How Levaquin Tried to Kill Me, but I Fought Back

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img_5379I have a very serious story to share. I’ve put off writing it for a number of reasons: fear that writing it down gives it more power or permanence in my life, fear that the story isn’t actually over, shame that I allowed this to happen at all, especially given what happened to my dog Holly. That’s probably the biggest reason I’ve put off sharing this on the blog and on social media: I should know better than to just blindly trust a doctor prescribing medication. That killed my dog. And it could’ve killed me.

On April 20, 2016, my doctor (now former) prescribed a fluoroquinolone antibiotic called Levaquin (actually I took the generic, levafloxacin — more on that later) to treat a sinus infection. The only warning he gave me was to take a probiotic along with it, as it might upset my stomach. I’d been a patient of his for years and had no reason to question his medical advice. While I’d never taken a fluoroquinolone class antibiotic before, I trusted he knew best.

Ah, trust. There’s that word. I guarantee you there are some who will read this post and scorn me for just trusting my doctor and not doing research. I know this will happen because it happened after Holly died and it happened to my face when I told people about what Levaquin did to me. Because it’s easy to put on moral superiority when it’s someone else’s pain. If you’re gearing up to comment about how stupid I was to blindly trust my doctor, do everyone a favor and just don’t. I won’t approve your comment anyway.

The morning of April 23, after taking my fourth dose (of a 14-day course), I ended up in the ER with breathing difficulties, racing heart, vertigo to the point of being unable to stand, and extreme anxiety. Let that sink in for a moment: my first symptoms of an adverse reaction were serious enough to justify a trip to the emergency room.

It took the ER techs four tries to get an IV started. While laying there I developed internal tremors–I don’t know how else to describe them other than to say there were earthquakes going on inside my body. I asked the doctor if this was a reaction to Levaquin. He said no, if it was a reaction, my lips would be swollen or my throat would be closing. He said these symptoms were simply me being dehydrated.

He was grossly misinformed. What I actually was experiencing in that moment was an attack on my central nervous system.

Over the next couple of days my symptoms escalated to include: pain in my hamstrings and hips, roaming anxiety, mental fog and confusion, uncontrollable muscle twitching, dizziness, internal trembling, inability to regulate body temperature, difficulty breathing, middle ear pressure and tinnitus, racing heart, insomnia, myoclonus, peripheral neuropathy.

Any one of those symptoms alone is troubling. Combined, they were terrifying.

Then came the word loss and cognitive dysfunction.

Word loss: I would look at an object, know what the object was and be unable to get the name of the object out of my mouth. Remember, I’m an author. I make a living using words. At this point I figured my writing career was over.

Cognitive dysfunction: I couldn’t process information, especially if I had to process more than one information input at a time. For example, if I was driving (one input) and someone said something to me (second input), I would lose the ability to focus on either.

Some of the most crushing moments in this journey came when my friends laughed at me when they witnessed my cognitive impairment first hand, even though I’d told them I’d been poisoned by Levaquin and was going through severe trauma. They actually laughed at me. In fact, what I found is that for the most part, people don’t want to hear that you’re struggling. It makes them uncomfortable. What they want to hear is that you’re fine, because that way there’s no responsibility on their part. I quickly discerned who truly wanted to hear how I was doing and who just wanted me to tell them I was “fine”. I’m so grateful to those friends who actually listened and cared. (Thank you.)

Overwhelmed with this onslaught of symptoms, I of course made an appointment to go back to my doctor, but wasn’t able to get in to see him until the following week. So I opted to see his assistant at the end of the week, still 3 days away. In the meantime, I took to the internet to research what the hell was happening to me.

What I found scared me to death. Story after story of people crippled by this medication. Some cases were so severe, people took one pill and never walked again. If you think I’m kidding, go look for yourself.

During that search I came across a site called FloxieHope. There I found stories not only of people who’d been adversely affected by Levaquin (as well as Cipro, Avelox and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics), but people who had recovered. I scoured the recovery stories, making a list of the things they’d done to get better. From that list I made a plan of action and got to work.

Later that week, I did see my doctor’s assistant. She ran standard tests to check system function, but (as is the case with most people poisoned by FQs) all my numbers came back normal. In today’s medical world, normal numbers means no problem. While the assistant agreed something was happening to me, because my numbers were normal, she had no way of treating me. When I explained to her and even showed her the research I’d done online for how others have recovered, she literally told me to stop reading the internet.

Let me say this as clearly as I can: researching on the internet saved my life.

At this point my doctor, clueless on how to help me and probably afraid I was going to sue him, started passing me off to different specialists. The only one who was of any help at all was my neurologist. He is the only doctor in this process who knew that fluoroquinolone antibiotics cause memory loss and neuropathy (both which he diagnosed me with).

Based on what I’d read from recovery stories, I sought the advice of a naturopath. I also began acupuncture and therapeutic massage. And I prayed. A LOT.

I cannot begin to describe the anguish I was in at this point. I don’t use that word lightly. My body hurt. Every time I tried to fall asleep, myoclonus would startle me awake. Anxiety attacks hit me out of nowhere. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t eat, either. Not only had the antibiotic wrecked my intestines, it had also caused strange issues with my ability to swallow. I also experienced heartburn, which I never have. My guess is this had something to do with the central nervous system damage and smooth muscle function.

I want to stop here and note a couple of things. First of all, two weeks after I took Levaquin, the FDA updated the safety guidelines to state that doctors should not prescribe fluoroquinolone antibiotics for routine infections. This is something I’d literally argued with my doctor about. I told him this medication was like a nuclear bomb going off in my body. He maintained he’d followed standard protocol according to (flawed) FDA guidelines regarding these drugs. (You can read more about the history of those guidelines here.) I have to say, I can’t help but wonder what my life would be like today had the FDA not dragged their feet and instead updated those guidelines even a couple of months earlier.

I contacted a lawyer a month after the initial reaction. He said if I’d taken the name brand medication, Levaquin, I would have a slam dunk case. But because I took levafloxacin, the generic form, I couldn’t sue the manufacturers, because there is a law in America that consumers cannot sue the manufacturers of generic medication. That’s right: no recourse and no justice for people damaged by generic forms of medication. Keep in mind that many insurance companies require patients take generic forms if they exist. The only action I could take, the lawyer told me, was to contact my representatives and ask them to change the law. Isn’t that great? God bless America. (Needless to say, I’m not a huge fan of Big Pharma or Big Gov.)

Armed with the recovery stories from FloxieHope, my naturopath and I came up with a regimen of supplements to counteract and heal the damage done to my body. It was a bit like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what stuck, but I was desperate to try anything if it would get me my life back.

Here are the things that helped me recover from Levaquin toxicity, as well as additional information for those seeking help. Please note that not everything works for everyone. What helped me might not help you. Because there is no set treatment or protocol for FQ toxicity, you have to try things and see if they help. If they don’t, then don’t use them. That being said, here’s what helped me:

  • Magnesium
    • Levaquin robs your body of magnesium, but having an abundance of magnesium available in your body can help prevent and repair damage
    • Magnesium chloride and magnesium threonate are good forms to take
    • Add magnesium in liquid form to your drinking water and drink it throughout the day. I used brand called ReMag.
    • Natural Calm is a magnesium citrate drink that can help calm anxiety, which is helpful before sleeping, but it can irritate your stomach
    • Magnesium threonate crosses the blood-brain barrier and specifically targets brain function, which can help with brain fog
    • Epsom salt baths help relax your muscles and rid your joints of pain, but also get magnesium into our system. Very helpful before trying to sleep.
    • Magnesium lotion is like a miracle for aching joints. You can find it at health food stores such as Sprouts.
  • Turmeric
    • Taking turmeric supplements or eating foods rich in turmeric can help fight inflammation
  • Bone broth and anti-inflammation diet
    • Eating a clean diet that is high in anti-inflammatory foods will help you recover faster
    • Avoid sugar and gluten as much as possible, as both impede brain function
    • Bone broth can help with immune function, gut health and supply collagen
  • Probiotics
    • Take a good probiotic to help get your gut flora in balance. Studies show your gut health directly affects your brain health and function.
    • Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kefir) are also hugely beneficial to gut health
  • Active B Vitamins
    • B vitamins are essential for nerve function as well as memory. Taking the active form (often has “methyl” in the name or an L in front of it) makes them more bioavailable to your body
    • I like the Jarrow’s B-Right. I could tell a different in energy levels and mental clarity after I started them.
  • ALA, NAC, Taurine
    • These supplements support detoxification and help restore nerve function
  • CoQ10, MitoQ
    • Fluoroquinolones break down cell walls and kill mitochondria. That’s how they work. So even after the drug is out of your system, it leaves a trail of mitochondria damage, which some think is permanent. (That hasn’t been the case for me.) Because mitochondria are your energy centers for your cells, this leads to mental and muscle fatigue, as well as other problems due to poor cellular function.
    • I found CoQ10 helped with my energy levels. I splurged on two months of MitoQ and felt a big difference. Because it’s expensive, though, I switched to Jarrow’s brand QH+ PQQ. I also found it effective.
  • Healthy fats
    • Adding lots of healthy fats to your diet will help boost your brain health and help get neurogenesis (birthing new neurons) get started again.
    • Coconut oil, MCT oil, avocados and avocado oil, and grass-fed butter are excellent sources of Omega-3 acids which maintain brain health and even reverse neurological decline (such as Alzheimer’s)
  • Tart Cherry Juice
    • Full of natural melatonin, so very useful before sleeping. I used the concentrate so I could mix my own ratio depending on how much help I needed getting to sleep.
    • If insomnia was really bad, or I woke up in the night, I’d take liquid melatonin as well.
      • My doc prescribed Xanax to help me sleep, but it gave me extreme paranoia, waking nightmares and hallucinations.
  • Thorne Basic Detox Nutrients
    • This is a multivitamin that has the active B vitamins, but also has phosphatidylcholine, which helps rebuild cell walls and detox the liver.
    • I would take this OR active B vitamins, not both at the same time.
  • L-theanine
    • I’ve added this recently and find it helps with focus and lifting brain fog
  • Collagen
    • Levaquin damages connective tissue, not only in your joints but also in your skin, your teeth, everywhere
    • I think collagen quickened my recovery, by helping replace what was being broken down by the drug
    • Most powdered forms taste like cow (ugh). The brand I prefer is Bulletproof Collagen Protein. It has hardly any taste. I blend it into my coffee, along with grass-fed butter.
  • Eat foods that boost glutathione
    • Glutathione is a product made by your liver that helps detox bad stuff. Certain foods boost glutathione production: brussel sprouts, broccoli, parsley, cabbage, cauliflower.
  • Keep moving
    • Continue to move, even if your joints hurt, but take care to do so carefully so you don’t tax your tendons or risk falling
    • Using your muscles will help heal mitochondria, but don’t overdo it. Go slow and work your way up after you start regaining your energy.
    • I did qigong in the beginning, going very slow
  • Meditate and pray
    • Levaquin fries your central nervous system, skewing your autonomic system so that your sympathetic (fight or flight) gets amped up, and your parasympathetic (relaxation) gets suppressed. This is one of the reasons people experience extreme anxiety when on levaquin.
    • Cyclical breathing (inhale for a count of 5, exhale for a count of 5) can help realign your autonomic system. The Heart Math Quick Coherence technique is really good for this.
    • Listening to healing meditations can also help alleviate anxiety. Personally, I liked listening to The Honest Guys healing meditations on YouTube.
    • Every night when I soaked in the epsom salt bath, I’d have a chat with God about how we were going to get through this and this wasn’t how I was going to end. Your mileage may vary as far as your spiritual life goes, but I found this to be immensely helpful, especially in helping calm down the anxiety and fear. I had faith that I’d get better. That’s what our bodies do. They heal. I knew my job was to support my body in doing its job.
  • Acupuncture
    • I did a series of whole-body acupuncture sessions, mostly to target neuropathy in my hands and feet. It helped the neuropathy, but also helped calm down my whole body. I don’t know how, but it worked. The first couple of sessions were odd, but after that I actually liked it.
  • Drink water
    • I drank a gallon a day to help move the drug out of my system
  • Therapeutic Massage
    • I experienced a lot of tendon and joint pain, and found therapeutic massage helped. I think it also helped move the levaquin out of my tissues and lymphatic system.

Some advice for anyone going through this:

If your doctor won’t listen to you or believe you (and odds are they won’t), trust your gut and find another doctor if possible. It took me three months to get an appointment with a new doctor, but it was worth the wait. I found a new doctor who is willing to work with my naturopath and doesn’t mind that I do alternative treatments such as acupuncture. She also didn’t question if this had really happened to me, but rather ordered additional tests that my original doctor didn’t order, to rule out other kinds of damage and risks.

6a0ff12746a60b5ec15ab5d692ad4d8e.jpgI’ve found that my mindset made a huge difference in this journey. A week after that initial ER visit, I had this overwhelming compulsion to get a massage, despite being in terrible pain. I called some places near my home, but they were booked all weekend. This was at noon on a Saturday. I called another place a little farther away, and they had an opening at 1pm. I raced over there. Chatting with the therapist a bit beforehand to explain what was happening, we came to realize we both were believers. During the massage, the therapist prayed over me. Now, your mileage may vary, but for me, that was pretty amazing. At the end of the session, he said he’d wondered what was up with that opening in his schedule on a Saturday, since he’s usually booked solid. He said clearly God knew I needed that slot. To me, that was a sign that I wasn’t in this alone, and that I was going to get better. I told myself Levaquin poisoning was part of my story, but it wasn’t the end of my story. This wasn’t the end of me. Reminding me of this every day kept me going. I rejected letting this poisoning settle and become who I am. I didn’t and won’t let this define me.

One of the parting shots of Levaquin toxicity is hair loss. Mine started shedding two months after I took the medication. It came out in handfuls. It’s like Levaquin’s one last way of giving you the finger. It’s bad enough that you hurt and you can’t think. Then your hair thins out. Mine got to the point where I didn’t want to leave the house. It was really awful. Again, with the help of internet resources and my naturopath, I did some things to kick-start the regrowth process: Wellness Mama’s Hair Growth Serum, castor oil, essential oils, liquid biotin drops, collagen, and zinc supplements. It’s now five months after the shedding began and a lot of it has regrown. I cut it back to a pixie cut so the difference in lengths isn’t as obvious. It’s definitely growing in.

img_5786I’m now almost seven months out from taking that first dose of Levaquin. I’d say I’m about 98% better. I’m writing again, thank God. When people ask when my next book is coming out, I feel a sense of shame. This medication robbed me of most of this year, and that is time I’ll never get back. Still, I have so much to be grateful for. Everyday I’m grateful I haven’t suffered an aortic aneurysm or snapped an Achilles tendon. I still experience some joint and ligament pain depending on what I eat and how I exercise. And while I can tell my cognitive function isn’t 100% yet, I’m going to get there. I’m going to come back from this better than I was before.

This is not the end of me. This has only shown me how strong I am. 

If you’ve taken Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox or any other form of fluoroquinolone antibiotic and think you’ve suffered adverse affects, please visit FloxieHope. The stories and information on that site saved my life. Please also feel free to leave a comment or share your story below. My post about Holly and Deramaxx has proven informative and useful to others. My hope is this post will be helpful as well. That being said, I reserve the right to delete any disparaging remarks. If you have nothing beneficial to add to the conversation, go elsewhere. And if you know someone going through chronic illness or health crisis, please show them compassion, patience and understanding. For the love of God, don’t laugh at them.

TL:DR – Taking Levaquin can seriously damage your health. Proceed with caution.

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34 thoughts on “How Levaquin Tried to Kill Me, but I Fought Back

    Larissa D said:
    November 30, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Amy,
    I remember when you first posted about this on your personal FB. I had never heard about it, and over 17 years as a hospital RN, I have administered many doses of this antibiotic class. Within days of you posting, I read the FDA’s warning. Shortly after that, I had a patient start displaying strange neurological symptoms after 3 doses of IV levaquin. Thankfully, my doctor who was on that day had also read the new guidelines. We aren’t using it as much as we used to. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m sorry you had this happen to you, and pray for your complete recovery.

      Andrea Siani said:
      December 2, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      My son in law is a DPT and after my experience with FQAD he is very aware of the serious side effects and sees patients often that he can trace their tendon issues/nerves (on the Epic medical record program) to having recently taken a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. The serious debilitating side effects are currently going unrecognized because there is no biomarker and they are also hard to attribute to an antibiotic when awareness is so low.The increase in tendon, joint, back and other unexplained muscular skeletal conditions can often be traced back to FQ antibiotics. Change is slow but awareness is growing. Thanks you for listening to your friend.

    Dion Lucas said:
    November 30, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Amy, first of all, thank you for sharing your story. You are very brave in doing so and by doing that have informed people not only about this awful drug but to trust your instinks, question your doctor even if you have trusted he or she for a long time, get informed through the Internet, and fight like hell when you need too. Even though I know most of your story, reading it here, all at once, makes it even more powerful. I’m holding back tears as I type this. I know you know that right about the exact time this started happening to you, we too trusted our oral surgeon in prescribing Percocet to our handicapped daughter after having her wisdom teeth removed, to see her two days later in the ER with a near fatal overdose, even with us following the prescription dose correctly. Although the stories are different, the similarities are what sticks with me. Don’t have complete trust in anyone in the medical community and get all the information you possibly can before starting or putting a loved one on any drug. My heart goes out to you. I love you and wait for the day you post a follow up saying you are 100% my friend. PS: I completely agree with you on the faith part. God had a different plan and he wasn’t ready for you to come to heaven just yet.

    Rissa Watkins said:
    November 30, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Unfortunately, I can believe some of your friends laughed at you. I got it all the time and try to make light of it. But some days it is tough. I snapped once at my family when they laughed and asked if they would laugh at someone in a wheelchair or someone missing limbs. Haha, it’s funny to laugh at my disability caused by chemo & a stroke. They felt really bad and had no idea- because I was always trying to make light of it to put on a brave face- how much it bothered me. Maybe if you explained it that way to the friends who did laugh they would understand. Though it is horrible that they did that to you.

    bkonigsberg said:
    November 30, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    I’m glad you wrote about this. I know it isn’t easy to share stories like this, and you are brave to do so. Thank you! Also, I’m glad you’re 98%! Here’s to 100% soon!

    Nannette White said:
    November 30, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Amy,

    I just read your blog post with tears in my eyes. I have not been the friend I wish I was.

    I love you. I am so sad this journey has been so long… And so hard, and so much on your own.

    And then again, I am so thankful for your tenacity….will….strength and love for research…. And that God has been on your side throughout.

    Thank you for writing this blog, which I know is going to help SO many people!

    I love you, dear friend!

    Nanners

    Irene said:
    November 30, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Amy, I am so sorry you went through such a painful and harrowing experience. It also sounded so demoralizing to not be believed. But you had such resilience that you kept going, did your research and I thank you for sharing your stories AND the things that helped.
    Interestingly, turmeric and probiotics help inflammation with Inflammatory Bowel Disorders, too. It is so important to have the community like you got in your healing therapist. And hard to deal with the pain of what people say and do, not realizing how much it impacts a person going through it..Sometimes it just helps to have someone asks what they can do, or bring you coffee or lotion or something like that. I think it is like war trauma — only when so,some has been in the trenches with you, do they “get it”.
    That support is golden. And so am glad your faith helped. I am glad you got through this and are embracing the days. It really helped me to read this, even though I wish you did not have to go through so much pain to be sharing this piece of your life journey. I sen dyou big hugs and my sincerest gratitiude for this post an de your presence in my life, as it has been and as it continues to be.

    Lisa said:
    November 30, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Hi Amy,

    Thank you so much for writing about your journey through fluoroquinolone toxicity! I’m so glad that you have made such a wonderful recovery, and I’m also glad that FloxieHope.com helped you! Can I please reblog this post on floxiehope.com? I think that the people in the “floxie” community would appreciate hearing about your journey and your healing methods.

    For some reason I can’t think of much to say right now (it’s late, and I’m a morning person), but I’m so glad that you have recovered so well and that you shared your story with your community!

    Hugs of gratitude,
    Lisa

    Kristi said:
    November 30, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Amy,

    You were the first one to connect the dots for me. I took Levaquin 2x. 7.5 years before you and again 6 years ago and from day 3 post-Levaquin I was completely changed. For 7 years doctors tested me to try and determine what was wrong with me. They literally had no idea I was reeling from Levaquin side-effects. It wasn’t until you shared your story and I realized it was the “same” as mine that I checked my medical and pharmacy records to discover that I’d taken Levaquin. I had no idea! I literally took the antibiotic 2x and, though I thought I was going to die, never recognized the pain as being a side-effect. I literally just thought I had the worst bronchitis known to man or the swine flu and was dying.

    Thanks to your sharing your story, I have finally begun to intelligently heal. I love you. Thank you.

    Kristi

      Cheryl said:
      August 3, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Hi Kristi – can I ask, after 7 years, how you have finally begun to intelligently heal and what are your symptoms? I am caring for my brother who is 8 years into his suffering from taking Levaquin and being not believed or treated by numerous doctors, painful emgs, being prescribed knock out painkillers, losing his business and any quality of life, he has now waived the white flag and moved from FL to IL to have me try to help find him anyone here who can relieve his suffering. I believe he most likely has permanent nerve damage, central nervous system damage and autonomic nerve damage in conjunction with digestive issues and PTSD and are really overwhelmed as to where to start to seek help for him. I just read Amy’s story and I am just not sure if trying all the things she did to heal would even work since it has been 8 long years of suffering for my brother with his symptoms? I hope you are feeling better and appreciate any comments or suggestions that you are able to provide?! Be well and thanks for listening.

    Dad said:
    November 30, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    What an Incredible Woman….that daughter of mine/ours… MTTNG!

    amykossblogthang said:
    December 2, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    What a nightmare! Am glad you figured it out and are on the mend.

    Frank said:
    December 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Amy..you are strong , but you are also LUCKY! I am glad for you. I am 20 months out with peripheral neuropathy from Cipro. I used to climb mountains and now…crippled. I am doing many of the supplements that you have. The irony is I was a 33 year veteran Paramedic. I completely worshipped at the alter of Medicine and now I am betrayed by it.

    Dawn Valenzuela said:
    December 2, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Reading your story was like reading my own. I was also floxed by levafloxcin and had the same symptoms plus a set of bonus symptoms such as rib dislocation problems and lymph drainage problems. I’d love to try all the same things you have but I’m restricted by the fact that insurance doesn’t cover these remedies and I went broke and into debt with all my own and my husband’s medical expenses this past year. He has congestive heart failure and COPD. You know how stress cause our symptoms to get worse? Yeah, well I’ve had more than my fair share of stress this year.
    Your story gives me hope though and I too have strong faith that God will bring me through this. I will do as many of the least expensive things you had success with and continue to pray for my own healing as well as yours and other like us. Blessings

    Doug Lieuwen said:
    December 3, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    I think it is human nature to trust our doctors not to poison us. I took cipro year after year and suffered terribly for it. I just wrote my recovery story as well. I too believe in the power of prayer.

    shannonfrench2013 said:
    December 3, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    I am wondering about your swallowing difficulties. I have never met anyone else who experienced that symptom. Is it gone now? Was there anything specific you did for it? It is quite scary.

    Gary said:
    December 4, 2016 at 4:58 am

    Hi Amy.

    Good story – Similar to mine. My levaquin adventure with legal options is also the same.

    https://floxiehope.com/garys-story-levaquin-toxicity/

    Abigail Johnson said:
    December 14, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Amy. My mom was just prescribed levofloxacin today. I’m so glad she told me the name of her prescription because I immediately remembered this post. She’s going back to her doctor in the morning to tell him all the concerns we have over levofloxacin and to seek out alternative treatment. I’m so sorry you went through so much, but I’m grateful to God that you shared about it so I could prevent my mom from possibly having the same devastating reaction.

    Thank you.

    Joey Scoleri said:
    December 14, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Your story is amazing and inspiring. I took 4 pills of levaquin and went through horrible anxiety, panic attacks and symptoms of neuropathy which have improved in the 6 weeks since I stopped. Nowhere near what you described but highly relatable. My acupuncturist told me I got off easy. I still get discouraged (am almost at 7 weeks off it) because I get better then suffer a setback but your story helped me a lot already. Thank you so much and I will continue the homeopathic path I am on. God bless you (I prayed and pray a ton – it helps so much).

    Lisa said:
    December 15, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Reblogged this on Floxie Hope and commented:
    This is Amy’s story of fluoroquinolone toxicity and recovery. It’s wonderful! Thank you for writing this, Amy! I am so glad that this is not the end of you, and that this horrible experience has shown you how strong you truly are. xoxoxo

    -Lisa

    tammyrenzi said:
    December 15, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Amy, thank you for sharing your story. I’ve never read the story of another Levaquin victim whose symptoms were so similar to mine. I share all of your symptoms except the stomach issues. The cognitive issues and anxiety, paired with the insomnia, were the hardest – but then again I am not sure that the snapping spine and inability to do more than shuffle along most days weren’t equally as painful. Just different pain I guess! That said, I am 10 years out and largely healed. Eating healthy foods, keeping my vitamin levels checked and supplementing (though I wish I could get it all from food, I can’t!), gentle yoga, daily walks of now 4 – 5 miles, and meditating have really helped. Levaquin was the beginning of quite a long nightmare, but though it I have become stronger, fitter, and overall healthier. Never would I wish it on another person, though. My story is on FloxieHope (Tammy’s story), and I am now hiking, exercising (brisk walking, not running! body couldn’t handle that!), writing, and running my own tutoring business. Keeping a good outlook is essential. Ridding myself of negative people in my life was essential. I now know that I am stronger than this and, no matter what comes my way, I will sit with it and be ok! I have met several people on Floxie Hope who are positive and uplifting, and we enjoy cheering each other on. For anyone reading this, it’s hard but don’t let anxiety, depression, or negative thinking keep you down. Get help – self help books and taking an MBSR class really helped me. Life can be beautiful again!

    Ben said:
    December 15, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Great share. I wanted to add a few things that might help others. Two things scream out at me. It made such a difference to me when I stayed active. Walks. Anything. The longer a wallowed in bed resting. Reading. The worse I felt. I would feel so much better when I did stuff. As much as I could without pushing myself too hard. Secondly, you MUST watch what you eat from now on. Absolutely no cheap foreign seafood – it’s full of quinolones. I travel quite a bit and notice I ache after eating meats on foreign countries. Quinolones are banned in food producing animals in the USA but are widely used out of the US. Sure the amounts we get when we eat it aren’t too much – but enough for the floxed body to be triggered. Last thing, for those of us who have healed (mostly), we can look at this as a blessing because we now know better. Not to blindly trust out doctors and avoid something even worse. We now are careful what we eat and avoid crap. We take better care of ourselves. I know some of us have it much worse. I am about 96% healed. I work out. Weight lift. Snowboard. But a year ago I was a mess.

    samara Souza cidade said:
    December 15, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Olá sou brasileira casada amigavelmente,mãe de três filhos 10,8,e 1 ano….
    Há 4 meses atrás tive uma leve infeção de urina,tomei 7 comprimidos de norfloxacino de 500mg por dia…
    Bendito medicamento,dias de ttrempres,sindrome do pânico,depressão forte,alucinações,estômago preso,rins infecionados,bexiga,doia muito,continência urinaria e renal,tudo preso arroto,espiro,tosse,tudo se prendeu dentro de mim,pressão super alta,sendo que a minha é baixa,fortes cefaleias intensas,sem suor,fraqueza constante,calafrios,trastorno de ansiedade,pela misericórdia gente o que é isso,eu me procurava e não me encontrava,agora imagina eu estava amamentado meu filho de 9meses que o medicamento excretou no leite e mexeu no sistema nervoso dele,e agora mãe e filho,abalados,sem dormir super mal,os médicos não entendiam,diziam que antibióticos,não fazia isso,diziam que eu procurasse um psicólogo que a vida de filhos e marido deixava a vida estressada, eu queria avançar neles quando ouvia isso quantas crueldades e quanta falta de conhecimento com o nosso corpo,meu Deus,enfim tirei médicos de sena e coloquei a fé em prprática,hoje me sinto melhor 4meses depois,mais não estou totalmente curada sinto meus tendões repuxarem,tendinite,braços,dores de cabeça,depressao e ansiedade,estou tomando complexo B,muito chã de camomila,jasmine,me ajudaram muito,logo logo irei passar com meu clínico e pedir cloreto de magnésio PA,porque sei que é bom pros nervos e tudo mais,a maioria dos relatos que vi p magnésio e a alimentação balanceadas ajudou muito,,,,,emfim aainda estou assustada com o episódio foram dias de horrores em minha vida e em familia,mexeu em muitas coisas,fiquei louca desesperada,procurando meios e termos para a situação,encontrei vocês graças a Deus e estou muito feliz pq felizmente e infelizmente descobrir que foi pq do medicamentos tudo isso,estou buscando em Deus a cura sempre na igreja oro todos os dias estou me recuperando e esperando tudo isso passar logo de vez da minha vida,desejo que todos vocês fiquem bem,que jesus possa guiá-los em bpm caminho e que a cura e libertação seja concedida através do amor de Deus em nossas vidas….
    Feliz. Natal….

    Qualquer dúvida estarei aqui,e se poderem me ajudar tb fico grata pela dedicação de ttodos….abraços sam

    CL said:
    December 16, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s clear you have a gift for writing and God wasn’t going to let this take it away from you! I was floxed in 2004, at that time there weren’t stories on the Internet and support groups like there is now. Your story will indeed help others!

    Brooke said:
    January 15, 2017 at 12:13 am

    I just recently had a hysterectomy, post open 2 weeks. They gave me straight up Levaquin in my IV. After I was wheeled into my room I started dealing with uncontrollable muscle spams, itching, brain fog,my breathing was erratic enigh that i had to wear oxygen my temprature ranged any where between 94 degrees to 100 degrees and it 9nly took me seconds to go from one extreme to the other, and despite the heavy amount of narcotic pain meds and nausea meds, I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to, but couldn’t. Less than a week later it was discovered that I had formed an abcess the size of a 20 week old baby. Emergency surgery with another dose of Levaquin. It’s been a week since that surgery, and I am dealing with all this crap. Despite keeping my house warm,wearing socks, heavy Flannel pj’s, with sweaters, my temperature fluctuates wildly, although today it’s been at 94 to 95.6 degrees. And the brain fog is almost as frustrating. I too can look at an object and know what it is, but when I try to talk about the object, I cant get the words to come out correctly. I try to sleep, my muscles jerk so hard that I’ve nearly fallen out of bed. And speaking of sleep, or lack thereof, I used to go to bed around 9. It’s going on Midnight and I’m so exhausted I could cry, but I can’t sleep. Levaquin hasn’t ruined my life quite to your extent, it has made a drastic and not good change in mine. I hope you get 100% better.

    D. Mullins said:
    April 5, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    My own family does not believe me. I have been sick for so long, they think I am overreacting.

    Becky said:
    April 30, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I have LOTS of TENDON PAIN in my arms!! I have been afraid to have a massage due to they might rupture! What are you thoughts of this? I tried PT and it didn’t help. I can’t put any strain on them without pain. Wondering what your thoughts are for this?

      EG said:
      May 2, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Becky – Did are you taking any supplements? They really can help you, but take 2-3 months (in my experience) to start showing some affects. One of the best places to get some advice on supplements is with Kerri Knox (Holistic Nurse). Also for your tendons a regular Epson salt (magnesium) bath might help a lot. Kerri Knox wrote a book which you purchase and download over the Internet which addresses these supplements and other helpful stff. They have helped a lot of people, so you should get on these ASAP.

    Azz said:
    August 6, 2017 at 1:58 am

    I took the poison just a week ago for a mere sinus infection (I’m 33) If all the symptoms you mentioned weren’t bad enough I’m also suffering from psychosis. This is the scariest symptom for me I hope one day I can also get better I I’ll try my best just the same as you did. At least I have hope now.

      greendingy said:
      October 8, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      please know this is normal. Try to stay calm. Go onto The Fluorolone Toxicity Solution and download the book. You have to take the supplements mentioned in this sight. AND CHLORELLA. If you are in bed, like I am(also got poisioned 3 weks ago)…do everything from the computer. This is an epidemic. There is alot of information. I ruptured 2 tendons, one severely in 2009 because I never heard of this. Until I got so sick this time I looked it up and when I saw the words TENDON RUPTURE, BOOM…I went on a search and definitely had been posisoned. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. do the research and what you have to do to get better.

    Kay said:
    August 22, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    This is crazy. I was prescribed a compound formula of Levaquin hemihydrate for staph after sinus surgery. Had to inhale directly into sinuses for 60 days. I have no doubt it was this Levaquin poison that caused my issues. I experienced almost all these symptoms and never associated to this horrible drug. My son was murdered less than a year before and most doctors thought the severe Pain, Panic Attacks, Anexity and extreme fatigue were a result of grief. They had me convinced as well. I just recently after suffering for 3 years saw an article in a magazine and read the symptoms and side effects of others and realized that I had been poisoned. Looking forward to retirement in a couple of years and now I can barely make it through the day, much less know how I can make it 2 more years. I feel I lost my life as well.

    Cheryl Hanstke said:
    September 23, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Thank you for,sharing, I will be reposting. Have not written my story yet but I will, you have inspired. My journey took longer because I didn’t start looking til almost 3 years out from initial floxing. Every time I raised this as a possibility I was put off by my doctors, surgeon, specialists etc….what did I know, more menopause than adverse reaction, don’t be sillly, never happened before and very rare are a small sampling of what I was told. However. You don’t just become disabled, virtually over night! I was -a 54 yr old active, healthy, engaged, fit, self employed single mom of teenage twins. Over night I was bed ridden and they became my care givers. They lost their youthful innocence due to this drug, grew up way too fast, and I lost me. Not until I found a NP doctor who understood what was going on did I begin the long journey to healing. I lost nearly 6 years of my life….I am now ready to cut the long hair I have grown because I was always too sick to get it done. I’m bringing back the old me before CIpro exploded inside of me and destroyed my health. I want to be that spunky short lady with spiky hair who managed to have it all….well mostly, some days LOL!! Thanks for your story, it sounded like the Coles notes version of mine!! Continued health my dear, faith and healing. Kept me going too!!

    Cheryl
    St Catharines ON Canada

    Sarah plato said:
    October 15, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Hi. Your story is so similar to mine… I’m two years out now. I had nightmares night one, peripheral neuropathy by night three, bad blood sugar drops day 4, then I stopped taking the generic levaquin. Then things got so much worse. I too read up as much as I could on it and the horror stories. I started charcoal immediately and magnesium. But it was already too late, within a week I would slowly loose my limbs ability and by two weeks out I was completely paralyzed, couldn’t regulate my breathing or heart rate and said my goodbyes. Thankfully I too researched what to do and started wahls level 3 diet, tons of supplements from the toxicity solution guide, and daily Meyers cocktail iv’s. I can say it’s been a tough road but I’m two years out and doing much better but have relapsed a bit every so often some more major than others but none the less better. Feel free to reach out to me if you want. God bless. Glad you persevered. Keep the hope.

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