Nick’s Story – Recovery from Cipro

Nick FQ

*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
b complex
alpha lipoic acid
acetyl l carnitine
l arginine
glucosmine chondroitin
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.

135 thoughts on “Nick’s Story – Recovery from Cipro

  1. agrapine iulian October 20, 2018 at 4:29 am Reply

    hi. how long after taking the pills you had the iv gluthatione ? i m at week 6 and still have brain fog.. 😦

    • nick November 24, 2018 at 6:15 pm Reply

      I took the glutathione late, I believe it was a few months. But it was so beneficial for my mind immediate relief almost.

      • tammy gyarmathy December 26, 2018 at 5:36 pm Reply

        How are you now?

  2. Maricel October 27, 2018 at 11:14 am Reply

    Why you take Cipro? What does the reason?

  3. Karri Kady Breslin November 7, 2018 at 1:27 pm Reply

    Thank you Nick for your story. So that means I’m not insane! I’ve taken Cipro for UTI’s for years without any problems. About 5 months after my mother died and 2 weeks prior to my father passing, I was given Cipro for a UTI. I took the whole 5 day course. I now regret not questioning the doctor when she per-subscribed it to me. I had past UTI’s where the doctors would not per-scribe Cipro due to a Achilles tendon rupture warning. And I did have a Achilles tendon problem at one point (still do actually) but couldn’t really prove it. I feel I probably wouldn’t have had a problem from this last time taking Cipro if it wasn’t for the GREAT amount of stress I was under just loosing a mother and soon losing a father. I truly believe the stress I was under weakened me to a point where I got floxed. I have tendinitis everywhere. I have tendons in my hands that have blown and don’t even know when it happened. I feel as I’m in a constant state of arthritis. Knees, feet, hands, elbows, shoulders, and hips are constantly stiff and sore. Vision has changed and that fog you’re talking about is real. I feel like I’m in one most everyday. I’ve had these symptoms since the middle of March 2018 after my father passed and I chalked it up to the stress of loosing both parents within 5 months of each other. I am now convinced that it was the Cipro. I’m only 48 and feel like I’m 90 most days. Your story however gives me some hope that you can overcome this at least to a point where you can function in a less painful and joyful way. Thanks again for your story.

    • L November 7, 2018 at 1:35 pm Reply

      It is now believed that the damage is cumulative, and we all have different thresholds. Stress may not have had anything to do with it. I had been given both cipro and Levaquin before with no problems (that I was aware of) Third time—body wide damage, head to toe including to respiration and vision. And it all started after just one pill….

    • nick November 24, 2018 at 6:17 pm Reply

      You’re welcome. It is a horrible drug. You can survive. You can heal. Be strong.

    • Nick January 15, 2019 at 6:55 pm Reply

      I hope you are better and recovering nicely.

      • Cindy February 8, 2019 at 10:07 pm Reply

        Nick I’m a single mom . Can you please call to help 310-432-3381 immto embarrassed posting all of my symptoms because some people have reached out to me before and were not very nice .

        • Nick February 21, 2019 at 10:58 am

          I’m sorry that has happened to you.

  4. Rajiv November 17, 2018 at 1:32 pm Reply

    What does the peripheral nerves feeling like a cold fire indicative of?

    • nick November 24, 2018 at 6:18 pm Reply

      neuropathy. sometimes myelin problems.

  5. Ruth Young November 24, 2018 at 6:43 pm Reply

    Hi Nick,
    Thank you, I am doing very well. I had another 100% day. I have been getting lots of them and even some 125% days during the summer. I had forgotten it was possible to feel that good. I am hoping to write not just a “I healed to 100%” story but a “I healed 125%” story. I am sure that if I can have isolated days like that eventually I can feel that good all the time.
    I hope you are doing equally as well or even better.

    • Janet January 10, 2019 at 10:04 pm Reply

      Hi Ruth did you have any breathing issues ? I have shallow breathing and I can’t bresthe when I sleep . But also I have depersonalization and derealization really bad. I’m ten months out and the days are all passing in a blur. I can’t find anyone with this symptom. Does this pass ? Did you have it ? How long did it take to fade ! Thanks !!!

      • Jacob May 22, 2019 at 5:46 am Reply

        God bless you my friend. I’m suffering for 1 year. And I still experiencing anxiety, breathing problem, stomach discomfort and worse of all I’m in school. Janet I got that problem too😪

  6. fermata November 30, 2018 at 7:34 pm Reply

    Nick – did your peripheral neuropathy resolve fully?

    • Sandi January 14, 2019 at 4:23 pm Reply

      Hi Nick, not sure if you still check this. I am 7 months out from Cipro. Things are improving, I’m walking better now. My shoulders especially my right one hurts when it try to move it certain ways. Did you feel like this and how did you know when to push through the pain. I’m scared of a rupture of course. Your story has inspired me this whole time. Thank you Nick.

      • Nick January 15, 2019 at 6:59 pm Reply

        Yes. I had crazy pains for many many months. It took about 2 years to forget everything to the point I could not tell the difference between floxing and normal wear and tear. You will heal!!!! Stay positive

        • Sandi January 23, 2019 at 12:54 pm

          Thanks for getting back to me Nick😊 I’m so happy to see you are doing good. Did you ever have any ultrasounds or MRIs that showed tendon damage such as tears? My morale is pretty low right now as I’ve hit the 8 month mark and thought I was on the upswing. Now with my shoulders hurting so badly I feel back to square one physically & mentally. Your podcast is one that I have listened to many times and it akways gives me hope. I know it’s a lot to ask but would you mind having a phone conversation with me? I don’t want to put my # here for everyone to see so if you could FB friend me I will send you a PM with my #. I would so appreciate it. Thank you

        • Sandi January 23, 2019 at 12:58 pm

          You can find me on FB as
          Sandi Barbera my picture is in black & white of me & husband if that helps to find me.

      • Nick January 27, 2019 at 6:55 pm Reply

        no problem let me see what I can do. I got off social media a while ago but let me try and find you.

        • Sandi February 1, 2019 at 11:03 pm

          Hi Nick,
          Did you happen to find me on FB? I looked and don’t see a Friend request.

        • Sandi February 6, 2019 at 2:32 pm

          I decided to just give you my # on case your having trouble finding me on FB. It’s 480 213
          I totally understand if you don’t call. If you do, I would appreciate it so much. Thank you:)

        • Sandi February 6, 2019 at 2:33 pm

          480 213 7761

        • Nick February 18, 2019 at 7:26 pm

          I’ll reach out. I couldn’t find you on Facebook.

    • Nick January 15, 2019 at 6:56 pm Reply

      Yea it did!

  7. Riley January 18, 2019 at 8:36 am Reply

    Hi Nick

    When do your neuropathy symptoms heal?

    • Nick January 27, 2019 at 7:02 pm Reply

      My neuropathy healed after about a year. My legs would get weak after I went back to work and deal with stress. Hands and body got better after glutathione fairly quickly.

  8. Rajiv Thamman February 15, 2019 at 10:09 pm Reply

    Hey Nick,
    I have neuropathy in the feet…..and the only symptom i have is the “cold fire” and a bit of weakness. What helped with your neuropathy?
    Thanks, Rajiv

    • Nick February 18, 2019 at 7:26 pm Reply

      It’s hard to say looking back because it’s been 5 years now. Probably good nutrition helped. Maybe luck

      • tammy gyarmathy March 29, 2019 at 8:28 pm Reply

        I have widespread tendon issues. I would say it’s my main issue… how long did this take you to heal? What did you do to heal your tendons? My legs are so bad right now . I was super functional until month three…. month four was a bit better I am going into month five and legs are getting bad again… any help would be appreciated

  9. Rajiv Thamman February 16, 2019 at 5:44 pm Reply

    Hey Nick,
    What did you mean when you said ” My steps felt like I had dead legs and feet”. Thanks

  10. Dan Jervis March 2, 2019 at 3:08 pm Reply

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

    • L March 4, 2019 at 5:28 pm Reply

      I actually sent something to 60 minutes a couple days ago using the email you posted and keep getting this: Delivery incomplete
      There was a temporary problem delivering your message to Gmail will retry for 20 more hours. You’ll be notified if the delivery fails permanently.

  11. Roxanne April 24, 2019 at 6:12 am Reply

    Yes, these drugs are horrible. Should only be given as a last resort. I was poisoned by Cipro 14 months ago. My recovery has been slow but steady. We seniors don’t bounce back as quickly as our younger counter parts. I was given Cipro for a minor UTI. It’s been a nightmare, but I am improving, and as you said, the setbacks seems to pass a little quicker then before. I truly believe it’s extremely important to stay positive. Keep moving! Know your limits, and rest your body when it’s needed. Hope you continue to heal & recover.

    • L April 24, 2019 at 9:14 am Reply

      If you were given this for a UTI it was likely after the warning came out that they should NOT be used for UTIs. There is also a warning for those over 60. If I were you I would find an attorney. The doctor was negligent. I will tell you that it is not easy to find an attorney, but it is possible, and I am afraid money seems to be the only thing they listen to. Check your statute of limitations for filing in your state.

  12. Jacob May 22, 2019 at 5:40 am Reply

    God bless you my friend. I’m suffering for 1 year. And I still experiencing anxiety, breathing problem, stomach discomfort and worse of all I’m in school.

  13. mjr711 June 20, 2019 at 10:28 pm Reply

    Hello Nick, so glad to hear your recovery story. If you still check this I would love to know if you have any lingering issues. I still to this day get cold feet and tingling which causes insomnia. also stomach and digestive issues. Would love to know if you healed completely. I’m hanging in there but its rough.

    • nick June 28, 2019 at 5:10 pm Reply

      I have healed. I am 5 years older and active. I am prone to some things that have never truly left me, but I can do everything. Cipro is poison. Hang in there buddy. This will make you a lot tougher.

      • Riley August 16, 2019 at 11:12 am Reply

        what things have not left you nick? did you have any relapses on your recovery journey?

  14. Christopher Lehman August 20, 2019 at 11:46 am Reply


    Thank you So much for sharing your story. I’m glad you are back on your feet continued prayers for your recovery. I have lost 35 pounds and have been in a wheelchair for 2 and a 1/2 months now. I also pulled muscles from just standing. Extreme neuropathy in my hands and wrists and fingers. My question is if you could please let me know what collegan and supplements you took. Like the brand names and what helped the most. Thank you!

  15. Shaina Powers September 11, 2019 at 6:08 am Reply

    Hi Nick, I have a weird white patch on my tongue recently (3 months after cipro) doesn’t hurt or anything but was wondering what happened to yours? Did it have to be treated? What the heck is it??? Thanks!

    • L September 11, 2019 at 7:40 am Reply

      Is it a small patch or basically your tongue is covered in white? If the latter (or perhaps even the former), you likely have thrush, a candida overgrowth. No surprise since all antibiotics cause an imbalance of your good/bad gut bacteria. You want to make sure you are eating clean (organic when possible, limit sugar, gluten, etc) No gmos. Lots of fresh veges and a couple fruit. I would also avoid dairy and soy and make sure you are taking a good probiotic. Some other things that may help: coconut oil; organic apple cider vinegar; garlic.

      • Shaina Powers September 12, 2019 at 5:38 am Reply

        It was confirmed by two Dr’s not to be thrush (candida) was diagnosed as geographic tongue and irritated papillae… it’s gotten somewhat less white. Now I’m dealing with a UTI but I’m afraid to go on any meds. I’ve always done well with macrobid so I’m hoping I can take that.. anyone have luck or complications taking macrobid after taking cipro? Thanks!

        • L September 12, 2019 at 10:08 am

          It’s one of those good news/bad news things. Macrobid really targets utis, but it is a pretty toxic antibiotic itself. I wish you could find a female naturoapth. I had one who gave me a protocol when I got a UTI post cipro (I was terrified since that’s what I was given cipro for originally). I can’t lay my hands on it and unfortunately the amounts are not the same everyday but I do remember it involved high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, Herb Pharm’s Urinary System Support and D-Mannose (which keeps the little suckers from sticking to the wall, so they flush out more readily.) It was supposed to take two weeks. It took a month for me to get rid of it and I went through a lot of bottles of supplements, but it was worth it to me. Some male NDs may also be aware of the protocol (mine was not) that is why I suggest a female ND.

          Perhaps someone else will post what they used that seemed to do no harm

  16. Alfa September 21, 2019 at 11:06 pm Reply

    Hello Nick, I wanted to ask you if you took testosterone as a bodybuilder because it was the case with me and I discontinued it after flox 5 weeks ago, are you taking steroids right now or are you natural? I ask because you the only one who has undergone the same as me now, I also got it, stopped testosterone immediately after flox without clomiphene and tamoxifen, my immune system is currently struggling a lot, I am currently taking vitamin c, magnesium, vitamin d, glutathione, vitamin b comblex, collagen, zinc acetyl cysteine, protein, alps lipoic acid low carb and ONLY swim when i’m feeling well, do you think steroids need to be deleted forever after flox?

    • Nick January 6, 2020 at 8:34 pm Reply

      I think that getting stronger get will be good for you. Eating well also

  17. Michael November 5, 2019 at 5:13 pm Reply

    Hi Nick,

    I’m glad to read that you are fully recovered now. I hope that everybody recovers also.

    Can I ask about your neuropathy symptoms please? I’m 4 months out and basically neuropathy is my main issue right now everything else is OK (yeah joints are still a bit stiff etc but I’m able to work out again).

    Did you get waves of neuropathy? You mentioned ups and downs. So I was pretty good but last 3-4 days it flared up again. Not sure why. But that’s the usual pattern. OK for a few days then flare up.

    Also was your neuropathy just in your feet? I feel it mainly in my feet but it comes up to my knees sometimes and I occasionally feel it in my arms also.



    • Nick January 6, 2020 at 8:36 pm Reply

      Yes. Neuropathy was bad. It made me weak and feel like I had no strength. It’s almost 6 years now and I am having a hard time remembering the suffering that I had in detail.

      • Michael January 6, 2020 at 8:47 pm Reply

        Thanks man. It’s easing off now at 6 months but I’m still taking a little bit of gabapentin. Just in my feet and shins now. Nasty thing eh? I can deal with it just hope it will fully go away at some point. Like yours went away at 12 months. Nasty nasty thing.

  18. Harry November 9, 2019 at 6:13 pm Reply

    Hi Nick

    Im confused about water in fluoride. I bought pitcher for drinking water but confused about cooking and shower. Please suggest

    • Nick January 6, 2020 at 8:37 pm Reply

      I just avoided fluoride in toothpaste to be safe.

  19. Harry December 8, 2019 at 11:49 am Reply

    HI Nick … Are you on facebook ?

  20. Cory February 23, 2020 at 3:51 pm Reply

    Nick, I just started my recovery process. Did your vision problems get better? What were they? I just started getting blurry, less vivid vision in my right eye. Something about vision problems scares me more than my other symptoms ya know…

  21. Javier June 27, 2020 at 2:31 pm Reply

    Hello Nick, your story gave me hope. I just would like to ask you if you took naproxen at some point for tendon inflammation. Thank you

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