Tag Archives: Avelox side effects

Letter from Bayer to Doctors Regarding Cipro and Avelox

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The above letter, from Bayer to health care professionals reads:

August 22, 2016

IMPORTANT DRUG WARNING

Subject: Important Changes in the Avelox (moxifloxacin hydrochloride) and Cipro (ciprofloxacin) Complete Prescribing Information – New Limitations of Use and Safety Information for Fluoroquinolones

Dear Health Care Professional:

Bayer HealthCare Inc. and Merck & Co., Inc. would like to inform you of imprtant changes to the prescribing information for fluoroquinolone antibiotics for systemic use in the United States, including Avelox (moxifloxacin hydrochloride) and Cipro (ciprofloxacin).

Limitation of Use and Safety Information for Fluoroquinolone Drugs

To communicate important safety information for fluoroquinolone antibiotics, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested that all license holders of these products, including Bayer for Avelox and Cipro, implement a class label change.

These labeling changes provide for revisions to the Indications and Usage section of the package insert to include a new limitation of use statement for acute bacterial sinusitis, uncomplicated urinary tract infections, acute uncomplicated cystitis, and acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, to reserve systemic fluoroquinolones for treatment in patients who have no alternative treatment options. In addition to the Boxed Warning, Warnings and Precautions, and Information for Patients sections of the package insert and the Medication Guide have been revised to include information regarding the risk of disabling and potentially irreversible serious adverse reactions of tendinitis and tendon rupture, peripheral neuropathy, and central nervous system effects that can occur together in the same patient.

The labels of fluoroquinolones already had a Boxed Warning for tendinitis, tendon rupture, and worsening myasthenia gravis. The labels also included warnings about the risks of peripheral neuropathy and central nervous system effects. Other serious risks associated with fluoroquinolones are described in the labels, such as cardiac, dermatologic, and hypersensitivity adverse reactions. This information about the risk of disabling and potentially irreversible serious adverse reactions is based on the FDA’s review of postmarketing adverse event reports from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). This safety information was discussed at a November 5, 2015 joint meeting of the Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee.

Prescriber Action:

Health care professionals should not prescribe systemic fluoroquinolones to patients who have other treatment options for acute bacterial sinusitis, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, acute uncomplicated cystitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections. Health care professionals should encourage patients to read the Medication Guide that describes the safety issues associated with fluoroquinolones. The Medication Guide is required to be given to the patient with each fluoroquinolone prescription. Stop fluoroquinolone treatment immediately if a patient reports serious side effects, and switch to a non-fluoroquinolone antibacterial drug to complete the patient’s treatment course.

Reporting Adverse Events:

Health care professionals are encouraged to report adverse events to FDA’s MedWatch reporting system by visiting www.fda.gov/medwatch or calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you wish to request further information for AVELOX, please contact Merck National Service Center at 1-800-526-4099. If you wish to request further information for CIPRO, please contact Bayer Service Center at 1-888-842-2937.

Please refer to the accompanying Important Information about AVELOX and CIPRO for complete indication and other important risks. Please also see the enclosed Prescribing Information, including BOXED WARNINGS and Medication guide for AVELOX and CIPRO.

Bayer HealthCare is the license holder for AVELOX and CIPRO. Under terms of a marketing agreement, Merck markets AVELOX in the United States.

Sincerely,

Dario F. Mirski, M.D.

Senior Vice President and Head Medical Affairs Americas

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Enclosures: AVELOX and CIPRO Full Prescribing Information

 

The Avelox and Cipro prescribing information can be found HERE and HERE.

 

I’m honestly feeling speechless right now–I have no idea how to respond to this. The letter speaks for itself. I never thought I would see the words, “Health care professionals should not prescribe systemic fluoroquinolones to patients who have other treatment options for acute bacterial sinusitis, acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, acute uncomplicated cystitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections,” or that doctors and patients alike should be warned of “disabling and potentially irreversible serious adverse reactions” of fluoroquinolones, or that, “the risk of disabling and potentially irreversible serious adverse reactions of tendinitis and tendon rupture, peripheral neuropathy, and central nervous system effects that can occur together in the same patient,” from Bayer. But, there it is, on Bayer letterhead–a letter to health care professionals regarding the real, serious, often permanent risks of fluoroquinolones.

I hope that this letter is being distributed far and wide, and that it reaches every doctor, P.A., nurse, and other medical provider in the country.

I hope that Johnson & Johnson sends out a similar letter regarding Levaquin (levofloxacin).

I hope that doctors heed these warnings, and stop prescribing fluoroquinolones outside of life-threatening situations.

I hope that these letters do something other than mitigate the risks and losses that Bayer anticipates from lawsuits having to do with the updated Cipro and Avelox warning labels.

I hope that some of the motivation for this letter is Bayer wanting to do the right thing and warn patients and health care providers alike about the dangerous side-effects of their drugs.

I hope that we in the “floxie” community can celebrate this. I see this letter as a very big deal. When I started this site in 2013, I didn’t think that I would ever see a letter like this. It, along with the warning label changes that prompted it, should be celebrated.

 

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The Floxie Hope Podcast Episode 9 – Rick Radcliff

Rick Radcliff Floxie Hope Podcast

In Episode 9 of The Floxie Hope Podcast I had the opportunity to interview Rick Radcliff.  Rick is a long-time flox survivor.  He was hurt by Avelox/moxifloxacin ten years ago.

In the ten years that Rick has been a floxie, he has learned a lot about fluoroquinolone toxicity.  He reveals a lot of interesting information about the links between fluoroquinolone induced mitochondrial damage and thyroid health.  Balancing his hormones has helped him to improve immensely.

Please listen to Rick’s story and share it with your friends.  Thank you!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/floxie-hope-podcast/id945226010

http://www.floxiehopepodcast.com/episode-009-rick-radcliff/

As always, reviews of The Floxie Hope Podcast on iTunes are greatly appreciated!

 

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Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic Dangers: Why Didn’t They Tell Me??

GABA receptors and fluoroquinolones

Copyright 2009 Pharmacology Weekly, Inc. Printed with Permission.

There are hundreds of peer-reviewed research articles about how harmful fluoroquinolones are.

The harm done by these dangerous drugs hasn’t been communicated to patients or medical professionals though.

Here are a few things your doctor should have told you about fluoroquinolones before she or he prescribed them to you:

FLUOROQUINOLONE ANTIBIOTIC DANGERS: WHY DIDN’T THEY TELL ME?

Thank you for reading and sharing!

 

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Lessons from Entrepreneurs

One of my favorite podcasts is Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas. It’s a fun and interesting podcast that fits just about perfectly into my commute. In it, John Lee Dumas interviews business owners about their entrepreneurship journey.

Because I relate everything in my life back to fluoroquinolone (FQ) toxicity, some things brought up on Entrepreneur on Fire often made me think about flox-related issues.

One thing that is brought up regularly on Entrepreneur on Fire is the power of networking. It seems that every time I talk with someone about FQ toxicity they say, “that happened to me,” or, “that happened to my husband, wife, sister, brother, mom, dad, uncle, aunt, child, neighbor, etc.” However, it also seems that no one outside of the “floxie” community really knows about FQ toxicity. It’s a strange combination of common and unheard of. It’s as if everyone thinks that they’re a rare case, or they internalize the lack of recognition of FQ toxicity in the medical community, or they assume that there must be other factors at play because antibiotics “don’t do that,” or they get better and don’t think about it any more.

I’m honestly not sure where the dissonance lies, and I am certainly biased in thinking that I see FQ toxicity everywhere, but I wonder if there just aren’t enough people talking about it. I wonder if, like in business, what is necessary for getting the word out about FQ toxicity is a whole lot of chatting about FQ toxicity and a whole lot of networking. If all of us who know about FQ toxicity shared something on our social media sites about FQ toxicity on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly – whatever you feel comfortable with), maybe more people would connect the dots and start talking about FQ toxicity. If people see articles or blog posts about FQ toxicity, maybe they’ll realize that they’re not alone in their suffering, or maybe people will start to believe that their loved one who is sick after taking a FQ isn’t just “being difficult,” or maybe people will think twice before taking a FQ themselves, or giving a FQ to a loved one. Maybe, if people hear about FQ toxicity enough, they’ll see that it’s a problem, and that something needs to be done about it.

I think that there is a lot of value in in-person networking and discussion of FQ toxicity as well as social media networking. Conversations can be initiated, and a lot of people can learn about the dangers of Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox and the other fluoroquinolones if, when we are asked, “What do you do?” those who know about FQ toxicity answer, “I’m a ____, and I also advocate for fluoroquinolone toxicity awareness,” or something like that. I understand that it’s not entirely healthy to base your identity in your sickness, but, in my case it’s an accurate description of my life. I spend more time and energy working on FQ toxicity advocacy than I do on my “real” job. If we all opened up the door to talk about FQ toxicity when networking, maybe we could not only make people more aware of FQ toxicity, maybe we could chat with the “right” person to advance our cause. You never know who someone is connected to. Maybe the next person that you chat with at a networking event is connected to a powerful doctor, or someone influential in the media, or whatever.

The book, “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell, was brought up on Entrepreneur on Fire the other day. According to the back of the book, “The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” One day, FQ toxicity is going to reach a tipping point where it “spreads like wildfire,” and people know that fluoroquinolones are dangerous drugs that cause multi-symptom illness. One day, everyone will know how foolish it is to disrupt the DNA and RNA replication process of bacteria and mitochondria with chemo drugs masquerading as antibiotics. One day, it will be seen as a crime against humanity that these drugs were given out to children with ear infections. We’ll get to that tipping point where everyone realizes the dangers of fluoroquinolones, as us “floxies” do. Talking about FQ toxicity incessantly, and networking and sharing information, insights and stories is how we will reach the FQ toxicity awareness “tipping point.” And once the tipping point is reached, change will occur.

As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” We change the world, and we reach the tipping point, one person at a time. We contact people, we take opportunities that are in front of us, and we create change – through networking, sharing and talking. It will behoove us to take tips from successful entrepreneurs – network, talk, spread ideas and knowledge, sell our world-view, etc. until the tipping point is reached.

 

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We must take time to grieve

These beautiful words were written by Catherine Zimmerman:

Grief and loss are a part of living with fluoroquinolone injuries. While living with this post drug-induced reality, we must take time to grieve. Whether you are the survivor or supporter of the floxed, part of recovery includes tending to grief. 

My adult son was floxed in October. I took a leave of absence from my job to support him and his family during the early days of complete disability. His profound loss of health, the many unknowns about the extent and trajectory of his injuries and the uncertain pathway to healing create a context for a complex grief process. Yet little has been written about the need to acknowledge our grief, and the important work of mourning. Grief occurs as the result of how profoundly fluorquinolones change lives, thrusting individuals and families into a state of disequilibrium caused by illness.

There are many potential losses associated with fluoroquinolone injuries including the loss of health and all the small daily activities and certainties that health affords. Roles such as family breadwinner or athlete may also be altered, and the many small roles that make up the simple pleasures of daily life – may also be beyond reach. A person who has been floxed loses the certainty of health. Changes may occur in terms of how life is centered… now time, energy and money are consumed by managing symptoms and how to survive and heal the body. An image of oneself as strong and capable may be replaced by an acceptance of the how fragile we really are, if one little pill can so totally alter our lives.

Each perceived loss is felt and therefore must be grieved. It is necessary to mourn our losses… even as family members, caregivers and supporters. If those we love have been floxed, their lives and ours have been altered. As a mental health professional, I recommend acknowledging these losses through a conscious grief journey. Be willing to learn about grief and mourning. Find the courage to talk about your grief. Surround yourself with those who will listen. You are not crazy and you are not alone.

Thank you, Catherine, for so beautifully articulating how many fluoroquinolone victims and loved ones feel.

 

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Repeated Use Doesn’t Make Fluoroquinolones Safe

Hormones Matter Logo

I posted “REPEATED USE DOESN’T MAKE FLUOROQUINOLONES SAFE” on www.hormonesmatter.com on 10/1/2014.  Please check it out and share it – thanks!!!

When doctors say things like, “I’ve prescribed fluoroquinolone antibiotics to hundreds of patients and I’ve never seen problems like yours. It’s a good drug with an excellent safety record.” it really irks me.  It irks me for the nine reasons listed, but the one that irks me most is that it’s so illogical.  Doing things wrong repeatedly does not make them right.  Thousands of prescriptions for Vioxx, Thalidomide and DES were written before they were taken off the market or restricted. I’m sure that the doctors who wrote those prescriptions thought that the drugs that they were prescribing were perfectly safe. They weren’t. Fluoroquinolones are not safe either. Lack of recognition of the severe adverse effects does not make them safe – it just means that doctors are as biased and blinded as anyone else. Look at the studies. Look at what Cipro, Levaquin and Avelox do to cells. Cellular destruction results in multi-symptom, chronic illness – in case that fyi is needed.

 

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I HOPE for Change

This site was started to give hope for healing to those suffering from fluoroquinolone toxicity. Stories of healing and recovery are shared on www.floxiehope.com so that the people who are going through the destruction done by fluoroquinolones that we refer to as “floxing” (as one Floxie noted, it’s cuter than calling it disability brought on by a chemotherapeutic drugs masquerading as antibiotics) can see that others have recovered – and so that they can learn lessons from those who have gone through fluoroquinolone toxicity and healed.

More than the lessons and techniques used for recovery though, I think that the important thing that the stories convey is hope – hope that recovery is possible. Recovery happened for the people who have shared their stories on floxie hope – so there is reason to hope that you will recover too. Sarah, Bill, Crystal, Ruth, Sharon, Brian, Keri and all of the other people who have shared their stories on floxiehope have recovered. If they can do it, so can you. There is hope in knowing that other people have emerged from this horrible toxicity syndrome. And HOPE, I believe, is healing. It helps to believe that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. It helps to know that it’s possible for the spiral of ill-health, and new, scary symptoms, to come to an end; and that recovery and a return to health is possible.

None of the effects of fluoroquinolones on the body or brain are “in your head” or a choice, but, with that said, the mind is a powerful thing. Having hope, and faith that this will pass, and that your health will improve, is important and powerful. HOPE is healing.

In many of the posts on this site, and articles linked to through this site, I have strayed from a message of hope for healing/recovery. I have posted essays that are angry, fearful, questioning and/or accusing, not hopeful. Some of these posts/essays have scared many of you. Some of them have probably pissed you off. Some of them have probably made you feel less hopeful about the prospects for your future health.

Understandably, I have gotten push-back from people in response to those posts. People have said, “I thought this site was supposed to be about HOPE, not ____” (fill in the blank with any scary, intimidating fluoroquinolone related topic). I’ve been thinking about the sentiment that they have expressed a lot lately, and these are my thoughts:

First, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for inducing fear and/or pissing you off. The fact that fluoroquinolones do really horrible things to cells, and that I am really angry at Bayer, J&J, the FDA, doctors, pharmacists and everyone else responsible for this mess, does not detract in any way from the fact that people can, and do, recover from fluoroquinolone toxicity. If it’s helpful, please skip my downer posts and just read the stories on this site. The stories are reason for optimism and hope. They are stories of perseverance, strength, optimism through adversity and healing. They are meant to convey HOPE for healing.

Second – I’m going to defend myself a bit – I think that the scary and/or intimidating topics are hopeful – they’re just hopeful in a different way. They’re not about hope for healing or recovery, but they are about hope for other things – like information, justice, answers, and stopping this insane system that allows mineral chelating, mitochondria destroying, multi-symptom chronic illness inducing chemicals to be given to people to treat urinary tract infections.

The way that things are now is not okay. Systems are broken and people are getting hurt by those broken systems.

I HOPE that the absurdity of people needlessly being hurt by fluoroquinolones is realized – by everyone.

I HOPE that doctors start realizing that the people who come into their offices with multi-symptom, chronic, mysterious ailments after a course of fluoroquinolone antibiotics are suffering from fluoroquinolone toxicity. I HOPE that they realize that these reactions are not as rare as they have been led to believe. I HOPE that they think twice about prescribing fluoroquinolones again after they recognize fluoroquinolone toxicity in their patients. I HOPE that the information on this, and other FQ toxicity related sites, gives them the information that they need to see that fluoroquinolones are dangerous drugs.

I HOPE that people gain information from this site with which they can become empowered. I HOPE that the articles and posts on here give you the information that you need to understand what is going on in your body. I HOPE that you are able to take the information that you gather from this site and share it with your doctors, friends, family, etc. I HOPE that they are able to gain understanding of what you are going through from reading about fluoroquinolone toxicity.

I HOPE that the FDA quits being inept and more tightly regulates fluoroquinolones and other dangerous drugs.

I HOPE that we all gain answers to the question of, What in the world is going on in my floxed body??? I HOPE that I (or other people) am able to gather up the articles and information that is necessary to answer that question. And, with that information, I HOPE that a protocol is established that helps people to heal from fluoroquinolone toxicity.

I HOPE that we all gain justice. I HOPE that Baron & Budd, or any other law firm that brings a suit against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson for the damage that their drugs have done to people, wins and that all victims of fluoroquinolones are adequately compensated for their pain and suffering. I HOPE that the lawyers generally stop pussy-footing around with lawsuits for individual symptoms and start bringing lawsuits against FQ producing corporations for inducing multi-symptom, chronic illness in victims. Because that’s the truth – it’s what’s happening. I HOPE that the top executives and scientists at the corrupt pharmaceutical and big-ag companies that are poisoining us all are charged with, and found guilty of, crimes against humanity. I HOPE that justice is served – in every way possible.

I HOPE that all of the people and institutions that are supposed to be keeping the pharmaceutical industry in check (the FDA, the media, the justice system, conscientious doctors, etc.) – who are currently failing – start DOING THEIR JOBS.

And of course, still, I HOPE for your healing. I HOPE for your recovery. And I HOPE for the continued wellness of those who have healed.

This site is about HOPE. It’s about HOPE for change in just about every area to do with fluoroquinolone toxicity. It’s about HOPE for individual change – mainly the healing kind. And it’s about HOPE for institutional change. I HOPE it comes soon – because too many people are getting hurt by cipro/ciprofloxacin, levaquin/levofloxacin, avelox/moxifloxacin and floxin/ofloxacin. It’s not okay. It needs to change. I HOPE it changes.

 

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“Side Effects” or collateral damage? Is there a difference?

The mantra of “all drugs have side-effects” has been so ingrained in us that we seem to have forgotten that these “side-effects” are deadly or devastating assaults on the health of those who suffer from them.  It is seen as a necessary evil that the medical/pharmaceutical industry has collateral damage and, rather than working to minimize the number of casualties that it has, we have accepted that they must happen and we look the other way.

When did this become okay?  When did it become okay for PEOPLE – sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, loved human beings – to become collateral damage in the quest for big pharma’s profits?  Even if you’re not feeling cynical enough to agree with the last sentence, we should still ask, when did it become okay for people to become collateral damage in the quest for minimizing disease and infection?

It is assumed that a certain amount of collateral damage (“side-effects” sounds nicer, but the truth is that some people are sacrificed) is necessary.  But is that assumption true?  It may be true sometimes.  The benefits of a dangerous drug may outweigh the risk of adverse effects in some cases.  But for dangerous drugs, where severe damage to the people who take them is a possibility, collateral damage should be minimized.  Policies should be put in place to minimize the number of people who are exposed to dangerous drugs.  Protocols should be established to ensure that patients are aware that the drugs that they’re taking are dangerous so that true informed consent can be established prior to administration of a drug that has severe adverse effects.

This is common sense.  So why isn’t it being done?  We could all go down the path of conspiracy theories about pharmaceutical companies creating customers instead of providing tools that will actually help and heal people, but, well, I don’t want this article to get lost down that rabbit hole.  But it is still shameful, and a collective tragedy for humanity, that the real dangers of drugs are not realized and recognized and that proper policies and protocols are not in place to minimize the damage caused by them.

I’m guessing that most of you agree in theory, but to really see that it’s a problem, you need an example.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics, Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, etc. are DANGEROUS drugs.  These popular antibiotics, 26.9 million prescriptions for fluoroquinolones were written in 2011 (per the FDA), can cause damage to connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, cartilage, fascia, etc.) throughout the body, damage to the nervous systems (central, peripheral and autonomic), and more.  They disrupt and damage mtDNA, cause mitochondrial malfunction and increase oxidative stress throughout the body.  They cause a massive decrease in important antioxidants like glutatione and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and increase production of lipid peroxide and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that result in cell death.  CELL DEATH.  There is no known cure or treatment for those who are suffering from the adverse effects of these drugs.

When someone does have an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone antibiotic (again, Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, etc.) it can be devastating.  In 2001 Dr. Jay S. Cohen did a study on those who are suffering from severe Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome and he noted that:

“It is difficult to describe the severity of these reactions. They are devastating. Many of the people in my study were healthy before their reactions. Some were high intensity athletes. Suddenly they were disabled, in terrible pain, unable to work, walk, or sleep.”

On my 32nd birthday I took Cipro to treat a urinary tract infection.  It damaged me.  I experienced peripheral neuropathy (an effect that the FDA just acknowledged on August 15, 2013 – http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm365050.htm) that made it painful to walk for months, my tendons were weakened and inflamed for a year, I lost my memory, concentration and reading comprehension, I suffered from anxiety and depression, I have heart palpitations and my heart rate has increased.

I was lucky.

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Greg wasn’t as lucky as me.  3 years after taking Cipro for the third time (his reaction was minimal the first two times) he is still unable to walk more than a couple hundred yards because his tendons have disintegrated and torn.  For years after having an adverse reaction to Cipro, he used an electric scooter to get around (a traditional wheelchair isn’t an option when the tendons in your arms are torn too.)  He has had to leave his profession as a professor.  He continues to struggle with his health on a daily basis.

25 year old Zachary says of his condition after taking Cipro, “My tendons, cartilage and nervous system have been chemically torn apart from the inside out. The pain that this causes me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is excruciating beyond words and I have suffered through it without reprieve, alone, for almost half a year now. I have gone from being nearly 190 lbs, a martial arts teacher and body builder to under 160 lbs, crippled, unable to exercise at all and barely able to walk most of the time; all because I was given a drug that I never needed, that no one really needs, for a suspected infection.”

Though these three examples are of the damage done by Cipro, the other fluoroquinolone antibiotics, Levaquin, Avelox and a few less commonly used ones, are just as devastating.

One woman posted in one of the fluoroquinolone toxicity support groups that if she were an animal, she would get put down.  Think about that for a second.  She is a person, a daughter, maybe a mother and a wife, who thinks that the most humane thing to do is to put her down.  That’s how tortured she feels.  Of course, we don’t put down people and I’m not advocating that we do, I just think that it illustrates the point of how damaging and cruel these drugs are to their victims.

Zach’s words are illustrative of the inhumane torture that people feel when they are suffering from an acute adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone, “The pain that this causes me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is excruciating beyond words and I have suffered through it without reprieve.”  That is torture.  It’s cruel and it’s wrong.  We know that torture is wrong when it comes to prisoners of war, yet when Bayer and Johnson & Johnson chemically torture people we call it “side-effects” and look the other way.  It’s not okay though.  There is nothing that is okay about innocent people having system-wide breakdowns that are torturous, cruel and unnecessary.

You may be thinking, out of 26.9 million prescriptions, only a handful of people have been disabled by it, that’s okay.  But think about it, is it really okay?  Even if the number of people who are severely adversely affected by these drugs is small, and I would argue that it’s not, is it really okay for an ANTIBIOTIC to cause people to be disabled and to suffer?  The people who have been hurt by these drugs have lost so much of themselves – their ability to move, their ability to think, their ability to relate to other people, their livelihood, etc.  They lost these things when there were other, safer, drugs available that could have gotten rid of their infection.  No other class of antibiotics even has the potential for this much harm.  Penicillins, tetracyclines, cephalosporins – they’re not perfect, but they won’t cause a long-lasting, severe syndrome that tears apart connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, fascia, etc.) and damages the nervous systems (central, peripheral, autonomic).

Greg, Zachary and I are collateral damage, but we didn’t need to be.  The damage done to us could have been prevented.  A safer alternative drug could have, and should have, been given to us.  We could have been properly warned of the dangers of these drugs before they were administered.  A protocol could have been established to determine whether or not these drugs were absolutely necessary before the prescription was written.  Suffering could have been diminished with the use of a safer alternative drug.

It is a tragedy that people are needlessly suffering from preventable adverse reactions to unnecessarily strong and dangerous drugs.  Please be compassionate toward those who are hurt.  Please shift your thinking from, “all drugs have side-effects” to “side-effects should be minimized in every way possible because they are unacceptable.”  Just as importantly, please don’t become a victim yourself.  Don’t take Cipro, Levaquin or Avelox.  There are safe alternatives in almost every situation.

In closing, here are some wonderfully scathing words of Zachary’s on the topic of fluoroquinolones:

“Fluoroquinolone antibiotics have no place in the practice of medicine unless you agree that experimenting on human beings by irreversibly altering their DNA with purposefully unpredictable results and thus indefinitely crippling them unwittingly is something that falls under the definition of “health.” I’m thinking more in terms of “nauseatingly inhumane,” but that’s just me.”

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Six Word Essays about Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

Following are 6-word essays about fluoroquinolone toxicity – an adverse reaction to Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox or other fluoroquinolone antibiotic – written by people affected by fluoroquinolone toxicity.  Having only six words with which to communicate a message forces people to be succinct.  These essays are succinct and they are poignant.  They express the pain, frustration and devastation that comes with getting poisoned by a fluoroquinolone.

I don’t tweet, but apparently the hashtag #sixwords is a popular one.  If anyone who reads this who is into tweeting can please tweet any of the 6-word essays that resonate with them to both #sixwords and #fqtoxicity, your help will be greatly appreciated!  (Or, if you want to, please feel free to tweet this whole post.)  Thank you!

Six Word Essays About Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

Roses are Red, Fluoroquinolones are Poison

Ciprofloxacin:  Another way of saying death.

My doctor said Cipro would help.

My medical necklace says “NO Fluoroquinolones!”

I didn’t consent to this shit!

Climb the Rockies? Can’t take Cipro.

Before Cipro, my career was great.

Discover disability income by taking Cipro.

Cipro did not heal, it harmed.

All antibiotics are not the same

Cipro: my living nightmare through hell.

Cipro: best cure for loving life!

Bayer with me, I’ve been floxed.

Took Levaquin, now I can’t walk.

Fluoroquinolones – chemo drugs masquerading as antibiotics

Took Avelox, now I can’t think.

Bayer is corrupt. Bastards poisoned me.

LIE: Levaquin hurts only the elderly

Kevorkian got life. Bayer got money.

Just one pill can unleash hell!

Need a change? Take Cipro twice.

Fluoroquinolones ruined my career and life

Cipro a life of living HELL

Torn tendons.  Going blind.  NOT fine.

With generic Fluoroquinolones you can’t sue

Fluoroquinolones= Life altered never the same

Five Levaquin= healthy life nearly destroyed.

Time brings recovery and dreams rebuilt

Fluoroquinolones, designed antibacterial drug, kills people.

No one knows how fluoroquinolones work

Anthrax would have been much quicker.

Fluoroquinolones, the drugs that keep taking.

This is what poisoning looks like

Cipro attacks bacteria and your life.

One-stop shopping body damage, take Cipro.

Is this medicine in the Chemo?

No FQ prescription without infection Please

My feet hurt.  I can’t think.

The tests say it’s not real

Life taken away by Antibiotic Levaquin!

Doctors can poison you.  Stay away.

Levaquin tarnished Golden years beyond repair!

Mystery illness?  Look at your antibiotics.

Doctors  – STOP DOING THIS TO PEOPLE!

Fluoroquinolones are all huge mind blowers.

Fluoroquinolone toxicity – this is not okay!

This situation is ridiculously fucking stupid

Forevermore climbing out of my coffin

Please stop poisoning the American people.

Cipro destroys all connective tissues, disabled.

Life before Cipro J  life after Cipro L

Age 36 feel 100 thanks Cipro

I fucking hate the poison LEVAQUIN

Fluoroquinolines woke me up, Big Pharma

Southern Belle caught in Levaquin Hell

Fluoroquinolones have to be FDA retested

Keep fluoroquinolones for yourselves, Big Pharma

For your safety say No Fluoroquinolones

Levaquin cripples/disables young healthy athletes.

Levaquin is a portal to hell.

levaquin: How could doctor prescribe poison?

Taking fluroquinolones is playing Russian roulette.

Visit doctor get levaquin; the END.

My doctor quit using them. Yay!

Fiendish floxie fortune found friends forever!

Ten days Levofloxacin, five months bedridden.

Cipro levaquin Avelox Danger Danger Danger

Cipro Levaquin Avelox Top Chemical Reactors

One little pill ruined his life

Levaquin hits market; mystery ailments rise.

My wasted Toxic Body By Levaquin!

Levaquin: perfect poison masquerades as antibiotic

Got mitochondria? Kill them with levaquin!

Levaquin changed my fucking language ha!

Levaquin/Cipro: Big Pharma’s stealth bombs

Fluoroquinolones : population control in little pills

FDA lets levaquin mutate your DNA!

Levaquin has taken away my strength.

Fluoroquinolones: Head to Toe Super Toxicity

Need Skull and Crossbones? That’s Fluoroquinolones

Bayer profiting over your dead body!

Selling Levaquin because illness equals profits

Levaquin Restyled My Body, Head, Hair

Cipro / Levaquin destroyed my health forever

Want fibromyalgia? Take levaquin and watch!

Look at the mitochondria you fools!

Cipro! Because Bayer wants sick people!

Recovering ever so slowly thank God

Levaquin: your pill to rapid ageing!

SLUT here, Southern Lady utterly toxic!

Crippled overnight? Did you take Levaquin?

The Fluoroquinolone Train Destination: PURE HELL

Thank you, Levaquin, for the Disaster!

I will recover – just watch me

My doctor mutated me with Levaquin!

I didn’t consent to genetic modification!

Levaquin forced Bugs Bunny to retire.

Humpty Dumpty got poisoned by Cipro

Cipro didn’t kill me.  I’m alive.

Big Pharma is careless with chemo

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics damage tendons, nerves, DNA

Crimes against Humanity continue; seemingly unstoppable!

Levaquin: watch your life fade away!

Levaquin mutant seeks healthcare, doctor runs.

Levaquin flushes Hippocratic oath down drain!

Criminals get free pass. Thanks FDA!

Doctor poisons patients. Calls patients crazy.

FDA grants Bayer permit to poison!

Floxies win war against criminal corporations!

Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox FQ you up!

I will never be the same!

Life’s a bitch, then you die.

Cipro, a CHEMO drug, ….disabled me!

Levaquin, the beginning of the end.

Body blowing mind altering antibiotic lie!

Know what meds not to mix

Fluoroquinolones – stealth weapons of mass destruction

Fluoroquinolones – poison comes in many disguises

Big Pharma is not your friend

Floxie friends work together through adversity

Fluoroquinolones – the biggest medical travesty ever

Never give up, never give in

 

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The Quinolone Vigilance Foundation (QVF)

QVF_logo_high_res

There is a non-profit, charitable foundation devoted to funding research and raising awareness about the dangers of fluoroquinolones and fluoroquinolone toxixity.  It is called The Quinolone Vigilance Foundation (the QVF) –  www.saferpills.org.

Following is some information about the QVF:

History and Purpose

The QVF was founded by 4 floxies in 2009. Their goals were to review the existing scientific literature that addressed adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones, recruit and network medical researchers, and stimulate new research into fluoroquinolone toxicity.  It became apparent that a national non-profit was necessary to establish the professional credibility of the QVF and so that the QVF could act as a vehicle to raise the funds needed to drive scientific research.  The QVF exists to stimulate and fund university-level peer-reviewed research that will inform the medical community about severe adverse reactions to quinolones/fluoroquinolones.

Since April, 2012, the QVF has been registered as a charitable organization, it has received its EIN from the IRS, registered with the State of New Jersey (where the QVF is headquartered), registered with the proper federal agencies, and written up and filed Articles of Incorporation.  In April 2013, the QVF filed for 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service, where its status as of 01/29/14 is pending.  The QVF can operate as a non-profit while its 501(c)(3) status is pending.   It is anticipated that receipt of the QVF’s 501(c)(3) status will be received in 2014.

While the QVF does do advocacy, the main focus of the foundation is research.  When research contracts are entered into by the QVF, the QVF officers sign confidentiality agreements, which note that the research cannot be discussed publically.  For this reason, much of what the QVF does is behind closed doors.  The officers of the QVF ask for understanding among floxies in realizing that even though much of what goes on in the QVF cannot be public, much is going on.  Per Rachel Brummert, Executive Director for the QVF:

“My day includes talking to the medical community, soliciting other major universities to do studies, reaching out to other agencies, making phone calls and doing e-mails.  We give up our weekends, evenings, holidays, etc. to do our jobs, and we do not get paid for what we do.  In everything we do, we keep in mind that the floxie community relies on us, and we are passionate about what we do for that very reason.  We understand that it is frustrating that we cannot share more about what we do. We share that frustration, however, we do it to protect the community and the people we work closely with. Unfortunately, research is slow, and expensive. We are fully committed to doing what is necessary to fully fund the studies we initiate so that we can answer the questions of “why did this happen” and “how can we fix it”. The floxie community deserves those answers.”

As a research organization, QVF’s mission is to:

•    Network medical professionals and researchers regarding adverse reactions to quinolone antibiotics.

•    Foster, initiate, and direct fundamental research to discover underlying toxicity mechanisms.

•    Fund research that will produce the most promising results.

•    Translate new discoveries into effective medical practices and therapies to help alleviate individual suffering.

•    Develop and apply discovered knowledge to educate the medical community and inform best practices for public health.

 

Information about some of the research that the QVF is involved in can be found through the following links:

Rochester Study: http://www.saferpills.org/analysis-of-fluoroquinolone-toxicity-in-the-central-nervous-system-cns/

Dr. Mark Noble site: http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/people/23095977-mark-david-noble

UCSD Study: http://www.fqstudy.info/Fluoroquinolone_Effects_Study/Welcome.html

Dr. Beatrice A. Golomb’s C.V.: http://www.fqstudy.info/Fluoroquinolone_Effects_Study/About_Dr._Golomb.html

 

Advocacy and Outreach

Though the QVF is primarily focused on research, some advocacy and outreach activities have been conducted.

In November, 2012, the QVF partnered with another foundation to do a 5k walk/run, where awareness materials such as rack cards, wrist bands, awareness cards, etc. were distributed.

In November, 2013, Matt Sorrell, husband of QVF Treasurer Christina Mathos-Sorrell, ran the NYC marathon on behalf of the QVF.  Matt was able to raise money for the QVF and increase awareness about fluoroquinolone toxicity through running the marathon and collecting donations.

In December, 2013, The QVF did an online auction, put together by Executive Director Rachel Brummert and QVF fundraising director Michelle Fewer.

The QVF plans to hold the events listed above annually, and discussions are being conducted about other ways to raise funds.

TheQVF also sells merchandise.  The QVF store can be found at www.cafepress.com/quinvigil.

 

QVF Staff/Volunteers

The founders of QVF reached out to fellow victims of fluoroquinolone toxicity to establish a presence in the online community. The board of directors was created, and ambassadors/advocates from all over the world began volunteering to help. Currently, the QVF is an international organization represented in six countries: the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Australia.

The current volunteer staff positions are as follows:

Board

Rachel Brummert – Executive Director and President of QVF

Matthew Arnold – Vice President

Alice Broussard – Corporate Secretary

Christina Manthos -Sorrell- Treasurer

Michelle Fewer – Fundraising Director

Dr. Deanna Minkler – General Board Member

 

Non-board

Donna Schutz- Ambassador Coordinator

Lisa Bloomquist – Communications Director

Lori Boz- Consultant

 

More information about the QVF can be found on www.saferpills.org.

 

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Farewell my Friend. May Peace and Love be With You.

Creek

A Floxie friend called me last week to say goodbye. She had received a terminal prognosis from a couple of doctors and she was going into hospice care for her last hours/days/weeks/months on earth. She is in her early 50s. She has been dealing with fluoroquinolone toxicity, and some compounding issues that stemmed from being simultaneously administered Cipro with steroids, for about 13 months. She has become so weak, so poisoned, and so overwhelmed physically by her illness, that she can’t fight back any more. She will not last much longer.

I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what is appropriate in this situation. I wish her peace. I hope that she and her loved ones get the opportunities to say what they need to say to each other. I hope that she feels loved. I hope that she isn’t in pain.

I really, really, really wish that none of the physical and mental deterioration that she has experienced over the last 13 months had happened. There is nothing that is okay about her dying from a fluoroquinolone shutting down her body. It’s tragic. Absolutely tragic.

She was healthy, happy and beautiful 13 months ago.

Now she is going into hospice care.

It is just so, so sad.

I don’t think that anyone ever knows the right thing to say when faced with death. Concentrating on peace, love and coming to terms with the situation seems like the best, and right, thing to do. But, in our conversation, she did mention that she wished that she had the strength to tell her story, to speak out against those who poisoned her, and to warn others about the deadly combination of fluoroquinolones and steroids. She doesn’t have the strength to do so. But I do. She, and all of the other people who are hit hard by fluoroquinolone toxicity, are the reason that I do what I do. I write for them. It’s not about Lisa not being able to dance in heels for a while. It’s about those who lose their health, those who are in chronic pain, those who are too weak to fight back, and those who die as a result of fluoroquinolones. I write to scream about their pain and their losses. There is nothing that is okay about their pain (or my pain, as trivial as it is in comparison). There is nothing that is okay about body-wide shut-down and death being the result of taking an antibiotic.

I also write on Floxie Hope to let people know that their path is not necessarily one of terminal illness. Many people make a full recovery. I hope that everyone reading this recovers. But it would be false and disingenuous to pretend like everyone recovers. Not everyone does. Some people die from fluoroquinolone toxicity. It is tragic and it is wrong.

I hope that this little tribute to my friend brings her some peace and happiness. I acknowledge her struggle, her pain and her sickness. I don’t know what I can do to stop the horrible tragedy of people being hurt, and dying, from fluoroquinolone toxicity. But speaking out is a step. It is something that I am capable of doing and I hope that it helps.

May she be at peace. May she know, really truly know, that she is loved.

 

 

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Bring on 2014 – Happy New Year!

NYE 2013-2014.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Congratulations!  You made it through 2013!  For those of you who were sick in 2013, there were probably moments that you didn’t think you’d make it through.  You made it though.  You made it to 2014.  Congratulations and may there be many more years for you to look forward to!

I wish you all hope and healing in the new year!  I have no idea how long your road will be, or if 2014 will be better or worse than 2013 for you, but I sincerely hope that it is better in every possible way.  I hope that it is a year of healing for you.  I hope that your pain subsides.  I hope that you get the support you deserve.  I hope that you either gain back what you have lost due to your illness, or that you come to appreciate what you still have.  I hope that you are able to access the people, methods or techniques that help you to move on from your illness.  I hope that you find peace, healing, love, happiness, patience, hope, etc.

For myself, I haven’t thought of any specific New Year’s resolutions quite yet, but I hope that this picture sums up my 2014:

Always wondered

2013 was an empowering year for me.  I started writing about FQ toxicity in June of 2013.  I truly had no clue that anyone would want to read the things that I wrote, but it turns out that people like what I have to say.  I don’t think that they like what I have to say because it’s pretty or because I’m anyone special (I’m not).  I think that they like what I have to say because what I write about is important.  It’s important that the word get out about the dangers of fluoroquinolones.  It’s important that people stop being hurt by the frivolous and foolish over-use of DNA damaging chemotherapy drugs that are being pushed as “safe” antibiotics.  It’s important that people make the connections between many of the mysterious modern diseases that plague us and fluoroquinolones.  Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, all autoimmune diseases, anxiety, depression, dietary intolerances, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, mitochondrial dysfunction, diabetes, Gulf War Syndrome and even autism can be tied to fluoroquinolones.  These are not little problems.  They are serious concerns and it’s important that they be addressed and fixed.  In bringing attention to the role that fluoroquinolones play in each of these diseases, I’m bringing attention to something important.

It’s quite empowering and, though I’m sure that what I just said sounds egotistical, I am humbled by it.  The over-use of fluoroquinolones is a big problem that leads to multiple levels of other serious problems.  The problems are systemic and difficult to bring attention to, much less solve.   Paradigm shifts and systemic changes are needed in order for meaningful change to come about.

It’s a big task, but someone has to do it.  That someone may as well be me.  It may as well be you too.  Even better, it should be all of us together.

We can do this.  We can make change happen.  We can stop people from getting hurt by fluoroquinolones.  We may not be able to save everyone today or even tomorrow, but we can try.  And in trying, we are doing something.  We are making the world a safer and more just place.

“Trying” can be something little or something big.  It can be handing out cards warning people about FQ toxicity, it can be attending the FQ Awareness Rally in Washington D.C., it can be starting a blog, it can be talking to your friends about what happened to you, it can be filing a lawsuit, it can be enacting legislation, etc., etc.

In 2014, I resolve to DO SOMETHING about fluoroquinolone toxicity.  I hope that change comes about.  But if it doesn’t, well, I have my 2015 resolution set, and I’ll keep trying until people know about the causal links between fluoroquinolones and chronic diseases, until the frivolous over-use of fluoroquinolones is stopped, and until they stop giving these poisonous drugs to children.

If you feel inclined, I hope that you feel empowered enough to do something about fluoroquinolone toxicity in 2014 too.  It will take all of us to bring about change.  We can do it though.  We have to be able to.  No one else will and it’s important.  So, bring on 2014.  Let’s get ‘er done.

 

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How I Lost my Faith in Scientists

Hormones Matter Logo

I just want scientists to step up and scream about what they know.  Some of them, maybe many of them, fully realize that fluoroquinolones are dangerous.  Where is the outrage?  Where is the change?  I am deeply saddened by this list.  Thank you for reading the post!

http://www.hormonesmatter.com/lost-faith-scientists/

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QVF Auction 2013

Starting on Monday December 2, 2013, the Quinolone Vigilance Foundation (QVF) is holding an online auction to help raise money for research into why Fluoroquinolone Toxicity happens, and how to help treat and cure it. More information about FQ Toxicity, and the research that is being conducted can be found at www.saferpills.org.

The online auction will be held on Facebook. Please join the auction through this link – https://www.facebook.com/events/405080019624946/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming&source=1 If that doesn’t work, please search for “Quinolone Vigilance Foundation Auction 2013” on Facebook. If that doesn’t work, please send me a message and I’ll invite you (my email address is lisa.bloomquist@yahoo.com but I prefer to receive messages through facebook.)

Items such as handmade jewelry, non-handmade jewelry, designer Coach bags, antique books, regular books, a handmade scarf, tee-shirts that were sent from Australia, posters, flower arrangements, etc. will be auctioned off.

To bid on the items, please follow these steps:

  1. Join the auction’s facebook site
  2. Write in an amount that you want to bid on an item – in the comments section below the item (auction items will be posted on the event site starting on Monday December 2, 2013. Each item will remain up for approximately 48 hours.)
  3. Pay for your items. You can pay either through the QVF web site – http://www.saferpills.org/donate-2/ or through paypal to Donations@saferpills.org.
  4. Someone from the QVF will contact you to get your address and your items will be sent to you shortly thereafter.

Please share this event with your friends and family. The QVF has a great assortment of contributions that will be auctioned off. With Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus coming, this is a great way to support an important cause while shopping for your loved ones.

Thank you very much!  

 

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How Pharmaceuticals Came to be the 4th Leading Cause of Death in America

Collective Evolution Logo

Post on Collective-Evolution –

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/11/20/how-pharmaceuticals-came-to-be-the-4th-leading-cause-of-death-in-america/

Real Farmacy published it as well –

http://www.realfarmacy.com/how-pharmaceuticals-came-to-be-the-4th-leading-cause-of-death-in-america/

Don’t go down the path described.  It’s not a pretty picture.

 

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