*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.
On February 8th, 2014 I made a fateful decision that would change my life. I took a fluoroquinolone antibiotic called Cipro. I was having frequent urination at the time and thought that I might have a urinary tract infection. I went to my primary doctor in the morning and was waiting too long so I left. I went to my local emergency room later that evening. They took cultures and swabs and gave me zpak, cipro and pyridium. I took them all at the hospital. I should have known something was wrong that night because I had what seemed like a fever and tossed and turned all night. I was being poisoned. I didn’t connect the dots and took two more doses the next day. I felt dizzy that day but never connected anything to the Cipro. On the second morning I did a workout with weights but felt weak and actually pulled a muscle with light weight which never happens to me. I went to work and was having trouble seeing, as the lights were blinding me, and I was exhausted. I then realized that something was going wrong with my body. I looked up the side effects of Cipro and went to the emergency room. By the evening my shoulders and achilles tendons were beginning to feel sore. I discussed this with the emergency room doctors and they dismissed my concerns and just told me to stop taking the medication. I had taken four 500 mg pills of Cipro total.A day after stopping Cipro, my triceps tendons became so painful that I had to sleep with ice packs on them, they felt like they were going to explode. This felt all wrong, I knew something was off. I sneezed and threw out my back. I stopped working out because my body was killing me. My tendons began to feel like they were going to break. I felt something was wrong mentally as well. It was like I lost all of my happiness and could not concentrate. Ten days after Cipro, I decided to try to workout…that maybe this was all in my mind. I began to do some lat pulldowns and while warming up I pulled my bicep tendon so severely I could not move my arm. I then re-injured my back and was now out of work. Then the peripheral neuropathy began. My legs, arms, hands, and feet began to burn like a cold fire. Muscle twitching all over my body. I developed a rash on my groin, white growth on my tongue. Insomnia, anxiety, crying, vision problems, weakness. Most of my joints and tendons hurt me. Achilles, back, triceps shoulder, knees and hands. Burning tendonosis. Ulnar neuritis. Chronic fatigue was awful. I slept most of the day. I could not enjoy anything. I stopped listening to music or watching movies. I began seeing doctors and lots of them. Orthopedics, MRI’s, X-rays, no one could tell what was wrong. They tested me for lymes disease, MS, ALS, etc, etc. and it all came back negative. Not one doctor would admit or believe me when I told them that I believed the Cipro poisoned me and I was having fluoroquinolone toxicity. I went to physical therapy and slowly the back pain declined. I still had neuropathy and tons of tendon pain. I was taking all the supplements imaginable, every day. I started eating more. Six weeks after Cipro poisoning I began to force myself to do rehab exercises everyday in pain. I started walking in pain and doing simple band exercises. My steps felt like I had dead legs and feet. My muscles shook like I had epilepsy and couldn’t control them. During this time I developed strange bruises on my calves and arms. I slept in the sunlight outside during the day to increase my sunlight exposure. I increased my magnesium and took magnesium oil and epsom salt baths. I prayed and prayed. I had been out of work for 3 months during this rehab time. Three months of my life gone, trying to fix myself with a desperation I had never known, longing for my old life back and regretting all the times I took for granted my health. I read the FloxieHope stories every day even waking at night to reread them and tried to give myself hope. They were the only thing that kept me going when I thought I was going to die. I joined all the FQ boards and was on them religiously for awhile. I spoke to others who had recovered and read their stories daily.
I finally went to the neurologist and found out that my nerve velocity was abnormal, which was indicative of a damaged myelin sheath.
I had glutathione IVs which gave me instant mental clarity. Almost like the veil or cloud was lifted from my brain. I did this twice. I think I should do it more often. I did acupuncture and massage therapy. Acupuncture seemed to give me some much needed pain and anxiety relief. I prayed a lot during this time and renewed my spirituality.
This is a brief synopsis of the hell I lived because I can’t and don’t want to remember all of it.
It is now eight months after I took my last pill of Cipro. I have had a lot of up and down cycles. I still go through them but they seem to be much shorter in duration. The problems I still have are lessened. They decreased incrementally. I have some tendon flare ups, I have knee discomfort and some back pain. Occasionally I will get a dizzy spell or have a forgetful moment where I can’t remember words. My supplementation right now is:
vitamin c 1000mg
vit d 2000mg
alpha lipoic acid
acetyl l carnitine
magnesium oil 600mg
magnesium oxide 500mg
vit e 400mg
lots of whey protein
Within a few weeks of being floxed my IGF-1 levels skyrocketed to over 400, which was double my normal level. I believe that my body sensed the cellular disruption and began a reboot, trying to increase growth hormone in the blood stream and start up normal cellular function including tendon repair and cellular repair. My thyroid went off line and now I take armour thyroid which has helped my energy levels tremendously. Somewhere along the line I had to make a choice to stop living my life in fear. I lived every day in fear, and still fight it every day when something flares up. I had to truly not give a fuck, because I knew that if I was going to win this fight I can’t be afraid to fight.
Today I can sleep with no problems. I workout with weights three times a week. Sometime I go very heavy and sometimes I go lighter for lots of reps, depending on how I feel. I squat, bench press, and train back, shoulders, and arms. I do cardio and rehab another 3-4 times a week, this consists of sled dragging, sledgehammer swings, forearm, back, ab, and rotator cuff work. Whatever I can move I train it. I have a lot less pain. I returned to and enjoy my hobbies again. The neuropathy is only occasional and lasts for a few minutes of burning or what I call hot needles, but is still scares me. I can laugh, I can be happy. My energy is returning. My libido is normal. My good days far outnumber my bad days. On my bad days I retreat to my support system and try to regroup and refocus then reattack. I eat tons of antioxidant rich foods. I avoid processed foods and sugar. I stay away from medical doctors, and am now truly an active participant in my own health. I consider this not a recovery story but a progress story. I know that things take time to heal, I am healing. I know you have to believe, you will get better. I may have setbacks to come but I’m not done fighting. Neither should you.
** 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.