One serious side effect that is not commonly discussed with patients is tendon and other tissue damage with these antibiotics. The quinolones include Levaquin and Cipro and even the popular "Lyme-killing" herb Samento or "cat's claw." A full list is at the bottom of this article.
Quinolones easily enter cells and are often used to treat intracellular pathogens such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
The FDA has increased their side effect warnings since the drugs were first approved. I just want to focus on three side effects that might not be routine but are possible risks:
- Damage to nerves outside the brain: This could present as sensory nerve or muscle nerve injury causing paresthesias, hypoaesthesias, dysesthesias, and weakness. New pain, burning, tingling, numbness and/or weakness, or new decreased abilities to detect light touch, pain, temperature, position sense, vibratory sensation, and/or motor strength are basic nerve functions and show damage�STOP DRUG!
- Tendon damage: While some focus on the Achilles tendon, actual tears of tendons have occurred in the hand, the shoulder, the thigh, or other tendons. Some are helped with surgery. Other patients feel the surgical or other treatment still leaves them with damage. It is believed by some that the use of prednisone and other cortical steroids meant to drop inflammation increase the risk of tendon damage. Perhaps this is especially true in older seniors. Surprisingly, tendons can rupture after the medication is stopped. Some have suggested IV or sublingual magnesium might decrease the risk, but I am not away this has been proven.
- Kidney stones
This letter was just posted by a young person with severe quinolone damage. He wanted it posted to warn physicians and other prescribing health care workers.
I think it is important that all of us take note of his experience.
["Floxing" = fluoroquinolone damage]
Today marks my 9-month post-floxing life.
I wanted to provide an update, share my experiences, etc.
First, I want thank deeply the work of people like ****, ****, and **** who, in many ways, have dedicated large parts of their lives so we could benefit from their exceptional knowledge. As bad as we are, just imagine a world in which we did not have their knowledge. We'd be like hamsters in a cage spinning and spinning. So thank you to the real leaders in this area.
Back to my story. I was prescribed Levaquin nine months ago for a sinus infection, possible bronchitis. It was 12 days of 500 mg. That was the end of my life as I knew it. Like many of you my life has changed profoundly. I went from an extremely active life professionally and with my family to no longer being able to work nor throw a baseball to my son.
My first symptom was a very deep ache in my thigh (which has persisted) along with quadriceps atrophy. I then had a terrible soreness in my groin area, which may have been symptoms from damage to my hip.
Progressively multiple tendons in my body began to hurt and weaken along with the deep thigh ache. Many tendons were impacted including the toe flexors, paroneal, tibialis, hip, elbow, and shoulders.
Unfortunately, the MRI's confirmed the pathology, with results showing torn shoulder labrum in both shoulders, partial tear in rotator cuffs, c-spine issues, hip labrum tear, etc.
I have several other symptoms as well, but the muscular skeletal floxed symptoms are most disabling.
The question for me now is whether I address any of the tendinopathies surgically. My shoulders in particular at this point will likely need surgery. However, the question is when is the optimal time to get tendon surgery done for a floxed person? In other words, how long after getting floxed does tendon surgery appear most effective? I would appreciate any insight anyone has regarding arthroscopic surgery for tendon tears.
I have found one truth throughout this ordeal. If you are having a good day, don't get overly excited as tomorrow may very well be worse. And, similarly, if you are having a very bad day, don't get yourself too depressed, as tomorrow may in fact be better. You simply don't know when a symptom will become enduring and when it is fleeting or episodic.
So what has worked? I've been to the best hospitals in the US, but the things that have helped me most are the following:
- The extraordinary knowledge of people on the following website: ****
- An exceptional Physical Therapist
This syndrome we have is terrible. Like many of you, my life has changed profoundly. And what's so frustrating is that there are no easy answers. But we must hang in there, take things day to day, and share anything that works with each other.
- cinoxacin (Cinobac)
- nalidixic acid (NegGam, Wintomylon)
- oxolinic acid (Uroxin)
- piromidic acid (Panacid)
- pipemidic acid (Dolcol)
- rosoxacin (Eradacil)
- ciprofloxacin (Ciprobay, Cipro, Ciproxin)
- enoxacin (Enroxil, Penetrex)
- lomefloxacin (Maxaquin)
- nadifloxacin (Acuatim, Nadoxin, Nadixa)
- norfloxacin (Lexinor, Noroxin, Quinabic, Janacin)
- ofloxacin (Floxin, Oxaldin, Tarivid)
- pefloxacin (Peflacine)
- rufloxacin (Uroflox)
- balofloxacin (Baloxin)
- levofloxacin (Cravit, Levaquin)
- moxifloxacin (Avelox,Vigamox) Sometimes reported as fourth generation.
- pazufloxacin (Pasil, Pazucross)
- sparfloxacin (Zagam)
- tosufloxacin (Ozex, Tosacin)