Vancouver, BCA Canadian-US research team has made an important and scientifically proven link between a class of potent and commonly used antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones (FQs) and a condition known as peripheral neuropathy (PN).
“This is the first large epidemiologic study. It confirms a previous data mining study and the conclusions of the FDA based on adverse event reporting,” says the study’s lead author, Dr. Mahyar Etminan, PharmD, from the University of British Columbia, Canada.
Symptoms of PN include sensations of tingling, buzzing, electrical zaps, or burning in the arms and legs or the head area. It can also include pain in the mouth, lips, teeth, facial pain, muscle twitching or hyper-sensitivity to touch, as well as many other uncomfortable and painful sensations.
According to the study, to be published in the September 15, 2014 edition of the American Academy of Neurology (Neurology 2014; 83:1-3), the risk of PN is significantly elevated with the use of oral fluoroquinolones.
Researchers looked at a large cohort of men in the US and controlled for confounding factors such as diabetes in order to determine whether the use of this particular class of antibiotic does link to nerve damage in otherwise healthy males.
“What we can say is that it doubles the risk. Generally speaking, this is still a rare event, but in terms of the relative risk, it doubles the risk between users and non-users,” says Dr. Etminan.
Fluoroquinolones are a synthetic class of antibacterial drugs - they were first discovered in the early 1960s and first used for the treatment of urinary tract infections. They essentially work to prevent bacterial DNA from reproducing.
“Different antibiotics work in different ways,” says Dr. Etminan. “This specific type goes into the cell and changes the DNA of the bacteria. We think that although it is designed to work on bacteria, we think it is possible that human DNA is also changed. That may be how we are getting reports of all these side effects, from tendon rupture to kidney failure and liver damage to peripheral nerve damage.”
In September 2013, faced with an increasing number of case reports and reports sent to the FDA through its Adverse Event Reporting System, the FDA issued a communiqué requiring a label change for all oral fluoroquinolones that addressed the risk of PN.
In 2008, the FDA ordered some FQs to carry a “black box label” warning of an increased risk of tendonitis.
The condition does not necessarily go away after the use of the antibiotics is discontinued. In other words, the condition may be permanent. PN can be extremely serious and even debilitating.
Dr. Etminan notes that although there were only men in the study, there was no reason to believe that similar results apply to women. “These drugs affect muscle and nerves,” he says. “We don’t think the risk differs in women. It may be a little bit higher or lower but there is no reason to believe this won’t be the same in women.”
Authors of this latest study wrote in their conclusions that “Current users, especially new users of FQs, are at a higher risk of developing PN (peripheral neuropathy). Despite the increase in the use of FQs, clinicians should weigh the benefits against the risk of adverse events when prescribing these drugs to their patients.”
The FQs are a particularly potent class of antibiotics and able to counter a wide variety of bacterial infections. Dr. Etminan points out that it may be more appropriate to use other types of antibiotics in some cases and eliminate the possibility of an adverse PN-type event from occurring.
The authors of this work received no corporate or special interest funding for this study.
If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a drugs & medical lawyer who may evaluate your Fluoroqinolone Antibiotics claim at no cost or obligation.
Posted by Nancy Weissman
I was given levaquin in 2003 for an infection on my big toe too much, too long. I am already a diabetic even when I was given it. So I live with PN all my life. But also that drug caused me to have fibromialgia, tendonitis, and the release of my tendon from my right ankle. Which in turn led to a below the knee amputation of my right leg. In around 2006-08 there was a class action suit. I was told at the time I couldn't be included. Now I can't get anyone to listen. People have even died. Not to mention I was given this drug not too long ago again for a respiratory infection even after explaining all of this to the doctor. At the present I am wheelchair bound, can't work, just exist. Why is any form of this drug on the market?
Posted by CHRISANNE OLIVER
And lets not forget the politicians they fund!! I was given Cipro more times than I can count even during pregnancy (this explains a lot about the suffering my first born child has\is endured\ing) been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, RLS and now MS and diabetes, cysts on my kidney and recently on my spinal cord. No wonder the US has the highest diagnose of MS as I am sure it isn't MS at all!!! I also bet that doctors, politicians and pharms had the least of these prescribed for the same illness we did. We were\are the lab rats!!! Take their money and give them their own medicine. Drug cartels manufacture safer drugs!!!
Posted by jose r fronda jr
My brother, Sunny Fronda was prescribed different kinds of flouroquinolones for years...levaquin, cipro, avelox, to name a few. While on these drugs, he was diagnosed of bodily pains and ailments and because we can hardly take care of him anymore, (almost every week, every month to drive him to the hospital) my brother and sister and I decided to put him in a nursing home. Before he passed away, I saw levaquin IV being administered. I have some of his medical records to review.
Posted by carmen blount
I have nerve damage and I was on Levequin for years!!On a daily basis..I quit taking them in the late 90's found out I have nerve damage in legs and arms!
Posted by DanS.
There is a "Black Box Warning" on these drugs - well known adverse side effects. to counter effects and/or slow them down/mitigate - CONSTANT MAGNESIUM NEEDED!! My daughter beat the CIPRO poisoning thru magnesium supplements - read up folks!! and then sue the MD for NOT looking at the PDR warnings. FDA knows about this.
Posted by Teri CiproVictim
I took 9 cipro xl pills for 9 days 1 1/2 years ago for a suspected UTI infection only, and adverse reactions started within hours after taking the first pill... Until this day! But the adverse reactions were so bizzare that i did not related it to Fluoroquinolone (double vision crissed crossed eye with in hours, phycotic hellush nightmares for 4 mths contined long after stop this so called antibiotic, my hair fell out for 4 months, and then during the first few months my fingers up to my shoulder got numb and burning pain and lost flexibility like i was dried clay and zapping and pins snd needles. Emply cups were falling out of my hands .. After the tjis numbing subsided ... I suddenly was plauged with arthritsis/oesteoprosis, which i never had in my life! I also was on a 1 year waiting list for a back surgron. As my lower spine was aldo affected... Some days i think i need a wheelchair, and the left side of mh body is paralyized and danages show in my legs, arms, ect. And exactly a year ago i was diagonoisex with Fibramalgos because doctors all denie that the FQs did this to me. I live in 24/7 Chronic pain in my entire body.. Sonetimes the pain gets so bad i end up ER, but no point as i am told they can not do anything for me. These Fluoroquinolones are actuslly worse then a Chemotheraputic drug. I even asked my doctor the side effects. I was told anything ... Just to take it. Then when i told my doctor weeks later ... She saidmy silments are my childhood and fsmily genetics. She didnt know my life as i was only with her for 3 years and i was healthy and visted her primarily for my annual physicals. These DRUGS need to be if ever again for life threatening situations. But let me tell you, even i was dying and i know these drugs do and all my chrinic suffering and permanent damage... I WOULD SAY LET ME DIE!
Posted by Christian
About two years ago my wife came down with a respiratory illness that was contagious. The doctor prescribed Cipro for her AND for me to make sure I did not catch what she had. I was not happy about this, but assumed that such things are mostly pretty safe. I think the dose lasted only 3 days and I thought "man, it much be pretty strong and last a long time to do the job."
Anyway, some time later I started to notice numbness in my feet. Not too much, but it was not my imagination. I couldn't find anything very alarming on the Internet with just this symptom, so I didn't do anything right away. But after a number of months went by with no improvement and perhaps a little more numbness, I went to see a doctor. She checked me out and ran blood tests and while she confirmed that I did have some loss of feeling, the tests all came back pretty much normal. She said if I wanted they could do a "nerve test" but didn't seem to care if I did or not. I already knew I had numbness, so I didn't see the point.
Then just today I read about this issue and damn if it doesn't sound like what happened to me!!! I have contacted a law firm to see what they can tell me, but my symptoms are pretty mild at this point. My heart goes out to any of you that are really suffering. Contact me if want to talk about what you are going through. I don't understand how the drug companies can keep pushing stuff to the doctors who make us think they are taking care of us when the cure is often as bad or worse that the disease!
Posted by David Ramey
I have had ear infections all my life since i was a little boy. My infections became resistant to most antibiotics. Levaquin became the only thing that would work on the ear infections.I had ear surgery when the DR closed up he packed the infected area after scraping the infection out with levaquin.Not long after my arms and hands started swelling up after I slept,I would wake and my fingers felt like sausages. The DR didn't know what was causing it. Later I got another ear infection and took Levaquin again . Soon after when I awoke at 4;30 to go to work .I rolled out of bed and put my feet on the floor and my legs felt like I was being shocked or a pins and needles thing ,Being on my feet a lot I thought it was just from working the day before. I was a machinist and on my feet for long hours. Now when I wake in the mornings I can't get out of bed for sometimes two hours,My arms and legs hurt so bad its unbelievable. I have been on pain meds for ten years from Levaquin. My life is ruined . I love to fish and hunt and I can't do anything anymore. I can't even sleep .
Posted by Valerie Carpenter
I have read many of these comments and saw symptoms that have been described as some that I have experienced and have not went away since I took the Fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Up until 2011-2012 I was given antibiotics at least twice yearly (sometimes more) because I suffered from chronic sinusitis in the fall, winter and spring.
Since then, I have had ringing in my ears that comes and goes on a regular (tinnitus), incontinence and bladder urgency, pain in my left arm joint, broken and puffy veins in my legs, double vision with floaters, vertigo and stomach gas. I may not be as bad off as some of the people who have commented because I take regular daily vitamins, immune boosters and herbs.
Posted by Mike
I am a retired Army Soldier who has worked out with weights, grass drills and ran all my life. Never did have an injury which took longer than 10-14 days to recover. Z-packs were thought not to be effective for my chronic sinusitis so I was given Levaquin. I had a 10 day supply but after 7 pills I couldn't take it any longer. After day 2 my wrists began to hurt while working out. Then my right knee began having incredible pain. Very sharp agonizing pain in my arms. I can no longer workout. It's been 4-5 months now and still debilitating pain. My left forearm has continuous pain as if a muscle has been torn. I can't place my right knee on the ground due to "INCREDIBLE" pain. I wish there was a law firm that could help us. I feel the manufacturer has permanently hurt us whether they knew it or not.
Posted by teldia haywood
I was given cipro all the time for kidney infections and in 2007 a Dr gave me a vitamin b12 shot and the cipro I woke up the next morning and my face was pulled to the side I couldn't talk I couldn't move my arm or hand I had to drag my foot but yet they say it was bells palsy I stayed that way for 10 weeks and my face is still numb and I just found out I had taken quite a few mini strokes starting after I was given the vitamin b 12 shot as of today I have 9 leasions on my brain and my whole life was turned upside down because of it but they say no one is allergic to vitamins I say they are crazy I want my life back the medication took away I can't remember hardly anything about my kids growing up the medication took something I can never get back and it's not fair I'm only 45 I should be able to live my life with out help and have my memories of my mommy before she died and my kids growing up
Posted by Rose Terry
Just 10 days of Levaquin in 2007 disabled me with severe Peripheral Neuropathy permanently feet, legs, hands & more. I lost my job and my families entire savings. Living with this kind of pain is very difficult. There are many of us and yes many are female, and I don't think it's rare. These antibiotics should not be used unless it's as a last resort! Too much pain and suffering! I think its shameful that the drug companies put money above their human brother and sisters!!
Posted by Kim Lemmon
Thank you for finally validating what I have been trying to tell my doctors for 2 years. I took levaquin 4 times over 4 years. After the 3rd time, I had PN in my hands and feet but didn't know what it was. I told several doctors and everyone just shrugged it off. After the 4th dose, it exploded in my body damaging many, many tendons & cartilage, and also worsen the neuropathy.
The buzzing, that turned into burning, kept me awake at night for weeks. You can't get help from doctors because they don't agree that your antibiotic caused this. I was left to try supplements recommended by others in this situation, some of which did harm. It has been 21 months since this expolsion occurred and I still have tendon and nerve pain every day. I can't exercise, do any lifting, fear going on vacation where I might have to walk.
These drugs need to be restricted to life-threatening illnesses AND with the patient's consent. They are like taking chemotherapy and you wouldn't give those drugs without patient consent.
Thanks again, Kim
Posted by Vickie Klausing
My story with the fluoroquinolone antibiotics is a horror story as well. I was a perfectly healthy person up until 2003 when I was prescribed cipro for a uti. I ended up getting on this cycle of repeated uti's, then given cipro each time. Later a few/years, it was/discovered I have a bladder disease called Interstitial Cystitis, and never had uti's to begin with. I was being given cipro before my urine was being sent out to a lab to be tested for bacteria. The doctor would say, here, get started on these antibiotics. As time went on, I was feeling and getting worse and worse and feeling like a 90 year old woman. I reached out for help from doctors, and was told I have arthritis, and fibromyalgia, and depression, and that stress can can cause pain. Years went by, and I had several surgeries including 7 abdominal hernia surgeries, a total knee replacement, and 2 other knee surgeries on other knee, a hysterectomy, and bladder surgery. Here to find out, I was being given if cipro at each surgery as a preventative to any infection that may arise. I just recently found this out from my medical records. This whole time, all these years, I had no idea or suspicion it could be the cipro making me feel so horrible and why my cartilage in my knees just disappeared and why my abdominal wall muscle kept rupturing leading to all these hernia surgeries. It was in 2012 after doing some research that I figured it out. To go from healthy to a complete mess is not ok! I was never warned of any possible side effects from my doctor and trusted 100%. My life is completely different since 2003 now, in a bad way. I can barely take care of myself, and I live alone, which is a problem. Just minimal things like light housework puts me in excruciating pain. This is not ok!
Posted by Jane Crosby
No study needed to show that the class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones also decimate women , we are living it.
There is mounting evidence to show that indeed they do prevent the DNA from reproducing in the bacteria and also to cells of the host. This can result in damaged mitochondrial DNA as well as nuclear DNA. This is being done without the knowledge or consent of the patient.
Even though this is far from rare, any number of people who's lives have been ruined by these drugs is unacceptable.
Thank you for bringing awareness.
Posted by Tammy
I took Cipro many times, not knowing it could cause permanent neuropathy. I now have neuropathy and dysautonomia.
Posted by Mark Girard
My life has two parts; the part before I took Levaquin when I worked hard and played harder and the part after Levaquin where I live with my sister because I can no longer take care of myself. I knew right away that something was horribly wrong but no one in the medical community took me seriously then and now, seven years later, no one has yet, despite the fact that I’ve had almost every "symptom" listed in the package insert. I put “symptoms” in quotation marks because they are usually serious medical problems which are often permanent and can even be fatal, and here’s the kicker, victims rarely have just one or two of these symptoms; rather, they tend to experience a syndrome with many different problems all at once or in rapid succession, so each of us has a horror story much like mine. I felt horrible right away and got worse with each passing day until around the tenth day when I lost control of my bladder. By 17 days out I had blood clots in my chest and arm. I also had painful tingling all over my body, electric buzzing in my skull, zapping sensations in my right arm and hand, uncontrollable shaking, strange little twitches in my muscles that I found out are called fasciculations, a tick in my eye, double vision, floaters, photo-sensitivity, tinnitus, vertigo, insane headaches, brain fog, intense insomnia, anxiety attacks, depersonalization, nausea, horrible diarrhea, gas from Hell, cramps in my stomach, multiple chemical sensitivity, rashes, mystery bruises, broken blood vessels, bloated veins that needed to be cut from my leg, spontaneous tendon ruptures, mysterious cartilage lesions which required a transplant from a dead child, muscle and joint pain, back pain which turned out to be a torn lumbar muscle and rapidly degenerating discs and a hundred other serious medical problems. This is the short list. Needless to say I also suffer from SEVERE depression.
Doctors smirk and mock us to our faces for suggesting that a drug they prescribed did all this damage to us and the worse the damage the deeper the denial, all because they were told these drugs are some of the safest ever made. Bayer’s sales force even uses the phrase “Safe as Cipro” when describing other drugs they are pushing just to instill the false belief that these drugs are harmless. It is much easier for a busy doctor to believe the lies their drug dealers tell them and to cash their fat bonus checks than it is to investigate what is really happening to their patients/victims and take responsibility for wrecking our lives, and we are talking about LOTS OF LIVES. The package insert for Levaquin says that just under 1% of patients experience severe side effects but of course these numbers come from one tiny 2 month study; the best of many of course. The real numbers are exponentially higher but even at the 1% that Johnson & Johnson admits to we are talking about hundreds of thousands of people horribly damaged each year by just their one brand of these poisons. Most of the time people do not experience the adverse reaction until weeks, months, even years later so they do not make the connection to the antibiotic, or chemo-therapeutic actually, as these drugs are not traditional antibiotics cultured from living organisms but rather they are chemicals which, when administered at the proper dose for the proper amount of time will hopefully kill off unwanted bacteria without doing too much harm to the host. Unfortunately, studies have shown that doctors consistently prescribe too much for too long. These are the atom-bombs of antibiotics, made for things like anthrax but often prescribed for sniffles or even "just in case". The doctors should assume more responsibility for their actions but I believe the vast majority of them are only guilty of willful blindness and gross negligence; the real criminals are the executives who know damn well what they are doing and who spend huge amounts of cash convincing doctors this crap is safe all while we are desperately trying to raise a just a little bit of money to fund studies that Big Pharma should have been required to do before the drugs were ever approved, like determining whether certain people are likely to have an adverse reaction and how to help those who have already had one. The executives of J&J and Bayer are criminals of the highest order who belong behind bars for the rest of their lives and whose assets should be seized to compensate the victims of their ongoing crimes against humanity. Both companies should pay many billions of dollars to the victims even if it means seizing the companies and dismantling them in order to compensate the millions of people they have murdered or maimed.
Folks, if you suspect you were poisoned by one of these drugs please go to the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Group or one of the many other support groups for people who have been “floxed”. Best wishes to anyone who has been rolled over by the hardened criminals running BIG PHARMA, left to suffer and fend for themselves despite horrible damage of one sort or another while the filthy rich psychopaths who did this to us laugh and joke about our predicament in their Lear-jets and on their yachts. Anyway here is the link to FTG:
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