FDA Releases New Warning About Antibiotics


By Joe Graedon | People's Pharmacy

antibiotics GCN

It took the FDA decades to recognize the serious and potentially irreversible side effects of Cipro and Levaquin antibiotics. We hope the new warning works.

  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Gemifloxacin (Factive)
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Moxifloxacin (Avelox)
  • Norfloxacin (Noroxin)
  • Ofloxacin (Floxin)

These antibiotics have been on the market for more than 30 years. Physicians and patients assumed that they were quite safe. These drugs were routinely prescribed for sinus, lung and urinary tract infections with barely a second thought. But now the FDA has issued a stern warning (May 12, 2016):

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising that the serious side effects associated with fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs generally outweigh the benefits for patients with sinusitis, bronchitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections who have other treatment options. For patients with these conditions, fluoroquinolone should be reserved for those who do not have alternative treatment options.

“An FDA safety review has shown that fluoroquinolones when used systemically (i.e. tablets, capsules, and injectable) are associated with disabling and potentially permanent serious side effects that can occur together. These side effects can involve the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and central nervous system.”

We Have been Warning You about Cipro and Levaquin Antibiotics!

For more than 20 years we have been warning readers of The People’s Pharmacy that FQ antibiotics posed serious risks. The FDA has been very slow to 1) recognize the risks and 2) warn health professionals and patients how bad the problems could be. But a patient group called the “Fluoroquinolone Toxicity 24/7 Forum” pulled no punches in describing how some patients react to this class of antibiotics:

“Fluoroquinolone toxicity has been like an atomic bomb exploding in their bodies damaging their muscles and scrambling their DNA to the point many are too sick to work, too weak to walk.”

In July 1994 we heard from a reader of our syndicated newspaper column who had received a prescription for Floxin:

“I took it for a severe sinus infection followed by pneumonia last winter. After three days of utter misery and a rash on my back, I started hallucinating. Are there other people who have had a bad reaction to this antibiotic?”

People who have experienced bad reactions to fluoroquinolones sometimes call themselves “Floxies.” That’s because flox is part of the name for such drugs. Other people described being “Floxed” by these antibiotics. What is so extraordinary is that the side effects can be permanent in some cases. Only now does the FDA seem to have realized that FQs like Cipro and Levaquin antibiotics have been prescribed way to promiscuously and the complications can be irreversible.

Fluoroquinolone Side Effects:

  • Tendon problems, tendinitis, tendon rupture (potentially disabling)
  • Digestive distress, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, heartburn, vomiting; super-infections, including C. diff diarrhea
  • Arthritis, muscle pain, weakness
  • Headache, dizziness, anxiety, irritability, agitation, restlessness, confusion, insomnia
  • Retinal detachment
  • Allergic reactions, skin rash, anaphylaxis (life-threatening reaction requiring immediate medical attention!)
  • Hallucinations, psychosis, seizures
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Irregular heart rhythms, QT prolongation
  • Kidney or liver damage
  • Blood disorders

Symptoms of Nerve Damage from FQ Antibiotics:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Changes in sensation to light touch, pain or temperature, or the sense of body position
  • Burning, tingling, weakness

What do these Symptoms Mean for Real People?

Have your eyes glazed over yet? Whenever people see a long list of side effects they tend to tune out pretty quickly. That is why those terrible prescription drug commercials you see on TV are so successful for the pharmaceutical industry. After a few seconds people tend to ignore the calm voice of the announcer as he reads off a list of seemingly ridiculous adverse reactions. The problem is that these terrible complications do happen to people and sometimes change their lives forever:

Bonnie in San Luis Obispo, CA:

“I took Levaquin for a respiratory infection in May of 2008. I started having problems with my right leg shortly after, but didn’t make the connection to the drug. Then in October of 2008, I was prescribed Cipro for a UTI [urinary tract infection] and took one pill and could not move my arms or legs.

“I looked at the insert and noticed the black box warning of tendon ruptures which had only recently been put on fluoroquinolones. It was then I realized that I had taken the Levaquin earlier and was suffering from muscle pain and weakness. I have gotten progressively worse over the years and been to numerous doctors. I have yet to find one who will acknowledge the connection between this drug and my deteriorating condition.”

Debbie in Chicago shares this sad story:

“In the early 90’s, I took Cipro for pneumonia and could not walk for 15 months. The pain was unbearable. I lost my job and was a single Mother. The pain disappeared out of nowhere.

“In June of 2009 I took Levaquin, 2 pills total. I was healthy, happy, good job and no problems in my life. Until the pill I had a mild chest cold. I was in the doctor’s office for 10 minutes and was prescribed Levaquin. Pill #2 caused burning, painful feet. I was going to the health club after work with a co-worker. We both noticed something was really wrong with me. I had a sudden inability to walk due to horrible pain. I had to quit working out. I suffered in pain in order to work, shop, and care for my ill Mother.

“I kept the pain to myself but slept as soon as work and dinner was done. Fatigue set in quickly and everything became worse even after seeing 12 different doctors to figure out why I wasn’t able to walk and why I was in so much pain. I got the usual diagnosis of plantar fasciitis and was offered physical therapy and orthodics. Each doctor who found me getting worse had no answer.

“From June 2009 until now I have been in a wheel chair and cannot step down on my left foot. The severe pain and weakness has traveled from my foot through the whole left side of my body. I do not leave my home to socialize or shop. I only leave to see my doctor because of pain flare ups. Socializing in pain is not fun for me nor can I handle interaction. I cry daily, I am full of dread for the loss of my real self and all I worked for. ALL my dreams are gone. I still do not understand how I went to a doctor I trusted to make me well and instead he ruined my life in a very inhumane way.”

J.T. shares his horrifying psychological reaction:

“Several years ago I was prescribed Floxin. I took the first dose at bedtime. At 2:00 a.m. I woke up hallucinating that giant bats were flying around my room. It scared the heck out of me.

“Interestingly, my older sister who was a pharmacy rep at the time warned me not to take it. I shrugged her comments off as nonsense. This little brother had to learn the hard way. It was terrifying. Absolutely terrifying.

“It just makes me sad. Why do we even have to go through these experiences in the first place. Every time I hear the FDA mentioned, I simply shudder. Perhaps someone will expose the FDA similar to what has happened at the VA.”

Donnie’s mother suffered from Levaquin:

“My mother was given Levaquin and suffered terrible hallucinations, among other serious side-effects. There was talk about putting her in a nursing home.

“I found a list of side effects from Levaquin, and the doctor took her off of it. She got over the hallucinations fairly soon, but other adverse reactions to the drug persisted.”

Jay experienced another devastating complication of FQs:

“I took Cipro 8 years ago and was never informed of possible side-effects because they weren’t known yet. I’m STILL experiencing inflammation of my tendons and ligaments, particularly my Achilles’ tendons. It can be crippling, and I have a part-time gig as a freakin’ fitness instructor!

“During one flare-up I also experienced a partially detatched retina, and during other episodes of swollen tendons I experienced a peculiar muscle weakness that felt like I was coming down with the flu. I also had a persistent aching in my joints. These episodes can linger for WEEKS before they resolve.”

The Long Lasting Effects of Cipro and Levaquin Antibiotics:

Not everyone gets over FQ adverse reactions. Some people report that years later they are still suffering. The FDA seems to have finally acknowledged this when it stated that fluoroquinolones: “are associated with disabling and potentially permanent serious side effects that can occur together. These side effects can involve the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and central nervous system.”

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: “New FDA Warning For Popular Cipro and Levaquin Antibiotics!”

Robert O'Leary 150x150

Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.

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  1. 10208171279671034@facebook.com' Sharon Mills Spurlin says:

    Casey Spurlin, Diane Mills McClellan

  2. 10157037991975389@facebook.com' Jonathan Kenny says:

    oh my lord, look Shawna MacDonald antibioctics are bad. :/

  3. 1058388684225433@facebook.com' Nancy Reiff says:

    Cipro and keflex are two i cannot take. Horrible reaction

  4. 499535683551249@facebook.com' Gregory Peter Boyce says:

    Haha there’s are bad

  5. 255221928165451@facebook.com' San Cleland says:

    please pass this on!

  6. 1102671006446346@facebook.com' Kelsey Breda says:

    Courtney Shelsy

  7. 1417070261651924@facebook.com' Larry Parks says:

    I have always been wary of antibiotics & other prescription medicines too. I don’t trust the medical fraternity nor the pharmaceutical companies. Why would you? How could you?

  8. 1178663095497767@facebook.com' Maria Paula Muring says:

    Kearl Saint Ong

    • 1432202560138608@facebook.com' Kearl Saint Ong says:

      Alam ko na ang about sa tendons etc. Nagdadalawang isip na nga ako magpatake sayo nun ng cipro

  9. 183003935428932@facebook.com' Linda Carr says:

    Antibiotics have saved lives. Remove the overusage of antibiotics in the agricultural industry (in the animal feed). This will lessen our antibiotic resistance. Keeping sick people from getting antibiotics is not a solution.

  10. 1173806842629523@facebook.com' Peggy Decker Fortier says:

    It’s not the resistance that’s the problems with these. It’s their over use and doctors not prepping their patients to lose all their gut bugs. Too many people die from complications from these antibiotics. Doctors don’t warn their patients of the high likelihood of death.

  11. 10207481003797889@facebook.com' Rafal Selevitch says:

    Dayana Selevitch check it out

  12. 540218859515579@facebook.com' Santosh Chadha says:
  13. 10154019375723463@facebook.com' Maria Theodorou says:

    I had the worst experience of the side effects of antibiotics!

  14. 10206733316709817@facebook.com' Lilian Clifton says:

    Sheep being led by wolves!

  15. 10154419872581124@facebook.com' Christal Isaqueen says:

    They’ve known it for decades they just wanted money. If horses can’t take it, people shouldn’t either!

  16. 10206483937650836@facebook.com' Benji Buehne says:

    Levaquin saved my life.

  17. 1770363926541904@facebook.com' Rosa Medina says:

    Vero!! Get to read this!!

  18. 10209663942660559@facebook.com' Sherry Whitmore Ehrhardt says:

    What are you supposed to do if there is nothing else to kill the bacteria in your body?

    • Naturehealthieralternatives@outlook.com' David Hoggatt says:

      Take the time on the internet and read up on the many ways that millions of people are resolving there health issues without the use of antibiotics or any other medications. I beat my COPD six years ago and have resolved all my issues without any of these.

  19. 139559223114063@facebook.com' Emery Myers says:

    Kenzie LM

  20. 10201114119652214@facebook.com' Judey Dale says:

    They keep kill the bad bacteria but also the very good back terai so the effect for women is an overgrowth of yeast since the good bacteria keeping it at bay is gone. Women get a regular yeast infection or a screamingly painful one depending on how strong the antibiotic was ..

  21. 10154051742641223@facebook.com' Angela Barton says:

    I took cipro for a sinus infection and have had issues with the tendons in my left foot and leg ever since.

  22. 904111233031322@facebook.com' Jason Rathbun Sr. says:

    Jess Rathbun

  23. 10155008748299762@facebook.com' Rita P Cook says:

    I can’t take cipro. Makes it very hard to breathe

  24. 1578670649130154@facebook.com' Natalie Hall Watson says:

    I always had a propensity to put on weight. Whenever I start a diet I leanness a little at first and then not leanness more. But also in 2016 I decided to generate a diet pays to determine if will be different. I lost excess weight 23 pounds and lost belly. I bought the diet this website here TOP3DIET . COM

  25. 846015302175733@facebook.com' Carol Vespucci says:

    Cipro ? almost killed me!!!

  26. 1166616540015764@facebook.com' Nancy Fortman says:

    Cipro made my skin crawl and my throat close. I have sore achilies tendons all the time. I thought it was just me.

  27. 1156346847743185@facebook.com' Melissa A Herriges says:

    Feeling good about staying true to natural remedies!! ? Who’s crazy now

  28. 10208682602530377@facebook.com' Carol Swick says:

    I’m 99% Homeopathy and 1 % Allopathy . When will people learn… On their death bed ??.. If it not Natural…. It is not Natural

  29. 10208682602530377@facebook.com' Carol Swick says:

    This is The Most Powerful Natural Antibiotic Ever – Kills Any Infections in The Body – See more at: https://www.healthcareaboveall.com/this-is-the-most-powerful-natural-antibiotic-ever-kills-any-infections-in-the-body-1/#sthash.9CHkOs2K.dpuf

  30. 10209472982931279@facebook.com' Lee-Anne Hadland says:

    Cipro nearly killed me side effects horendous and flagyl and doryic and rocymycin

  31. janalynwiley@aol.com' Jana Wiley says:

    The article misses a few points. Mitochondrial and collagen damage are definitely linked to the FQs but are not listed on the black box warnings yet. The FDA has been sitting on this info for quite a while. Researchers have known about tendon damage since 1985, in dog studies. These drugs kill the tenocytes which make the tendons what they are, strong and flexible. Without them, the tendons become more brittle, more likely to rupture. It took a lawsuit against the FDA to list this warning. Back to the dogs, cats and horses…They are vulnerable to these drugs too. In dogs it causes ACL ruptures (Baytril) In cats, they primarily see retinal detachment, blindness. In horses though, the FQs are listed as doing really nothing, and in fact have been recommended as prophylaxis, or just in case drugs. Now with the increased number of breakdowns on the track, do we need an update there too? It is all really criminal actually. The drug companies knew, and those charged with safety and regulation knew. Follow the money.

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