Archive for Monday, July 12, 2010

Lawrence man warns of antibiotic side effects

KU professor Alan Redd is pictured in May in his Lawrence home. Redd believes his health has deteriorated from the use of quinolone antibiotics. Some of the various side effects Redd says has been a loss of energy and aching tendons throughout his body.

KU professor Alan Redd is pictured in May in his Lawrence home. Redd believes his health has deteriorated from the use of quinolone antibiotics. Some of the various side effects Redd says has been a loss of energy and aching tendons throughout his body.

July 12, 2010


Local man warns of antibiotic dangers

A local man and KU professor is trying to raise awareness of dangers associated with a commonly used antibiotic. Local pharmacists say the drug is common and side effects come with many drugs. Enlarge video

In January, Kansas University anthropology professor Alan Redd, 45, was a healthy, active father of two who hiked and rode his bike to work everyday.

Six months later, Redd doesn’t bike anymore, as his legs have lost strength and muscle, along with the rest of his body. He’s constantly tired, has severe pain and says he feels “like an old man.”

“I feel like my tendons are becoming unglued,” he said. “I hurt in my shoulders, my elbows, my knees, my Achilles.”

Redd blames his health problems on two common antibiotics, Cipro and Levaquin.

It started when a dull pain in his abdomen was diagnosed as a urinary tract infection. His doctor prescribed Cipro — which has been prescribed for more than 300 million patients since 1987 — to treat the infection. Redd said that as soon as he began taking Cipro, his symptoms and the pain intensified. After a few days, he stopped taking Cipro and was prescribed Levaquin, which along with the brand name drugs Avelox, Proquin and Factive, are antibiotics classified as fluoroquinolones.

The Levaquin didn’t help, and he stopped taking that after a couple days. Ever since, Redd’s experienced a wide range of health problems, from anxiety and insomnia to pain and fatigue.

The problems have had a devastating impact on his life.

“‘My daddy used to chase me up the stairs but he can’t do it anymore because he took quinolones,’” said Redd, relaying comments from his 5-year-old. “The family’s been impacted by this in a big way.”

In doing research into the medications, Redd found an active online community dedicated to raising awareness about the potential side effects of fluoroquinolones. There’s a term used to described the problems — getting “floxed.”

Those who’ve had side effects say they’re pushed aside by a medical industry that hasn’t acknowledge the scope of problems patients can have from the drugs.

“Nobody takes you seriously,” said Sally Court, a Connecticut woman who took fluoroquinolones five years ago, but still has life-altering effects she attributes to the medications. Court has battled doctors for years, trying to convince them that her health problems are related to the drugs.

Cipro and some of the other fluoroquinolones have an FDA mandated “Black Box” warning, the agency’s strongest advisory, for consumers taking the drugs. The warning is related to tendon weakness and possible rupture, and there are warnings against prescribing the drugs to children and the elderly.

Cipro is considered a strong antibiotic, and has been used for people exposed to Anthrax.

Despite the issues described by Redd and others, medical professionals say consumers should be cautious, as with any drug, but warn not to necessarily avoid the drug when it’s needed.

“You always want to weigh the benefits and the risks,” said Allison King, a drug information specialist with the KU Medical Center. But “I don’t think it should stop a patient from taking (Cipro).”

Pharmacist and owner of Sigler Pharmacy, Jeff Sigler, said he hasn’t heard of widespread problems from customers about Cipro or other fluoroquinolones. He said wading through all the potential side effects of drugs is a complicated task for consumers, but he advises learning as much as you can about a drug before taking it.

There are alternatives to fluoroquinolones , Sigler said, but those medications also carry risks.

For him, the benefits of drugs like Cipro outweigh the negatives.

“We don’t want to go back 150 years ago when we didn’t have any antibiotics,” he said, but adds that exposing the problems consumers like Redd have had helps educate the medical community.

Redd said he hopes his symptoms subside in the coming months, though his doctors haven’t been able to give him a prognosis. Some who’ve had such a reaction to the drugs report effects that never go away, while others say that the health issues subside with time.

Reed said he wanted to share his story with others, so they know what he wishes he knew before taking Cipro and Levaquin.

“The consumer is at risk,” he said. “Their health is at risk.”


LogicMan 6 years, 9 months ago

Google "floxie" and "Cipro", etc. to read more about this "poisoning". A tell-tale sign is Achilles tendon pain. Often affects people with low body fat since that's apparently where the drugs want to go, but can't.

hjrmmr07 6 years, 8 months ago

First and foremost, I wish Mr. Redd well in his recovery efforts. Also, please Google "The Flox Report", which is a 250-pg. report concerrning the toxicity of quinolones. Our 16-year-old daughter was given Cipro by a local E.R. twice--for 10 days in January, and for 3 days in May (Mother's Day). Since the drug builds up in your system, all it took of the second round was one pill. About 5 hours later, she developed a severe sudden-onset anxiety disorder, which was soon followed by numerous other symptoms. The E.R. that gave her the drug treated us like crazies when we returned with her "freaking out" that same night. We did not make the connection until she had already finished taking the drug. We later found it is not even supposed to be prescribed to anyone under 18. She has had pains all over her body, "twitching", kidney stones, severe swelling in lymph nodes and salivary glands, insomnia, and of course the anxiety. Our doctor took numerous tests and found nothing. After discussing the information we had found on Cipro with her, she did some research of her own. She came up with the suggestion of Theanine (L Theanine) for the anxiety. We have been using this for a week, and it works wonders. Our daughter also developed a bacterial infection with a very high white cell count. Not sure if this was Cipro, but have read cases of infections. Due to the antibiotics, we had her on probiotics, and have kept her on this. Our understanding is that recovery can be months or years, depending on the severity of the reaction. We have seen major improvement in the last week, with the exception of tendinitis in her wrist. This has not been severe, though, and we are in hopes the tables are turning. This entire class of drugs should be banned--and some of them already have been!!

Phog67 6 years, 9 months ago

After taking a course of Levaquin, my Achilles tendon snapped in half. Spontaneous tendon rupture is listed as a potential "side effect" in the package insert (PI) for the drug.

I had to have surgery and was in a cast for 6 weeks.

Fluoroquinolones also have data showing they rapidly increase resistance to antibiotics.

Although they work well, there are often good alternatives to them.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

Cranberry extracts can often be successful in treating urinary tract infections, especially if you use them early on before the infection gets too bad.

calwt262 6 years, 9 months ago

I'll go with cranberry extracts over spontaneous tendon rupture any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

gatekeeper 6 years, 9 months ago

If a doctor suggests these to you, tell them you want to take the horse pill sized, more safe, older antibiotics. I had a terrible sinus infection last fall and they tried to give me Levaquin. After reading about it, I made them give me Augmentin. I had to take it for longer, but it worked fine.

Jennifer Alexander 6 years, 9 months ago

I have taken Levaquin for a sinus infection. It was given to me in my 3rd round of antibiotics because at that point, nothing else was working. I did not have any adverse reaction to it (thank goodness) but, after reading this, I will not be taking it ever again. I would rather have the sinus infection.

mr_right_wing 6 years, 9 months ago

Medical science is far, far from perfect. A 100% safe immunization or antibiotic, or even prescription medication is not a reality. It takes time and a lot of patience, but thanks to the internet you can research these drugs before you take them; in the end it will be your judgement call because chances are, the list of side-effects is probably going to alarm you with just about any injection or pill. Should a drug not be put on the market because it does this to 10 out of 100,000 it helps? It sounds cold, but it comes down to stats, and how they balance out. Things like these are going to happen, we need to compare them to the number of people who are cured/helped.

Before the internet, your best tool would have been a current Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) and those are HUGE!!

There will never, ever be a 'perfect drug.' That just isn't realistic.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

It is naive to even begin to suggest that these drugs have a safety profile comparative to other drugs. They do not. With this class you have about a 50/50 chance of having one or more adverse reactions, not one out of a thousand as you have suggested. Additionally more than half of the drugs found within this class have been removed from clinical practice, as they were far too toxic. They were killing people. The quinolones are toxic chemotherapeutic agents that should have been restricted decades ago. This is the issue that is not being addressed; their potential to cause severe and irreversible injury to the patient, cripple a patient for life or even cause their untimely death (as we see so often in the elderly with these drugs).

This class has an adverse rate in excess of 40% (one or more adverse reactions), and not the 2-5% you see with most drugs on the market. As such the risk benefit, particularly if you were to understand that some of these reactions are permanent disabilities that last a life time, do not justify the manner they are prescribed in the least. They should be restricted to life threatening infections that do not respond to any other drug, due to the horrendous safety profile that they have. They have a totally unacceptable safety profile that has been hidden from both the treating physician as well as the patient for decades now and they cannot be compared to other drugs in the manner in which your post suggested.

helenc 6 years, 9 months ago

I was poisoned by levaquin in 2004. I was a healthy, happy person. Since then I've been sick with heart failure, a-fib, taste distortion, psychotic episodes that have since ended, tinnitus 24/7, hearing loss, bleeding ulcer, depression, insomnia, anxiety and so many other things. I now have a pacemaker. I took this with nsaids and later found out that they shouldn't be taken together. No one warned me. The dr. couldn't read and the pharmacy said they can't put everything on that little piece of paper. There are safer drugs out there. Please don't take the chance with this class of drugs. No one can tell you who will be poisoned by it. There has never been any common factor that I know of that would tell you who is more suceptible to having an adverse reaction. WHY TAKE THE CHANCE?????

neelie15 6 years, 7 months ago

10 out of 100,000?! Please get your facts straight before you so rudely dismiss the pain and suffering that so many people are going through. In this case there an extremely high number of people suffering from this drug. It is donig much more harm than good and needs to be taken of the market.

slang4d 6 years, 9 months ago

I was in a Mexican pharmacy purchasing antibiotics three or so years ago. I requested Cipro and they wouldn't sell it to me, they claimed it was "dangerous" and also said I would be stopped at the border and it would be confiscated. I haven't accepted a prescription for it since. The same pharmacy sold one of my relatives painkillers and Ambien so I assumed Cipro was scary, scary stuff.

Caroline Bennett 6 years, 9 months ago

As I understand it (perhaps not very well), Cipro is one of the few "safe" antibiotics that pregnant women can take -- meaning that this particular antibiotic should not effect the developing fetus in utero. It's also very common for pregnant women to contract UTI's, and therefore, it is commonly prescribed. This is rather scary to me... I had no idea Cipro (and similar) were so laden with potentially debilitating side effects. Makes me wonder what other (better) options are available to pregnant women needing antibiotics.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

Cipro should NOT be taken by a pregnant woman unless their is no other alternative. You are mistaken to suggest otherwise. It is not known if CIPRO will harm your unborn child. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women that would justify its use. In fact in one study the reported rates of major congenital malformations were 2.2% for the fluoroquinolone group. It clearly states within the package inserts that:


I personally know of one case where a pregnant mother, Angela Morlino, took cipro on March 20, 1990 to treat a sore throat, in her last trimester. Thereafter, on March 21, 1990, Morlino's obstetrician, was unable to detect a fetal heartbeat during a routine examination. A sonogram revealed that Morlino's fetus had died. See:

Angela Morlino v. Medical Center of Ocean County, et al. (A-36-97)(Allegations that Cipro killed 8.5 month old fetus)

jj14 6 years, 9 months ago

For females that get UTI's...there's not really an alternative. Nothing works like Cipro. Sorry but cranberry juice does NOT work. I had a friend who was travelling internationally and got a UTI and somehow was able to wait 3 days before starting treatment - ended up with permanent kidney damage. Cipro is nothing short of a life saver if you have chronic UTI's. Glad to know the risks, though - but at the same time, I can't think of the last RX I got that did not have a list a mile long of possible horrid side effects.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

Cipro, as well as a number of other drugs, can cause permanent kidney damage, so it may not have been the delay in treatment that was responsible for your friends problems. It may very well have been whatever drug they were on at the time.

Rae Hudspeth 6 years, 9 months ago

UTIs aren't necessarily "life-threatening" illnesses, and therefore a dose of Cipro isn't exactly a "life-saver" for a UTI.
Sulfa drugs work well for many, they did for me when I was prone to chronic cystitis. Everyone is different. I would not battle a minor infection with an overpowering attack that could be harmful elsewhere. Best of all, I found a physician who advised me that a daily 4 oz of cranberry juice from a good concentrate and 500mg of Vit C is the best preventative. A good concentrate is NOT Ocean Spray or other sugar-laden "cranberry juice cocktails", btw. On a lighter note, my English mother and i used to treat the occasional warning signs of a UTI with a couple of very large Shandies (beer and fizzy lemonade), The best thing is to wash out that bladder as much as possible in as short a time as possible.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

High potency cranberry extracts can be more effective than cranberry juice.

And, if you're getting chronic UTI's, it might be good to figure out why and prevent them.

mrcblln3 6 years, 9 months ago

"You always want to weigh the benefits and the risks". Are all medications really equal? How much money is spent on safety rather than profit? Do doctors and pharmacists read the scientific literature on adverse reactions? Have they read this one?:

Averse drug reactions related to use of fluoroquinolone antimicrobials: an analysis of spontaneous reports and fluroquinolone consumption data from three Italian regions. Leone Roberto et al. 2003. Drug Safety 26:109-120.

This study included 10,011 adverse reports (any drug). 22.5% of the ADRs involved fluoroquinolones.

"The overall incidence of adverse events associated with fluoroquinolone use in the US and Europe varies widely among different fluoroquinolones, from 4.2% for ofloxacin to 47% for grepafloxacin. Information concerning the grue incidence of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) can not be obtained by spontaneous reporting, since the events are always under-reported. However, when consumption data are available, comparing the toxicity profiles of drugs in the same therapeutic class and with similar indications that are marketed in the same country in a comparable period of time is generally acceptable because under these conditions, the under-reporting can be assumed to be more or less of the same magnitude for the reference drugs."

"....the percentages of reactions involving the central nervous system (12.2 [quinolones] vs 3.6% [other systemic antimicrobials]), musculoskeletal (14.7 vs 0.3%) and psychiatric (9.3% vs 1.8%) were significantly higher (p <0.01). "

"levofloxacin was the fluoroquinolone with the highest rate of serious tendon disorders, phototoxic reactions were more frequent with lomefloxacin, and toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrom were reported only with ciprofloxacin. These findings should be taken into account when prescribing a fluoroquinolone to individual patients."

cj123 6 years, 9 months ago

Women-wipe front to back, pee after intercourse, don't douche, and wear cotton panties-all of these can help prevent a UTI.

slang4d 6 years, 9 months ago

Also- always use a clean towel after showering.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 9 months ago

every human condition known to man. bet they use that defense in lawsuits.

vega 6 years, 9 months ago

Mr-right-wing says: "Should a drug not be put on the market because it does this to 10 out of 100,000 it helps? It sounds cold, but it comes down to stats, and how they balance out." It is ultimately the doctor's responsibility - doctor should not prescribe a drug before checking patient's condition for a potential adverse reaction to a particular drug or drug component. It is about human life and well being for God's sake not about balancing the stats. Horrible. Thank you Professor Redd for the warning.

devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

"It is ultimately the doctor's responsibility - doctor should not prescribe a drug before checking patient's condition for a potential adverse reaction to a particular drug or drug component. It is about human life and well being for God's sake not about balancing the stats. Horrible." Huh? Seems like the doctor checked the patient's reaction to the meds. Patient responded poorly, meds dc'd. Prof Redd, don't take those anymore. Since all chemicals, natural, food, pharma, you name it that go into your body can cause adverse reactions in some is absolutely a stats balancing act. If you are aware, concerned, cognizant of alternatives for your life then you will, as best you can, choose the ingestion of chemicals on a statistical basis.

Some people can't eat peanuts, some its wheat gluten, for others its popcorn or other rough stuff. How do you find out.....judge the stats and avoid it, or give it a try. If you're fine, then eat the bread. If you become violently ill, maybe it was the wheat. How do you find out.

Try it. Some people don't have a problem with fluoroquinolone. Some do. How do you find out? Try it.
What, you want me to tell you that life is a crap shoot? You think that life is deterministic and predictable?
That "science" proves things? Science never proved anything. Never has and never will. That isn't the job of science. Only faith gives you absolute answers. And science and faith are two different things entirely.

So drink that cranberry juice, might work. People recovered from urinary infections in 1823. Or take the fluoroquinolone. It works better at killing the bugs, but comes with problems for some. Choice is yours, not the doctors. Always has been and always will be. Good luck with your choices. Hope it all works out.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

The difference being that doctors are aware that some people may die if they are exposed to peanuts or pencillin, due to an anaphylactic reaction. But that is not the issue here. The issue here is that doctors, and the patients as well, are totally unaware of how dangerous the quinolone drugs are and therefore fail to engage in any kind of meaningful risk/benefit discussion as a result. I have not heard of anybody dying or blowing out a tendon years down the road, or suffering from multiple organ failure, heart attacks, liver failure, etc, from drinking cranberry juice to treat an UTI. But the medical journals are full of reports, going all the way back to the mid sixties, that clearly document hundreds of thousands of patients suffering from this, and much more, after taking a quinolone drug.

devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

"doctors, and the patients as well, are totally unaware of how dangerous the quinolone drugs are and therefore fail to engage in any kind of meaningful risk/benefit discussion as a result"

Your assertion that doctors are unaware of the risks associated with the use of quinolone is false. They all know.

"I have not heard of anybody dying or blowing out a tendon years down the road, or suffering from multiple organ failure, heart attacks, liver failure, etc, from drinking cranberry juice to treat an UTI."

No, but they might die or develope major kidney disease from complications from an infection that did not respond to the juice. They died from an infection....poorly treated.

If you haven't heard of those then you are wearing blinders.

And everybody knows. And there are no guarantees. And sheeple are unaware of most of the risks they take every day. But they are scaredy-cats, so they think they are safe. And they never are.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

I strongly disagree with your assertion regarding the level of knowledge within the medical community regarding the safety profile of this class. I have been the Director of the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Research Foundation since 2000 and if you were to visit our discussion forum, as well as our research site, which has been online since 1999, you will find that you are misinformed. The NUMBER ONE complaint of all of the tens of thousands of patients I have been in contact with over the past decade is that the physicians have NO prior knowledge concerning these reactions, DENY any association regarding the tendon issues, as well as the potential of permanent harm. We ask vistors to our research site to answer a brief questionaire regarding their experience with these drugs and their doctors. 99% of those who have responded thus far have stated that their physicians had NO prior knowledge and denied any of the proven associations. And this has not changed in the past ten years.

You may view thier comments by following this link:

devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

Well of course you strongly disagree. You have been active in compiling testimonials for 10 years regarding the toxicity of fluoroquinolones.

The link you gave is a link to testimonials. From people who are identified by monikers like "Angry" (second one down).

When a person is harmed they get angry. You ask questions and lend credence to the "research" aspect of the endeavor, but it isn't science.

So the number one complaint from respondents is that their physician didn't know about the pharma's side effects.

From people who are emotional. From people who need somebody to blame. From people who are selected, biased, and uncontrolled in any experimental sense.

All who read the link, beware that this "research" is not science. It would never be included in a peer-reviewed science journal.

It is propaganda and testimonials. No different than saw palmetto for guys who can't pee. Or ginseng for those who just...well can't.

BS warning. Non-scientific research warning. Junk science warning.

Are their bad side effects from Fluoroquinolones? Yep. And they are documented and tabulated and doctors know about it.

Are their docd who don't know about it? Probably. There are also university professors who couldn't find their butt with both hands. Don't like your doc? Get another one.

But for criminy sakes....grow up and deal with the real world of uncertainty.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

Careful speech, careful research, careful commentary. Does your previous statements qualify as such? That being:

“Your assertion that doctors are unaware of the risks associated with the use of quinolone is false. They all know.”

“They ALL know.” Really???? Huh...did not know that.

Or how about this one:

“And EVERYBODY knows.”

And I saved the best for last:

“From people who are emotional. From people who need somebody to blame….From people who are selected, biased, and uncontrolled in any experimental sense.”

Yet those who suffer a severe reaction and then make the time and effort to fill out a brief questionnaire you label as “emotional” or “bias”.

Careful speech, careful research, careful commentary. Hmmm.

ALL and EVERYBODY, EMOTIONAL and BIAS " professor?

Ah come on, you are killing me here.

Those responses that you are laughing at and calling “Junk Science” were sufficient to motivate the Attorney General of the State of Illinois to petition the FDA to add the recent Black Box Warnings. Somehow her medical staff does not agree with your opinions in that regard. Nor did Syndey Wolfe over at Public Citizen who sued the FDA on the behalf of those people whom you considered to be emotional and bias. From people who you claim need somebody to blame….From people who are selected, biased, and uncontrolled in any experimental sense…

Are you perhaps one of those university professors who couldn't find their butt with both hands that you were referring to earlier? Was that statement yet another example of careful speech, careful research, careful commentary? BTW: How much stock do you own in pharmaceutical companies anyhow? 'Enquiring' minds want to know. ... for what other reason would there be for you to be defending the undefendable here?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 9 months ago

Give it up, david. Devo is nothing if not emotional and ideological, and he tries to cover it up by projecting said qualities on those who dare to disagree with him.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

Lets be fair here and not stoop to his level by attempting to decipher his motives and mental status. But I do agree it is time to give it up, having learned a long time ago that when you argue with a fool for too long that you soon find that you are arguing with yourself. It appears to me that his mind is made up and he does not wish to be confused even further by the facts in this case. Funny isn't it that it always those who do not have a leg to stand on who are the first in line to bash those who are stuck in a wheel chair?

werekoala 6 years, 9 months ago

that's the thing, though vega: there's no crystal ball in medicine. It really is a matter of balancing out the stats.

We've been raised to believe that somehow if something goes wrong it's because someone somewhere was negligent; that if everyone tries hard enough we'll all have happy endings. It's just not the case. Nothing is perfectly safe. Every time you take a medication (or herbal extract), or get in a car, or go to sleep, there is a small but finite chance you will die.

Take penicillin. It can cure a host of ancient plagues to mankind; and when it was invented, we couldn't get enough of the stuff. If you have a staph infection, it could save your life. But it can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction in some people, and there is no way to know whether or not you are one of those people before-hand. If the odds are 1 in 100,000 it will kill you, and 50,000 in 100,000 the infection will kill you, what do you do?

Buy the ticket; take the ride...

PS- deepest sympathies to this gentleman; it is unfortunate that this side effect occurred to him. I wish were a truly just and caring society where at the minimum he would not have to worry about paying for the increased medical attention he will probably require. We're really all in this together, folks.

devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

Here's the problem, werekoala:

People are educated in high school and college in many fuzzy sciences. Ecology, social sciences, and many others whose acquaintance with physics and Karl Popper and the insistence upon experimentation and testing is just as a goal.

That is, if only we could actually test, we could be real scientists. So they conduct inadequate experiments. Jump for joy when they get an R squared of 0.25 and get funded for the next year in hopes of adding another variable to get an R squared of 0.3.

They aren't scientists and they know it. But, they are included in science because they think they can do a test, but they engage in an area with only about four hundred thousand degrees of freedom, so anything that correlates is an amazing breakthrough.

And they believe it. Professor Redd is an anthropologist. He thinks statistics are real. And many of the entrants in this blog fail to understand that a statistic is never "true". An average is an estimate of the mean. It is an expected value. It isn't the truth. You might get the thing. You might not..

As you said: "Buy the ticket; take the ride..."

If only the general public would grow up and understand that no one is in charge and no one knows the truth, we would all be saved from thoughtful and sensitive people who happen to be wrong, but can't acknowledge the possibility.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps the FDA is not doing an adequate job of protecting the public from dangerous drugs, since lots of their research is paid for by the drug companies.

Graczyk 6 years, 9 months ago

You obviously know nothing about anthro or Dr. Redd's work.

hillbillyj 6 years, 9 months ago

I was prescribed Cipro about a year ago and on the 3rd day my left leg felt like it was falling asleep all day. I was taken off of it immediately. Subsequently I had an achy tendon for a few days, but I'm thankful to say that I haven't had anything like what Alan is experiencing. After previously having only amoxicillin and zpack, I have to say that the RX side effect sheet for Cipro was shockingly long. I have to say that only one doctor I later talked to about this even admitted the possibility that Cipro caused my problem. The others are blissfully unaware or worse. Good luck and God bless, Alan.

kimmydarling 6 years, 9 months ago

Right well, I adore quinolones. Why? Because penicillin gives me hives, erythromycin will kill me and thanks to the military peds clinic giving kids septra every time they sneeze Sulfa causes my throat to swell.

Know what that leaves that works on acute sinusitis? flouroquinolones. Yay!

vega 6 years, 9 months ago

It works for you, but not for people who cannot walk thanks to fluoroquinolones - this is why doctors should check their patients more thoroughly before prescribing any of these. What if you were given erythromycin not knowing the effect it will have? Yay?

devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

So, vega....define "doctors should check their patients more thoroughly before prescribing any of these".

What is the doctor supposed to do? Best I can tell, the doctor has two choices: 1) don't give the patient the med, or 2) give the patient the med. In the 2nd case, if the patient has an adverse reaction to the med. discontinue. Try something else. What else is there, vega?

kimmydarling 6 years, 9 months ago

Funny, I thought it was a personal responsibility of the patient to read potential side effects. It says on the paperwork that it can cause that, I've known it CAN cause that since they started prescribing me these antibiotics 16 years ago.

I react by oh..dying to erythro, should there be a public outcry? I know plenty of people who have violent reactions to it.

I do feel for people who have bad reactions to medications but they are warned of the possible side effect of taking them before choosing to take the medication. For those of us where fluoroquinolones are pretty much our only option, the risks are well outweighed by the benefits.

It's amazing, when it comes to consumerism, it's "buyer beware" but when it comes to stuff like this people want to blame everyone but the end user who didn't pay attention to the warning

vega 6 years, 9 months ago

Blame the end user, i.e., the patient for the adverse effects of a drug? Are you serious or just evil?

kimmydarling 6 years, 9 months ago

the side effects were publicly available to learn about so why are people suddenly so shocked that in some patients, adverse reactions occur?

If the prof. had read the info given with the med he could have been a bit less surprised with his outcome, no?

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

No. The package insert for Cipro is 91 pages long. Which contains about 90 pages of useless gibberish. Furthermore the insert CLEARLY states that it is the PHYSICIANS responsibility to advise the patieint of the risks of PERMANENT AND IRREVERSIBLE injury.

"Patients should be informed of this potential side effect and advised to discontinue CIPRO and contact their healthcare provider if any symptoms of tendinitis or tendon rupture occur."

Advising the patient to stop a drug AFTER the damage had already been done is pointless. We find the same stupidity with the neuropathy warning.

When you read the warnings concerning the tendon issues it states in part that:

"The risk of developing fluoroquinolone-associated tendinitis and tendon rupture is further increased in older patients usually over 60 years of age, in patients taking corticosteroid drugs, and in patients with kidney, heart or lung transplants. Factors, in addition to age and corticosteroid use, that may independently increase the risk of tendon rupture include strenuous physical activity, renal failure, and previous tendon disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis."

This does NOT give Alan a heads up that he may be crippled for life. It only gives Alan the impression that he should be concerned if he is an elderly patient on steroids who recently had his kidney, heart or lung replaced. Or perhaps engages in "strenuous physical activity" while suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. It also stated:

"The most frequently reported drug related events, from clinical trials of all formulations, all dosages, all drug-therapy durations, and for all indications of ciprofloxacin therapy were nausea (2.5%), diarrhea (1.6%), liver function tests abnormal (1.3%), vomiting (1.0%), and rash (1.0%)."

Yet within the studies submitted with the NDA this rate was in EXCESS of 40%. Who is lying here? The results found within the NDA trials or the package insert? So what good would it have done Alan to have read such deliberate attempts to minimize and trivialize the risks he faced? Then to add insult to injury here we have his doctor ignoring the warnings found within the insert. (Which most doctors never read anyways.) So what happened when Alan tells his doctor about his "symptoms of tendinitis " as well as his other adverse reactions ? The "informed" doctor prescribes ANOTHER DRUG from the same class, one that is FAR MORE TOXIC to tendon tissue, (and clearly contraindicated), rather than changing to a far safer and equally effective alternate from another class. Lot of good that did Alan, only made things far worse for him. His physician completely ignored the statement within the Levaquin insert that advises NOT to prescribe levaquin to someone who reacted to another quinolone drug.

These are the issues that need to be addressed. Grossly inadequate warnings and the prescribing physician's ignorance. Not whether or not Alan read the insert.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

Well, one problem is that the list of side effects is outrageously long, and includes everything from extremely minor ones to death.

Doctors have more knowledge than most of us regarding how these side effects occur, and should certainly be advising patients about them - that's part of their job.

The problem no one is mentioning the FDA - they seem to approve drugs that turn out to be fatal and/or have major side effects that weren't discovered until after they were approved. Shouldn't they be doing a better job?

kimmydarling 6 years, 9 months ago

and? You are putting a chemical substance in your body that you haven't tried before. How is it conceivably too much work to take a few extra minutes and read about it before you pop the pills?

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

You have to not only read all of the effects, but try to make some sort of judgment as to which ones might be more likely to affect you, and which you can more safely discount.

Why do you think that your doctor has no role in helping you understand possible side effects?

For example, you read all of the various possible side effects and find that death occurred in .5% of people using the drug. That doesn't mean you have a .5% chance of dying - it's more complicated than that.

A good doctor who knows your particular health history and conditions should be able to help you make a good informed decision about medication.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

Do not get me started on the FDA. They are bought and paid for by the drug companies since Congress refuses to provide an adequate budget to do their job. This relationship clearly defines the term "Conflict of Interest". Not that Congress cares.

The FDA was fully aware of these tendon issues as early as 1982. Public Citizen filed a petition in 1996 demanding Black Box Warnings and Dear Doctor Letters. The FDA denied the petition. The Attorney General of the State of Illinois filed a similar petition in 2004, and Public Citizen filed yet another one in 2005 based upon the Foundation's research. The FDA failed to respond to these petitions, as required by law, and they had to be sued in Federal Court in 2008 to even review the petitions. Even after they lost in court they only "requested", not required, that these new warnings be added. The drug companies could very well have refused to co-operate.

After the Black Box Warnings were added the FDA went to the press to deliberately minimize and trivialize the risk factors; falsely stating that:

'The fluoroquinolones as a class are generally well tolerated; most adverse effects are mild in severity, self-limited, and rarely result in treatment discontinuation... the risk of tendon disorders with fluoroquinolone use is 0.1% to 0.4% (one in a thousand)."

When in fact the risk of suffering a tendon disorder was found within the published literature to be one in ten, and not one in a thousand. The FDA is a joke when it comes to protecting the patients, and a stellar performer when it comes to protecting the financial interest of the drug manufacturers. ( A financial interest the FDA relies upon for funding.)

They (The FDA) have gone from being one of the finest regulatory agency in the world to being (in my opinion) one of the most corrupt and useless agency, bar none, within my lifetime. If you rely upon the FDA to protect you, you are a fool in waiting.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

kcwarpony 6 years, 9 months ago

“Levaquin is poison”… I read that on one of those web forums after having taken two doses of it. After two doses every time I moved I had joints popping like crazy. I had read the handout the pharmacy had provided (though I was not informed it was on the Black Box warning list) and thought “okay, side effects, I’ll be on the lookout for them”. I’m glad I read all the warnings (with its very small printing) but sorry I didn’t research beyond what the pharmacist had given me.

I didn’t wait for the doctor to tell me I could stop taking it. Nothing was going to make me take another dose after what I read and with what I was experiencing. When I went in to talk to the doctor I got the PA instead who really didn’t seem to know why I was so concerned. I had to read to her from the pharmacy handout about the possible risk of tendon rupture. A week later my joints stopped popping but my hands were killing me. Swollen wrist and finger joints and my thumbs felt like they were going to break off if I picked up a glass of water. It took about 8 months for those two doses to clear from my system. Thankfully my hands are feeling back to normal. Never again will I take Levaquin or any other fluoroquinolones a doctor tries to give to me.

mrcblln3 6 years, 9 months ago

It really does come down to statistics and profit over safety. Did any doctors or pharmacists read this one?:

The Pinocchio factor. Reidenberg MM. 1994. Clinical Pharmacology Therapeutics. 55:247-248.

"I have served on a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee for about a year........I have been amazed at the extent to which some presenters, especially the academic physician consultants, do not tell the whole truth."

Or this one:?

How many deaths occur annually from adverse drug reactions in the United States? Chyka PA. The American Journal of Medicine. 109: 122-130.

"The numbers of deaths reported in these data sets varied 34-fold and were up to several 100-fold less than values based on extrapolations of surveillance programs. These differences indicate that better and more comprehensive data are needed to develop appropriate health care policies to improve drug safety."

Or this one?:

Peripheral Neuropathy associated with fluoroquinolones. Cohen JS. 2001. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 35:1-7.

"Internet Web sites may provide a forum for patients experiencing adverse effects that have not resolved promptly. Further study is warrented. Meanwhile, the occurance of PNS [peripheral nervous system] symptoms during flouroquinolone therapy should prompt immediate discontinuation of the agent used."

The sad truth is that they don't read these papers.

devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

"It really does come down to statistics and profit over safety"

Interesting. I have never seen statistics (a branch of mathematics) and profit conflated like that. Maybe I could straighten out the DNA-like convolutions of your assertion. Pharma is out for a profit. Pharma makes a profit by making a product desired by the public. Nothing produced by pharma works every time for everybody. Such is the nature of the human body. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. The effectiveness and the side effects are statistical in nature. Statistics, effectiveness of treatments, seriousness of illness, effectiveness of alternatives, and cost all go into a decision to use or avoid the use of a pharma.

Its a guess.

People make money from guesses that are more often good than bad.

Pharma gets sued and if the law suits yield more losses than profit, then the drug is withdrawn.

"I have been amazed at the extent to which some presenters, especially the academic physician consultants, do not tell the whole truth" There is no whole truth. Except in religion and fairy tales. Grow up.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

Isn't the FDA's job to ensure the safety of drugs before they approve them?

Why aren't they doing a better job?

Perhaps because much of their research is paid for by the drug companies, creating an obvious conflict of interest.

gphawk89 6 years, 9 months ago

Loss of muscle mass, loss of strength, constant fatigue, painful joints and tendons... Not trying to make light of Mr. Redd's situation, but those sound like symptoms of getting older. I have all of those and have never taken fluoroquinolones. Of course, if the symptoms come on in a matter of a few days, then yes, blame the drugs.

vega 6 years, 9 months ago

gphawk89 you must be a doctor - so well informed and so sympathetic!

devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

Me too, gphawk89. Only I'm 58 years old......a well used 58, too. So, when Vioxx was taken off the market about 5 years ago, I kept a stash. Its gone now. I wish it were still here. I would risk the 5 fold increase in heart attack risk for just another dose of just 25 mg of Vioxx.

And sleep the whole night through..... Then if I die, it would be OK.

Since one cannot whine after one is dead, I'll state upfront, if I could be able to use Vioxx in moderation from here on out and I die prematurely (whatever that is), I ain't whinin'

I made my choice.

pills4profit 6 years, 9 months ago


have you tried celebrex? same type of drug . . .

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

Celebrex, a closely related drug also made by Pfizer, from the class of pain relievers known as Cox-2 inhibitors, was forced to carry strict new warnings (circa 2005) alerting doctors and patients that it elevates the risk of heart attacks and strokes. This warning is also “black-box” warning – the highest level of caution the FDA expresses before pulling a drug off the market. These reactions are the very same adverse reactions that Vioxx was removed from clinical practice for. Thank you for suggesting that Devobrun take this drug.

pace 6 years, 9 months ago

I had a terrible reaction to statins given me to lower cholesterol. I quit taking them. When I reported them, my Dr. told me to take half the dose, the symptoms reappeared. It was such joint pain, I felt twenty years older. Eat oatmeal. Doctors even good ones seem to ignore patients reporting side effects.

LogicMan 6 years, 9 months ago

"Of course, if the symptoms come on in a matter of a few days"

Yes, many do. Others may appear later. And effects can either subside, or be permanent.

mrcblln3 6 years, 9 months ago

Good read: Bitter Pills: Inside the Hazardous World of Legal Drugs, by Stephen Fried. Bantam Books 1998.

"Bitter Pills is a work of investigative and personal journalism. Although it raises some frightening questions about legal drugs--I know they scare me--the book is meant to help reform the system and inform your choices when using medications, not to scare you out of taking them at all.
Suddenly halting the use of a safe drug can be more deadly than taking a so-called "dangerous" drug. Please do not do it. Read the book, talk to your doctors, and if they don't seem to understand why you want to know more about your own medical care, get new doctors. Get to know your pharmacists and nurses, consider a consultation with a clinical pharmacologist. And when asked what drugs you take, make sure you include all nonprescription medicines. Improperly used, they can kill you, too. but always remember that we as medical consumers are part of the problem. Drug companies and doctors often make decisions based on the assumption that we are too dumb to understand the medications we're given. Don't prove them right."

Epilogue: Bitter Pills: The Antidotes . How to read a drug package insert. How to make your doctor write smarter prescriptions. How to avoid adverse drug reactions. International guide to drug information on the World Wide Web. Medication Diary. 382-402.

tessk 6 years, 9 months ago

I feel very badly for Professor Redd. I certainly don't want to make light of his concerns or of the potential problems with fluoroquinolones, However, I find it odd that "After a few days, he stopped taking Cipro and was prescribed Levaquin. The Levaquin didn’t help, and he stopped taking that after a couple days."--apparently something was not quite right about the choice of either medicine. If you have a urinary tract, bladder, or kidney infection that is not responding to antibiotics and your symptoms worsen it is time to have a culture of urine done, or other tests to rule out other causes of the symptoms. Also, it is unlikely that 2 days worth of Levaquin would have caused such serious/severe side effects. I have been on Levaquin several times. I, too, have had problems with both achilles tendons reacting oddly and painfully to the drug. However, I was also on Prednisone at the time which apparently really interacts badly with the Levaquin to make the issue of tendonitis, especially achilles tendonitis, more severe. My point is that I agree there are issues with fluoroquinolones, but they help a great number of people with respiratory and other infections that might have died or will die if they aren't given the fluoroquinolones. I think that Professor Redd might want to pursue further diagnosis of his symptoms and not so quickly blame it on the medicines he took, the fact he was on such a short course of both meds indicates there is more to this story than the medicines being the cause. I feel badly for him and hope he finds out the cause of his symptoms. Mine went away within a few weeks of discontinuing the medicines (for which I finished the full course because I was too ill to do otherwise). Good luck in finding an answer to your ills...

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

With all due respect you are grossly misinformed when you state that:

Also, it is unlikely that 2 days worth of Levaquin would have caused such serious/severe side effects.

It is extremely likely that this is what has taken place here. It has been well documented, time and time again, that such reactions may manifest with as little as ONE dose of these drugs and will cause a cascade of adverse events that continue for a lifetime in some cases. Which is exactly what Stephen Fried had described in his book Bitter Pills when his wife was given ONE dose of floxacin. Which for all practical purposes is the same drug as levaquin.

Alan already knows what the problem is. His dilemma is what to do about it, as there is no known treatment to reverse any of this. Just because you managed to escape these reactions while playing Russian Roulette with levaquin does not mean you will be so fortunate next time. In my case it left me both blind (permanent double vision) and crippled for life (chronic tendonitis and blown tendons). I pray you never have to face that yourself.

devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

So what would you have prescribed Mr. Redd, davidfull?

pills4profit 6 years, 9 months ago

macrobid, macrodantin, septra DS, augmentin . . .

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

Any one of the hundreds of safer an equally effective antibiotics on the market. Anything but a fluoroquinolone drug, as Alan was not in immedate danger of losing his life or limb.

Nickki 5 years, 10 months ago

" I think that Professor Redd might want to pursue further diagnosis of his symptoms and not so quickly blame it on the medicines he took, the fact he was on such a short course of both meds indicates there is more to this story than the medicines being the cause" I know this is a year later but I still feel compelled to respond to this post. I am a 34 year old healthy, athlectic woma.I visited my PCP to get a physical for entrance into a med school. The U/A showed a high amount of bacteria, so she said i have a very bad UTI and prescribed CIPRO. After 3 days I wen t from seeing gross blood to tissue in my urine. I stopped taking them and informed her. She said this was a common S/E and told me i should continue using them.I did not. Went to my GYN who did a C&S and immediately referred me to a Urologist who immediately suggested I see a Nephrologist. Long story short, in 3 days my kidneys are damaged from CIPRO. My PCP never informed me of the S/E. She just said drink lots of H2O. The Walgreens printout did not list the many S/E that I see mentioned here. It just said not to take with antacids and vites within a certain time period. So yes it is possible to see major S/E on such a "short course".

bearded_gnome 6 years, 9 months ago

I wonder if the problem Dr. Redd was being originally treated for was Fibromyalgia? antibiotics wouldn't really help it. then symptoms get worse as it is untreated, attributed to meds. just occurred when I was reading his story. also, when you take a medicine, ever hear of the "placebo" effect, some people get "side-effects" from the "placebo effect" too. if you really don't want the med, you can have all kinds of bad reactions due to autosuggestion. now, your shattered Achilles Tendon is probably not caused by autosuggestion!

we have the patient package inserts for meds. now, imagine this: a PPI for pizza. how many adverse incidents? how many negative side-effects? how many people died of eating pizza per 10,000? how many people quench their appitite vs those who break out in hives from the tomato? or the gluten? or the bell pepper? or the cheese? or a dye in the cheese? or the olives? or something in the pizza box?

of course this post is not intended to diagnose or treat any real or imagined disorder of any human. and, legalese, when applied, can serve to disambiguate all forms of liability real, implied, or imagined.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

In this case the effects are well known, listed and published and have been since the mid sixties. The problem is that they are just not being disseminated to anyone. Especially the treating physicians who remain blissfully clueless and deny any of these proven associations.

devobrun 6 years, 9 months ago

I know docs who have the information, davidfull. I know docs who prescribe the med and deal with the after effects, both good and bad. Primary care docs, davidfull. I know them personally. So...

"The problem is that they are just not being disseminated to anyone. Especially the treating physicians who remain blissfully clueless and deny any of these proven associations."

Anyone? Deny any of these proven associations?

Bold statements from some one who doesn't know everyone, or can adjudge all doc's cluelessness. Maybe you should try some Valium. Sorta smooth out the wrinkles in the overwrought prose. All, never, nobody, everybody, testimonials, interviews, emotion: Ah heck davidfull, go ahead, start a religion. Save us from the corruption of careful speech, careful research, careful commentary. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil....... There, I got you started, you do the rest.

ndanehower 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm sure there are a few doctors out there who are knowledgeable about the serious possible side effects of flouroquinolones, but I believe many are clueless. The doctor who prescribed levaquin to me thought the tendon issues only occurred in patients over 65 on steroids. He was totally ignorant of the fact they can cause permanent peripheral neuropathy. My doctor had to do research on the internet to educate himself when I called telling him about my horrible reaction. I learned to go prepared with the list of possible reactions listed on the levaquin website when I visited specialists.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

Want some kool aid to go with that whine?

inspire 6 years, 9 months ago

I had the same thing happen after 10 days of Avenox and a month later 1 dose of Levaquin with a steroid. I talked to colleagues and pharmacists and couldn't really figure out how to best clear these meds and heal my achilles. Eventually, I found a supplement called Ligaplex by Standard Process that has completely cleared the pain in my Achilles tendon. I imagine it could be purchased on the internet but I found in at Dr Mikell Adams' office on Wakarusa. Within a week or so, the pain I had been experiencing for months was gone and after just 3 weeks of the supplement, I notice slight pain returns if I skip a couple doses like I just did while travelling. Best of luck to anyone dealing with side effects of these meds. I vowed that I would add my voice to this issue whenever relevant so more people can make fully informed decisions about using these meds.

independant1 6 years, 9 months ago

One is always asked before treated, not prescribed but before treated is, "Have you ever had an adverse reaction to any medication?"

I've had classic alergic reaction to one antibiotic, one child to another med.

Anyone know the numbers?

1 out of 100 deaths result from medical procedure or medicine. Does that sound close?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

"It started when a dull pain in his abdomen was diagnosed as a urinary tract infection."

Were the test results no more specific than that?

Was the test performed one that would definitely identify the problem specifically?

Was it a test that would determine without a doubt that it was in fact a urinary tract infection?

Was a second or third opinion sought? Second and third opinions don't always come up with the same diagnosis.

As for whether or not the test performed was the test that would definitely identify the problem as to whether or not it was in fact a urinary tract infection is something to consider.

Who knows perhaps Lactobacillus acidophilus and a lot of water may have helped this man?

Some years back our son took on a terrible cough to the point we though it might be whooping cough. After two tests and and some suggested pharmaceutical treatment the cough was not subsiding. Upon returning to the clinic I demanded to know if there was a test available that would determine one way or the other if our son had whooping cough. Yes there was but the test was a bit more expensive. At that point I became livid and began asking "what the hell are you people thinking"? When I asked who made the decisions on lab tests etc etc no straight answers were forthcoming.

The absolute test should have been performed in the first place considering the clinic did not know for sure what was up. The test came up negative however we still could not get a definite diagnosis.

Finally we chose an unconventional naturopathic doctor who suggested his lungs were heavily congested. Grapefruit juice,grape juice and hot steamy showers were suggested. The symptoms began to subside and all could get some sleep again. It took a bit for his lungs to recover but all is well many many years later.

A suggestion for the home over and above the internet: Prescription for Nutritional Healing Phyllis A. Balch

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Some doctors note that pharmaceuticals do not necessarily cure but relieve symptoms.

lawrencenerd 6 years, 9 months ago

Lots of people are suggesting cranberry extract to fix a UTI. Hopefully folks would be more wary of such advice. A UTI can quickly turn into a full blown bladder infection, which can become a kidney infection. None of those things are pleasant, and even if it doesn't go as far as your kidneys your bladder's elasticity can be severely damaged if a bladder infection goes without proper treatment and causes scarring. These kind of infections need antibiotics. It doesn't have to be a flouroquinolone.

That said, I see a bunch of comments saying there is scientific evidence that flouroquinolones screw up half the people that take them. I've taken them. More than once in fact, and a few different kinds. Never had a single issue. Once right after I had surgery on my tendons in fact. If these are in fact so horrible and there is real scientific evidence (not a survey or peoples testimonials) put a link up to the scientific study. A few people having a bad reaction doesn't mean everybody does. I could give you testimonials all day about drugs I've had bad reactions to, and others have had equally as awful reactions to. It doesn't mean that because it has happened to other people that it happens to 50% of the people that took the drug. Fear mongering is why children aren't getting vaccinations and diseases that are fatal are making a come back. If I was afraid of taking Cipro, I might not have a leg anymore because I'm allergic to many other antibiotics that would have been powerful enough to deal with the infection. No hard science? Then STFU.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

All of the hard science you requested is posted on the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Research Foundation website.

The site contains thousands of peer reviewed articles published in the major medical journals in addition to case reports, newspaper articles, first person reports, etc. You will find within the studies submitted with the NDA (New Drug Applications) filed with the FDA, a documented adverse drug reaction rate in excess of 40%. As well as a number of associated fatalities.

Or if you prefer you can read the quinolone articles found on wikipedia which have also been peer reviewed by participating physicians and pharmacists. The cipro article alone contains well over a 140 references.

Additionally within the studies submitted in response to a Pediatric Written Request (Ciprofloxacin, circa 2004) the rate of arthropathy was reported to be 9.3% at one month and 13.6% at one year.

See: Meyer, Joette (16 March 2004). "Division of Special Pathogen and Immunologic Drug Products - Summary of Clinical Review of Studies Submitted in Response to a Pediatric Written Request" (PDF).

Within the BPCA Pediatric Studies Summary for ciprofloxacin, it was stated that the overall incidence of adverse events at six weeks was 41%.

See: BAY 0 9867 Cipro Pediatric Use Study (QUIP) - Study Results -

The CDC revoked its recommendation regarding the use of ciprofloxacin as a first line agent in treating anthrax due to the unacceptable risk documented within the Antimicrobial Postexposure Prophylaxis for Anthrax study (aka Cipro 60 day study). Within this study it was stated that the overall rate of reported adverse events during this campaign was higher than the 16.5% listed on the usage information provided with ciprofloxacin. The report goes on to state that:

"A recent published review of adverse events among patients taking long-term (>30 days) ciprofloxacin in clinical trials found an overall rate of 32% ...."

So I guess the CDC is being a "fear monger" here as well?

See: Shepard, Cw, CW; Cdc Adverse Events Working, M; Zell, Er, ER; Hayslett, J, J; Lukacs, S, S; Goldstein, S, S; Factor, S, S; Jones, J, J et al. (October 2002). "Antimicrobial postexposure prophylaxis for anthrax: adverse events and adherence.". Emerging infectious diseases (USA: Center for Disease Control) 8 (10): 1124–32. ISSN 1080-6040. PMID 12396927.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

Well, I was sort of assuming people would use common sense, which is not really warranted, I guess.

I would try the cranberry extracts for a little while at the onset, and if the infection didn't improve or got worse, go to the doctor.

Rae Hudspeth 6 years, 9 months ago

I wondered the same thing as some other commenters here. My husband had the same symptoms from taking two different statin drugs, and there are a slew of people who have had the same issues from them. Six months after stopping the statins, he finally quit having the muscle pain and weakness.
That high cholestrol might not be as bad as you're being led to believe, it's a normal and necessary part of our body chemistry for brain function, for one thing.

davidtfull 6 years, 9 months ago

There is only so much background that they can provide in less than two minutes. (total length of the interview is one minute 45 seconds) But Alan has stated to me that he was NOT on any other medications. Additionally that his urine test was NEGATIVE for any kind of bacterial infection.

There is nothing misleading about a person attempting to warn others about a crippling adverse event that has been associated specifically with a medication for almost thirty years, that they had suffered, absent of any other risk factors, including additional medications.

Liberty275 6 years, 9 months ago

A weeks worth of Cipro in an IV stopped me from dying from sepsis that started as a dog bite. My doctor thinks the dose of medicine I take every morning for agoraphobia should be enough to knock me out. I always enjoy the look on his face when I remind him of my daily dosage.

Everyone reacts differently.

independant1 6 years, 9 months ago

all medical procedures/medicines carry risk

doctor and patient make the decision, informed decision, for course of treatment. patient can get second opinion or ask for alternatives

back on the family farm. we poisoned the pig to worm them. just enough poison to kill the intestinal worms but not kill the pig. i do not recall ever miscalculating the dosage and losing the pig. the pig had no say in this matter.

too bad it isn't a perfect world

helenc 6 years, 9 months ago

I was a healthy, happy person until I took levaquin.I have tinnitus, a-fib, heart failure, pacemaker, hearing loss, bleeding ulcer, psychotic episodes, taste distortion, insomnia, anxiety , shoulder pain, ankle pain etc. I took this poison in 2004 and I'm still suffering the effects of it. Please don't take any floroquinolone because there is no way to tell who will have a reaction to it. WHY TAKE THE CHANCE???

swineprincess 6 years, 9 months ago

I feel all of your pain! my husband (who also worked for KU) was floxed last June. He is now on permanent disability because of the damage done to his body from taking Cipro intravenously and Levaquin orally. Ultimately his infection was cured by good ole vancomyacin. No drug is without side effects -- just some are worse than others and the fluoroquinolones are some of the worst. This blog is a great starting place. The writer of it used to be a pharmaceutical rep who was floxed for a similar UTI. Be well folks, and DON'T TAKE FLUOROQUINOLONES!!!!!!

independant1 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm disabled but choose not to wallow in it and do not take the handicap tag/sticker. Even though I'd get the best parking spots at Walmart when I go for my Rx refills.

They make my life more tolerable.

biomek1 6 years, 9 months ago

I identified cipro and levaquin as the cause of my severe tendonitis, tendon tears and muscle fatique about a year ago. I was an active woman riding several horses a day and bicycling frequently. I had taken cipro and leviquin on several occasions for UTI infections. I had frequent spontaneous tendon and muscle tears for 6 months. Then in late 2007, my health really deteriorated when I took Cipro for UTI on an extended bicycle vacation. I spent much of next year unable to get out of bed due to extreme pain and tendon/muscle inflamation, tears and weakness. I cannot easily climb stairs or small inclines. The damage is permanent to the tendons, but extreme inflamation has decreased somwhat in year two. Research supports that athletes should never take that class of drugs because it tends to collect in the tendon and muscles...causing the damage.

Truami 6 years, 9 months ago

I hope that people will learn soon that they should visit naturopaths and herbalists rather than PhD'ed doctors who spent way too much money learning medicine that does not work. Look up Dr. John Raymond Christopher. He more than likly could of cured this man's intestines as well as made his diet nutritious enough where Professor Redd could achieve any biking and hiking goals he had.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 9 months ago

I had this problem in2004. Doc thought I had a stroke. I had to reteach myself how to talk and walk. The pain was excruciating. After I got out of the hospital, I started researching levaquin. there was not much back then. I read a slip of paper the pharmacist had. There was a tiny reference to possible damage to the central nervous system. The medical community was not really listening at that time. Thank you Allen, for making this problem public! Based on all the local posts, it's not a small problem after all. Hopefully, more care will be used with quinolines. These drugs should not be used without concern.

rosess 6 years, 9 months ago

I took Levaquin for 10 days. I have Peripheral Neuropathy caused by this antibiotic. PN is an extremely painful condition that lasts a lifetime-I have this pain throughout my limbs. I lost my job. I nearly lost my mind. Fluoroquinolones have hurt so many more people than you can imagine! There are those who have died from them, then their are those who took their lives because they couldn't handle the devistating results some of us ended up with. These pills effect our nervous system - the very core of our being. Please don't use them. "Peripheral Neuropathy associated with fluoroquinolones. Cohen JS. 2001. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 35:1-7."

volunteer 6 years, 9 months ago

Topeka story: My elderly mom ran out of her big pill antibiotic (SMZ?) for UTI but the urologist's receptionist said well, she has a dr appt in 2 weeks, we'll see her then. I said no, she's in pain now, can we speak to the dr's nurse or leave a voicemail and the receptionist shouted, "NO" and hung up.

Two days later Mom collapsed and started shivering she was cold, so cold and I called 911. The admitting nurse in ER said "Probably just a UTI, you may have overreacted." But the dr in the ER noted, 'Hmm. Her temperature is 102 and she collapsed. I would have done what this fella did." After a day of tests, turns out the infection had gotten into the bloodstream, which is a very grave matter..15% or so die when this occurs, I was told.

The urologist (same one with the witchy receptionist) who came to see her in the hospital just kinda chuckled. I later spoke with him so he would know how his staff treats people, and he got angry with ME. We now have switched urologists.

Do some drs NEED a malpractice suit before they smarten up?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

What depth of testing has taken place before the drug in question was placed on the market?

This can depend on what type of administration was in office at the time and special interest campaign money.

independant1 6 years, 9 months ago

Cuts bothways, there are drugs that have not yet passed FDA approval that could help some now. It's an onerous protocol under any regime. Er, I mean adminstration.

There are risks with any medical procedure/drug therapy.

They do for the most part help prolong life and attack the malady. Pharmaceutical research is in the business to find better drugs, better cures.

Too bad doctors, nurses and yes receptionsists are human. And too bad there are not exact cures for all illness.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 9 months ago

Reactions from quinolines are more severe than other antibiotics on the market. The usual platitudes do not apply. Quinolines can and do cause permanent damage even after two of ten pills.

independant1 6 years, 9 months ago

i have to stay away from the lexins, they might kill me.

dianalynn_72701 6 years ago

My story would bore you to tears..just echoes everyone else's..but you've rocked me to the core. Sometimes you just want answers as to why or how...and now I know. I start a new treatment with a totally new type of doctor skilled in exactly this...but in 10 years or so of suffering, I felt like I could fight it with Savella or Lexapro~I believed every time. I am out of fight and now I have an answer...God can do with me what he will, but I see that I am one person that needs to stay away from conventional medicine as it is today. I've lost my mother to conventional medicine and I've completely lost faith in the entire thing. But, in all this negativity of mine, I DO THANK YOU for sharing your story.. It's a double-edged sword at the moment, like looking in your husband's wallet (I highly advise a "NO" on that :) You may not like what you find~but at least you're dealing with the truth. Blessed Be and if I recover, I will check back with you and let you know.

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