Ray’s Story – Recovery from Cipro Poisoning


*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. 

I am writing this to give hope to those who have had an adverse reaction to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, as I did just over 2 years ago. During my battle and recovery with the effects of my adverse reaction, I found this website to be one of the (few) sources of hope to hang on to. At the time I didn’t know if I would recover. As I’m feeling so much better now, I thought I should take the time to pay it forward and pass along the hope to others that was so important in me getting through my adversity.

As with most people in this situation, I was given a prescription for these antibiotics not being aware of any significant risks. I ended up taking 8 doses of 500mg of Cipro. During the course of taking Cipro I began to realize I was suffering some unexpected side effects of general pain and tightness in my legs, popping in my knee and ankle joints, and overall not feeling well. I called my doctor and we agreed to end the doses of Cipro.

Unfortunately with this adversity things got worse before they got better. For the next 4 months I would deal with some pretty awful symptoms (just like most of those you’d read in the other stories on this site), with no silver bullets as to how to recover. Looking back, here are the things I learned were helpful in my recovery:

Meditation – I’ve been meditating for over 8 years, but if there was ever a time I needed it, it was now. Science has uncovered numerous benefits of meditation, and this really helped me get through the mental side of the recovery.

Exercise – There is a trick to this, pushing myself to progress, very slowly and steadily, in my exercise to help my body heal along, while at the same time not overdoing it. I got really good at listening to my body, and progressing in small increments. After Cipro I could barely lift 25% of what I was prior to taking it, I couldn’t run, and even walks I couldn’t go too long. However, day by day, week by week, I got better. It was all about the small victories, and not beating myself up too badly if there was a small setback. Today I can lift more than I did prior to my adverse reaction, I run, and my fitness level is awesome.

Magnesium – I tried a few supplements over the course of my recovery, and this is the only one I can honestly say had a positive effect for me. At first I was using magnesium oxide pills and they weren’t doing anything. It was only after I switched to a different form of magnesium (gluconate and citrate, it is a liquid that comes in a bottle), that I noticed a positive improvement. I still regularly take this, but not too much – around 100mg per day. I eat a pretty balanced diet and I try to get the majority of my vitamins through natural fruits & veggies.

Superbetter – I’m a huge fan of TED Talks and found one by Jane McGonigal, who researches the effects of games on the brain. She talked about having to go through her adversity, a horrible concussion, and how hard it was mentally, physically and spiritually recovering from that. Listening to her talk I was struck by how similar it all sounded to what I was going through. She wrote a book called Superbetter, there is also a website for it, and the premise is using the methodology of a game to help recover, and move past the adversity to a post-traumatic growth. I found this system really helpful and I wish I knew about it sooner, every day I would focus on doing things good for my recovery (power ups) and recruiting friends/family (allies) to aid me in my goal of getting better (my epic win). I liked being able to track my progress and it showed me just how far I was coming in getting better.

Time – This one was the hardest for me, I’m a fairly impatient person (when I used to get colds I would count down the hours until I would get better) so it was difficult to take a longer view of my recovery. I think there is a grief I went through with having this happen to me, and I had to get to a point of acceptance before I could face the fact it would take me a bit to recover, to be gentle with myself about that reality and give myself the time to heal. For me the first 4 months were the hardest, after that I started feeling exponentially better with each passing month. I was regularly working out again by the 5th month, and found myself increasingly rediscovering hobbies, things to do with friends, and becoming more self-sufficient again in the months that followed.

Forgiveness – What happened to me was a rare, horrifying event. Deep down I found I was blaming myself for not being aware of the risks, or being too trusting of the medical system, or examining all the life events that led to me taking this antibiotic. Ultimately I had to come to a point of accepting that sometimes really bad things happen, that I couldn’t blame myself for it, as this adverse reaction was something outside of my control. We spend so much of our lives trying to control our worlds, it’s a harsh reality to find ourselves trapped under the weight of a reaction happening in our bodies we don’t understand and feeling so little control over it. I had to forgive myself, the situation, in order to move on with compassion and truly heal.

What was particularly challenging for me is that my recovery wasn’t a linear progression. I found things happened in cycles, I would be feeling a bit better one week, then have a setback the next. Early on I was blaming myself for causing these, thinking it was something I had to be doing. However I got wiser as time went on, beginning to realize this is just the process my body needed to heal and to be okay with that. It’s hard when things are unpredictable, but I think it is important to be gentle on oneself, on the body, to allow for compassionate healing of both body and mind.

Loved Ones – I was truly blessed to have understanding family and friends, who were there for me in my time of need. This is the time to reach out to others for help, friends/family can give you strength and courage on those days when you’re feeling defeated.

My message, to those of you going through this horrible thing that I went through – don’t give up. You’ll discover an inner strength and ability to overcome adversity that you didn’t know you had. I know it seems unrealistic right now (trust me I was skeptical when it was me) but you will come out stronger for it, with a deeper appreciation for health and for life.

I had some dark days when I didn’t think I would ever get better. Today I’m leading a better life than I did before my episode and am more determined than ever before to keep growing, learning and prevailing. I’ve never met you before but I know you have it in you. It’s going to be hard, but you can do this. When you do, you can pass along the positivity and strength you gained to others, as I’m hoping to do by writing this post.

All my best wishes go out to those of you reading this, and the Floxie Hope community for bringing hope and inspiration to those healing from taking fluoroquinolones.


** 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, affect 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.

23 thoughts on “Ray’s Story – Recovery from Cipro Poisoning

  1. Aidan Walsh November 14, 2016 at 8:24 am Reply

    Can you Please Post the name brand of the Magnesium liquid Please & is it on Amazon for sale? thanks

  2. Ray November 14, 2016 at 9:43 pm Reply

    Hi Aidan,
    I’ve used a couple brands. The first was called Prairie Naturals Liquid Magnesium solution. I then switched to a Magnesium Liquid Formula from Salus (easily found on Amazon by searching ‘salus magnesium’). Both brands worked well for me.

    • Angie magdy November 15, 2016 at 10:50 am Reply

      Hi Ray, did u have any neuropathy? Cuz am having bad one in my hands and legs. Burning, tingling, numbness. Also have u changed ur diet? Are u completely recovered? Thanks

      • Ray November 15, 2016 at 9:02 pm Reply

        Hi Angie,

        Yeah I had a lot of neuropathy in the hands and legs as well. As you say lots of burning, prickling sensations and such. I’m sorry you’re going through that, it’s not fun! I can’t really remember the last time I had it, so it did go away for me a long while ago 🙂

        A big struggle in my recovery was the worry I wouldn’t completely get better from all the symptoms and scary stuff I was going through. Today I’m working a full time career, going to school part time and doing all sorts of fitness and adventures! I have no lingering physical or mental limitations due to my adverse reaction. There is hope with this.

        I eat a pretty balanced diet but to be honest it’s not all that different from what I ate prior to taking Cipro. I’ve always been focused on making healthy choices and that has continued for me while recovering and now that I am feeling better.

        I hope this helps and I wish you well.


        • Angie Magdy November 16, 2016 at 6:04 am

          Thanks a lot for ur reply Ray, and may u have a healthy body for the rest of ur life 🙂 did it take u two years to recover completely? Am pregnant and waiting for the baby to start taking magnesium cuz am worried to take it now. Some days am better but some days I hv replases, I really wish this will stop soon InshaAllah.

  3. Saff November 16, 2016 at 2:36 am Reply

    Hi Ray,

    Congrats on your recovery!! When did you begin exercising/lifting weights again? Also did the joint popping gradually go away?

    • Ray November 16, 2016 at 7:22 pm Reply

      Hi Saff,

      Thank you. I started working out (upper body) only about a month after I took Cipro, lifting very light weights and doing progressions very slowly. The lower body took longer as my legs had the neuropathy/tightness for a bit longer. I started by increasing the distance I could walk gradually, then moving on to small, easy bodyweight exercises (like bodyweight squats). I think I started using weights for lower body around 4 months after Cipro.

      Yes the joint popping did go away 🙂

      Hope this helps.

      • Saff November 20, 2016 at 5:54 am Reply

        Hi Ray,

        Thanks for the reply. I am back at the gym myself after 2ish months, but only lifting light weights. My knee popping is what bothers me the most, can you remember if there was a time it just went away, how many months in? It seems to easy off when I do a lot of warm up squats etc.

        • Ray November 21, 2016 at 12:28 pm

          Hi Saff,

          I can’t remember the exact time it disappeared, but it was fairly early on. I remember it started becoming less noticeable (would disappear for every day stuff, only start mildly appearing after I say went for a long hike/jog or something). One day I just noticed, “Hey it’s been gone for a while now!” 🙂


  4. Ray November 16, 2016 at 7:39 pm Reply

    Hi Angie,

    Glad to hear some days are better. Relapses are unfortunately a part of it, the good thing is they become rarer and much milder over time.

    For me personally the first 4 months were the hardest and I started having significant improvements in the months after that. I’ve been feeling much better for a while now, but it took me a while to sit and write out my story. So yes sooner than 2 years 🙂

    Best wishes,

    • Angie February 27, 2017 at 5:48 pm Reply

      Hi Ray

      Did u have any tendon problems, am a year in now and am having painful tendon pain in my legs feet And knees. Is this normal?!

      • Tara March 9, 2017 at 11:51 am Reply

        Hi Ray,
        Thanks for the inspiration. My CNS was really hit. Did you have any vision issues? If so, what? I took Cipro and Flagyl in October and I’m still in the rough stages.

  5. Believe it or not October 27, 2018 at 9:15 am Reply

    I was experiencing verbal abuse and didn’t realize I was floxed until another round two years later. I’m glad you had support as I wouldn’t wish anyone go through it alone, but the men seem to be the ones who have support rally around them during these health issues. I’d heard about meditation but it added unwanted effects. The book is interesting as I used to be good at strategy games. I can’t let my teen read this or maybe I’ll have to take up Xboxing!

  6. Dan Jervis March 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm Reply

    Dear Ray, I am a 69 year old cyclist, floxed 24 years ago and am in chronic headpain ever since. Please consider sharing your story with CBS 60 Minutes. 60m@cbs.news.com

  7. Johannes Enders November 25, 2019 at 3:11 am Reply

    Thank,s Ray for sharing your story!

  8. Ray March 11, 2020 at 4:10 pm Reply

    Hi everyone, just wanted to share an update, in case anyone reads this and wants to know if healing progressed as nicely afterwards as it was when I wrote this.

    In short, things are great! I’ve been training for 10k races and I am a whole 4 minutes faster than I was before taking cipro. My strength is the same as it was before, and I feel like I’m in some of the best shape of my life.

    I know hope was a big part of recovering and if you are reading this maybe it inspires hope for your recovery too. You will get better and there is life after going through this.

    • S March 19, 2020 at 6:48 am Reply

      That’s great news! And thank you for sharing. I read your story often because it provides me with so much hope. I am 6 months out and feeling about 70% better.

      • IAN WHEELER October 16, 2020 at 5:08 am Reply

        are you 100 percent better now? I am having a hard time recovering. I took 3 tablets of cipro and my doctor then switch to bactrum. I took this in march of 2020. Please update because i feel that there no hope. Everyday i seem to have a new symptom.

        • S October 31, 2020 at 4:18 am

          Ian, hang in there! I am about 90% back to normal. I am working full time again and able to do a lot of walking. I am not the athlete I was and legs are still not as strong and get right, weird sensations, etc.

          I was floxed last Sept and only in the past couple months have I got to the point where it doesn’t dominate my daily life. I’m thinking of you and wishing you all the best. I believe you can get there!

    • Taryn April 7, 2020 at 9:42 am Reply

      Hi Ray!

      I’m recently floxed since February 9th, 2020.
      I have had all sorts of issues, from some neuropathy issues that have come and gone. I also which is probably the worst issue I’m dealing with is all my joints are clicking and popping. My knees seem to be the worst, have a tracking knee cap issue out of nowhere. I’m guessing from the tendinitis that the medicine caused. Did you have any issues with waking up or down steps? My left knee clicks and snaps and causes some pain when I walk up steps.
      Your story really brings me hope that I can recover. I know I’m only two months out, but pray that I can keep healing and hopefully my joints and tendons will heal and get better.

  9. Ray October 10, 2020 at 6:17 pm Reply

    Hi Taryn,

    Apologies for getting back to you so late, and I really hope your recovery is going well. I had the joint clicking and popping as well in the early stages of my recovery. Functionally, it didn’t cause me any problems, but definitely it is very unnerving having the joints making popping noises when they didn’t used to.

    The good news – it gets better. I haven’t heard a joint of mine pop in a very, very long time. I can walk or run up and down stairs just fine. Today I ran my first ever half-marathon distance of 21k and no joint issues whatsoever.

    It is hard right now when you are in your recovery and all these symptoms are new, scary, and there is no concrete timeline when it improves. I really feel for anyone who has to go through this. Just know it does get better. I’m in the best shape of my life right now.

    Courage is going through something incredibly scary and coming out the other side of it mentally stronger and resilient. All floxies are very courageous in my books.

    Hope everyone is well during this pandemic.

    Best wishes,


    • Taryn October 13, 2020 at 1:22 pm Reply

      Thank you so much for getting back to me
      I hope I continue to heal. I can’t wait to be able to look back at this as a distant memory.
      I hope your still doing well.

  10. Bonnie October 16, 2020 at 9:59 am Reply

    I never understood why no attorney would take these cases as many side effects were known and the black box warnings hadn’t been added to yet.. Even in Al where you could sue for the generic, I was turned down. Seems like there was more to it than we’ll ever know- I recently helped someone avoid this disaster by telling my story. They had surgery and were handed a prophylactic Cipro prescription and they asked for something else. This is something that we can continue to do. Much healing –

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