana for potassium. It destroys your electrolyte balance and I think I already had mag sufficiency issues I am quite scared that it will get worse. But it does say on the box don’t take calcium with it as it affects absorption. I drank a lot of milk and took calcium the first day I had taken them. I don’t know if it will remove it from my system now that it’s been absorbed but it has helped me to walk today so just taking one day at a time. Nobody has a clue what to do so I am just going to stop looking for help professionals seem completely ignorant and uninformed. So I am just going to trust myself and probably never in my life go to a doctor

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