Tag Archives: Floxed

Fluoroquinolone Mechanisms Chart

Bronwen made this AMAZING chart of fluoroquinolone damage mechanisms that lead to fluoroquinolone toxicity and disability:

Fluoroquinoline reaction chart updated Aug 2016

I know that people are sometimes reluctant to click on links, but I wasn’t able to make the chart into a jpg that I could fit on this page, so, links to the pdf are what I can give you. Please check it out–thanks!

Fluoroquinoline reaction chart updated Aug 2016

You can read about Bronwen’s journey through fluoroquinolone toxicity HERE. Bronwen has been incredibly generous in offering advice and guidance to those who comment on her story too. She is thoughtful, intelligent, insightful, and greatly appreciated!

Putting together the fluoroquinolone toxicity puzzle, and determining what is going on in our “floxed” bodies, is really difficult. Brownen’s chart is helpful, and it’s a wonderful thing to give to doctors and anyone else who is interested in learning about fluoroquinolone toxicity.

Bronwen used the “Dear Colleague” letter by Dr. Miriam J. de Jong as a resource for the chart, and I highly recommend that you check it out too. It can be read HERE.

I have compiled some additional resources for sorting out the fluoroquinolone toxicity puzzle that include:

Through working together, doing research, sharing information, and speaking out, maybe we can all get to the root of what, exactly, fluoroquinolone toxicity is. Once that is known, solutions will be easier to come by.

 

 

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The Silence Around Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

I posted this – http://www.hormonesmatter.com/epidemic-silence-adverse-drug-reactions/ on Hormones Matter on October 17, 2013.  It was originally similar to the post below but I changed and edited it until it became what I submitted to Hormones Matter.  I still like the earlier draft and since it’s more Flox focused, I thought I’d share it on here.  As always, thanks for reading!

The Silence Around Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

One of the more bothersome feedback loops that keeps the dangers of fluoroquinolones from being recognized is that people stay silent about their pain and suffering, and therefore their pain and suffering is not recognized or appreciated, and everyone in the medical field gets to continue to think that these drugs are safe and that adverse reactions are rare. Seeing is believing and they don’t see it, in part because people aren’t screaming. Of course, there are people who are screaming at the top of their lungs about the pain and suffering caused by fluoroquinolone antibiotics who are systematically disregarded, and that’s a problem that has bothersome consequences and feedback loops as well, but it’s a topic for another post. This post is about people suffering in silence about the pain that Cipro, Levoquin, Avelox or Floxin has caused them.

People stay silent for a variety of reasons. There is a lot of shame associated with getting sick. People feel bad about what they can no longer do. They feel responsible for the role that they played in taking those pills, or insisting on them from their doctor, or administering them to their child, and they hide in shame. Also, a lot of the adverse effects of fluoroquinolones are CNS related, meaning that they can adversely effect many areas of mental health. People are notoriously ashamed and silent about mental health issues. It is easier to deal with anxiety, memory loss, depression, panic, etc. alone, in silence, than it is to speak up about what happened. After all, if you speak out about experiencing mental health issues, you run the risk of being labeled as crazy. Additionally, Fluoroquinolone toxicity takes its toll on every system in the body and therefore it is difficult to describe what is going wrong. How does one explain, to anyone, that EVERYTHING is going wrong? It’s too difficult and people sound and feel crazy, so they stay silent. When people ask their doctor about the possibility that the drug that they took caused the myriad of symptoms that they now experience, and the doctor denies that it’s possible that the drug that they prescribed could do what it has done, people assume that their doctor is right, or that they at least aren’t entitled to question their doctor’s expertise. After all, their doctor went to school for a long time and knows what they’re talking about… right? So people assume that they are wrong, their doctor is right, and they stay silent. There are a variety of other reasons why people stay silent about the travesty that is Fluoroquinolone Toxicity. All of them feed into the real risks of these drugs being under-recognized. The silence is, sadly, as much of an epidemic as the pain.

A friend of mine went to a Psychologist to help her to get through the mental and emotional trauma of being Floxed and she told me that, as she was telling the Psychologist her story, the Psychologist started to cry because a few years ago her (the Psychologist) knee swelled up and she experienced over-all tendon inflammation after taking Levoquin. When she asked her Doctor about it, her Doctor told her that the Levoquin couldn’t possibly be the cause of her pain. She knew differently but didn’t say anything. She recovered and didn’t think much of the period that she went through with painful, inflamed tendons much again. My friend’s experience and story validated the Psychologist’s pain, suffering and notion that Levoquin was the cause of her tendinitis, and it freed her to be able to acknowledge that she too was a victim of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Before my friend visited her, the Psychologist thought that she was wrong, or the only one, or that her Doctor must know better, or that her story didn’t matter enough to scream about it – after all, she did recover – and she suffered in silence. She didn’t get the support that she deserved. She didn’t get the acknowledgment that she deserved. No one saw her pain and suffering because no one, including her, acknowledged that it existed.

I went out on a date a few months ago with a guy who was clearly Floxed but he didn’t know it until I told him my story. He had been treated with multiple types of antibiotics for a “chest infection” that was really acid reflux that was making him cough incessantly. He kept going back to his doctor for more and more powerful antibiotics because the mild antibiotics that he was given didn’t get rid of his cough – of course, because it wasn’t from an infection. His doctor eventually prescribed him Cipro and he had an adverse reaction to it. Most of his adverse reaction was mental (but he also lost his endurance and had an increased heart rate that he struggled to get down). He had a severe anxiety/panic attack and he thought that he was about to die. His sister flew to the U.S. from Sweden to be at his side because he thought he was dying. He lost his memory. He lost his composure and was barely able to do his job in software sales. He was clearly sick. But he stayed silent because he was ashamed of having mental issues. He never connected his sudden onset of mental health issues and the antibiotics that he took, and thus his doctor got to continue to think that he was a healthier than average person and that Cipro was a perfectly safe drug.

I have always talked about what was going on in my body and mind. Silence is not something that I have ever been afflicted with. I have always felt the need to be understood, to be recognized and for my pain to be acknowledged. I am lucky enough to have friends and family members who listen to me. Despite being a talker, I still felt like I lost my voice for a while. I felt like I couldn’t really explain what was going on. I felt like there was a wall between myself and those that I was trying to talk to. I think that feeling socially isolated is a symptom of being Floxed and that it’s really difficult to explain something like Floxing to people. It is ABSURD that a prescription antibiotic that is used all the time could cause my body and mind to explode like it did. I knew that what I was saying sounded absurd, and that people didn’t understand what was going on, so there was that barrier to my voice being heard. It didn’t stop me from yapping though. 🙂

I hope that all of you who are afflicted with silence start screaming about your reaction soon. It’s not okay that you were hurt by a prescription antibiotic. It’s not okay for these drugs to take away your ability to walk, your ability to think, your ability to speak, etc. I hope that you all gain your voice back, that we are all heard, and that this absurd situation starts to change.

 

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Ciprodex – Poison Marketed to Children

Ciprodex Ear Drops

Ciprodex is an ear drop that is used in children, especially children under the age of 3, the main people who get ear infections, that contains Cipro, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, and Dexamethasone, a steroid. Let me list the ways in which this is HORRIFYING:

  1. Fluoroquinolones are dangerous drugs. Their adverse effects include DESTRUCTION of all connective tissue throughout the body. This includes tendons, ligaments, fascia and cartilage. Destroying the connective tissue of a growing child is a REALLY BAD IDEA. Fluoroquinolones also adversely effect the nervous systems – central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems. Destroying a child’s central nervous system, its BRAIN, is also a REALLY BAD IDEA. A child’s brain is not fully developed and to damage it with chemicals is unconscionable. Fluoroquinolones are so dangerous that many have been removed from the market due to serious adverse reactions and safety concerns. The fluoroquinolones that have been removed from the market include gatifloxacin, repafloxacin, temafloxacin,trovafloxacin and afloxacin. Cipro (ciprofloxacin) may be formulated in a way that makes it slightly less strong, or, if you’re feeling cynical, it may be formulated in a way that adverse effects tend to be delayed, and thus it is not perceived as being as dangerous as other, recalled, fluoroquinolones, but it’s still REALLY DANGEROUS. Hell, it messed me up pretty severely, and I was a strong and healthy 32 year old. I can only imagine what it would do to a child. I shudder at the thought.
  2. Fluoroquinolones should NEVER be co-administered with a steroid. They are contraindicated with steriods. Yet Bayer, in all its glory and brilliance, decided that it would be a good idea to combine a fluoroquinolone and a steroid in a single medication then market it to children. Awesome. Steroids weaken tendons, fluoroquinolones weaken tendons, putting them together is a toxic cocktail. Steroids also intensify the toxicity syndrome that is “Floxing.”
  3. Because Ciprodex is an ear drop, it doesn’t carry the same warnings as orally administered Cipro. I’m sure that a drug that goes into the digestive tract is metabolized differently than a drug that goes into the body via the ear. However, I am also sure that people can be floxed by ear and eye drops because I’ve talked to people who have been poisoned that way. To take the warning labels off of ear and eye drops is absurd. The drugs are still going into the body. Eyes and ears aren’t disconnected from the rest of the body just because they’re not directly connected to the digestive tract. I’m not asking anyone to believe in homeopathy or to go to a holistic physician, but I am saying that it is crazy to think that drugs that go into the ear and/or the eye don’t go into the body. Ears and eyes actually are part of the body, not separate floating entities completely disconnected from the rest of the being. Yet the FDA treats them this way and doesn’t demand the same warning labels on ear and eye drops. So parents are completely uninformed of the dangers of Ciprodex when they administer it to their children.
  4. Again Ciprodex is specifically marketed to children – what is wrong with these people? And what is wrong with the FDA? Children, the most inherently vulnerable people in our society, the people who are depending completely on others to take care of them, are being endangered at the least and permanently damaged at the worst, by pharmaceutical companies and a medical system that isn’t looking out for them. This is disgusting.

Here is the package insert for Ciprodex – http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/lookup.cfm?setid=0ed518de-4ae1-43d1-84ff-26872d9e6a0f . Some things to note in the insert are:

  1. The amount of Cipro in it is low. This is good. Seriously, thank God.
  2. It is approved for use in patients 6 months of age and older. This is appalling.
  3. CIPRODEX® Otic is contraindicated in patients with a history of hypersensitivity to ciprofloxacin, to other quinolones, or to any of the components in this medication.” So, if your baby starts having seizures, you may want to discontinue use of this drug because it turns out that your child now has a history of hypersensitivity to Cipro. Too bad they don’t mention that an adverse reaction isn’t reversible. And how, other than poisoning their children, are parents supposed to know whether or not their child has a history of hypersensitivity to these drugs?
  4. Serious acute hypersensitivity reactions may require immediate emergency treatment.” This implies that there is a treatment. There isn’t. If your child has an adverse reaction to this drug and you take him or her to the emergency room, he or she will likely be pumped full of steroids which will make him or her worse. Then the child will have connective tissue and nervous system issues for a while, possibly for the rest of his or her life. But sure, tell your doctor immediately if your child experiences a hypersensitive reaction. They won’t be able to do anything about it, but they may realize that they poisoned your child and may avoid doing it again in the future.
  5. If the infection is not improved after one week of treatment, cultures should be obtained to guide further treatment.” Cultures should be obtained before the administration of any antibiotic, period. Fluoroquinolones should not be used as a first line of defense against verified bacteria, period.
  6. The systemic administration of quinolones, including ciprofloxacin at doses much higher than given or absorbed by the otic route, has led to lesions or erosions of the cartilage in weight-bearing joints and other signs of arthropathy in immature animals of various species.” Yup. And I wouldn’t trust that the amount absorbed by the otic route is too small, especially seeing as everyone’s tolerance for fluoroquinolones seems to be different. Some people die after 2 pills, others take 90 before they have a reaction. Besides, the people who are testing these drugs are the ones selling them. Don’t trust the bastards.
  7. Guinea pigs dosed in the middle ear with CIPRODEX® Otic for one month exhibited no drug-related structural or functional changes of the cochlear hair cells and no lesions in the ossicles.” Well, it’s nice to know that their ears looked okay. Could they run though? Could they still find their way through a puzzle (or do whatever cognitive things guinea pigs can do?) How did their brains look? How did their tendons look? You don’t know because you weren’t looking? Oh…. I see.
  8. It is very important to use the ear drops for as long as the doctor has instructed, even if the symptoms improve.” It is very important to stop using fluoroquinolones as soon as possible after you start having an adverse reaction. Even after stopping administration of them, the adverse reaction can continue. Since we’re talking about children, it’s really important that you stop giving your children drugs that are poisoning them. Discontinue use immediately.
  9. Specific drug interaction studies have not been conducted with CIPRODEX® Otic.” I’ll tell you that NSAIDs and steroids trigger adverse reactions.
  10. Ciprofloxacin and corticosteroids, as a class, appear in (breast) milk following oral administration.” This is bad.
  11. No clinically relevant changes in hearing function were observed in 69 pediatric patients (age 4 to 12 years) treated with CIPRODEX® Otic and tested for audiometric parameters.” Your child will still be able to hear. That’s good. He or she may even be able to hear constant ringing (tinnitus), a common effect of fluoroquinolone toxicity. That’s bad.
  12. All of the adverse events listed are things involving the ear. Of course, adverse effects on the ear should be noted when studying ear drops, but the rest of the subject should also be noted. Of the 937 babies poisoned by Ciprodex, how many suffered from subsequent tendon pain? How many had cartilage, tendons, ligaments or fascia that were mal-formed? How many of these children subsequently read at a normal level? How many of these children displayed symptoms of autism? Could they run? Could the jump? Could they think? Could they concentrate? Did they have GI problems? ALL of these things are problems associated with fluoroquinolone toxicity, and if none of these questions were asked, then the researchers were LOOKING AT THE WRONG THINGS. THEY WERE ASKING THE WRONG QUESTIONS AND THE SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF THIS DRUG HAS NOT BEEN ESTABLISHED PROPERLY.

Even if all of the 937 children who were part of this study (side-note – don’t put your children in drug studies, just don’t) were fine, (and I doubt that is the case), effects of fluoroquinolones appear to be cumulative. So, even if these children didn’t react to these drugs the first time they were administered, they may react horribly to them when they get a fluoroquinolone in the future. A ticking time-bomb in their little body has been triggered, and it may get set off by future fluoroquinolone use, steroid use, NSAID use, or maybe even vaccines. (I’m not trying to vilify vaccines any more than I’m trying to vilify ibuprofen, the culprit is the fluoroquinolone, not the triggering toxin.)

fluoroquinolone-lawsuit-banner-trulaw

Ciprodex and plain Cipro ear drops are given to children constantly. A very good friend of mine brought her then 9-month old daughter to an emergency services clinic with a suspected ear infection. The doctor never cultured the bacteria in her ear, he simply prescribed her some Cipro ear drops. Thankfully I was with my friend when she went to pick up the drops and she never filled the prescription (because I flipped out). The infection went away on its own.

The following was recently posted in a Facebook group that I belong to – “My 20 month old grandson is visiting from GA. He had a follow-up appointment at Vanderbilt for his ear tubes. The physician prescribed Ciprodex Otic Suspension for an ear infection. This is a combination of Cipro and corticosterod given via the ear. The insert does not disclose all the potential side effects. The insert states there are other potential risk and if you have concerns get additional information from your health care provider (which we know how that goes). After watching my wife go from a normal life to a life with disabilities…..I am concerned. In my personal research, children are at high risk of floxing. Does anyone know of floxing via the ear drop forms of quinolone antibiotics?”

Children are being given this poison every day. A child has probably been given a dose of Ciprodex in the amount of time that it took you to read this post. I hope and pray that they are okay.  

 

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The Shame of a Pharmaceutical Induced Illness

I have noticed some shame associated with floxing.  I have felt plenty of shame.  I haven’t wanted people to know that I was sick.  I haven’t wanted people to know how I got sick.  I haven’t wanted people to know that I’m dwelling on being sick or that I’m participating in support groups.  I certainly have felt some shame associated with having mental health issues – a lovely part of floxing.  I have felt shame at how I dealt with getting sick – badly – something that I can at least partly attribute to my mental health issues that were caused by getting floxed.  I have felt shame about the fact that I can’t do the things that I used to be able to do.  I have felt shame about my anger.  I have felt shame about not getting better more quickly (and I am a fast recovering Floxie).  I have felt shame over the fact that I’ve changed, that I’m just different now.   Lots and lots of stupid shame.  I have noticed that other people seem to feel shame about being floxed too.  They use a pseudonym when participating in the support groups, or they ask for things not to be shared with their friends or family members.  Shame, it appears, is part of being Floxed, for many people.

I wonder where this shame came from.  For me, in some cases it was justified.  I really did deal horribly with getting sick.  I was anxious, had psychotic thoughts and sought validation of my sickness and thoughts of my impending death.  My family was worried – justifiably.  And maybe it’s okay to feel a little ashamed of the fact that I’ve dwelled on being sick.  It’s not healthy to have a sickness form your identity.  More importantly, it’s not helpful.  But I really shouldn’t have been ashamed of getting sick, or any of my symptoms.  It’s not my fault.  And the fact that you got sick is not your fault.  And I shouldn’t have felt ashamed at the pace at which I recovered.  My body, mind and spirit healed as fast as they could.  Yours will too.

Shame, I think, ultimately stems from fear that you won’t be loved.  That you won’t be loved as a sick person.  That you won’t be loved as a person who can’t run, or play football, or dance, or whatever.  That you won’t be loved as an anxious person.  That you won’t be loved as a person who isn’t as smart as you used to be.  That you won’t be loved as a tired person.  That you won’t be loved as a Floxie.  So you hide your sickness, your anger, your pain, and you feel ashamed.

I’m not sure what to say to any of you who can empathize with this post, other than stop it.  Stop feeling ashamed.  Stop hiding.  Stop being afraid.  And you may just find that you are loved just the way you are, busted tendons and all.

You are sick.  You are not broken.  You are not less.  You have nothing to be ashamed of.  You have no reason to hide.  You are loved.  Even if you are sick and scared and can’t move or think, you are loved.  You are loved by your friends and family.  Even if you don’t feel the love from them, don’t believe the love from them, you are still loved because love is within you.  You are loved.  You just are.

 

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What is Fluoroquinolone Toxicity???

Cipro Molecular Structure

What is the pathology and what is the cause of floxing???  I’ve jumbled up theories of cause and pathology in the following list:

Is it an autoimmune disease/reaction?  ‘Cause that makes sense.   Many of the symptoms are similar to those of known autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis or Lupus.  The connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, fascia, etc. of Floxies is being attacked.  If it’s being attacked by the immune system, well, that’s an autoimmune disease.  Which leads me to – AN ANTIBIOTIC TRIGGERED AN AUTO-IMMUNE REACTION – ARE YOU EFFING SERIOUS???  But it may not be….

Is it a serum sickness?  ‘Cause that makes sense.   My uncle who is an orthopedic surgeon thinks that it is.  This article describes floxing as a serum sickness – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC171716/

Is it a toxic reaction?  ‘Cause that makes sense.  A drug is a toxin, right?  So if we get it out of our systems, we’ll be fine, right?  Unfortunately, this, the simplest of explanations, is the easiest to dismiss.  If it was a toxic reaction, people wouldn’t have delayed reactions.  When I went to the doctor, two weeks after I finished taking Cipro, and asked her if my symptoms had anything to do with the Cipro, she said no because (she didn’t know any better and) the Cipro should have been out of my system by then.  She’s probably right.  The Cipro had been metabolized.  But while it was there, it did something horrible to every cell in my body.  Maybe there are lingering pockets of toxins that we can just clean up and be cured…. But I don’t think so.

Is it an inhibition of the CYP1A2 enzyme?  ‘Cause that makes sense.  Fluoroquinolones inhibit the CYP1A2 enzyme in the liver, according to http://www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2007/2007-11/2007-11-8279.  Cures include smoking tobacco and eating broccoli.  You don’t want to start smoking, I wouldn’t/don’t…. But if it will enable you to walk, well, I can’t blame you.

Is it mitochondrial damage?  The general consensus among Floxies is that their mitochondria is damaged.  Another Floxie blog goes into this theory – http://www.floxedbylevaquin.com/p/mitochondrial-disease.html.  This may be an entirely false line of logic seeing as cellular energy and how energetic you feel are different, but mitochondrial damage may explain the exhaustion that Floxies feel.  Harvard researchers seem to be on this track – http://www.worldpharmanews.com/research/2481-dodging-antibiotic-side-effects

Is it dna damage?  Fluoroquinolones “prevent bacterial DNA from unwinding and duplicating” (according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoroquinolone).  Do they also prevent our DNA from unwinding and duplicating?

Is it an inability to absorb magnesium and other minerals?  Given that magnesium and other mineral supplements are the only supplements that seem to reliably help most Floxies, and that many floxing symptoms are similar to that of magnesium deficiency this explanation seems pretty likely.  Unfortunately, popping a magnesium pill every day doesn’t seem to fix the problem.  Also, according to “Musculoskeletal Complications of Fluoroquinolones: Guidelines and Precautions for Usage in the Athletic Population” by Doctors Hall, Finnoff and Smith (do I have to site it correctly on a blog?), “Results of studies have shown that magnesium-deficient diets are capable of producing cartilage changes similar to that caused by fluoroquinolone exposure in both canines and rats, and dietary magnesium supplementation was able to reduce the histologic changes in rats exposed to fluoroquinolones.”  More information regarding the relationship between floxing and magnesium can be found in the article which can be found in Musculoskeletal Medicine, Vol. 3, pages 132-142, February 2011, published by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  Email me for a copy. Also, here is a list of drugs that deplete magnesium from the body.  Cipro and Levquin are on it –  http://www.jigsawhealth.com/resources/drug-muggers-suzy-cohen-magnesium

Is it a methylation issue / MTHFR gene mutation?  A lot of Floxies have been tested for the MTHFR gene mutation and all who have tested and reported back have had the mutation.  I honestly don’t know enough about this line of thinking to comment much on it.  Here’s some info – http://www.methyl-life.com/index.html.

Is it something to do with blood? Iron, chlorophyll and beets are all supposed to help production of red blood cells, and those are the things that help me the most.  Maybe our blood doesn’t carry oxygen as well as it did.  Why/how did fluoroquinolones effect my blood’s ability to carry oxygen?  I have no idea.  I don’t even know that the above statement is true.  I do know that blood tonics such as iron, chlorophyll and beets help me though.

Is it something that inhibits our absorbtion of uridine?  Beets make me feel better, and I’ve been having Brewer’s Yeast daily for about a year.  Maybe the uridine in those things is helpful.  http://www.spanimax.com/index.php/omega-3-and-uridine

Is it something hormonal?  I know that my symptoms get significantly worse just before my period and during my period.  Hormones have some effect on floxing – I just don’t know what it is.  Hormones may explain cycling too.

Is it something going hay-wire in our Gaba receptors?  Dr. Flockhart, a doctor who has seen many Floxies, believes that floxing causes interference with the Gaba receptors throughout our brains and bodies.

Is a neurotoxin produced by the damaged/bad bacteria after exposure to fluoroquinolones (or the die-off of the “good” bacteria that keep the bad ones in check)?  There are several interesting things noted in Beyond Antibiotics by Michael Schmidt.  Dr. Schmidt points out that both tartaric acid and tricarbalyte are noxious compounds produced by bad gut bacteria when good gut bacteria in the gut are not available to keep them in check.  Tartaric acid “is a known poison of the energy system of mitochondria,” and tricarbalyte “binds to magnesium and may reduce the availability of dietary magnesium.”  (pages 28-29) Dr. Schmidt also says that antibiotics cause the production of clostridiam which is a known neurotoxin producing organism (p. 44). And, on page 47 he says, “Whever a CPY enzyme is blocked or slowed, its ability to detoxify other drugs can be impaired.”  My thought on this is that the fluoroquinolones slowed our CPY enzymes then the NSAIDs, steroids, other toxins in our system, did other damage – and maybe that’s why each of us have so many different symptoms.

Also, John Travis reported in Science News (July 2003;164) that research performed by John F. Prescott found that certain antibiotics, such as the fluoroquinolones, the class of antibiotics that includes the name-brands and generic brands of Levaquin[R], Cipro[R], Tequin[R], and Avelox[R], actually are known to trigger a type of virus called bacteriophages (viruses that can infect bacteria) to change the genetic sequencing of the bacteria, causing the bacterium they have infected to start producing toxins. These viruses can act as genetic delivery vans, invading bacteria, such as spirochetes, often lying dormant, until activated by a change in the host (your body’s) environment. Once activated, these viruses insert their toxin-generating genes into the bacterial chromosomes. These viruses can turn basically harmless bacterium into killers through this genetic sequencing of toxins (Travis 2003).  Not only are these toxins released through bacteria die-off and not only can antibiotics actually increase the production of the toxins, but these viruses can cause the bacteria to rupture, spilling their toxins into the body (Waldor 2004).  http://www.benbrew.com/lb/lyme5.pdf

Did we have something in our system that “supercharged” the fluoroquinolone antibiotics?  Maybe we had trace amounts of silver in our system that made the FQs many times stronger – http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=silver-makes-antibiotics-thousands-of-times-more-effective.  Or, maybe we had some grapefruit juice in our system and it produced that enzyme that kept us from metabolizing the drugs.

FQs are topoisomerase inhibitors and that the primary cause of our issues is likely DNA and mtDNA damage from massive transcription errors as a result of the chemical inhibition of proper cellular replication. That is the effect of a topoisomerase inhibitor, after all. They simply affect both prokaryotic AND eukaryotic DNA, despite what the literature states.  Recent research has proven this about FQs. That is why you get the delayed effect. It takes weeks to months for those damaged cells to replicate.
http://biology.about.com/od/cellanatomy/a/eukaryprokarycells.htm

Further, “FQs are currently being investigated for their chemotherapeutic properties. This research would not be possible if FQs didn’t affect eukaryotic cells.  FQs damage DNA by via inhibition of topoisomerase enzymes. This causes the DNA to not unwind, replicate, and then rewind back into the double helix structure correctly. This introduces transcription errors into the DNA itself. The body then recognizes these errors and attacks. This process should be over in a relatively short period of time. Unfortunately, I also think FQs alter the DNA of long lasting immune cells (killler B and T cells for example) which normally remain in the body for years or decades. I think once this happens, the body then develops the autoimmune issues. Also, it is a fact that once you cause the DNA and mtDNA damage, then you see a huge spike in the amount of ROS in the body. There was a study done of Indian men given Cipro for UTIs that proved that. What would you expect the body to do if you damage the ability of the mito to efficiently turn food into energy? You would get an increase in the amount of reactive oxygen species causing a cascade of cellular damage.  Also, it is well known that the human body would simply fall apart without many types of bacteria. Now what if you introduce a chemical into the body that destroys and/or causes mutations in the DNA of said bacteria? I think all of what I previously stated combines to cause our issues.”

Did Fluoroquinolones cause us to become Histamine Intolerant or to have excess histamine?  Here are the ways that this makes sense.  First, drugs can inhibit the enzymes that keep histamine levels in check.  Fluoroquinolones aren’t listed as drugs that can do so, but NSAIDs, one category of drugs that can trigger a reaction to Fluoroquinolones, are – http://healthypixels.com/?p=1044.  Second, “Histamine is versatile–it helps to regulate body functions as diverse as digestion, sleep, sexual function, blood pressure, and brain function.  How does this one molecule do so many different things?  The secret to histamine’s multi-faceted nature lies in which type of cell and which type of receptor it binds to.  For example, when histamine binds to special cells in the stomach called parietal cells, they respond by producing stomach acid.  When histamine binds to receptors on the surface of blood vessel cells, blood vessels dilate, dropping blood pressure. Small vessels called capillaries become leaky and fluids ooze out of them, which can lead to runny nose, watery eyes, and puffy skin/fluid retention.  In the brain, histamine acts as a neurotransmitter, carrying chemical messages between nerve cells.” (from http://diagnosisdiet.com/histamine-intolerance/)  Also, estrogen and histamine reinforce each other, which may explain why menstruating women have flare-ups of their floxing symptoms when they experience PMS.  BUT, histamine doesn’t adequately explain a lot of other things.  First, Fluoroquinolone Toxicity is NOT an allergic reaction, at least not in the sense that we think of allergic reactions, with an immediate, severe reaction that can include anaphylactic shock and ceasing of the reaction when exposure to the allergen has stopped and an antihistamine is administered.  Adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones can begin weeks or even months after exposure to the drug has stopped; after it SHOULD be fully metabolized and out of the body.  Also, antihistamine drugs like Benadryl, Claratin and Zyrtek don’t seem to do much for those who are suffering from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity.

Do fluoroquinolones damage the myelin sheath that protects nerves?  Fluoroquinolones damage or disrupt the Central Nervous System, the Peripheral Nervous System and the Autonomic Nervous System.  This leads me to believe that they damage or disrupt nerves over-all.  Perhaps the myelin sheath that protects nerves is attacked by fluoroquinolones.

Do fluoroquinolones cause a massive amount of oxidative stress on the body and does that oxidative stress cause the damage?  A 2011 study published in the Journal of Young Pharmacists found that, “There is significant and gradual elevation of lipid peroxide levels in patients on ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin.”  They also found that “There was substantial depletion in both SOD (superoxide dismutase, “a free radical scavenging enzyme”) and glutathione levels” and that “On the 5th day of treatment, plasma antioxidant status decreased by 77.6%, 50.5% (and) 7.56% for ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin and gatifloxacin respectively.” The study also notes that administration of fluoroquinolones leads to a marked increase in the formation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and that “reactive free radicals overwhelms the antioxidant defence, lipid peroxidation of the cell membrane occurs. This causes disturbances in cell integrity leading to cell damage/death.”

All of these theories make sense and it would be really nice to know which one is correct. Basically, what the hell is going on in our bodies?  Why are we falling apart?  Why do some people get better and others don’t?  Why do FQs effect some people and not others?  It’s all so confusing and frustrating.  If some research on where to even start could be done… that would be helpful.

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