Rochelle’s Story – Recovery from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

I realize that some people may come to this forum in search of hope, after being blindsided by a condition they never saw coming. I’d like to offer those people a few words of encouragement: Healing is possible. Not everyone suffers the same way, because everyone’s body is different. The tools you need to facilitate healing are here, so you’re on the right track. You just have to be willing to commit to a protocol that works for you, trust your instincts, and stay the course. It takes disciple, mentally and physically. Embrace the small victories, the peaks and the valleys.

I was floxed on February 22nd of this year. I could barely walk. I developed terrible tendinitis in my feet and ankles, neuropathy in my hands, feet and calves, as well as tinnitus in my left ear. It scared the (bleep) out of me. I thought, “How could I be a healthy 30-something year old one day and have the body of an 90-year-old the next?” I walked with a cane for almost a month. I used wheelchairs in airports. I purchased a mobility device to help me get to and from work. I struggled every minute of every day.

Fortunately, I found this forum within days of my floxing. After reading the stories here, I knew exactly what had happened to me. I began a regimine of supplements — magnesium, NAC, mitochondrial supports and others. I paid close attention to how I reacted to each. I changed my diet and went gluten-free. I ate only antibiotic-free meats. I cut down on sugar and increased my intake of organic fruits and vegetables. I also read everything I could to understand my condition.

For weeks, I woke up feeling only slightly better. Some mornings I felt worse. The slightest bit of stress would make my symptoms flare. I longed for the day when I could walk barefoot on my tile floors again. I couldn’t chase my daughter around the playground. I couldn’t even carry in the groceries.

But I was stubborn and disciplined.

I found a good podiatrist, who fit me for shoe inserts and assigned me stretching exercises for my feet; I saw a rheumatologist, who tested me for every kind of disease imaginable; and I found a naturalist who helped me determine which supplements were safe for me to take. It was exhausting, and I was experimenting on my body, which was terrifying.

I’m now only 10 weeks post-flox and nearly symptom free. I’ve actually been that way for nearly a month. Occasionally, I get some stiffness in my ankles and ringing in my ears. But most days it’s undetectable. More of an annoyance than a disability. I no longer need my shoe inserts, and I’m proudly wearing high heels again. I can eat gluten again without a flare up. I can drink alcohol. I can walk for miles up and go up down stairs without pain. I can dance and jump and carry luggage through the airport. Most importantly, I can hold my 2-year-old daughter without the fear of popping a tendon.

Before I was floxed, I was a runner. While I haven’t tried running, I’m confident I’ll be able to. All in due time is my motto now. In time, this will all be something I experienced once. In time, this will all be over.

** 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.



22 thoughts on “Rochelle’s Story – Recovery from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

  1. Dee May 10, 2018 at 10:52 am Reply

    Rochelle, wow!!! How lucky you are to have recovered in 10 weeks!! That is pretty amazing!! I am very happy for you and wish you continued wellness!!! A couple of questions for you. How many FQ pills did you take?? What supplements did you take for your mitochondria and is there a supplement that you think had a big impact on your healing so fast? Congratulations on your speedy recovery!

  2. Rochelle Colburn May 10, 2018 at 10:43 pm Reply

    I took 500 mg of Levofloxacin (generic Levaquin) for 10 days. My symptoms set in one day after I finished my script. It hit me hard, but I was otherwise healthy before my poisoning, which I believe was key. Fortunately, I’d taken some magnesium and probiotics (Plexus) while I was on the antibiotic, but only because my sister convinced me to. I never even considered that they might interact with the antibiotic, or that they would ultimately help me to detox. To this day, I credit my sister for saving my legs. Once I figured out what had happened to me, I found a friend on Facebook whose teenage daughter had suffered a similar experience. He pointed me to the Floxie Hope website. Once here, I downloaded the “Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution” and followed it to the letter. I couldn’t find much flaw in the advice, so I figured it couldn’t hurt. I ate only organic fruits and veggies, antioxidant-rich berries, antibiotic-free meat, and nothing with gluten or processed sugar for about 6 weeks. I also drank bone broth when I could stomach it. (I really don’t know how people drink that voluntarily. I mean, maybe with some noodles and carrots, but just broth?). I also started taking a multivitamin, chelated magnesium, MitoQ (for mitochondria), B12, NAC, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and a NAD+ booster, among others. I’d honestly never heard of any of these supplements before my floxing, and I failed chemistry in high school, so just learning the names was overwhelming. The dietary changes definitely helped me to control my anxiety and depression. Sugar and caffeine drives a lot of my anxiety naturally, so I knew they had to go. Boy, that was rough. As for which supplements work? I notice that my body aches more if I forget to take magnesium, MitoQ, NAD+ supplement, and my probiotic. I have absolutely no scientific evidence to support my claim that they are helping me, but that’s what my body’s telling me.

    While I’m not completely healed, and may never be, my symptoms no longer affect my quality of life. My first steps in the morning are still stiff, and I still take them with trepidation, fearing that the pain will come rushing back. But so far, it hasn’t, and once I’m up, I’m out the door and on with my day. The neuropathy comes and goes, but it’s so minimal now, I don’t really notice it. I’ve found that I can lessen it when I relax my neck and shoulders. My husband bought me one of those massage devices from Costco that rubs your back when you sit it against a chair, and it’s been a godsend. I use it every day. And while the tinnitus is annoying, I don’t really notice it unless I stop to focus on it. While I’m not the person I was before, I’m okay with who I am now. I know it could be much worse, and I’m thankful this happened to me and not my daughter. At this point, I’m confident that, as long as I avoid a re-floxing, I’ll be alright.

    • Dee May 11, 2018 at 6:46 am Reply

      Rochelle thank you for answering in so much detail! I really appreciate your help and info! I am 11 months out and greatly improved although still have a few issues left. My CNS was hit pretty hard so dealt a lot with insomnia, anxiety, brain fog and pulsating(throbbing) tinnitus. I am still dealing with those issues but not as intense as the first few months. I think the fact that you were taking magnesium when you were taking your levaquin saved you from a worse reaction. Your sisters suggestion definetly was a godsend!! It sounds like your joints and tendons got hit the hardest? Did you have insomnia or anxiety? I actually take most of the supplements that you mentioned but was interested in the NAD+ that you take? What brand do you use and dose? Was your tinnitus severe when it came on or was it pretty mild? My tinnitus is what I seem to be battling with the most with these last few issues i still have. I pray it will go away or at least get much more quiet! Thank you again for all of your response and info. I’m sure it will help not only me but others that read your post!!

    • Scott March 17, 2019 at 8:50 am Reply

      Hi Rochelle. Have been going through the floxiehope stories and I was looking for the stories that seemed to be similar to mine so I could see what helped and how recovery went. Your symptoms were very similar to mine. Im 49 years old and took 10 days of 500 mg Cipro 2X a day. Five days later started with neuropathy in the calves and then the feet got hit pretty hard. The tendinitis in my feet was pretty bad the first couple weeks in, but I’m about 5 weeks in and I am able to slowly walk without limping. Optimistic that it will slowly get better. Started getting neuropathy in hands a couple weeks ago but doesn’t bother me too much. Discomfort/ringing/fullness in left ear. Anyway, sorry for the rambling but just wanted to say thank you for posting your story. It helps me be optimistic through this hellish ordeal. Going to cut out the b6 and b12 next. Thanks again!!!

      • Rochelle Colburn March 17, 2019 at 9:51 am Reply

        Not everyone suffers the same way, so if you’re up and about and your pain level is minimal to moderate, I’d say there’s reason to be optimistic. I didn’t post it in this thread, but to celebrate my one-year floxing anniversary in February, I ran and finished a 5K for charity. That’s not to say that I don’t still have lingering issues (my tinnitus still comes and goes, I still have stiffness in my legs in the morning, and the neuropathy still pops up from time to time, although it’s now concentrated to a few spots on my hands and feet). It definitely takes me longer to heal from bumps and bruises, and if I do bruise myself the skin around the injured area feel slightly burnt (which I know is a sign of small fiber nerve damage). But my joints and tendons are holding up well and, provided I’m wearing supportive shoes and taking my supplements regularly, I’m able to do most of the things I used do. I can handle moderate exercise and hours of walking. I can lift more than 30 lbs without injury. I can wear high heels again. I know doing anything to the “extreme” could be catastrophic, but I no longer fear being unable to get out of my eighth-floor office in the event of a fire. In short, my being floxed no longer controls my life or consumes my every thought. I hope you’re able to get to that point too!

  3. Rochelle Colburn May 11, 2018 at 8:31 am Reply

    TruNiagen is the NAD+ booster that I take. I’m not sure that it’s helping — it’s hard to pinpoint when I’m taking so many supplements — but it certainly isn’t hurting. I had blood work done 10 days ago to see how the supplements were affecting me, and my rheumatologist said my test results look good. My tinnitus came on after my initial symptoms, which included tendon pain and neuropathy in my legs, feet and ankles. At least, I think it was a few days after. I was given Levofloxacin for a bad sinus infection, so my ears were already in pretty bad shape to begin with. Ironically, I only have ringing in my left year, which I haven’t had hearing in for over 20 years due to a botched surgery when I was a kid. My doctor couldn’t explain why it’s only in that ear. His best guess was that the drug “reactivated a nerve” that had long been dormant. So for all I know, the ringing is much louder than I perceive it to be… I just can’t hear it 🙂 I do notice that my eyes have trouble focusing some days, which is a new symptom. I have a prescription for reading glasses, but I rarely use them, even with the fuzziness I now experience. And as for anxiety and insomnia…. I was a pretty anxious person to begin with and have always battled insomnia, so I don’t know that the antibiotic made it worse. If anything, I’m much less anxious now, because I’ve had to force myself to slow down. Both my husband and employer have worked hard to accommodate my condition, which has been a huge help. If I were a single mom, or had a less understanding boss, I suspect my anxiety would be through the roof!

    • Dee May 11, 2018 at 11:23 am Reply

      Rochelle, thank you for the info on the NAD +. I will look into it!! My eyes got a little more blurry and it affected my distance vision more. It kind of had cycles of bad days and good days but at 11 months out I think I am having more good days. I notice it mostly when I am driving trying to see further away but it does seem to be improving!! Hopefully that will be a permanent improvement!!! I am glad to hear your tinnitus got more quiet. I am keeping my fingers crossed that mind will quiet down or even better go away!!! I think it is 50/50 for floxies with tinnitus weather it goes away?? I will try and think positive!!! Thank you Rochelle for getting back to me with more info!! So many floxies write their stories and don’t respond to questions so I really appreciate it!!! To continued healing for both of us and all floxies!!!

    • Tim June 3, 2018 at 12:16 pm Reply

      What supplements helped for the neuropathy?

  4. Bobby May 13, 2018 at 8:15 pm Reply

    10 weeks? Holy hell. It took me four and a half months to feel about 85% better overall, and I thought that was fast! Good for you and good luck on your continued healing!

    • Nancy May 23, 2018 at 10:16 am Reply

      Did anyone have depersonalization and derealization or memory loss? I’m three months out and still have them pretty bad ? If someone had them how long did it take to go away or improve ? Thanks !

  5. Kyle June 28, 2018 at 7:42 am Reply

    I’m also curious about what has worked for Neuropathy for anyone, I’ve been floxed for 3 months and have multitude of different symptoms. Alpha Lipoic Acid worked for awhile and actually made the Neuropathy go away completely for a little while but recently it has come back. This time it is more of a constant burning sensation in my thighs and lower back, versus a pins and needles feeling that comes and goes all over the body, which I also still get. Any suggestions would be very helpful.

    • Rochelle June 28, 2018 at 9:13 am Reply

      Kyle, I noticed that once I included Omega-3 and cut out vitamins B6 and B12 from my supplement regiment, which already included Alpha Lipoic Acid, my neuropathy and tinnitus lessened (mine appear to be connected). Some people have bad reactions to vitamins B6 or B12, so if you’re taking those, try avoiding them for a week or so to see if it helps. That said, to date, the only way I can really control my neuropathy is to baby my feet and ankles, which means wearing spongy, supportive shoes when I walk or stand for long periods of time. Also, because I work a desk job, I’ve had to outfit my chair with a memory foam cushion to take some pressure off my back. I think the key is to not aggravate or inflame your muscles and tendons. That means avoiding physical exertion, not eating things which cause inflammation or flares, drinking lots of water, and avoiding chemicals and heavy metals — all of which are easier said than done. Everyone’s different, and recovery seems to be much more of an art than a science.

      • Kyle June 28, 2018 at 10:25 am Reply

        Thanks Rochelle for the response, I take Omega-3 and I have stopped taking the B-12 supplement. With that being said I’ve been taking and Adrenal supplement called Herbal Adrenergize which seems to be have improved my energy and has made me more alert, however I’m wondering if it is also making my neuropathy flare up.The interesting thing is the burning sensation that I’ve felt in my legs over the last three days is less intense but essentially the same as I felt after the first pill of Cypro I took.

  6. Darcie August 1, 2018 at 10:33 am Reply

    What magnesium did u take and where did u get the nac?

    • Rochelle Colburn August 1, 2018 at 1:25 pm Reply

      I take Magnesium Bisglycinate ( I actually stopped taking the NAC a few weeks ago, as I’m trying to ween myself off of supplements, but I was taking Integrative Therapeutics NAC (

      • Sandi August 9, 2018 at 8:45 pm Reply

        Happy to hear of your speedy recovery. I am going on 9 weeks out from being floxed. Feeling some improvement, esp in my energy level. My legs still feel restricted by tight tendons bit seem to be letting up more. My knees are still pretty sore and make horrible popping noises going down the stairs. My feet and ankles are the most bothersome. They hurt so much if I’m on them for to long. How long before you felt your feet feeling better?

        • Rochelle Colburn August 9, 2018 at 10:05 pm

          Hi Sandi – My feet still give me some trouble, so I wear very supportive shoes when I need to walk long distance now and use inserts to support my arches. That makes all the difference. I still have the muscle tightness and stiffness too, especially in my calves, but I only feel it now when I take my first steps in the morning. It tends to go away after a few minutes. That said, I turned a corner around 4 months. That’s when things started to feel slowly but progressively better. That progression continues, and it’s too the point now that my remaining symptoms don’t get in the way with my normal day-to-day activities.

        • Sandi January 1, 2019 at 10:08 pm

          Hi Rochelle
          I’m so happy for your recovery. I’m doing much better now at 7 months out. I’m walking a lot and my energy level is much more normal. I’m sorry to hear your still having some issues. I’m still having pain in my hips and also my shoulders really hurt when I move them certain ways . Did you have this? My feet feel so much better that I decided to try running up my stairs yesterday. Bad idea, ouch😣 Hope this message find a you healthy & happy.

  7. Dan Jervis March 2, 2019 at 10:44 am Reply

    Dear Rochelle, Please consider sending your story to 60 Minutes.
    Our stories need to be heard, Dan

  8. Roxanne December 18, 2019 at 10:43 am Reply

    Congrats!! 10 weeks is amazing! May you have continued healing. I myself am almost 2 yrs. and still dealing with the aftermath of taking Cipro for a UTI. I’m better then I was and the flare ups are passing quicker. I’ve got you by 30 yrs in age, so I think my healing process is a bit slower. It’s been a battle, but I’m a pretty determined person. It has really made me very reluctant to go to a doctor though.

    • marie wheeler November 29, 2020 at 12:50 pm Reply

      how are you doing? have you made any improvements. Im 11 months out and still dealing with lots of pain all over body and some tremors also headaches and blurry vision. Please update on your progress.
      Marie Wheeler

  9. Mike January 10, 2020 at 6:57 pm Reply


    When you ate gluten, what happened? That’s literally the last of my symptoms is this gluten and dairy sensitivity, which I’m doing great at getting better but I was just curious what happened when you ate it.

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