Tag Archives: Bayer

Fluoroquinolone Toxicity News in South Africa – Carte Blanche

I encourage you all to watch, and share, the WONDERFUL news story from Carte Blanche, a South African investigative journalism television series, about the dangers of fluoroquinolones. It’s one of the best pieces of journalism I have seen regarding fluoroquinolone adverse-effects. You can view the story through the Carte Blanche web site, or through Youtube:

Carte Blanche Web Site, “Antibiotic Alert”

Video Link

Carte Blanche tells the stories of pain brought on by fluoroquinolones for three South African “floxies,” Tracy Witelson, Gerald Ludwinsky, and Debbi Kinrade. Their stories are powerful and poignant, and they thoroughly describe the horror of fluoroquinolone toxicity.

The Carte Blanche journalist that interviews the victims of fluoroquinolones, as well as Bayer representatives and representatives of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), does a WONDERFUL job of compassionately framing the stories of the victims, and pushing the pharmaceutical and SAHPRA representatives by asking them tough questions, challenging them, and doing what he can to hold them accountable for the harm done by fluoroquinolones.

In an exchange that is simply wonderful, journalist Derek Watts goes over the newly (2016-2018) highlighted warnings included on the FDA warning labels for fluoroquinolones (including a warning that notes that fluoroquinolones can cause permanent disability, one that notes that the risks of fluoroquinolone use outweigh the benefits, one that notes that fluoroquinolones cause blood-sugar irregularities and mental health adverse-effects, and one that notes that fluoroquinolones increase the risk of aortic aneurysm and dissection) with Dr. Naren Jairam, the Bayer Pharmaceuticals representative. Dr. Jairam dismissively asserts that these warnings are nothing new. Watts responds by asking Jairam why Bayer hasn’t been communicating the dangers of fluoroquinolones with doctors (much less patients). Jairam claims that Bayer supports responsible use of antibiotics and that Bayer has advocated that fluoroquinolones not be used as first-line antibiotics. Watts CALLS HIM OUT and says, “That’s not true,” and notes that millions of prescriptions for non-life-threatening infections are being given all over the world. It is truly wonderful to see a quick-witted journalist asking tough questions of pharmaceutical company representatives, and calling them out when they lie and mislead.

In another exchange, Watts asks Jairam, “Is your intention to obfuscate or clarify?” VERY good question – thank you for having the chutzpah to ask, Mr. Watts!

Watts also confronts Eric Chauke, Bayer’s Head of Regulatory Affairs, by asking him to show that Bayer is communicating the risk of harm by fluoroquinolones with doctors. Chauke shows Watts some general pamphlets on antibiotic stewardship, and Watts pushes back – noting that there is nothing in what Chauke is showing him that adequately communicates that fluoroquinolones can have “dreadful side-effects” or that adequately communicates that fluoroquinolones should not be used as first-line antibiotics.

Watts also asks Professor Marc Blockman, a representative of the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), some tough questions. He asks whether or not the SAHPRA warnings are adequate, and why SAHPRA can’t send a communication to doctors stating, “don’t prescribe these drugs unless it’s life threatening and there is no alternative?” Patient advocates have been asking the same thing for years, and it’s nice to hear a journalist ask this question to a drug regulator.

I love how tough Watts is on the Bayer and SAHPRA representatives. He is doing a wonderful job at being a journalist that brings to light stories of victims, and holding those in-power responsible for their role in victimizing people.

Please watch and share the Carte Blanche piece on fluoroquinolones. It’s wonderful, and it would be great for it to be internationally “viral.”

*****

 

EMA Hearing on Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Part 1

The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) held a hearing regarding the risks of permanent and disabling effects of fluoroquinolones (i.e. Fluoroquinolone Toxicity) on Wednesday June 13, 8018. More than 100 patient testimonials were submitted to the PRAC, and several dozen people who suffered from fluoroquinolone toxicity testified before the PRAC in-person.

The patients who testified were asked to answer three questions:

  1. What is your view on the role of quinolones and fluoroquinolones in the treatment of infections?
  2. What is your view of the risks associated with quinolone and fluoroquinolone use?
  3. In your opinion, what further measures could be taken to optimize the safe use of quinolones and fluoroquinolones?

You can watch the hearing, and listen to the patient testimonials, through this video:

All of the patient testimonials were moving, thought-provoking, and insightful. Thank you to all who testified – many of whom traveled hundreds of miles/kilometers to get to the hearing. It is because of the people who testified (including those who testified in writing) that the PRAC now knows how truly devastating fluoroquinolones are. Hopefully they will be moved to action by the testimonials provided.

A transcript of the hearing will be published, and I will link to it when it is available. In the meantime, I will highlight some of the testimonials given during the hearing. I highly recommend that you watch the video, as the words directly from the victims’ mouths are much more powerful than my synopsis.

Elizabeth Carmouche testified that she was given ciprofloxacin as a prophylactic “in case” she got a urinary tract infection or travelers’ diarrhea while on holiday. She only took two of the prescribed pills, and has been suffering from the devastating effects of those pills for more than two years. She went from being an active to a woman with no pain, to suffering from severe joint, muscle, tendon, and bone pain, as well as peripheral neuropathy. She testified that doctors were unable to help her, and many dismissed the connection between ciprofloxacin and her ill health. She asserted that the following measures need to be taken:

  1. There needs to be official recognition of fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome, and doctors need to be made fully aware of what the syndrome entails.
  2. Bayer, and the other pharma companies that produce fluoroquinolones, need to identify the precise mechanism of damage done by fluoroquinolones, and those companies need to establish a protocol for healing those who have been hurt by fluoroquinolones.
  3. Patients damaged by fluoroquinolones should be treated and guided by medical professionals.
  4. A red-flag system needs to be put in patient records so that those who have experienced an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone are never given fluoroquinolones again.

In closing, Elizabeth notes that fluoroquinolones are linked to mitochondrial damage, and that mitochondrial damage is linked to many diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other serious and severe diseases.

The next presenter was a pharmacist from Northern Spain named Manex Bettan Arguinzoniz (Bettan). He was just 37 years old when ciprofoxacin destroyed his body, mind, and health. He went from being athletic and able to play with his children, to being unable to do many of the activities that he loves. Despite being a pharmacist, he was unaware of the debilitating, disabling, and devastating effects of ciprofloxacin. He also found that his doctors and other specialists were unaware of the extent of the damage done by fluoroquinolones. His doctor (who is also his father in law) was only convinced of the link between Bettan’s health problems and ciprofloxacin when another doctor who had studied at the Mayo Clinic noted the reality of the link. Bettan suggests that fluoroquinolones be restricted so that they are only used in life-or-death situations in hospitals. He suggests that a stronger, possibly black-box, warning be added so that patients are aware of the dangers of fluoroquinolones.

One of the EMA PRAC members asked Bettan if he got his information about fluoroquinolone toxicity from patient testimonials or scientific papers. He answered that he read many papers about fluorouinolones. There are hundreds of research papers about fluoroquinolones and the damage they do listed on https://floxiehope.com/fluoroquinolones-links-resources/.

The next presenter was Richard Cooknell. Richard was a firefighter before he was poisoned by quinolones. He is still unable to work, and suffers from many ill effects. He asserts that quinolones are used too widely, and that their use should be restricted to life-or-death situations. Richard points out that fluoroquinolones are often inappropriately prescribed for non-bacterial chronic prostatitis. He also points out that there is no information in the warning label about the effects of fluoroquinolones being permanently disabling, or that adverse reactions can be delayed. Richard was able to gain a diagnosis of fluoroquinolone toxicity by a rheumatologist, and he asked that fluoroquinolone toxicity be more officialy recognized and diagnosed by more doctors.

Richard points out that his prostatitis was non-bacterial, as many cases of prostatitis are, and that he never should have been given fluoroquinolones for a non-bacterial ailment. The post, “Cipro is no better than a PLACEBO at treating chronic prostatitis / chronic pelvic pain syndrome” goes over some information about this.

Richard also points out that NSAIDs and steroids have caused set-backs for him and many other victims of fluoroquinolones toxicity.

The next speaker was Markus Hamedinger. Markus suffers from tendon and joint pain, and has received a confirmed diagnosis of fluoroquinolone toxicity. Fluoroquinolone toxicity has severely affected Markus’s life, and he is unable to do many of the activities that he used to enjoy. His symptoms have not improved in the 2+ years that he has been sick.

Markus asserts that fluoroquinolones are used too often, and that they are inappropriately used when other, safer, antibiotics could be used. He notes the delayed adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones are a factor in keeping the effects of fluoroquinolones under-recognized. He says that doctors need to be made aware of exactly which infections need to be treated by fluoroquinolones, and which infections can be treated with other antibiotics. He also states that fluoroquinolone use should be banned in agriculture, to prevent exposure to fluoroquinolones from occurring through meat consumption.

The PRAC Chairwoman asked a question about repeated exposure making the reaction worse, and Markus noted that his reactions got worse and worse with each fluoquinolone exposure.

The next presenter was Miriam Knight. Miriam also presented on behalf of Raymond Miller and Geoffrey Robinson. Miriam is the co-founder of Quinolone Toxicity Support UK, and is also an administrator for Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Victims in Europe.

Miriam asserts that there is no role of quinolones/fluoroquinolones in the treatment of disease. She notes that mitochondrial DNA wasn’t known, studied, or acknowledged when quinolones were developed, and that they are chemotherapeutic agents.

Miriam points out that despite the official death toll from quinolones being low, there are many people who are hurt by these drugs in fatal ways – including aortic aneurysm.

Miriam notes the damage done by quinolones to mitochondrial DNA, and how mitochondrial DNA damage effects individuals differently depending on a variety of factors.

Miriam asserts, “There will never be a safe use of quinolones. They will always cause damage, observed or not.” And she also states that if removing them from the market is impossible, they should at least be severely restricted.

Miriam also asserts that quinolone toxicity should be a diagnosable illness with a diagnosis code. This is incredibly important in getting it acknowledged and quantifying the damage done by quinolones.

Miriam connects the dots between chronic pain, fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and fluoroquinolone toxicity.

*****

There are several dozen other testimonials. In the interest of the attention-spans of those reading this, I am going to split my notes about the hearing into several posts. This is the first of __ (tbd) posts about the hearing.

THANK YOU to all who testified. The testimony provided is wonderful, thoughtful, passionately delivered, and those who provided it represented themselves and the “floxie” community wonderfully!

End note – To those who testified, if I misspelled your name, please let me know. Also, if anyone would like me to publish their testimony directly, please send it over. Thank you!

 

 

 

Letter from Bayer to Doctors Regarding Cipro and Avelox

bayer-letter1

bayer-letter2

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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Post-Ebola Syndrome Emerges In West Africa – Links To Bayer Explored

 

Very sadly, “post-Ebola syndrome” looks a lot like fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome. Bayer pumped 3 million euros of Cipro into West Africa during the crisis. Now people are chronically ill with a “mysterious disease.” It should be noted that Cipro has never been shown to be effective at treating VIRUSES like ebola. It is an unapproved use. Sending millions of euros of Cipro to West Africa was a medical experiment that was, and is, criminal.

A post about this horrible situation is in Collective Evolution.

Post-Ebola Syndrome Emerges In West Africa – Links To Bayer Explored

 

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The Ciprofloxacin Song

This is adorable and sad at the same time.  I hope that Ashley has improved.  She posted this in 2010.

She’s right – FIGURE IT OUT, BAYER!  Why is the list of adverse effects getting longer and longer each year?  How many people have to suffer from adverse effects of these drugs before VERY serious consideration goes into whether or not they should be on the market?  What is the mechanism by which fluoroquinolones downgrade GABA-A receptors?  How much damage do fluoroquinolones do to human DNA – both mitochondrial and nuclear?  What are the consequences of damaging the DNA replication cycle for bacterial DNA within a person?  What are the consequences of damaging nuclear DNA of human cells?  What are the consequences of damaging mitochondrial DNA of human cells?  What are the long-term consequences of using fluoroquinolones?  What are the intergenerational consequences of using fluoroquinolones?  These questions aren’t too much for us to demand answers to.  Bayer has the means to answer these questions, SO GET ON IT, BAYER.  And OF COURSE they won’t do it voluntarily, SO MAKE THEM STUDY IT, FDA!

Anyhow, here is Ashley singing The Ciprofloxacin Song:

 

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Study Finds that Ciprofloxacin Depletes Mitochondrial DNA

DNA replication fluoroquinolone Topoisomerase Interrupter

This post contains quotes from the article “Delayed Cytotoxicity and Cleavage of Mitochondrial DNA in Ciprofloxacin-Treated Mammalian Cells” that was published in Molecular Pharmacology in 1996.  It’s a good article.  It’s an interesting and damning article.  It’s a difficult article.  It would be nice if more people read it, and I wish that its implications were better understood and explored by research scientists and regular people alike.

Direct quotes from the article are in bold and italicized.  My commentary follows each quote.

“The loss in mtDNA was associated with a delayed loss in mitochondrial function. Here, we report that the 4-quinolone drug ciprofloxacin is cytotoxic to a variety of cultured mammalian cell lines at concentrations that deplete cells of mtDNA.”

Ciprofloxacin depletes mitochondrial DNA in mammalian cells.  It’s right there in black and white.  I have no idea why it didn’t strike anyone as alarming when it was published in 1996.  It sure is alarming now.

It should be noted that, “There is indeed experimental evidence that prolonged injury to mitochondria, such as that which typifies oxidative injury to mitochondrial DNA or to components of the electron transport chain (ETC), has to cross a certain threshold (or a number of thresholds) before cell damage or cell death becomes manifest.” (source)  And that mitochondrial damage is linked to “symptoms such as fatigue, muscle pain, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain can easily be mistaken for collagen vascular disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or psychosomatic illness.” (source)  Mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to multiple diseases of modernity including autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, autism and “mysterious” diseases such as fibromyalgia and ME/CFS.

Also, as I’ve pointed out before, the FDA has noted in their internal documents that fluoroquinolones are toxic to mitochondria, and that mitochondrial damage is linked to many diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases.  More information about that can be found in the post, “FLUOROQUINOLONE ANTIBIOTICS DAMAGE MITOCHONDRIA – FDA DOES LITTLE

“Resistance was not due to a decrease in cellular drug accumulation, suggesting that ciprofloxacin cytotoxicity is caused by the loss of mtDNA-encoded functions.  Analysis of mtDNA from ciprofloxacin-treated cells revealed the presence of site-specific, double-stranded DNA breaks.”

Consequences?  Implications?  What happens when cytotoxicity is induced by DNA breaks?

“These results suggest that ciprofloxacin may be causing cytotoxicity by interfering with a mitochondrial topoisomerase Il-like activity, resulting in a loss of mtDNA.”

Many assert that fluoroquinolones only affect bacterial topoisomerases.  It turns out that mitochondrial topoisomerases are affected too.  Fluoroquinolones should be used as prudently and cautiously as all other topoisomerase interrupting drugs.  All the other topoisomerase interrupting drugs are chemo drugs that are only used to treat cancers.  To prescribe a drug that depletes mitochondrial DNA and affects human topoisomerases in order to treat urinary tract infections and traveler’s diarrhea is absurd, short-sighted and wrong.

It should also be noted that, “Our data suggest that chemicals or genetic mutations that impair topoisomerases, and possibly other components of the transcription elongation machinery that interface with topoisomerases, have the potential to profoundly affect expression of long ASD (autism spectrum disorder) candidate genes. Length-dependent impairment of gene transcription, particularly in neurons and during critical periods of brain development, may thus represent a unifying cause of pathology in many individuals with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.” (source)

The team of scientists who wrote that last quote are looking at whether or not fluoroquinolones turn on genes that are related to autism.  The results of their exploration have not yet been published.

What is known though, is that topoisomerases are really important.  Duh–they’re the enzymes responsible for proper DNA and RNA replication—did someone think they were optional?  Interrupting topoisomerases with drugs is a really, really, really bad idea.

“Studies have also suggested that 4-quinolones may interfere with cell growth by inhibiting mammalian mtDNA replication (6, 11). Castora et al. (11) found that the 4-quinolone drugs nalidixic acid and oxolinic acid inhibited mtDNA replication in isolated rat liver mitochondria. These investigators inferred that this effect might be mediated by the inhibition of a mitochondrial topoisomerase II activity related to the bacterial enzyme DNA gyrase.”

Naladixic acid is the backbone of all fluoroquinolone antibiotics.  The quote speaks for itself.

 “We recently demonstrated that the 4-quinolone drugs nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin cause a selective loss of mtDNA in drug-treated mammalian cells (6). The loss of mtDNA was associated with a decrease in mitochondrial respiration and an arrest in cell growth. These results suggested that inhibition of mammalian cell proliferation by 4-quinolone drugs might be caused by the selective depletion of mtDNA, resulting in compromised mitochondrial activity. We now report that ciprofloxacin causes a delayed cytotoxicity in cultured mammalian cells at concentrations that deplete cells of mtDNA.”

DELAYED CYTOTOXICITY!  When someone says that you “shouldn’t” be experiencing an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone weeks, months or even years after you took the drug, show them this.  Delayed cytotoxicity and mtDNA depletion–they’re right there.  Fluoroquinolones are NASTY drugs.  Why they are used frivolously is beyond my comprehension.

“We previously demonstrated that ciprofloxacin induces a selective depletion of mtDNA in mammalian cells. The depletion of mtDNA preceded a decrease in mitochondrial respiration and cell growth, suggesting that mtDNA was a primary target of drug action (6). Studies have recently shown that some cultured mammalian and avian cells can survive in the absence of mtDNA-encoded functions if the growth medium is supplemented with pyrimidines, pyruvate, and elevated concentrations of glucose (21-23). Cells deficient in mtDNA rely exclusively on glycolysis for energy.”

Hmmmmm…. So do our cells need/want more glucose??

And, again, I’d like to point out the clearly stated, “ciprofloxacin induces a selective depletion of mtDNA in mammalian cells.”

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“The apparent decrease in mtDNA cleavage at higher drug concentrations is reminiscent of the effect of DNA intercalating anticancer drugs on nuclear topoisomerase II enzymes (29, 30). Intercalating anticancer drugs such as 2-methyl-9-hydroxyellipticinium and Adriamycin have been shown to stimulate topoisomerase II cleavage at low concentrations but inhibit cleavage at high drug concentrations.”

Fluoroquinolones are chemo drugs.  All topoisomerase interrupters are chemo drugs.  Don’t give people chemo drugs to treat sinus infections.  It’s not a difficult notion.

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/10/15/fda-allows-chemo-drugs-prescribed-antibiotics/

http://www.hormonesmatter.com/cipro-levaquin-avelox-fluoroquinolones-chemo-drugs/

“The non-exonuclease-treated DNA contained both linear and nicked circular forms of mtDNA but did not contain closed circular supercoiled mtDNA (Fig. 8, lane A), suggesting that ciprofloxacin induces single- as well as double stranded protein-linked breaks in the mtDNA.”

Thanks for breaking my DNA, Bayer.

“The current results indicate that ciprofloxacin is not cytotoxic unless cells are continuously exposed to drug for a minimum of three or four cell doublings. In comparison, drugs that target nuclear topoisomerase II trigger an apoptotic type of cell killing, even after a short 2-hr drug exposure.”

Interesting.  What is the time-frame for cell doubling?  And I don’t think that the question has been definitively answered as to whether or not fluoroquinolones are stored in lipids, continuously exposing cells to damage, or not.

“Another possibility is that the growth inhibitory and cytotoxic effects of ciprofloxacin are caused by the inhibition of an essential mitochondrial function or functions. This is supported by the following observations: First, treatment of mammalian cells with ciprofloxacin results in a selective depletion of mtDNA, leading to a decrease in mitochondrial respiration (6). These mitochondrial events precede the drug induced loss in cell growth and viability (Ref. 6 and current results). Second, cells become resistant to ciprofloxacin when they are grown under conditions that do not require mtDNA encoded functions. Third, ciprofloxacin induces the formation of site-specific, protein-linked breaks in mtDNA, indicating the presence of a drug-sensitive mitochondrial topoisomerase Il-like activity.”

Given the connections between ciprofloxacin and mitochondrial damage–depleting mtDNA and decreasing mitochondrial respiration, and the connections between mitochondrial damage and multiple chronic, multi-symptom illnesses, it is not absurd to make the assertion that ciprofloxacin, and other fluoroquinolones, can cause those diseases (autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, fibromyaligia, autism, ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, etc.).

The article, “Mitochondria Resuscitation: The Key to Healing Every Disease” by Chris D. Meletis, N.D. is a succinct and illustrative look at how mitochondria are related to multiple areas of health.

It’s nice and dandy that “cells become resistant to ciprofloxacin when they are grown under conditions that do not require mtDNA encoded functions” but human beings don’t have a bunch of cells that live in petri dishes that can grow without requiring our mitochondrial DNA functions.  I wonder what happens when human cells attempt to adapt to resist ciprofloxacin and adapt by ceasing to require mtDNA encoded functions.  I bet you a buck that no one knows the answer to that question.

Cipro breaks mitochondrial DNA.  WHY WASN’T THIS REPORT PAID ATTENTION TO?  All of the results in it warrant fluoroquinolones being taken off of the market until further investigation can be done.  This is absurd.  I know that there are cases where fluoroquinolones can save lives, I get that, and I’m usually decently reasonable about not calling for their removal from the market.  But this article spooked me severely.  We, collectively, have NO CLUE what the consequences of depleting our mitochondrial DNA are.

“Neither cell growth nor viability seems to be affected until cells have undergone three or four cell doublings in the presence of ciprofloxacin (Ref. 6 and current results). During this time span, the content of mtDNA decreases >90%, suggesting that drug is causing a loss in cell growth and viability by interfering with mtDNA replication.”

Nasty drugs – but if you metabolize them fast enough, they’re less nasty – apparently.

“Ciprofloxacin, as well as several other 4-quinolone drugs, can cause significant unwinding of DNA”

It’s what they’re designed to do.  They’re topoisomerase interrupters.  The mechanism of action for ciprofloxacin is, “The bactericidal action of ciprofloxacin results from inhibition of the enzymes topoisomerase II (DNA gyrase) and topoisomerase IV (both Type II topoisomerases), which are required for bacterial DNA replication, transcription, repair, and recombination.” (source)  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that drugs that inhibit the DNA and RNA replication, transcription, repair and recombination are dangerous.  I hate the FDA for allowing these dangerous drugs to be used as antibiotics.  It’s ludicrous.

Delayed Cytotoxicity and Cleavage of Mitochondrial DNA in Ciprofloxacin-Treated Mammalian Cells” is not a hopeful article.  It is, frankly, a terrifying article.  More than 20 million prescriptions for fluoroquinolones are given out in Americans each year for the last couple decades, and that’s only a small portion of the prescriptions given worldwide.  What have we done to our collective mitochondrial DNA??  What are the consequences of depleting our mitochondrial DNA?  No one knows the answers to those questions.

Anyone who thinks that people aren’t sick with the diseases related to mitochondrial poisoning, isn’t looking very hard.  People are sick.  They’re in pain (peripheral neuropathy is thought to be caused by mitochondrial malfunctions), they’re depressed and suffering from even worse psychiatric disorders, they have heart conditions and metabolic disorders (source), ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, autism, and many other misunderstood, chronic illnesses.  There are many potential culprits for the sorry state of human health in the 21st century, but fluoroquinolones aren’t even on the list according to most people.

FLUOROQUINOLONES DEPLETE MITOCHONDRIAL DNA, LEAD TO MITOCHONDRIAL DYSFUNCTION AND ALSO OBLITERATE THE MICROBIOME!

I’ll keep screaming it until I’m heard.

Back in 1992 it was noted that, “the interaction (of fluoroquinolones) with DNA is still of great concern because of the possible long-term genotoxicity of quinolone compounds, which are increasingly adopted as first-choice antibiotics for the treatment of many infections, and because it addresses the real mechanism of action of this class of molecules.”  (source)

I really wish that these warnings had been heeded.  Sadly, they’ve been ignored.

Our poor mitochondrial DNA.  I hope that mtDNA recovers and that the situation isn’t as dire as I suspect.  But the truth is, no one knows.  No one has a clue what the consequences of depleting mtDNA through unnecessary use of topoisomerase interrupting drugs are.

Floxies certainly know that the consequences of fluoroquinolones can involve a massive amount of pain and suffering.  It’s not okay.

Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, the FDA and everyone else involved with frivolously prescribing these drugs should be ashamed of themselves for failing to protect our mitochondrial DNA.  Topoisomerase interrupters should never have been approved for use as antibiotics.  It’s simply absurd.

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Letter to Phil Blake, CEO of Bayer

Phil Blake

The picture above was posted by Jeff of www.ciproispoison.com on some of the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity facebook groups.  It got me thinking, if I got on the phone with Phil Blake, CEO of Bayer, what would I say?  I know that I wouldn’t say the “right” things and that I would kick myself for everything that I did say, so I thought that I’d write him a letter.  I didn’t want the letter to be too angry, crazy or irrational so I wrote a letter that tried to appeal to his humanity.  I wrote another letter in which I tried to shame him into using the massive resources that Bayer has to fix the problems that they created.  Neither of the letters really worked.  I didn’t like them.  They just didn’t seem appropriate.  They either erred on the side of being too angry or too nice.  They’re sitting on my computer, not on this blog, because I didn’t want to share them.

The thought entered my mind today that what I want to say to Mr. Blake is pretty simple.  Here it is:

Dear Mr. Blake,

When the people of the world discover that your drugs, Cipro and Avelox, have permanently and irreversibly altered their DNA (or possibly just their mitochondrial DNA, but does it really make a difference?), that a sick and cruel experiment involving genetically modifying humans for corporate profit has been conducted, you, your board, your top executives and your top scientists will be tried for crimes against humanity.  You will be found guilty, because you are.  I can only hope that both you and I live long enough to see the day that you are sent to prison for your crimes.

Sincerely,

Lisa Bloomquist

One long sentence and two short ones.  Is it angry, bitter, delusional, crazy, ill-advised (from a legal standpoint), etc.?  Yeah, it’s probably all of those things.  Oh well.  It’s better than the sugar coated ones.

It’s not exactly hopeful, and I apologize for that.

I hope that I am delusional and just simply wrong.  After all, I’m not a scientist.  Lisa being wrong would be best for the world.  You should probably believe that I’m wrong.  In case you want to consider the possibility of me being right, here are the articles that I’m basing this post on:

http://www.jbc.org/content/273/42/27668.full

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v501/n7465/full/nature12504.html

http://www.nmcth.edu/images/gallery/Editorial/xRZVmps_ambulkar.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkKZ_gxAOXI

More can be found on https://floxiehope.com/links-resources/ and, of course, the rest of the internet (or the library).

Back to the hope thing, I am fine.  Other people have healed too.  Most people get better with time, not worse.  The body has amazing healing capabilities.  You are not screwed.  You are not doomed.  You will be okay.

Mr. Blake, on the other hand, is screwed if people start paying attention.  I can only hope – and write.

 

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Permanent

I really appreciate that the FDA has put the word “permanent” on the warning labels of fluoroquinolones.  “The nerve damage may be permanent” is now stated under the peripheral neuropathy section of the side-effects listed.  Permanent.  Physicians may take note; they can do permanent damage to their patients with these drugs.  It may make them think twice.  It may make them realize the severity of the adverse effects of fluoroquinolones.  They may see that they can do damage with these drugs that they can’t fix.  Permanent damage.

While it is wonderfully validating to see the words “The nerve damage may be permanent” on the updated label for Cipro, there’s a part of me that hates that word – permanent.  It’s a word that steals people’s hope.  It’s a word that feeds into fear, hopelessness and suicidal ideation. It’s a word of doom.

You are not doomed.  There is nothing about you that is permanent.  Nothing is permanently damaged.  Nothing is permanently perfect.  We are all in a state of flux, all the time.  Sure we’re all decaying a bit, it’s the nature of living things, but we are also growing and healing.  People recover from this.  They do.  I did.  Lots of other people have recovered too.  There are stories of hope and healing on this site.  Sure, it’s not a huge number of stories right now, but the site has only been up for a couple of months and, well, the people who have healed have moved on with their lives.  If I may be so audacious, I would say that MOST people recover, with time.  It’s a really long, rough, painful, scary road, but people get down it.  People get to the end.  They recover.  I hope that you can find the strength to believe that you will recover too.  If you can’t find that strength today, I hope that you can find it tomorrow.  Because this life is worth fighting for.  Not only your health, but your hope and your spirit are worth fighting for as well.

As someone said in one of the fluoroquinolone victim support group sites, “no side effect can be proven permanent until you’re dead.”  True.

So hang in there folks.  I know that it’s a trite thing to say, and I apologize for that, but I mean it.  Just take one breath at a time.  You can get through this.  Bayer and Johnson & Johnson may have kicked you, but they didn’t kill you.  You’re still here.  You can recover.  Have hope.  Try.  ‘Cause it’s only permanent if it kills you, and it didn’t.

 

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Was Lady Gaga Floxed?

Lady Gaga in Hospital

I suspect that Lady Gaga was floxed.

Before I continue with my explanation as to why I think this, let me say that this is pure conjecture. If, by chance, Lady Gaga reads this post and she wants me to take it down, either because it is false, or because it is true but none of my business and who the f am I to out her illness(?), she should please just let me know (and please note that a call from her as opposed to a note from a lawyer would be appreciated, but I will pay attention to either).

So, back in February, 2013 there were news reports that Lady Gaga (her real name is Stefani Germanotta, but I’ll keep referring to her by her stage name ’cause that’s what everyone knows her by) was sick and that she had undergone a whole bunch of tests to see if she had an autoimmune disease. Then there were reports that she couldn’t walk.  Shortly thereafter she canceled a concert because she tore her labrum – cartilage in her hip.  Then her entire concert tour was canceled. Then she disappeared for a while. If you take out the rockstar parts, her story is awfully similar to mine. My body started to go hay-wire in a way that seemed like an autoimmune disease, I got tested for the gamut of them and all the tests came back negative. Shortly thereafter I stopped being able to walk. I was lucky that I didn’t rupture any tendons and that I didn’t have to have surgery, but the fact that she did tear her labrum and had to have surgery is consistent with floxing. When I saw a video of her recently, she was standing and looked good, but she looked…. floxed. She looked like the energy had been sucked out of her. She wasn’t exuding confidence and energy, she looked like a Floxie.

It makes me really sad to think that Lady Gaga is a Floxie. I don’t want this to happen to anybody, but I’m a fan of hers. I have to be careful how I say this because I don’t want to stick my foot in my mouth, but it really bothers me when high accomplishing people, people who have found their greatness and are living it, get knocked down by fluoroquinolones. No one deserves to be floxed and no one is any better or worse than anyone else, but some people are living larger than other people. Some people are making a difference in the world, and for their trajectory to be stopped because of a stupid antibiotic is tragic. If I dare say, it’s more of a loss for the world for Lady Gaga to be floxed than it is for, say, me, to be floxed. I was, and still am, living a good life. But I wasn’t, and still am not, making art, effecting the culture of the country (even the world), fighting for civil rights or just generally living large. Lady Gaga was, and hopefully still is, or at least will be again, doing all those things.

If, as I believe, Lady Gaga is/was floxed, her tour was taken away from the world by either Bayer or Johnson & Johnson. Not only does that mean that a $50 million tour was canceled for LiveNation (aka Ticketmaster – the ones who were putting on the concert who lost a whole bucketload of moolah) and Lady Gaga, but all of the jobs that were to be supported by that tour were lost, and, more importantly in my opinion, the joy that her art would have given to all of her fans was lost. Money, art, culture, influence, joy, spectacle, energy – all of it was stolen by Bayer (or J&J).

I hope that I’m wrong. I hope that Lady Gaga is not floxed. I hope that she really did just injure herself with over-exertion originally then recovering from the surgery has kept her down for a while. I really hope that the official story is the truth and that I’m just crazy and biased because of what happened to me and now I think that everyone is floxed. I hope that this is all in my head.

I can understand several reasons why Lady Gaga would not want to come forward with being a Floxie, if, indeed, I am correct and she is a Floxie. First, this is unheard of. Who the hell gets messed up by an antibiotic? I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t gone through it and I suspect that Lady Gaga suspects that no one will believe her if she comes forward. People will likely say that she’s lying, or that she was on other drugs, or that this was somehow her fault. They’d be wrong if they said those things, but I can understand her wanting to avoid the false criticism. Second, as I wrote about in my blog essay entitled “Shame” (https://floxiehope.com/2013/07/03/shame/ ), there is a lot of shame associated with floxing. Lady Gaga took an antibiotic, and now she can’t tour, she can’t dance, she can’t be a rockstar. And if you think that you’re loved only because you’re capable of those things, it’s natural to hide your illness, to not tell anyone that you’re not capable any more. Third, she probably feels the same powerlessness, doom and fear that most of us do when we are floxed.

Just in case Lady Gaga reads this, let me say – it gets better. It does. You will recover. Most people do. I did. You are young. You are strong. You are a ROCKSTAR. You can do this. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes healing. It takes compassion for yourself and your situation. It takes love. And even if you can’t wear your heel-less heels any more, you’re still loved, by millions. And you’re still a rockstar. And you’ll still be loved even if you are a different kind of rockstar than you were. Your energy will return. Your light will return. It will. Have faith. Be strong. Have hope.

Lady Gaga, while I’m sure that you just want to get well and leave this whole mess behind you, let me plug fighting the pharmaceutical companies for a second. The fight against the pharmaceutical giants who care only about their bottom line and who treat people like they are expendable, like collateral damage, like they don’t matter, has just begun. It would be wonderful to have someone as powerful and influential as you standing up and saying that this is not okay. It is not okay to maim and hurt people. It is not okay to treat people as if their health doesn’t matter, like their lives don’t matter, like they don’t matter. There is nothing okay about that. It would be wonderful to have your help in that fight. It’s daunting though, I know. And it’s not sexy. But your help would certainly be appreciated. In case this can push you over the edge toward advocacy – they give this poison to children, to babies, for ear and eye infections. If it almost wrecked you, as it almost wrecked me, imagine what it would do to a child who doesn’t have coping skills yet, who doesn’t have a mind yet to lose.

Lady Gaga, I am inspired by your words, “I’m on the right track baby, I was born to be brave.” I hope that you feel those words to be true. They are. Regardless of whether or not you fight the pharmaceutical giants, I hope that you find healing and hope and that your life gets back to the greatness that it was before you got sick. You’re amazing. Present tense. You can do this.

Always a fan,

Lisa Bloomquist

P.S. – Here’s a little video of me and a friend dancing to Just Dance, in 2009 (pre-flox – but I can still dance like I do in this video – poorly, but with a lot of heart) – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1149570256573&l=2493007612854014142

Money Picture

The following may go a bit over the line considering that this is all conjecture.  I may be reading way too far into my own theories that are based on my own biases.  Oh well.  It’s my blog, I can be crazy and off-base if I want to.  (Again, I will take this all down if asked to by Lady Gaga.)

I want Lady Gaga to sue the hell out of Bayer and/or J&J.  Additionally, I want all of the organizations associated with her to sue the hell out of Bayer and/or J&J.  So many people, and so many corporations, have LOST SO MUCH MONEY because she has been out of commission for the last five months.  She was supposed to tour this summer.  She didn’t and if that’s either Bayer or J&J’s fault, they should PAY.  They should pay so much that their stock plummets.

Despite what the sinister Supreme Court may rule, corporations are not people and thus they do not have a soul.  Their soullessness is demonstrated through their lack of compassion toward their victims, their structure of fighting, overpowering and bullying their victims as opposed to compensating them, changing their actions based on caring for the actual souls that they effect, and working toward meaningful human goals like caring, compassion, empathy, connectedness, etc.  The ONLY thing that they, the corporations, not the individuals within the corporations, care about is their bottom line.  Thus, the ONLY way to hurt them is to hurt their bottom line.

Those corporations that have had their bottom lines effected by the loss of Lady Gaga as a performing artist – her record label, her management company, Live Nation / Tickemaster, etc.  – everyone – should sue the hell out of Bayer (or Johnson & Johnson) for what they did to your bottom line.  They hurt your corporation.  Seek justice for your corporation and you will gain a small piece of justice for the individuals, the people, the actual souls, who have been hurt by these companies.  It is not your goal to seek justice for us, or even for Lady Gaga.  Your goal is to restore your bottom line and to recoup losses.  But a side-effect of hurting the bastards that hurt us is that you will be achieving a small amount of justice for all of us who have been hurt by them.  Your billion dollar lawsuit will be greatly appreciated.

I sent this letter to Live Nation / Ticketmaster back in February.  I just got the lawyer’s name off of the internet.  I have no idea if I sent it to the right place or not.  I didn’t get a reply.

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February 20, 2013

Dear Mr. Rowles,

I am writing to encourage you to look into the causes of Lady Gaga / Ms. Germanotta’s illnesses and, if they can be linked to fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, etc.  Please note that adverse reactions to fluoroquinolone antibiotics can occur up to a year after the drugs are taken, and stopped), to sue the manufacturer of the drugs – Bayer in the case of Cipro and Avelox and Johnson & Johnson in the case of Levaquin – for the losses incurred by LiveNation/Ticketmaster resulting from the cancellation of the Born This Way tour. 

Ms. Germanotta’s reported injuries are consistent with those of many other victims of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.  Torn ligaments and tendons, an inability to walk, symptoms that seem like an autoimmune disease (it was recently reported that Ms. Gremanotta was tested for Lupus and other autoimmune diseases).  Additional symptoms of fluoroquinolone toxicity include:

Peripheral Nervous System: Tingling, numbness, prickling, burning pain, pins/needles sensation,

electrical or shooting pain, skin crawling, sensation, hyperesthesia, hypoesthesia, allodynia

(sensitivity to touch), numbness, weakness, twitching, tremors, spasms.

Central Nervous System: Dizziness, malaise, weakness, impaired coordination, nightmares,

insomnia, headaches, agitation, anxiety, panic attacks, disorientation, impaired concentration or

memory, confusion, depersonalization, hallucinations, psychoses.

Musculoskeletal: Muscle pain, weakness, soreness; joint swelling, pain; tendon pain, ruptures.

Special Senses: Diminished or altered visual, olfactory, auditory functioning, tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Cardiovascular: Tachycardia, shortness of breath, hypertension, palpitations, chest pain.

Skin: Rash, swelling, hair loss, sweating, intolerance to heat and\or cold.

Gastrointestinal: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain.

Further information about how fluoroquinolone antibiotics can ravage a person’s body can be found on www.ciproispoison.com and through doing a search for “The Fluoroquinolone Wall of Pain” on Facebook.  Additionally, the New York Times ran a recent article about the danger of fluoroquinolones – http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/popular-antibiotics-may-carry-serious-side-effects/ (the comments after the article shed some light on the pain that many experience after being poisoned by fluoroquinolones). 

Please note that though some side effects are listed on the package inserts of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, many warnings are missing.  The facts that damage caused by fluoroquinolone antibiotics can be permanently debilitating, that the effects are not reversible through any actions taken by doctors and that steroids and NSAIDs are contraindicated with fluoroquinolone antibiotics are not mentioned anywhere on the list of side effects. 

Thousands of people have been hurt by fluoroquinolone antibiotics.  Most do not have the power or resources to sue Bayer or Johnson & Johnson.  LiveNation / Ticketmaster does have the resources to seek justice and to recoup the damages caused by Ms. Germanotta’s poisoning.  Please, if fluoroquinolone antibiotics are responsible for the loss of the tour (and possibly the ending of Ms. Germanotta’s career), hold the manufacturers of these dangerous drugs responsible and recoup the money lost from the cancellation of the tour. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Regards,

Lisa Bloomquist

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Wish List

Here is a list of things I want. I figure that it can’t hurt to state my wishes. People generally try to give you what you want, if you ask for it. So…. hereyago –

  • I want them (the doctors, pharmacists, etc.) to stop giving fluoroquinolones to children.
  • I want for fluoroquinolones to only be prescribed/administered after all other viable options for cures of infections have been exhausted.
  • I want the FDA to do independent investigations and studies on every one of the top 10 drugs that are complained about in their adverse event reporting system.
  • I want there to be a process through which accurate and complete information about all of the possible risks associated with a drug are communicated to patients in a way that ensures that true, honest INFORMED CONSENT is given prior to the administering of any prescription drug.
  • I want pharmacists to truly be gatekeepers and to refuse to fill prescriptions that are unnecessarily dangerous.
  • I want doctors to listen to people other than other doctors.
  • I want nurses to speak up when they see something in the system that is wrong.
  • I want all Floxies, and Floxie friends and allies, to rise up and fight these pharmaceutical companies that have hurt us, who have disregarded our worth as humans so that they can have profits, and I want us to bring them down to their knees, to force them to change.
  • I want everyone who is suffering from an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone to find healing, peace, hope and happiness.
  • I want a cure.
  • I want to know what makes some people more susceptible to being floxed than others.
  • I want floxing to be acknowledged – by everyone.
  • I want for the attitude of – if it can’t be tested for, and if there isn’t a cure, then the problem doesn’t exist – to go away.
  • I want all of the victims of fluoroquinolone toxicity to win lawsuits against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson and for all of us to be compensated for the damage that they have caused us.
  • I want studies to be done establishing whether or not there is a connection between fluoroquinolone use and fibromyalgia, chronic lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Desert War Syndrome, anxiety, depression, suicide, plantar fascitis, autism, leaky gut syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, M.S., Lupus, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc. Then, once a connection is established, I want a study to be done that firmly establishes a causal relationship between fluoroquinolone use and fluoroquinolone toxicity (in all its various incarnations and misdiagnoses) to be done.
  • I want the stock of Bayer and Johnson & Johnson to crash.
  • I want this anger that I feel to serve a purpose for both me personally and for humanity generally.
  • I want an article in The New Yorker to be written about fluoroquinolone toxicity.
  • I want to do a TED talk about floxing.
  • I want to make a living advocating on behalf of victims of the pharmaceutical industry.
  • I want the pharmaceutical industry to have a lot fewer victims – zeroish.
  • I want an apology letter from Bayer.
  • I want to know the pathology by which these drugs messed me (and others) up.
  • I want pharmaceutical companies to have a lot less power.
  • I want people to take side-effects of all drugs seriously.
  • I want everyone to treat everyone else with compassion, caring, respect and love. I want everyone to treat everyone else as if their health matters – because it does. I especially want doctors, nurses and pharmacists to treat everyone that they see as if they matter – because they do – regardless of their disease, their mental state, their hygiene, etc.
  • I want there to be a societal shift away from thinking that it’s okay for people to be sacrificed in exchange for money.
  • I want universal sympathy for those who are suffering.
  • I want this blog to go viral.
  • I want my mind fully back – my memory, my reading comprehension, my concentration, my ability to connect with others – I want it to be back completely.
  • I want a boyfriend/husband, good sex and a baby – in approximately that order.
  • I want a fully loaded, brand new Tesla.

Okay, so those last four may be a bit selfish. Seeing as I’m able to live a normal/good life, while other people who have been Floxed are bed-ridden for years and only want a normal/good life, I feel a little bad about asking for those things. But I do want them… 🙂

 

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Fixing Fluoroquinolone Toxicity is IMPORTANT!

Your health is important.  Fight for it.  Because it matters.

Your voice is important.  Scream for justice.  Because it matters.

Your life is important.  Live life like it’s important.  Because it is.

Showing others that their life matters is important.  Because it does.

Doing something, anything, and I’m honestly not sure what direction to go, about the problems associated with fluoroquinolones, is IMPORTANT.  It’s not okay that any of us were hurt by a prescription antibiotic.  There is nothing okay about that.  We are not collateral damage, we are not small numbers (of people) (of people is in parentheses because it barely matters to some – we’re numbers ) who are adversely effected by an otherwise good drug – we’re PEOPLE whose lives matter.  And it’s important that we scream and let the people and the system that is disregarding us know that WE MATTER!  It’s important for us to change the medical (and maybe the American, and maybe the world) culture that views it as okay to treat people as if they don’t matter, as if they’re collateral damage.  It’s really important.

There are children, even babies, who are given fluoroquinolones – typically in the form of ear and eye drops to treat ear infections and pink-eye.  It is our biological and moral imperative to protect our children.  And by our children, I don’t just mean our biological children, I mean all children.  IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE PROTECT CHILDREN FROM THESE DRUGS!  The knowledge that fluoroquinolones are contraindicated in the pediatric population is as easy to access as a Wikipedia article, yet kids, innocent babies that are depending on us to protect them, are being given these drugs because their doctors are not heeding the warnings.  We MUST protect the children.  We must.  Because it’s really, really, really IMPORTANT.

In prescribing a fluoroquinolone in a situation that was not life threatening, and where other, safer drug alternatives were available, our doctors disregarded their Hippocratic Oath.  THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH IS IMPORTANT.  We need to scream at our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc. until they start following their Hippocratic Oath again.  It’s the moral basis of our medical system, or at least it should be, and it’s really, really important.

Another basis of our medical system that has been lost is INFORMED CONSENT.  It’s also quite important.  When drugs have dangerous, and sometimes permanent, side effects, as is the case with fluoroquinolones, it’s really, really important that informed consent be obtained before the drug is prescribed.  This rarely happens.  Patients are prescribed what they assume is a benign antibiotic.  They probably don’t even think about the side effects.  It’s an antibiotic, people take antibiotics all the time.  How could an antibiotic be harmful?  The sheet listing the side effects is included in the baggie when the prescription is filled, but the pharmacist doesn’t take the time to go over the side effects.  No one ever says, “This can damage your CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM” or “This may permanently weaken all of the connective tissues in your body to the point where you become bed-ridden” or any number of warnings that can describe the horror of fluoroquinolone toxicity.  It is really important that a protocol be established when prescribing and filling prescriptions for fluoroquinolones.  All gatekeepers, at all steps in the process, should be informing patients of the possible consequences of taking these drugs.  To not obtain real informed consent is WRONG.

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It is important for side effects to be relevant.  It is important that doctors, nurses, pharmacists and especially patients know the RISKS associated with every drug.  Everyone involved in the system, including the patients, are guilty of disregarding warnings of side-effects.  Warnings are disregarded because they’re seen as arbitrary and unimportant.  They’re seen as arbitrary and unimportant because the FDA puts one-size-fits-all rules around what is said on drug packaging instead of adequately communicating REAL RISKS of each and every drug to doctors and patients alike.  If warnings are seen as arbitrary, if they’re not seen as real, they will not be heeded and people will get hurt.  It’s important that proper information be given to patients and that they know the risks associated with every drug that we put into our body.

The system let us down.  It’s important that we try to fix it so that it doesn’t let other people down.

Sometimes I wonder if fighting Bayer and Johnson & Johnson is possible.  I know that it is the right thing for me to do, but I get tired.  Fear takes over.  I wonder if I’m getting stuck in the past and stuck in a time in my life when I was sick, when I’m largely recovered, and that’s not a healthy thing to do.  Winning is borderline unimaginable.  Bayer and Johnson & Johnson are huge, powerful and have resources beyond my comprehension.  But then I think, who am I not to fight?  Not that many people see that there are some REALLY BIG PROBLEMS in the medical system, but I do, because of what I’ve been through, so I should take this (unwanted) gift of insight and use it – to scream.  Injustice is being done, people are being hurt and the system needs to be fixed.  So I will scream.  I will find a way to scream.  This blog is a start (maybe it’ll go viral – you never know (yes, that means share this post)), but bigger, better, louder ways of screaming are possible and I will do my best to find them.  BECAUSE BABIES ARE BEING POISONED.  Until they stop giving Cipro ear drops to 1-year-olds, I will scream – because it’s IMPORTANT to keep babies from being poisoned.  The fact that that needs to be said means that we live in a crazy world.  Let’s try to make it a little more sane.

 

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