Melanie’s Story – FQ Toxicity Relapse


*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. 

My story started January 2010. As per usual at least once a year I came down with a sinus infection. They have always made me dizzy and its the first sign I get. So off I went to the Doctors to pick up a Z pak. Over the years iv’e become more and more sensitive to antibiotics but I was ok with the Z pak and it usually did the trick. Not this time. After a week I still felt  dizzy. So back to the Doctors. Another Z pak and another fail. So then a long list of antibiotics followed and I could only take one or two of each and then had bad reactions. I was also smack in the middle of menopause so this is where symptoms became a bit skewed. Finally an ER Doctor referred me to ENT  and it was determined I had a very blocked sinus( sphenoid sinus) that no amount of antibiotics would get rid of and surgery was the only thing left. Now prior to this I had taken one levaquin and one avalox. I remembered levaquin from 2006 when I had managed to take 6 pills and felt like I was 100 yrs old. I could hardly stand my bones ached so much and it took til the 6th day for me to realize it was the levaquin. I’m a dog groomer and just thought I’d been working to hard.. It went away with in about 2 weeks and I never did bother looking it up.. I wish I had..that was my warning. When the Doc offered me levaquin in 2010 I figured if all it did was make me ache I could deal with it..this sinus infection was making me really sick and I was desperate. One pill and that familiar ache returned immediately so I knew I couldn’t take more. It was swapped out for Avalox. One pill and I thought I was going to die.. litrally. I even told my husband that I needed to lay down and keep an eye on me because I didn’t think I was going to wake up. Within and hour of that pill I had shrieking tinnitus. Felt drunk. Profuse sweating and an over all feeling of dying. By the next morning I was feeling somewhat better but still “off.”  I was putting many symptoms down to menopause and the sinus infection. So surgery day came around and everything went well.  The proceeding days I felt pretty ok. I started back to work because I had been off for about a month prior to surgery because I just didn’t feel right. Day 10 after surgery and I woke up and couldn’t get out of bed. It felt like a red hot poker was being pushed into my brain. My feet where on fire burning and I felt like id been drinking non stop for a week. Ive never done this by the way.. I can just imagine. My co ordination was 0. I   was nautious. And so the nightmare began. Just to say I never did put two and two together for many years. I did not know what happened. I thought it was the anesthetic from surgery and the prednisone that had also made me very sick. I believe it was a combination of all of it. The levaquin. The Avalox. The Anesthesia and the prednisone. I will try and remember all the symptoms. Its been awhile. I will just list what I can remember because as one left another

came and much worse.Hot poker feeling in my brain and my brain felt numb. Like it had been shot with novocaine.. Eyes became blurry then so clear it was like seeing in high definition. Just to clear. I couldn’t cry. No tears and if I attempted to cry which was often it was painful. Dry mouth.eyes, ears skin. skin became crepey on backs of arms, hands and feet. Veins popped up in my feet. I thought they would burst. Ached so bad it was difficult to move. Feeling of being electrocuted. I think this was the worst symptom. It was like being plugged in and would go on for hours at a time. I went to the ER many times and nothing was found. They thought I was crazy and started offering anti depressants. Constipation set in for months. I couldn’t drink coffee. It felt like I’d taken a box of antihistamines. I was weak.. It felt like I’d been unplugged and had 0 energy. Like a wet noodle. I spent all my days in bed. I could barely manage to get to the bathroom. I always seemed to feel better in the evenings and this is when I would try and eat. I lost 40 pounds in 3 months and ended up around 100 pounds.My breathing was labored and at times I couldn’t feel myself breath and would feel like I was drowning. I would get cold spots in random places.. then sweat profusely expecially at night. I had to get a cooling pad to sleep on. My limbs would go numb. I spent a night on the cardiac ward thinking I was having a heart attack. I had every test known to man and then some….Nothing. Low B12. That was it?? Neurologist told me I had fibromyalgia…. Even then I didn’t believe him I just didn’t know what it was. I had tingling and burning skin. It was so sensitive that the cold air from the freezer hurt. Showers hurt so I took to only showering a few times a week . In and out fast. My skin became “sticky” Hard to describe. I had to use talc all over to stop that feeling. This had all started mid May 2010. By August I was seeing much improvement. Symptoms stopped coming…they where leaving. By October my birthday month I was well enough to be sitting outside giving candy out to trick a treaters. By New years I was out dancing. Some lingering symptoms remained. An anxious feeling upon waking. It would last a few seconds and I was left with 3 numbish toes on my left foot  but otherwise life was good and it became a distant bad memory. I would just refer to it as “that year I was sick” One thing it left me with was weight gain. I had never been more than 138 my whole life. In fact struggled to gain and keep weight on..and now here I was gaining like crazy. By  2014 I was a whopping 170 and knew I had to do something. So I started a weight loss program. Beach body 21 day fix.  I would do the 21 days and start over. I lost 10 pounds the first month. About 5 weeks in I noticed instead of becoming more supple I was getting stiffer? My right pinky finger was going numb and I had a sore spot on the back of my right heel. 8 weeks in all hell broke lose. Huge relapse and worse than the original.. If it could get worse!!!! This weight loss program and work out led to a relapse

Its been a year. Ive spent months bedridden and housebound and wished for death. Contemplated suicide many times. Had to give up work again. This time on top of all the original symptoms I had hair falling out. Nails stopped growing and skin all over wrinkled. Eyes became much worse. One day looking on facebook I saw and article on Levaqin. Lightbulb moment. It took me 3.5 years to find out I was a floxy. It scared me badly.

But here I year into the relapse and I’m back to work as of two weeks ago. I started taking Vitamin D drops by Now. A B complex liquid. Kefir for my gut issues. this time I developed very bad sensitivities to food. Saukraute ( Bubbies) has really helped that. I’m no longer constipated and it looks normal now. For many months it didn’t (I’m talking poop) Once you’ve been floxed you talk about anything like your’e asking “hows your’e day” lol

Its frightening… its the worst thing you’ll probably ever go through. Doctors become useless unless you find one that believes you but even then they don’t know what to do with us. I kept it simple. Many things I couldn’t take..magnesium being one of them so I just had to do my best. Am I symptom free. No. I’m still having symptoms but I’m very functional. I’m back to work. I’m living life and it’s not going to stop me. I’m seeing improvements all the time. My head isn’t quite as foggy. I have pressure in my head but its not as bad as it was. Ive gained 30 pounds back. I had lost 50 this time. My hair stopped falling out and its growing. Thankfully I had very thick curly hair because I lost at least half. My nails are growing again. Life is getting good again and it will continue to get better and now at least I know

Don’t give up hope even when it seems hopeless.  Recovery is very possible. This is round two for me and I’m healing. If I can be of any help to anyone just drop me a message. I’m also on the face book forum. I only post positives because negatives make things so much worse.  You will be ok.

** 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.

47 thoughts on “Melanie’s Story – FQ Toxicity Relapse

  1. sian June 26, 2015 at 8:22 am Reply

    Hi there
    I am looking for a very positive recovered floxie to help me out please. Somebody who I can write to when I am absolutely terrified that I will never recover, somebody who can give me some hope because the anxiety and fear are getting the better of me…
    Thanks in advance, hugs x

    • Caroline June 26, 2015 at 11:22 am Reply

      If you need to talk email me. I’m 9 months in things are wayyyyyy better than the beginning. Improving everyday.

  2. Michelle June 26, 2015 at 9:27 am Reply

    I have lost 70 lbs. and have horrible food sensativities I am doing all homeopathic I have a very limited diet for the last year very depressing! Glad there is hope of cleaning up the gut! Thank you for sharing….

    • Melanie kemp June 26, 2015 at 9:31 am Reply

      I can be reached at
      I’m here for anyone that needs to just talk
      I’ll do my best 🙂

    • Nancy March 5, 2019 at 9:52 am Reply

      Michelle I have those symptoms too!!!?? Please tell me they left ! Can you call 310-432-3381

  3. SM June 26, 2015 at 9:31 am Reply

    So happy for you, Melanie. This seems to be just another one of those stories where a person recovers because of time.

    • Melanie kemp June 26, 2015 at 10:35 am Reply

      Hi SM. How are you doing now. Better I hope. I think at least for me the recovery is time..not much else. A few supplements but nothing out of the ordinary. I havnt done any IVs or anything like that. I’ve come leaps and bounds. Back to work. I just keep moving. It’s been slow this time but I’m hoping to get close to normal..whatever that is :-).

      • Melanie kemp June 26, 2015 at 10:36 am Reply

        Oh I did just start a liquid magnesium from trace minerals that I’m doing well with

  4. tricia June 27, 2015 at 7:24 pm Reply

    I’m very happy you’re slowly getting your life back!!! I started reading your posts last November when I first got floxed, and knew that if you could recover then there is hope for all of us!!! I’m sorry you had to suffer twice, but you gave many other people hope as well:)
    Hope your healing continues!!

  5. Angie July 1, 2015 at 6:48 pm Reply

    Melanie first of all you look amazing and healthy. I’ve followed your postings on hear and I’m so glad that you didn’t give up and even more glad that you are doing better. I like your positive attitude. I will be sending you a message and thanks for sharing your email. I like to talk to positive people because it simply helps a lot.

  6. Angie July 1, 2015 at 6:48 pm Reply


    • Melanie kemp July 6, 2015 at 5:11 pm Reply

      Thanks all. Getting better every day. I try and stay busy and most of all positive.
      Anyone that wants to E mail me feel free 🙂

  7. Tammy R August 26, 2015 at 11:50 am Reply

    Hi Melanie,

    I am just reading your story for the first time! I didn’t know it was here! You are a real success story and have been such a wonderful support to me in my recovery. We are learning so much about what is “just right” for us – or as close to “right” as we can get!

    Thank you for sharing your story here, so that other can heal!

  8. Cindy November 16, 2015 at 9:12 am Reply

    Hope is all we need….Melanie you give us hope…glad you are better….

  9. Lucy Sky November 19, 2015 at 7:40 am Reply

    I agree. I am having a terrible day possibly due to trying too hard yesterday as I took a probiotic for the first time plus apple juice. I have not had any fruit squashes for along time.
    Later yesterday I developed diarrhoea. I assume that his was due to the probiotic and leaky gut .

    Today I am in a lot of pain , joints and muscles.

    Any tips please?

  10. Linda February 7, 2016 at 2:09 pm Reply

    Yep…sounds like me Melanie, especially “Its been a year. Ive spent months bedridden and housebound and wished for death. Contemplated suicide many times.” And I HATE that the doctor’s first thought is usually “you’re crazy.” I am about a year out too. I also lost hair, lost skin collagen (really sucks after a lifetime of taking such good care!) I also still have some issues remaining, but getting to where I feel like I could at least work part time without getting too fatigued (now if I could go on a job interview without crying!) Thanks for posting your story.

    • Melanie February 7, 2016 at 6:49 pm Reply

      I Linda.
      It gets better. I’m coming up to 2 years in May since the relapse. 6 yrs in May since being floxed.
      Kinda strange both my floxing and relapse both happened in May.
      I have tinnitus still. Head pressure still but nowhere near as bad. Tingling on my left side. But I’m very functional. I have to be grateful for that.
      If you can work part time I’d say go for it. It was one of the things that helped me move forward.
      Baby steps. I started back to work grooming a minature pincher. Lol
      30 mins start to finish (I’m a groomer) It felt monumental 🙂

      • Linda February 7, 2016 at 7:04 pm Reply

        Do you know what caused the relapse? I have so many “one step forward, two steps back” that I don’t think I could deal with a total relapse—esp since my absolutely worst side effect was horrific, suffocating-like breathing problems. Amazed I made it through the first time and can’t imagine ever going through that again.

        Love your “work out” was grooming a dog. I LOVE LOVE LOVE dogs. Can’t have one where I am, but pet everything in sight when I walk.

  11. Alexandra Serrano April 23, 2016 at 4:21 pm Reply

    Hi, Melanie! Thank you so much for sharing your story. Has the rest of your brain fog disappeared? I was recently floxed this past January and the fogginess has been horrible — I’m only 21 and it’s been extremely hard to deal with and accept. I know that time is the biggest healer, but it’s hard when I’m in the prime of my life and should be enjoying my youth.

    • Melanie May 8, 2016 at 5:35 pm Reply

      Things have improved a lot. Still slight head pressure but nothing like it was. Time is the healer. Hang in there.

  12. Linda April 23, 2016 at 4:32 pm Reply

    hey Melanie—I have had all your side effects and more…everything from the electrical zaps, 32 pound weight loss, feeling like I was dying, vision problems…all of it. Just wanted to mention, since I have had sinus issues and asthma in the past—next time you get an infection try oil of oregano in a little bit of water…one dropperful a few times a day. Works great!!!

    • Melanie May 8, 2016 at 5:34 pm Reply

      Thank you linda. I will. Luckily since sinus surgery in 2010 I’ve been infection free.

  13. Melanie Kemp May 8, 2016 at 5:32 pm Reply

    Just stopping by for an uodate.
    It’s year 2 of my relapse.
    I am much much better. I do everything I used to do. I get tired quicker as in muscle aches and I still have slight head pressure and tinnitus but on the whole I’m moving in the forward direction.
    I still only take D3, a B complex and eat as best I can. Only organic animal products. I’m not a huge meat eater buy what I do eat is always organic.
    Life is pretty good 😊

    • Linda May 8, 2016 at 5:35 pm Reply

      Fantastic Melanie!!!

    • Lisa C June 3, 2016 at 6:46 am Reply

      Happy to here you are doing well! You are an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your story!

  14. Elizabeth June 3, 2016 at 11:11 am Reply

    Hey Melanie

    My story is the most similar to yours. Horrible r reaction, bedbound for 4 months, Recovered to the point I was functional, and then a relapse. 2+ months into relapse and things have just spiraled downwards way worse than before. What was the course of your relapse like? You mentioned it but I’d appreciate any specific details. Thanks so much

    • Lucy Elmes July 4, 2020 at 4:25 pm Reply

      Hi Melanie

      I know it’s been a while since you posted but I was hoping to find out how you recovered from your floxing as your story here is similar to mine currently. I was floxed 5 months ago . I recovered to a good level after 3 months but then overdid it physically , had a relapse and now can’t seem to get back to where I was . How long did it take you to get back to where you were after your relapse ? Thanks , Lucy

  15. Lucretia June 7, 2016 at 3:34 pm Reply

    Your story is inspirational because I’m going through a relapse now 6 weeks. I introduced intense exercise and digging in my yard and not feeling well. Your story give me hope I too will get better again. Thanks for your story.

  16. L July 25, 2016 at 9:51 am Reply

    Do you know what caused the relapse?

  17. Katherine July 28, 2016 at 9:37 am Reply

    I am losing my hair too but I think it could be stress too.

    Anyone else lose lots of hair?\

  18. L July 28, 2016 at 10:06 am Reply

    Yes, mine came out in chunks in the shower…no surprise since these are failed chemo drugs. It started growing back in after about 10 months (not quite as full as before)

  19. Tracy August 14, 2016 at 10:14 am Reply

    My hair is falling out A LOT (extreme amount) since last week. It does not stop…. I don’t know what to do.

  20. Laura Ramirez June 14, 2018 at 1:11 pm Reply

    Hi Melanie… I would love to correspond or talk with you. I was floxed in December 2017 and I want to to talk to you about how you manage travel, food, outings. Thank you, Laura

  21. Melanie J Kemp September 2, 2018 at 8:26 pm Reply

    Just checking in. It’s been 4 yrs and 4 months since my relapse.
    I’m not 100% better and maybe never will be but I stay positive. We never know what the future will hold.
    I’m sorry i didn’t answer questions that where asked.
    I dont frequent floxy groups to often anymore .
    Life just kinda keeps on moving on.
    Just recently my husband had a triple bypass so I’ve been playing nurse. Roll reversal from 4 yrs ago 😊.
    I still have tinnitus. At times I dont notice it to much. If I get overly stressed or tired it can get loud. I’ve learnt to live with it.
    I still tingle. Same thing there. It can be unnoticeable or it can be bothersome.
    My hair falls out still but my hair also grows really fast🙄🙄. Its definitely thinner than it ever was but I’m 60 in Oct and I think it could be a combination of floxing and post menopause.
    Head pressure is the most bothersome thing but as the rest of it, it can be slight for the most part.
    All in all I’m ok. I do whatever I want to do. I work. Travel etc etc.
    Life goes on.
    I hope all you good people get to a place of recovery. Stay positive It really does help.

    • L September 3, 2018 at 12:28 pm Reply

      Thanks for the update Melanie. I too have tinnitus as one of my remaining half dozen side effects. (I am 3 years 7 months out) And like yours, sometimes it is annoyingly loud and at other times much quieter. I wish I could say there were moments when it goes away completely, but there aren’t. However if I am engrossed in a tv show or play, I do forget about it. Glad though that you are so much better now and able to become the caretaker (sorry about your husband’s triple bypass.)

  22. Elizabeth September 3, 2018 at 12:33 pm Reply

    What percentage recovered would you say that you are?

    • Naina October 20, 2018 at 11:48 am Reply

      So glad to hear of recovery!!

  23. bobby November 17, 2018 at 7:02 pm Reply

    how long for joint pain and tendon pain to ho away …happy ur better

  24. Anna Zolotnitskaya February 16, 2019 at 3:02 pm Reply

    It is an inspiring story. I am in the middle of a horrendous relapse after 4 years of a very functional period. I wish we could talk because I am losing hope.

    • L February 16, 2019 at 4:03 pm Reply

      what do you suspect caused your relapse?

  25. Dan Jervis March 2, 2019 at 2:48 pm Reply

    Dearest Melanie, I am Dan Jervis, the last one on the long list. Would you consider sharing your story to CBS 60 Minutes please?

  26. Anna Zolotnitskaya March 16, 2019 at 5:47 pm Reply

    I do not know. I more or less bedridden. My friends still think that it is depression. I know I will not make it.

  27. Roxanne October 8, 2019 at 1:11 pm Reply

    Thank you for your encouraging words. It is so important to stay as positive as possible. I guess it’s taking the good with the bad. You do learn how to cope. I’m 18 months out. Was given Cipro for a UTI. My recovery had been slow, but steady, but like you I get up everyday and do my best. Some days are harder then others. Just very thankful to still be here! Hope you have continued good healing.

    • L October 8, 2019 at 1:16 pm Reply

      There was a warning issued that these should NOT be used for UTIs in May of 2016. Shame on your doctor. And depending on the severity of your injuries (and the statute of limitations in your state) you might want to consider a lawsuit. Sadly it seems to be the only way to get through to these doctors. And expenses can really pile up, since natural treatments, NDs, etc are not covered by insurance. IF you are even considering it, look into the statute of limitations immediately. Depending on where you are it may have already passed, or may be quickly approaching.

      • K May 10, 2020 at 4:05 pm Reply

        I was given Cipro the end of July of 2018, just prior to leaving for a very active canoe camping trip. No warnings provided. Began having so many awful symptoms, many visits to the doctor including neurology. Had several MRI’s and nerve conduction study. No real answers. About 22 months out now, on my 2nd relapse while being 37 weeks pregnant. It’s terrible. My biggest issues were the changes in sensation, tingling, burning, electric sensations throughout my body, pain especially in head/face/ back, and feeling anxious while being fatigued with every effort. So hard to supplement while pregnant, praying this clears prior to labor! I keep all those affected by these drugs in my prayers and try to warn anyone I can! Doctors never would “confirm” the cause of my sudden health problems.

        • L May 10, 2020 at 6:05 pm

          OH, I am so sorry you are dealing with this while pregnant. And of course doctors will not admit they were wrong. That would mean admitting they have already poisoned so many patients. Are you under the care of an integrative physician? There may be some supplements that you can safely take. If you do not have one, there are several different sites to search for one. Here is one of them

        • marie wheeler December 13, 2020 at 2:01 pm

          k how are you doing?
          hope you have made a recovery and is doing fine. I feel the same way. et me ko how you are doing? Need some hope for myself.

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