Fluoroquinolone antibiotics leave patients paralyzed with irreversible damage

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fluoroquinolone-antibiotics(NaturalHealth365) Vibrant, athletic young people who are now bedridden and housebound, formerly high-functioning professionals who have trouble remembering simple words – these individuals all have something in common. A common type of medication called fluoroquinolone antibiotics – often prescribed for such routine ailments as urinary tract infections and prostatitis – have caused devastating health conditions.

Fluoroquinolone toxicity, a disorder of the musculoskeletal system that can leave patients paralyzed, has affected tens of thousands of people to date – and experts say the harm may be irreparable.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics make up over 16 percent of all antibiotics prescribed – worldwide

Fluoroquinolones, a class of synthetic, broad-spectrum antibiotics, include such common drugs as Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and Levaquin (levofloxacin).

Cipro is indicated for bacterial infections. In addition to being used to treat typhoid fever, anthrax, sepsis and plague, the medication is also used for more routine ailments – such as diarrhea, sinusitis, bronchitis and urinary tract infections. Leviquin is used to treat many of the same illnesses.

Listed as an “essential medicine” by the World Health Organization, Cipro is active against bacterial pathogens such E. coli, MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Cipro was administered to American troops during the Gulf War to protect against chemical weapon attacks, and was also given to civilian workers at the Postal Service, the Capitol and the White House during the anthrax scare of 2001.

Oral fluoroquinolones continue to be prescribed, with over 22 million Americans receiving prescriptions for the medications in 2014 alone.

Over 180,000 injuries and fatalities may be just the tip of the iceberg

According to RxISK.org, an independent website run by researchers who use data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Adverse Reporting System, there were 79,000 suspected Cipro-related adverse reactions – including 1,700 fatalities – between the years 2005 and 2015.

In addition, 1,000 deaths and 80,000 adverse reactions were associated with Leviquin.

Many health professionals say that these numbers grossly underrepresent the scope of the incidence of adverse reactions – with one study estimating that only 1 to 15 percent of adverse effects are ever reported.

Fluoroquinolones can cause a tragic constellation of unwanted health effects

According to a warning issued by Cipro’s manufacturer, Bayer, ciprofloxacin can damage tendons, cartilage, bone and muscle – as well as affecting the heart and central nervous system.

The most common adverse effect is tendon ruptures – particularly of the Achilles tendon. In fact, one study reports that the use of fluoroquinolones makes a ruptured Achilles tendon four times more likely to occur.

In 2008, the FDA issued a “black box” warning for fluroquinolone antibiotics, advising that the drugs could cause tendonitis and ruptured tendons – as well as a long list of other adverse effects. These included peripheral neuropathy – which features burning, tingling and numbness in the extremities – seizures, difficulty breathing, eye disorders, cognitive issues and psychiatric disorders such as psychosis and panic.

Fluoroquinolones can also worsen myasthenia gravis, a disorder of muscle weakness.

Other dangers of fluoroquinolones include hypersensitivity reactions and liver failure – along with serious, potentially fatal reactions when used with theophylline, a medication used to treat asthma and emphysema.

Toxicities can occur within a day of starting fluoroquinolones, and the risk is increased for patients over 60, patients with kidney, heart or lung transplants, and those taking corticosteroids.

Shocking statistics: Up to 50 percent of prescriptions for fluoroquinolones may be unnecessary and ineffective

Although fluoroquinolone antibiotics can be lifesaving, experts say they should be viewed as a “drug of last resort,” to be used only when no other option exists.

However, an eye-opening study published in BMC Infectious Diseases found that almost a third of the fluoroquinolone regimens given to patients at a Cleveland hospital were for syndromes where antibiotics were not warranted at all. Of the regimens that were appropriate, the authors said that most could have been replaced by a drug with fewer side effects.

And a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that fully half of all prescribed fluoroquinolone drugs were unnecessary. And, they rarely issues such statements.

As for Bayer, the company maintains that their labeling “accurately reflects the benefit-risk profiles” of its fluoroquinolone drugs – and claims it sent warning letters to healthcare providers in both 2008 and 2011, stressing that some adverse effects could be permanent.

For some, this is not enough.

Rachel Brummert, executive director of the patient advocacy group Quinolone Vigilance Foundation, says that the pharmaceutical industry should do more to warn physicians of the risk of injury.

“Doctors are largely in the dark,” she states. “The few patients who are warned are not told that these adverse reactions can be permanent.”

Dr. Beatrice Golomb, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, agrees that the effects of fluoroquinolones can be permanent. She also describes them as “tragic” and “horrifying.”

“Fluoroquinolones can … take young lives and really destroy them,” Dr. Golomb declares.

Although fluoroquinolones are used by millions without incident, the chance of toxicity does exist – making it a gamble that many do not want to take. It’s best to be vigilant about prescribed medications, and refuse fluoroquinolones unless there is no other option available.

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  • Diane Ensminger

    I was given Cipro two years ago. Spent a year with hyperacussis and still have tinnitus today! The doctor doesn’t recognize this. How in the world could my hyperaccussis be reported as a reaction if the doctor couldn’t care and thinks I’m crazy for saying it. She (doctor) yelled at me when I didn’t like the medications that either she or her great friend – the ENT she sent me to – prescribed (prednisone). They have a network of sending patients to each other, and they aren’t to be trusted. Prednisone for an ear infection? – Are they crazy? I took the medications. What did I know? They are the trusted doctors who know about these things (sarcasm). Hyperaccusis was very painful, horrible, pain in ear when hear noise. It’s unbelievable . My chiropractor had me take MCT oil and then, over a year, I improved. I do not trust our medical providers in the US as far as I can throw them ( I wish I could throw them away!) What in the world is a person to do when they get ill and become a guinea pig in our horrible medical system. Don’t doctors know that Cipro is dangerous? The doctor
    said it was very strong. Is that a warning? To the patient that word means it is strong and will work well. If “strong ” was meant as a warning, that doctor shouldn’t even be in business. She will just continue to ruin peoples lives and not care!

  • Margaret Port

    I had a pseudamonas infection on my foot early 2016. A lab report said I needed cipro or there were several other options. Two drs told me that cipro was the only drug they were allowed to prescribe as someone somewhere in the system had decided that cipro was the drug to use. I knew about the side effects, told them I was over 60, on cortisone for asthma, and with a serious heart problem. To no avail. I finished up curing the infection with white vinegar and carb soda soaking with some colloidal silver thrown into the mix. I told them about the black box warnings and that fluorine causes me severe breathing problems and I was told if I didn’t take it my foot would fall off. They even denied there was fluorine in the drug. Completely stonewalled me.
    My best friend took cipro eight years ago. Age 50 She has severe peripheral neuropathy, spinal disc deterioration, vision damage, spastic bowel. She has just had an illiostomy to get some relief from the bowel problems.
    My nephew had cipro for an ear infection a couple of years ago. Aged 40. He now has multiple tears in both achilles tendons. Damage in his knee joint, and a tumor on his adrenal gland.
    Unfortunately I didn’t manage to warn them before they took it. I now hassle everyone I meet.
    In my experience drs did not care one bit about my welfare

  • Riitta Helena

    2016 my doctor cave me
    ciprofloaxin. one pill was about to kill me. My lips were swollen and could not feel anything.
    I had strong feeling of fainting head spinning. Was crolling on the floor, feeling like I am about to die. Managed to call an ambulance. Later was sent to ct scan. there was no damage, but if i contenued to take all the pills I was given, I would have died, I am sure.

  • Jeanie Keebler

    I lost my health to this drug. Thank-you for warning others.

  • montezaro

    I don’t know why this old discovery is still hidden from us. It is used (and still is) in the former Russian state of Georgia for decades, with no side effects. Because it is dirt cheap? For the West, “more studies are needed”. It is done, just use it! https://www. youtube. com/watch?v=d-v8uSG2ewk

    • Andrea Siani

      “No side effects” is just not true but under-recognized side effects is true. it is very hard to put together knee instability 2 months after a fluoroquinolone antibiotic or foot problems or a rotator cuff tear. And then the less common but severely disabling Fluoroquinolone Associated Disability is currently not being associated with FQA use. This is real just under-recognized. Save these antibiotics, cheap or not, for life threatening cases.

  • eyesandears

    It’s used because of the information provided to the doctors by the drug reps: Levaquin is the most widely prescribed full spectrum antibiotic in the US. These are the precise words parroted to me by eight different doctors when questioning the appropriateness of its use! This is what they hear and remember – and assume that because everyone else is prescribing it, it must be THE panacea antibiotic. Baaaa! So much for rational thought going into devising an individual’s treatment plan.

  • Rene

    For Those of us Who have SURVIVED and had some Recovery from the Horrific Systemic injuries from this Class of Antibiotics……..We sincerely applaud all that spread the word about the REAL & Present Dangers.

    Only 3 tablets from a Monday to Tuesday dismantled my body and my life. Wheelchair and crutches, for 2 years….followed by cane and slow slow rehabilitation for an additional 2 years. Set off an autoimmune response, severe peripheral neuropathy, and complex regional pain disorder, and a tortured existence but for my faith and God and a loving mother.

    The head of the FDA Margaret Hamburg during the Obama administration was indicted for racketeering and withholding the dangers of Levaquin and the conflict of interest in that her Hedge Fund Husband owned shares of the Drug Levaquin. Of course she never saw jail time…..

    I am not one of the few who lived this horror…..there are 10’s of thousands all over the USA, and UK, Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, Brasil….etc.

    It is a CHEMOTHERAPEUTIC ANTIBIOTIC…….CUTS the DNA strand in the bacteria’s cells and OUR Cells too!! Causing many many many devastating injuries to various systems in the body……especial the breakdown of soft muscle tissue /collagen…..cell death and wasting, not repair in sight even after a 2 years!!

    DElayed reactions are common as late as 7 weeks after ingestion of medication. Severe Adverse Effects manifest continuously for as late as the 7 and even 10th month after finishing bottle or exposure. It is Horrific, and Terrifying!!

  • GMD

    Just sayin’, like it or not, again, like it or not!!!!!!!! Antibiotics saved my life. You need to know how to take them, but they are LIFE SAVING. I would be dead without them. So tell what is good about antibiotics and not just what is bad. Your side is just as much propaganda as the other side. Lyme disease kills and horrifically steals you life, but antibiotics are absolutely necessary as a major part of treatment. Antibiotics and a ton of holistic treatment as well. You cannot get over Lyme disease without antibiotics. Actually you never really get over Lyme disease, but without antibiotics and the major part of treatment you will NEVER regain any major part of your life.

    • Rene

      Everyone likes it very much that antibiotics helped or saved anyone’s life!

      true, once you are in Late Chronic Stage of Lyme, antibiotics do not
      help recovery….because the bacteria is no longer available outside the
      cell. Intracellular gram negative bacteria cannot be realized by the
      immune system…..as is the case with Hpylori. The harm caused by
      long term antibiotics is real. If an acute stage of Lyme is actively
      present than absolutely antibiotics are appropriate. BUT NOT using
      Cipro or Levaquin.

      This specific article is about
      Flouroquinolones. There is no argument about the appropriate use of
      antibiotics. There is a much needed informed consent about this
      specific class of antibiotics, as well as responsible education about
      the risks involved. They were only to have ever been prescribed as a
      last case resort for life threatening conditions.

      Propaganda is
      denying, dismissing the 10’s of thousands who have been severely
      disabled and tormented in pain from a RX of Cipro or Levaquin. A minor
      sinus, prostrate, urinary, respiratory, ear infection can be addressed
      safely and with informed consent.

      We who have lived the horrors of this class of drugs only want a responsible, transparent, ethical and appropriate application of these commonly prescribed drugs. That is not a form of propaganda but the right thing for all of us..

  • GMD

    Edie Carter — I totally disagree. We need antibiotics, but need to be taught how to take them when needed. I took fluoroquinolones, but was warned by my good doctor how to tell if I was getting even close to the symptoms of tearing tendons. I HAD NO PROBLEMS because I was taught how to recognize the dangers. Only stupid doctors would not listen to your own personal reactions.

  • GMD

    Mark Laglen — I totally agree. Why won’t doctors and conventional medicine use something that is cheap like vitamin c. It is beyond me. It’s the drug companies who propagandize them. Antibiotics have their place. I don’t trust all holistic doctors either. Holistic/alternative/functional doctors go too far on their side too. The shame is each patient has to know more than their doctors who really don’t know their job. But remember if you have a broken bone, or some other immediate emergency, conventional medicine is usually good at saving you life. Conventional medicine is useless and criminal when it comes to chronic conditions.

  • Rose Terry

    Thank you for writing a well informed article! I hope and pray it helps many to be more educated about these antibiotics! I was damaged severely by the Fluoroquinolone Levaquin in 2007, shortly after that I acquired Peripheral Neuropathy spreading from my feet to my legs and then hands & arms, as well as many other problems! It is a terribly painful life which caused me to loose my job, all my families savings in medical costs, and disabling me. These antibiotics are dangerous for sure! They are the ATOM-BOMB of ANTIBIOTICS! Not for use for anything but when your life is on the line only!! One has to be your own Doctor! Be careful!

  • Shovel Ready

    There is a place in health care for these medicines, but they were designed to be medicines of last resort when the alternative is death. Now docs are using them as “first choice” drugs to treat all sorts of infections that often will respond to a safer drug. The increased rate of use of these drugs in place of safer, older meds is responsible for part of the uptick in adverse reactions. Leviquin was prescribed for my annual sinus infection despite my being in stage 4 kidney failure. I refused the Rx, asked for a Z-pack which I knew was safe for my kidneys, and the doc literally kicked me out of his practice. I went to a doc in the box, got the Z-pack, and was fine a week later without all the risks of the Leviquin.

  • Jayebird58

    I got CIPRO’ed and those aren’t Side Effects, they’re Direct Effects! Neuropathy, vision impairment, gut issues beyond belief, plus more problems than I care to list here! I can’t find an attorney to take my case, they’re all chicken-shit scared to go up against Big Pharma! Suffering in silence!
    btw, the damage from CIPRO isn’t always instantaneous, some can come later in life too!

  • OneParticularHarbor

    I had Lyme disease five years ago that went undiagnosed for almost two years. It devastated me. After a long journey, I got back to about 80% of the old me. I still have many issues including neurological ones that include the pain and tingling. Now I wonder if some of the issues could be related to Cipro that I was prescribed many years ago.
    Most of my latent symptoms match the adverse effects from Cipro. I will likely never no for sure.
    This class of antibiotics is definitely a last resort medication that can be a life saver in rare cases, but should never be generally administered. Too bad these risks were not publicly known back then…

  • Sarah Jayne

    4 weeks ago I had a pain in my outer thigh that just arrived out of the blue. It felt like I was being stabbed. When I googled it it appears to be something diabetics can get with neuropathy but I don’t have diabetes or any other condition. My Dr said it was Meralgia paresthetica but can arrive suddenly and either get worse or just go on its own, but she never made a Cipro link.
    I came to this article from Jimstone and now it makes sense. I had been taking Ciproflaxin for a 10 day course for diarrhoea (took for 5 days but still had diarrhoea so took an extended course).
    I had about 6 attacks in total, absolute agony and total random onset. Happened when I was sitting or standing or laying down. Then completely vanished. I had no idea Cipro could cause it but now it makes sense to me.