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"Levaquin Took My Legs Away."

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Boyertown, PAI started taking 500 mg of Levaquin last summer for an upper respiratory infection," said Sara, a nurse. "Within one day, after just one dose, my lower leg hurt. By the time I saw my doctor I could barely walk; right away he knew that Levaquin was to blame."

As it turned out, Levaquin caused more than an aching lower leg. Because the drug caused Sara to become practically immobile, her respiratory problems became worse and it even cost her relationship with her fiancé...

"At first I didn't think much of the pain in my leg because my whole body ached from the fever I had," said Sara, "but once the fever broke I still had severe pain in my feet and lower calves. Ironically I had an appointment set up with my foot surgeon, Dr. Adamo, who did my bunion surgery last year.

"I continued on the Levaquin and finished it Thursday. On Friday I could barely walk. As I stepped down from my apartment, I could see, feel, and hear a pop in the back of my leg and blinding pain, like I never felt before. 'Sara, what have you been doing?' Dr. Adamo asked. As soon as I mentioned Levaquin he said, 'Didn't you read the insert?'

"He told me that I have severe bilateral Achilles tendonitis, Levaquin is to blame, and health experts are trying to get this drug off the market. I couldn't believe it! I was absolutely furious. I'm a nurse and the last dose I took, I got hot and flushed; my heart rate went up and I knew then that I was having an allergic reaction to this drug. But causing this, the inability to walk? A lot of reactions can occur from antibiotics, but I'd never heard of this.

"Dr. Adamo told me to discontinue any kind of physical activity, put my feet up, and wrap them in ice or heat, whatever felt better. He gave me a prescription for painkillers and come back for a follow-up in a few weeks or sooner if I was getting worse.

"I didn't make it back to his office. Instead I wound up in hospital due to my lungs. Dr. Adamo ordered an MRI, which showed a complete tear on my right leg tendon. Then I had an MRI on my other leg and that showed a partial tear of the tendon. It also showed a hole in the heel itself. They gave me prednisone and said my respiratory problem was not life-threatening but I won't be able to walk. I wore a cam-walker, a very rigid boot from tips of my toes to below the knee, to stabilize the foot and decrease some of the pain. My left foot was ace-bandaged.

"They wanted to operate on the torn tendon but were afraid the surgery could also take my life because of my lungs. And I also had a prior blood clot in that leg. So they prepped me for two weeks with blood thinners and antibiotics. Finally I had the surgery.

"Prior to surgery, I was taught how to walk with this 5-lb boot. I'm a small person and it was hard; basically you have to support your own weight on the handles of a walker and hop on the opposite side. But my other foot wasn't that good either. They continued to work with me in occupational therapy and rehab—three hours a day pre and prior surgery. For eight weeks, just getting myself to the bathroom was impossible—all because of Levaquin.

"I got out of hospital last November and had the cast removed. Dr. Adamo put me back in the cam-boot and told me that I could put 80 percent of my weight on it (although that's hard to figure out). I stayed out of hospital for seven weeks but got another respiratory infection because I was basically sofa-bound—back in hospital.

"They said I didn't have problems earlier with my lungs because I was moving around. When anyone lies around a lot, pneumonia often happens. I've had pneumonia three times since this happened due to immobility.

"My health insurance was getting tired of paying for rehab so they sent me to a nursing home—I'm only 51 years old—the worst three weeks I spent in my life. Now I am back at home getting occupational therapy, nurses are coming in every day to help me shower. Someone is with me 24/7. Sometimes I can't even get into the wheelchair because the pain is intolerable. I haven't driven my car since Memorial Day Weekend. I keep my hopes and dreams up that I will be able to drive again, but last week I could barely make it up a few steps.

"And it gets worse. I have a nasty scar and bruising that looks like it will never go away; constant swelling in both feet from these injuries. And this cost me a relationship—I was engaged and my fiancé said it was too much, having porta-potties and everything else in a one-bedroom apartment. I moved in with my brother.

"'You should go after the makers of Levaquin because you don't know the future,' my friends tell me. I'm going to take their advice."

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
hi all..

my story..
in november 2004 i was an active energetic pain free..dance the night away in high heels, walk miles non stop....run up and down stairs like a feather ...
and then....
in december 2004 i got bronchitis.
doc gave me zpack but on recheck a week later.
he said i had pneumonia and gave me levaquin.
well the pneumonia cleared up but all of sudden
i started to feel pain in my knees and legs.
it got progressively worse and worse.
i got lower shoes and standing up and still was unbearable.
suddenly..overnite i went from active pain free to
unable to walk , stand ..without excruciating pain.
i couldnt squat at all..
my ligaments tendons felt as if they were being shredded. and so i rested...and rested...and rested.
changed shoes ..
to sneakers now..

pain continued...excruciatingly.
and then the journey to ortho docs, rheumatoligists etc began...
mri showed nothing.
i had months of physical therapy.
no help.
to put my foot on the gas pedal was like a knife shooting up my leg.
to stand up out of a car...so painful.
nothing helped.
nothing.
so ive suffered with pain all of these years.
unrelenting pain.
no improvement..
accupuncture would help take the edge off of it..but nothing significant.
then five years after i took the poison a friend saw a legal ad regarding levaquin and told me about it and bingo..
that was the missing piece of the puzzle.and the
connecting of the dots.
i have resigned myself to my new life..
and it is very sad..to have your life completely changed in an instant by a drug.
people who dont have the chronic pain and the limitations it causes dont get it...
no one can ever imagine how much pain we suffer unless they have it.
one friend gets levaquin every six months for routine
cystocopy and he has no obvious issues and therefore.
he thinks my claims are somewhat illegitimate.
but i know it is real.
my family knows its real.
they saw the change in me.
my high heel dancing days..walking miles ..are over.
now all i do is look for a chair to sit down.
i hope i dont end up needing two knee replacements as a result of this..
everywhere i go..i see people ...all ages...walkers, canes, limping , hobbling..knee replacements are epidemic..
and i cant help but believe alot of this is as a result of levaquin and many of those affected people dont even know it..
this drug is given out like candy by docs and hospitals.
for me the damage is permenant and its done.
im glad to have others who understand my situation..who believe it...and have empathy ...
thank you..

Posted by

on
I took Levofloxacin, 500mg, for bronchitis, for 10 days. I am 67 years old and very active. I generally walk between 10 and 15 miles a week. After about 7 or 8 days on the medication, my calves started to ache, swell, and hurt. On the last day, my wife looked at my feet (I was wearing sandals) and she couldn't believe how swollen they were. The swelling in my feet has receded, but not in my calves. They are still swollen. I cannot believe the pain while trying to walk. I can walk short distances-that is all I am able to do without exacerbating the pain. I cannot walk up or down the stairs unless I walk like a little kid-1 step, 1 step, etc. I am scared that I will be like this the rest of my life.
Why is this drug on the market? I have read the other comments and NOBODY is exaggerating. I am so angry, I have no words.

Posted by

on
To Terry....take a course of Levaquin and report back on how you do if you refuse to believe that this drug is toxic. One of my best friends took 2 doses and has lost the use of her legs permanently and the pain is psychotic.

Posted by

on
I took levaquin one day and had really bad insomnia and chest pains. Doctor took me off of it but since then i have been having aching pain in both my calves. I cant excersize without feeling like my calves are gonna burst. What the hell is going on?

Posted by

on
After only 2 doses of Levofloxacin I am having cramps and pain in my legs,hands,feet, and shoulders. My legs also have been popping when I move them. I also have had severe itching.

Posted by

on
I just finished a 10 day / 750 mg dose of Levaquin.
By Day 2, I could feel a profound difference in my hips, legs, and feet. (They have never bothered me).
I attributed it to my pnemonia...and continued to take my prescribed med. By Day 4, walking was excruciating. I looked up "joint pain and Levaquin" online.
This scared me. Symptoms were undeniable. I talked with my Doc's nurse - Motrin was advised for pain. I just finished Day 10 and I am walking but it is so painful. Is Levaquin to blame...undoubtedly. I have NEVER had any of these issues prior to the drug. I am just praying they go away after this is out of my body. Would I take it again? No way. Not sure my pnemonia is gone / still coughing. I think it went to my legs instead of my lungs. I am a very healthy and active 46 year old. The pain is very concerning.

Posted by

on
I took Levaquin in August 2015, on day nine I could barely walk down my stairs. My legs from the knees down were in so much pain. My heels were so sensitive to the touch, even just lightly touching the skin was painful. Both of my shoulders were in pain as well. Well it is now 10 months later and I am lying in bed in pain STILL searching for relief. I wish that I never took this medication, I feel as though I have a horrible disease. This should only be prescribed as a last resort to patients not responding to other meds.

Posted by

on
I've taken Levoquin twice since January. My legs from the knees down feel very bruised, and my knees ache. I walk like an old woman.

Posted by

on
I took Levaquin about one month ago for a chronic sinus infection. On day 6, my legs were very weak and achey. The next morning I woke with severe right calf pain. The Urgent Care thought possible Levaquin or blood clot. Was sent to ER and ruled out blood clot. Swelling and tingleing in both feet. The next day the left leg was involved. Within 5 days, and 10 doses (no one told me to stop taking med!) I had fallen at work twice that first week. Extreme calf, foot, ankle, thigh pain. Next week...two elbows and one hand/wrist. Neuropathy pain in toes began. Burning sensation in eyes, base of head. Saw my doctor twice and she refuses to say it is the Levaquin. She said i am having a Fibromyalgia flare up. My orthopedic dr said to see a vascular dr. He won't even see me. I guess the worst thing for me is not having any doctor tell me what I already know...this is definately a side affect of Levoquin. It is different than anything else I've had.

Posted by

on
I've been using Levaquin sparingly for a few years. I've had issues with severe shoulder pain (dating from '07) and now, since November of last year, my entire left thigh muscle PLUS severe pain in my left hip is leaving me with a limp. Some days are better, but it's always there. The last I used a full dosage was back in October---then my leg problem started in November! I'm curious if anyone ELSE has had 'joint' pain, not just muscle pain......

Posted by

on
I took Levaquin about a month ago for a sinus infection. My legs have been hurting and swollen every since. I have good days and bad days, but mostly bad days. I'm going out for a tendon repair that happened before all this started next week. Hopefully being down and not walking for 5 to 6 weeks will help the pain. My knees just want to scrumble under me some days. To hear my knees snaps while I'm waiting and almost falling to the ground is scary. I'm going to be calling a lawyer to see what I can do about this.

Posted by

on
I took levofloxacin for a lung infection. I only took it for 5 days. I was in so much pain from the knees down that I couldn't hardly walk. No one had warned me about this medication and I'm not in the habit of running home and looking up the side-affects of everything I take.
It's been a year and a half now and I'm still in severe pain. I had to have knee surgery last month because of this stupid antibiotic and now I'm probably going to have to have surgery on my achilles tendon for a partial tear in it. I'm 53 and I work in the preschool room at the school. No more sitting on the floor or kneeling for me.
The severe pain is very depressing. I can't work in my garden anymore or do anything I used to. I've gained a lot of weight because I can't go for walks. I'm in therapy for my knee, but the therapist spends a lot of time trying to get my calves to quit hurting. Nothing is working. I sure hope they get this medicine off the market.

Posted by

on
I took it for 5 days, felt like I was having a heart attack... I called 911, to find out at ER,it was killing my liver.
This was 51/2 years ago. Since then I have had tendon surgeries in ankle and shoulder....now I can barely walk due to extreme knee pain. Waiting for a MRI.
This drug has ruined my life. I live in my recliner or bed. Barely no one gets it. I feel like I have been poisoned.

Posted by

on
I am 52 yrs old - I took Levaquin for ten days due to infection in my lungs. after that I have been suffering with pain in my legs day and night. I can not bend down my knees I have to have help to get up if I am seating down I ache to get on my feet. is there anything we can do to get better.

My mom is 73 yrs old and is in better shape then I am. Now.

Posted by

on
This article is disgusting, and boyfriend aside, this developed after the relationship started. I must say, patients and health care professionals share an education duty. I do not see anywhere in the article that this person "lost her legs", nor does Levequin cause holes in bones. I must say, as a nurse, I would be nervous about her practice, based on her display here. I would think that the defense will do the same. RN of 42 years

Posted by

on
I agree with Dave, better find out now than later. Love knows no boundaries when it is true!

Posted by

on
Her fiance proposed full well knowing that he would take vows "For better or worse" "in sickness and in health" Good thing she didnt marry him b/c he OBVIOUSLY wasnt serious about his commitment to her!! Hope she recovers quickly and finds someone who will stick by her in good and bad times!

Posted by

on
oh my goodness, i was on levaquin for 21 days for a sinus infection,and my legs and feet hurt extremely bad.I never thought it could have anything to do with this.

Posted by

on
took 7 doses in december 2010 .and still sore with an achy body. no tendon damage. good luck.

Posted by

on
I totally agree with Dave. The only good thing that happened, was that she found out her fiancee was a loser and not worthy of her anyways. Better to find out now before you marry him. Seriously, he dumped her because she was sick........loser !!!

Posted by

on
these damn doctor hide behind the label.....you know these [expletive] we trust to know better than us...........no they just hand out poison like candy.....these doctors need to get their [expletive] handed to them

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