The Myth of the Magic Bullet: Flox Tox

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September 7, 2012 | 17 Comments

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  1. I too have been where you are all of the symptoms I have endured also. I am almost 3yrs out from when I was floxed on Oct 8 2009. I can finally drive again and walk with my trecking poles. I thought everything was finally on the mend. And now I have presented with severe multiple chemical sensitivity. I can smell any purfume, smoke or mold a literal block away. And I have a seziure that makes my brain and my arms nad leggs stop working. And then I go into a histeria that sends me laughing and cring all at the same time. It takes about 2 days to over come and then I am exausted. I am sitting here at 4am typing this to you because the pain in my back and leggs like a flu in my muscles is to strong to sleep. I am hopeing that this is the last new symptom as this terrible ordeal is working out of my body. My husband has been a supportive saint!! But I am seeing who my friends truly are as they leave me one by one. Please do not give up I know if we keep trying we will find a way to fight this blight on our bodies. hang in there you are not alone 🙂

  2. All I can say is this floxing issue is extremely common, please all join the various sites on Facebook, we are thousands of floxed victims who help each other, as the medical society turns a blind eye, and refuses to help, sites like Cipro is poison, Levaquin Toxicity, several very helpful Facebook sites

  3. I believe the pharmaceutical’s reign of control is coming to an end soon. You can thank the people in the groups that Virginia is talking about. There are true heros in this group, so damaged they can no longer work but spend their energy researching, lobying, seeking endlessly how to protect the rest of you from ever experiencing this “twighlight zone” hell . Do not thank the FDA they are the ones who passed this drug knowing full well of the damage it causes. They knew full well it was intended as a last resort antibiotic. Who told doctors to give it out for simple infections? I will never understand what business an antibiotic has to do with snapping tendons or causing retinas to detatch or psychosis just to name a few. This can happen with one or two pills. I know first hand. I suffered well over two years not knowing what in the world was going on with me, even doctors did not know, then I found the facebook site Virginia mentioned.I found so many people exactly like me, willing to help me. One more note, I have tried to explain why I am having trouble keeping up at work and had my dignity affronted in a very hurtful way. We deal with this every day.This only adds to the pain. Heartfelt hanks again to all the heros here.

  4. I have had a pretty severe reaction myself: In 2009, I went to the hospital for excruciating pain in my kidneys. I was given Levaquin for a suspected kidney infection, though Cipro and Factive (another Fluoroquinolone) were both already on my allergy list for a severe skin reaction to each. I had hallucinations while on Levaquin. About a week after I stopped, I went to throw something away, and I threw my shoulder out instead. I’ve have only had x-rays done on my shoulder, though the problem persists, I’m not sure what happened. That quickly became the least of my problems. Throughout the next year, I had a lot of trouble breathing, breathing attacks, chest pains, what seemed like chronic sinus infections, and vertigo with nausea and vomiting and a lot of trouble with my joints. My doctor, unable to figure out what was going on (he tested me for everything from MS and Lupus to Leukemia) and desperately wanting to help me, diagnosed me with asthma and decided to try Cipro again (he had his reasons, and, at the time, I agreed with him). But since I had a tendency to react, he decided prescribing Prednisone along with it would stave off the potential reaction. He was right, I didn’t have an immediate reaction. So, I would go on to do this combination two more times over the next few months. I kept getting worse. My joints were giving out on me more and more, my hips, ankles and right shoulder were a mess. My breathing had gotten much worse, I could hardly speak at times and had to leave my job.
    In May/June, 2011, I went to the ER for significant rectal bleeding, trouble breathing and chest pains. After a few tests, I was given Cipro and sent home. Three days later I went back to the ER because I had gotten much worse. They admitted me and stopped the Cipro and started me on Levaquin. They ran test after test and could not explain my symptoms. I was sent home without a diagnosis. About a week or so after I finished the Levaquin, the asthma attacks, among other things, became significantly worse and started involving my entire body twisting and flicking violently. Inside of an attack:

    My neck flicks back over and over, my eyes roll back, right eyebrow raises over and over while my left eye closes. My mouth grimaces to the right. My tongue feels like it is being pulled back toward my throat, and my throat spasms. My chest feels solid, especially at my diaphragm and I can’t catch a breath. My right shoulder shifts up, while the left downward, right arms twists outward, while my left twist inward violently. My fingers curl up and pull back toward my body, painfully. My hips twist the opposite of my shoulders, painfully. My legs pull upward, toward my body and twist inward and occasionally my toes would pull apart.
    These attacks are extremely painful.
    I was diagnosed with dystonia.

    Over the next year (I am now 13 months out from the last time I took Levaquin), my ability to walk normally would become extremely impaired. My hips hurt at all times, my achilles are very tender, and the tendons behind my knees feel like they shrink up so I cannot fully straighten out my legs (especially my left). Most of my days had been spent flicking into dystonic postures (exactly the same motion as the dystonic attacks). I have tremors in my left hand, and my head nods and bobbles. These are just the worst of my symptoms, there are many more, including vision issues and anemias but that could take days.

    These reactions are not uncommon. Thank you for helping to get the word out there.

    • Jamie, I too was diagnosed with Dystonia, but I know that’s not an accurate diagnosis. Your description of your attack really spoke to me. I’ve never heard anyone else ever explain exactly what my attacks are like. I’ve never met anyone else who has this particular set of symptoms. I see many wonderful doctors and have made significant progress, but yet none of them have any idea about a cause or treatment for my twitchy episodes. here is a link to a video I made while I was experiencing an episode. I would very much love to contact you and talk about this. I’m starting to think that the intense antibiotics I took to treat Lyme disease may be the cause. http://kiwikeri.blogspot.com/2013/06/video-update-of-symptoms.html

  5. No idea of the mechanism — but there’s been a lot of talk recently about treating some antibiotic-linked problems with fecal transplants — literally, introducing a bit of poop from a healthy person. The most common reason has been to treat C. difficile, that killer intestinal infection, which I guess is caused or provoked by fluoroquinolones. But there is talk of using it to treat MS, other autoimmune disorders and Parkinson’s among other things. Apparently we each carry around a whole Amazon jungle of useful bugs, most of which we know nothing about, that may do a lot more exotic things than just break down our food. Just like the Amazon, kill’em off before we even know what they are, and we get in trouble. Has anyone heard of Flox victims trying this?

    I had a scary reaction from Cipro + lithium. Had taken the lithium for a month, no problems. The first day I added Cipro (for diverticulitis) I passed out cold, twice, woke up on the floor totally disoriented at first. Never fainted before in my life, that I know. I used this website to look up interactions; it said both these drugs could alter your heartbeat (“QT prolongation”) and taking two such drugs together posed some risk of arrhythmias including one called torsade de pointes which just might kill you. Yikes. I stopped the lithium immediately and had no more trouble.

  6. I am currently undertaking a supervised titration of Diazepam, after being prescribed it for several years. 10 days ago, I had to go to hospital due to Epidymo-Orchiditis, for which I was prescribed Ciprofloxacin. Withing 24 hours of taking it I started to experience benzo-style withdrawal symptoms, which I thought was odd as I had only dropped my 4mg in four weeks. But I tried to grin and bare it as I wasn’t expecting it to be pleasant.
    It’s currently 2am and I am having the night from hell. I haven’t slept in two days, I have no concentration to even watch a TV show, I’ve had suicidal thoughts, depression, panic and varying other problems. After a bit of research on the internet, I find out that Cipro’ is a GABA inhibitor. The exact receptors that Diazepam is supposed to work on. So even though I’ve been taking my Diazepam as prescribed, it has had no effect and sent me in to a much deeper withdrawal than I should have been. the Dr. that prescribed the Cipro’ knew my situation and even knowing my history of mental health issues, gave me the meds. I had NO idea that a simple anti-biotic could have such profound negative effects. I am now praying that my GP knows of some anti-dote that he can administer to me in the morning?

    • Ashley, I have been on diazepam for almost 6 years. Just 10 mg a day in 2 gifts. In march of this year I came off my antidepressant (Citalopram) after things went fine and I had total control of my anxiety. Then along came ciprofloxacin. On the third day I started to have muscle pain and after a nap in the afternoon I woke up and everything looked upside down. After closing and again opening my eyes it was fine. I also noticed my sleep was affected. During the time of the antidepressants I noticed that all of a sudden my low dose of valium seemed to act paradoxial. THe only thing that seemed to work was to add (non prescribed) clonazepam to the mix, but since I felt guilty of self doctoring I called my GP to tell him that I had the feeling I was relapsing. I had no idea it could have been the cipro, but at this point I’m starting to connect the dots. I’m scared since I feel depressed and even suicidal. At this moment I started zoloft as some last resort in the hope I can withdraw from the diazepam and see if my gaba receptors will heal. If you read this I wonder how you are doing right now. Maybe we can support each other. Take care.

  7. My doc put me on a valium reduction of 5 mg every other day. I had difficulty urinating and developed a uti. My urologist put me on 5 rounds of cipro with Ibprophen. I have not been the same since. Agitation extreme reaction to any valium reduction insomnia back and pelvic pain and seizure like periods where I can’t talk or stutter extreme weakness cold then bouts of crying and depression and just a general malaise. After a lot of reading it looks like I had the perfect storm with valium, cipro, and ibprophen. I am not getting better and am wondering if there is anything that can help me.

  8. I believe the two pictures of “the myth of floxing” and “the truth of floxing “would make an awesome t-shirt to spread the word of what these medicines actually do.
    I was floxed eleven years ago and live with the damage that Cipro & Tequin have done to my body.
    Do I have to have permission to put these pictures on a t-shirt?
    Thank you for all the information this page offers.
    Miriam Brown

  9. . I was prescribed Cipro for prostatitisin May 2009. On the fourth day I had to stop. I took 7 tablets of 75mg Cipro and my head was exploding and my feet felt like they were being burned. I suffered terrible insomnia and strange mental sensations that I cannot describe well but the effect was that I was terrified and suffered panick attacks.

    I was a competitive cyclist. About 6 weeks after taking the cipro while out on a training ride I felt my legs just start to seize up. I lost power and had to stop half way up a hill I would never have had a problem with. In the following days and weeks I could no longer ride and had dificulty walking. I lost the grip in my hands and a tendon in my right forearm tore.

    This went on for about 18 months before I felt able to get back on my bike and start to build my fitness up but only gently. After two years I started to feel a lot better, but some symptoms never left. I still got twitching in my lowe legs and my hand grip always suffered.

    I thought that i had survived the worst of this. Until that is I had a cortisone injection from my doctor into a shoulder injury in May 2015. 6 weeks later I had all the tendon pains back and I am off the bike again. My forearms and calves and ankles are worst affected. I also have developed a noticeable worsening in my tinnitus (which i have had for many years). I did some online support group research and found that some post floxies had had severe relapses after taking cortisone. I can only assume this is what I am now suffering.

    You will never get much info from the medical world. The only real info I have ever found is from fellow sufferers.

    Never ever take cipro. Frankly, even if my life depended on it I would refuse it.

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