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FLQs: Fluoroquinolone Antibiotic Side Effects can Include Damaged Tendons

Updated on May 10, 2019
Fluoroquinolones: Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox -- Educate Yourself!
Fluoroquinolones: Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox -- Educate Yourself! | Source

Cipro: Unexpected Side Effect and Warnings

A recent medical crisis took me to an emergency room, then surgery, all within 24 hours. I plan to write about that experience, but have decided to put the cart before the horse due to the side effects of a common medication I was given, often simply called Cipro.

In the hospital the surgeon ordered a form of this fluoroquinolone class of antibiotic to be given by IV along with the pain meds during and after surgery. Needless to say, I was feeling no pain at that time.

On the day I was released from the hospital I was given a large Cipro pill to swallow. Doing so was difficult due to the condition of my throat after surgery, partially because I was dehydrated before even going to the ER.

That caused the surgeon to refrain from giving me the Cipro prescription he initially intended me to fill for at-home use. He felt I had enough of the antibiotic at the time and being aware of some of the dangers of antibiotic use I was fine with that decision, but little did I know what a mercy it turned out to be.

Reed and heed those medication guides, particularly for fluoroquinolones, including Cipro.
Reed and heed those medication guides, particularly for fluoroquinolones, including Cipro. | Source

At home that night I used one dose of the prescribed pain medication, but then decided it was time to get that junk out of my system. Make no mistake, by the end of the day I went to the emergency room I was begging for pain medication, and it was very useful those 3 three days I took it, but I've seen the dangers of using it in others' lives.

It was the next day after going off the pain medication that I noticed generalized joint pain, and my right ankle was particularly tender. Throughout the day it spread to my foot and up to the knee. The swelling made the entire area feel cold and tight.

Thinking I had somehow wrenched that ankle in the hospital while taking pain meds I shrugged off the pain. The ankle has a 5-year-old tendon injury that I am careful with, and I was resting anyway so elevating it was easy. Joint pain increased all over for a few days, but I was doing just as the doctor had ordered because I wanted to get well as fast as possible.

Much of the pain I had been hit with from the illness, the surgery and then the tissue/joint pain subsided over the next two weeks and I felt that I was doing really well when I could carefully begin building my strength after eating right and resting by starting approved exercises to strengthen my lungs and weakened muscles.

Debilitating Side Effects

Question whether symptoms are side effects of antibiotics and get needed help.
Question whether symptoms are side effects of antibiotics and get needed help. | Source

A Setback Because of Ciprofloxacin

At the post op appointment it was decided that I was dealing with a UTI–not a great surprise after being in the hospital. Yuk can describe some of what happens in those places, then there’s worse. It’s no wonder we have superbugs spreading among us, but we will stay on topic for now. I was given a prescription for Cipro, 1 pill per day, to take for 5 days.

At home that evening I took the first dose and went to sleep as usual. In the night I woke to joint pain, however, and the next morning my ankle was as bad as after first coming home from the hospital. The pain throughout the day and the next night increased and there was little rest. I was miserable and began trying to put two and two together.

On going back to read the prescription’s patient info material, including a medication guide, I saw that first on the list was tendon rupture or swelling of the tendon (tendinitis). Reading the warnings over while experiencing pain was alarming, but I understood both the side effects of Cipro and my symptoms better.

Determining what I should do next became a priority. My decision is, I'm sure, not doctor approved but, hopefully, I’ll be able to tell my general physician about the experience after the fact and not have to make a call for help. The surgeon referred me to him at the post op if I had concerns other than what would be directly related to the recent surgery.

There could be some risk in my decision, but I was too sick at the time to go to another appointment unless absolutely necessary. I’m pretty sure I had some of the other side effects, (such as a strong reaction to caffeine after going off the antibiotic, including insomnia--still can't drink my morning cup of coffee) and I just did not feel like dealing with seeing a doctor.

After reading several articles on how to treat the tender leg, ankle, and foot, and what to look out for in case things did not go well with my plan, I decided not to take anymore Cipro and to self treat for the UTI, while being watchful for symptoms that would indicate I in fact did need to call my doctor.

Levaquin Tendonitis: Magnesium Depletion

A Fluoroquinolone Induced Tendon Rupture Case

Using extra vitamin C each day and taking D-Mannose (a supplement I have used successfully in the past), staying extra hydrated, and getting more rest that included elevating the painful tendons was my own prescription, though as I mentioned, watching carefully for any sign that I had made the wrong decision and needed professional help was crucial.

I initially had to deal with anger over the situation so I could settle myself into the Cipro setback. After all, I had worked hard to make good progress after the surgery and was making plans to go forward with the next 4 weeks of recovery. Getting to the point of documenting the experience via writing a hub has been helpful as well as educational.

A week out from the post op now, I am still dealing with symptoms in both ankles and other joints and soft tissue areas, including hands and shoulders. The option of taking more medication to reduce swelling (NSAIDs, steroids) is not one I want to risk due to the side effects associated with those drugs, so I'm working to be patient with my treatment plan.

Whether doctors would agree, I'm not sure, but already having some side effects makes me wary that I may be at increased risk for more from other meds at this time. Since I am resting and elevating, I am going to take time to heal and see whether I have to address the issues in the future.

Learning about other side effects may be useful, but most importantly I am reading about how others have addressed these symptoms on their own. The healing process for most of them is based on practical advice--getting healing rest, eating right, taking quality supplements--but the comments have me planning to do more research in the future.

Buyer Beware

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Saving the remainder in case the FDA wants them--I don't!Fluoroquinolones have red flags!
Saving the remainder in case the FDA wants them--I don't!
Saving the remainder in case the FDA wants them--I don't! | Source
Fluoroquinolones have red flags!
Fluoroquinolones have red flags! | Source

Fluoroquinolone Education for Patients

How Could the Surgeon have Helped the Situation?

Though I know it now, when I was in the hospital I had no idea that the ankle pain was being covered by pain meds, nor did I have any clue that the ankle and joint pain after coming home could be related to the antibiotic.

At the time, no warning was given to me about these or other issues I faced even though the FDA has placed a boxed warning on the family of fluoroquinolones, Cipro being one of the brands in this class of antibiotics.

Before leaving the hospital a patient should be given information on the side-effects of medications they have been given and they should have in writing what they should do if they experience the side effects, just as if they had received medication from a pharmacy with patient information inserts.

In the surgeon’s office at the post op appointment there was no discussion about Cipro’s side effects, no questions about whether I had experienced any of the associated problems, just a new prescription for the product.

After buying the prescription a medication guide tells patients to tell their doctor if they have had tendon problems, but that's too late. No one gets to talk to the doctor about such things after the appointment. The doctor should ask patients if they have any tendon problems.

No information provided at the time of the appointment gave me a warning on what I would face in the next few days. It would have been prudent for the surgeon to have asked questions that I had no knowledge of the need for before prescribing that medication again so soon.

He could have mentioned that among other things, fluoroquinolone induced tendon ruptures and tendinitis can be a serious side effect and that I was close to the age when the warnings issued for all ages become more critical.

He could have explained something of how experience indicates that this medication may cause ischemia resulting in tendon ruptures, and that there is the possibility of the drug directly attacking tendons' collagen fibers, even after only a single dose.

He could have also, in all fairness, mentioned that there are a number of other reasons not to take fluoroquinolones if an infection is not life-threatening unless I was willing to risk toxicity that could possibly be life-changing or worse. I have to wonder if he is even aware of these issues.

It was my responsibility to read all of the paperwork that came with the prescription, and I accept that (not that I would have understood most of it at the time), but when a person is sick, medical professionals have a responsibility to reasonably discuss possible issues with what they prescribe to the person trusting them.

Being considered a hypochondriac has patients fearful of expressing concerns, but pain medicines and antibiotics can work together to put patients in a fog. Professionals should recognize that their patient's thinking is likely fuzzy and take the lead in discussing concerns, especially when there are known issues.

What's the FDA Up To?

Have you, a family member, or a friend experienced side effects from Cipro?

See results

Understanding Cipro Related Tendinitis and Doctors' Thinking on the Topic

Beyond My Experience

My experience is wrapped up in various details. The problem ankle flares up once in a while so it took me some time to make connections to the medication. I was not in a position to do my best thinking and I expected the surgeon to know the wisest course of action.

There is more to it all, but on this end I’m reminded again that patients need to sound alarms to their doctors and to each other about their experiences with medications.

The list of FDA warnings on fluoroquinolones, aka Cipro in my case, is alarming. Additional problems with medicines that have such warnings are that health care professionals either

1) dismiss the warnings outright or

2) they will not have an advisory discussion with patients but rather approach them with an aloof attitude that puts the responsibility for the decision on whether to take the medication on the patient who most often does not know the risks or what is best and has no chance to do research at the moment of decision.

After talking to friends over the last few days who have taken this medication in the past I have come to some conclusions:

• These responses may well be rooted in a lack of knowledge on the part of the very people that patients are trusting to know best.

• The side effects mentioned in the patient information leaflets are not minimal, nor are they uncommon.

From another state, one friend described her nightmare experience with this medication and the effort to try to get help from her health care professionals. Clearly, she was dealing with people who did not know what the problem was and did not care to help her find the right solutions. She suffered for months due to several of the side effects of Cipro.

There is help and hope for people who suffer from ongoing side effects of fluoroquinolone drugs. Exploring the schools of thought on the topic is interesting and useful. You might like to begin with the following sites:

Important answers and information.

Hope for sufferers.

Addressing the Toxicity.

If you have a health issue seek help from a medical professional.
If you have a health issue seek help from a medical professional. | Source

Children and Cipro

In the 50s scientists and doctors promoted the idea that disease would be eradicated by antibiotics and vaccines. While there is no doubt that lives have been saved by the efforts of men like Fleming and Salk, we now know that there are dangers from these drugs that we need to take into account.

When I was growing up, children were glibly given antibiotics, but times have changed. Anytime a child needs an antibiotic the directions and cautions should be taken seriously. Cipro is not ordinarily prescribed for children, but it is sometimes given to them.

The following sites offer information for parents who want to be prepared to deal with health care professionals who may prescribe flouroquinolone drugs to their children:

Pediatrics and Cipro

What is this drug, and other important information on it.

Side Effects that You must do Something About is included in this from Medicines for Children.

This Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) Drug Information includes: Who should not take Cipro?

Learn More About the Side Effects

From this Point Forward

After realizing that the antibiotic I was given created new health concerns I called the number listed for the FDA on a patient insert that came with my prescription. It reads, “You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088” and a real person answered after I punched through the recorded directions.

On this end I wish I had asked the lady about herself, but I am sure she must have been a health care professional of some sort, and she was truly interested, kind, and patient. She directed me on how best to report the side effects, then began a conversation about my immediate condition that was very useful to me.

Also, I have opened a note file on my phone and titled it NoNo Meds, listing Cipro and the side effects I’ve experienced. As well, putting a note about that in my wallet would be a good idea. This recent emergency has taught me more about the need to be ready with vital health information.

I’m studying more about how to help the healing along, but if the tendonitis continues it may be that I wind up seeking help. I will give updates in comment responses below if readers ask for them. While I am hoping that I will be able to take care and heal from this point on, I have also learned more about how one never knows what a day will bring.

On a personal note, I am thankful that I can pray about the issues I face. The rest time over the next few weeks is an opportunity to study God's Word more and trust that He is at work in the situation. My heart goes out to sufferers who do not have the confidence of His help that comes from a relationship with Him according to His Word.

Join the Fight for Awareness

Make sure pain medication is not covering issues and report the side effects!
Make sure pain medication is not covering issues and report the side effects! | Source

Questioning My Husband's Experience

About 10 years ago my husband had surgery to repair his right shoulder's rotator cuff. It was a successful out patient procedure that he was grateful for, especially once he had pain-free use of his again.

During his initial recovery he displayed unusual behavior that I blamed on pain medications which are much needed in the first couple of days after this surgery. He chose to go off those meds as soon as possible and his recovery and therapy went well.

Interestingly, about 5 months after the surgery he reached out to start moving a small bag of mulch and felt a snap in his arm. On examining it, he found that a muscle was bunched up in his upper arm making him look like Popeye, but he only had mild tenderness from the event.

That meant a new appointment with the surgeon who did a thorough investigation of the problem. He was very puzzled because he had examined that muscle's tendon at the time of surgery and found it to be intact and in no need of intervention.

He offered to repair it but did not recommend the procedure because there are risks with surgery and the surrounding muscles would compensate for the loss of that one. Though we live in a fallen world with danger, illness and accidents always a risk, we are amazingly designed! My husband agreed for he did not want surgery again.

Now, after my experience with surgery and consequent side effects from the fluoroquinolone antibiotics, we are wondering 1) if the tendon for that muscle was damaged by the antibiotic he received during surgery, and 2) if his orthopedic surgeon had any idea of the risks involved with using that antibiotic.

This far out it is difficult to know for sure, but even though many health care professionals mock anecdotal evidence, my husband's incident is certainly food for thought if one is willing to take a serious look at the side effects of these antibiotics. Patients are complaining, and we can't help but wonder if others experienced what my husband experienced after rotator cuff surgery.

What Class of Antibiotics Have You Taken?

Fluoroquinolones: An Interesting Study

Researching the problems associated with the side effects caused by the fluoroquinolones has been sobering. I have learned important information about how to take care of myself during the healing process, learned that sensitivity to this class of medications runs in families, and more.

Periodically researching this topic is important for anyone who has taken these drugs because symptoms can surface months after finishing prescribed courses of it. Sufferers are sharing what helps and what hurts their attempts to find healing for the benefit of others.

Discussions on the pros and cons of using fluoroquinolones are useful, but it is important to read a balance of information. Articles like this from a doctor are followed by comments from people with experience.

Another post mockingly comments about anecdotal evidence of side effects while victims' reports range from the highly emotional (certainly understandable in some cases) to the matter of fact. Remember to remain balanced as you wade through information to find truth.

If you have ever taken any of the fluoroquinolone drugs and would be willing to share your experience with it, please do so in the comments section below. Taking advantage of the opportunity to communicate about issues online is a chance to learn more and help others think through the concerns.

Danger in the Hospital

Medical Advances: What does the Future Hold?

Reading up on the various and complex side effects that fluoroquinolones can cause has provoked too many questions about what is happening in our society. That some drug stores offer Cipro free with a prescription (it's very inexpensive anyway) would make some patients thoughtlessly prefer it over other antibiotics.

Even scarier is that I discovered how this powerful antibiotic can be purchased without a prescription online. It is available in other countries without a prescription, as well. What the easy availability of these medications has done to the health of modern society is yet to be determined. History may one day tell a sad tale.

Since side effects can include confusion at best and severe kinds of anxiety, seizures, and psychiatric events I wonder about some of the horrific acts of violence we've seen, I wonder if any one else is asking whether instigators have taken this class of antimicrobial meds. Some things can't be explained except to say that evil exists, but how these meds affect some people gives pause for thought. That they are combined with other scary meds makes the questions even bigger.

Eye issues should be looked at twice if there is a history of fluoroquinolone use. Also, considering the body of evidence causing scientists to question these drugs, are they why we are seeing a rise in liver function abnormalities, renal disorders, dermatologic reactions, hepatic issues considered mild and reversible (except by the patients having a different experience), specific heart conditions, mysterious immune system disorders and more?

Having dealt with the many issues that come up when trying to help a relative in a nursing home, I have some experience in watching the medication lists stack up. I have loads of questions about the changes I've seen in some of the patients I've come in contact with, but in my own relative's case the questions are quite specific.

Preventable Dangers: Experience with System Failures

Being in a nursing home means that antibiotics will be periodically prescribed. In those settings, infections are common, and they can be rampant. Due to my experience I am just now connecting some of what I've seen in my relative to the antibiotics she has been given, and I plan to do more research on the interaction of fluoroquinolones and other meds on her list.

For instance, a doctor told me that she does not have dementia, so I've questioned what causes some of the behaviors I've seen, but there are no answers. Do they know what they are doing by mixing these meds, or are they ignorant of the side effects, overwhelmed with what they face, and just adding more meds to treat the conditions they are presented with on a day to day, week to week, month to month basis?

Many questions come to mind, but getting healthy and staying healthy is the best thing for me to focus on. No big news there, of course, but after a major medical event and the resulting side effects I find that I am even more inclined to take care of myself so I can stay away from the medical community as much as possible.

I'll close with an abbreviated example from a friend in yet another state. She was in a serious automobile accident, taken to the ER for initial treatment, had surgery, and spent time in ICU. As her body tried to heal in the unit, her mental condition deteriorated. She was aware and tried to communicate her concerns, but she was up against the opinion of medical professionals.

Useful Information on Antibiotic Use:

• Benefit from a discussion on using antibiotics.

Her sister questioned what was happening, but the professionals told her that they sometimes see this, that it was an ICU syndrome, and that they might have to send her to a psych ward. Her sister knew nothing more than to trust the professionals, but this patient fought to communicate that she knew the medications were working against her.

As a result, thankfully, her sister demanded an investigation in which it was discovered that not only had wrong medications been administered, but that there are side effects when some of what was prescribed for her was mixed together, fluoroquinolones being one of her prescriptions.

After this patient was home and her regular physician discussed her records with shock, there was thankfulness that she survived the events that occurred during her hospitalization. She was too weak to pursue a suggested lawsuit (imagine how bad it is when a doctor recommends that).

Doing so would have highlighted the truth about what can happen, but we should all be wondering how many people have suffered while medical professionals ignored or were ignorant of the side effects of medications.

There are times when the benefits outweigh the risks, but in those cases, it is not okay to ignore the fact that the side effects are the cause of symptoms causing a patient to suffer. Approaching symptoms from the right perspective is crucial to solving the problems.

We are indeed grateful for help from health care professionals and all their tools when we need them, but we need family members or friends to be personal advocates if in a medical crises. They must be watchful, willing to question and then check out everything happening to the patient, especially as political policy becomes more ingrained in the medical system.

By educating ourselves along the way we can help educate professionals who may not even be aware of the the facts on the drugs they prescribe and be personal advocates for family and friends who are at the mercy of what they face in a medical crisis at the hands of the medical system.

• Important Note:

I am not a health care professional. This post cannot replace your health care provider’s advice. If you have a health concern, you are responsible to consult a doctor. Discuss this information with your doctor and do not use this information to diagnose or treat yourself.

Medication Overdose: When will Nurses and Residents Speak Up?

Fluoroquinolone Damages Tendons

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  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    3 years ago from the short journey


    So sorry that you have had to deal with these side effects. When they hit, it is often difficult to tell what the problem is, so I am glad that you were able to determine what was causing the problems. I'll look for your hub and expect that I'll be linking it to this one since the more this topic is discussed the better off patients will be and hopefully, the more help doctors will have with solving the issues. Please let me know when you publish it.

    I'm now halfway through the time that they say spontaneous tendon ruptures occur, but the big concern is that they really do not know the full story on the side effects. With some infections there are no alternatives, but this is being used too casually by too many docs.

  • ThatMommyBlogger profile image


    3 years ago from The Midwest

    I have a hub saved in draft mode about this same med. I had a severe reaction to this a few months ago, and I'm still battling some of the side effects. I developed sudden joint pain so bad that I could hardly stand to walk across the room, although I forced myself to do it anyway. My left wrist swelled up to the point where it was visibly noticeable and strangers asked me what was wrong. I could go on for hours about the negative effects of Cipro, but I need to go to bed. Take care.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Avoiding doctors is an important goal, but there are situations that come up when there is no avoiding them. Trying to help them by communicating problems and also alerting others who could be patients one day makes us part of the solutions. Thanks for adding your comment to the discussion.

  • sgbrown profile image

    Sheila Brown 

    4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    Things like this is why I try NOT to go to the doctor. So many medications with so many side effects! I have always said that we know our bodies better than the doctors do. If something doesn't seem right to you, you should ask your doctor about it. NEVER hesitate to ask questions and if you feel like you are bothering your doctor, you need to change doctors! I am glad you figured out what was going on before it became more serious!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey

    Yes, we live and learn, but in an emergency situation, we really are at the mercy of professionals so being aware ahead of time so we can be prepared to ask questions we wouldn't otherwise know to ask at such times can be very helpful.

    Even this week I noticed more strength/less pain in damaged tendons so I am thankful for progress, and especially that I recognized what was happening before more damage was done. The nightmare others have reported seems a little too close for comfort when I look at my experience.

    There are times when there is no other choice, but floroquinolones are used too freely. It is a sobering thought to continue thinking it through and consider what this could mean if there is an epidemic of some sort that is resistant to these strong antibiotics.

    Thank you for adding your experience to this discussion and helping to highlight the topic so others have the chance to educate themselves on the issues.

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    4 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Wow! Way to go with spreading the word about Cipro and other drugs from the fluoroquinolones family. I've taken Levaquin a couple of times only because I really had to but I avoid them at all costs. I'm allergic to penicillin so my choices are slim. I had no problems with the antibiotics, but I always check with Dr. Google before I take any medication. I'm just not a druggie. I'm so sorry for your experience. We live and learn.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    At least on this end I can say it was an education. I'll be glad when the 2 year danger of potential spontaneous tendon rupture is up!

  • AudreyHowitt profile image

    Audrey Howitt 

    4 years ago from California

    How scary this must have been! Hopefully you are back to normal by now--

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Thank you. The healing has been slow, but I'm thankful to say that it seems fairly steady. I did not take as much as some people who have never healed from the side effects. The cherry supplements are indeed a big help, particularly for finger joints. I've even written a hub on the relief I've had from them. I appreciate that you stopped in.

  • ezzly profile image


    4 years ago

    That was awful for you , hope you are better now! To be honest I hate all medications though I know we do need them. Have you heard of Montmorency cherry juice for helping joint pain ? It may be of benefit to you :)

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Thank you kindly. These experiences are eye-opening and patients sharing them helps expand dialogues about the issues. I appreciate that you added your comment to this so others can become more aware of the dangers.

  • CorneliaMladenova profile image

    Korneliya Yonkova 

    4 years ago from Cork, Ireland

    Sorry for your bad experience. Hope you will be healthy and this never happen to you again. I myself am allergic to some antibiotics and once was almost dead. :(

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    So sorry you had to use this antibiotic, but there are certain life-threatening diseases that may require it. I continue to learn more about how doctors deny just how common the side effects are and therefore, how patients do not associate symptoms of resulting problems with the antibiotic. That doctors continue to use fluoroquinolones against the recommendations is appalling.

  • peachpurple profile image


    4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    I used ciproflaxin for bowel infection and vaginal infection, kills the bacteria

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Thank you. I am sorry that you had a worse experience! I do believe that I would have died if I had continued taking it, or at best been disabled. There were other symptoms than what I describe here.

    So appreciate your comment here because if enough people speak up perhaps doctors will acknowledge that severe side effects are not rare.

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 

    4 years ago from Tennesee

    RTalloni, I am so sorry to hear of your experience. But I can sympathize fully. A doctor put me on this once and it nearly killed me. Never again, never again!

    Take care and I hope your condition improves!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Thanks kindly. I am much improved, though with some residual pain and an uncertain future for tendon health. I highly suspect that the nurses I had when in the hospital had no idea about the side effects of flouroquinolones. Tendon issues weren't the only problems, just the most long-lasting ones in my case.

    I'm so glad you did well and had no infection from the surgery. It is a scary thought, and I generally agree about the outpatient centers.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    4 years ago from Sunny Florida

    I am sorry to hear you are having so many medical problems. Your hub had a wealth of good information. I didn't know Cipro caused tendinitis, and I am a retired nurse. I am glad you made the decision to stop the medication and treat yourself.

    There are so many superbugs now that it is really scary to be admitted to the hospital. I recently had surgery in an outpatient center and was so glad as I think the chance of picking up an infection is lower. I think we have to ask questions often as doctors make mistakes, and they aren't always as thorough as they should be. I hope you start feeling better soon, and I appreciate all the information in your hub.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Thank you kindly. Appreciate your feedback on this hub. I very much agree with you, the super bugs issue is something we all need to learn about and work together on. The medical community cannot do it by themselves, though they do need to take responsibility for their part in it. Patients/families need to also take responsibility to learn and respond to the issues/needs appropriately. Thanks for stopping in to check out this information.

  • CelebrateUSA profile image

    Ken Kline 

    4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois


    I am so sorry for the medical and prescriptive traumas you have had to endure. I thank you for sharing and this is the only way that we can learn. Excellent information.

    The super bug bacteria need attention not just from our medical community but also from us the citizens. We cannot make changes unless we hear about these obstacles.

    Thank you very much for sharing.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    So sorry your daughter was misdiagnosed and suffered needlessly. Thank you for sharing about the experience because it can help others pay close attention to what they are prescribed. Just this morning I heard about the experience of a woman in labor who knew she was about to be given a medicine not approved for pregnant women. She and her husband challenged the doctor who then became angry, asking the husband if he had a medical license. He replied, no, but do you have malpractice insurance? It pays to pay attention!

  • anglnwu profile image


    4 years ago

    Sorry about the bad experience. Sometimes, doctors are trained to go by the book, instead of using their judgement and empathy to listen to the patients. My daughter recently went in for a stomach problem. The doctor misdiagnosed her, gave her the wrong meds, cause her misery and then called her to tell her that her diagnosis was wrong after my husband complained about the terrible side effects. Thanks for sharing.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    It was very sad to me to read of how people in other countries use this antibiotic freely. Their governments should be overseeing its use as a protection for the population. Thanks much for coming by and adding to this discussion on Cipro and this class of antibiotics. I'm glad that the hub alerted you to its dangers.

  • vespawoolf profile image

    Vespa Woolf 

    4 years ago from Peru, South America

    I´m sorry about your negative experience with Cipro. Unfortunately, it´s a very common antibiotic in Peru. You can buy it without prescription and most take it for any stomach issues. I know all drugs have side effects and definitely try to avoid them, but now I´ve even be more leery of Cipro. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Thanks much for sharing your experience here so others can benefit. So sorry you had to go through that! It is a terrible feeling to be that edgy and confused, not knowing why at the time it is happening.

    Most do not connect the wide range of side effects to the prescription, meaning many of the side effects that have been documented in severe cases go unreported by people who can push through milder ones. It would be interesting to know how many people are on a fluoroquinolone when they exhibit criminal behavior.

    I'm still dealing with some of the side effects on tendons and wondering if some are not permanently damaged. Trying to be patient and do what I can to heal--nutrition, rest, sunflower lecithin… Can't imagine what it would be like if I had taken the whole prescription.

    A visit with primary care guy showed me how dismissive docs can be re the side effects. Hopefully, I'll not be seeing any of them for a long time. We certainly appreciate the help they can give in time of need, but we can't just blindly depend on what they say.

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 

    4 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

    Your experience was certainly an awakening to the dangers of prescription medications given so rampantly by the medical professionals we want so desperately to trust. So sorry for all the difficulties you faced with your illness and surgery, only to be compounded by the medications. I had a reaction to Cipro many years ago when it was prescribed for the flu. Both the hubby and I were taking it as we both became ill over Christmas and experienced the same reaction which was intense hostility and anger with a complete lack of justification. I'll never take it again.

    A friend recently had shoulder surgery and while in the hospital, they messed him up with the catheter and with a reaction to the medication that he turned out to be allergic to and which brought him near to death. Had his wife not been a nurse, he might not have made it through.

    Reading the caution sheets that come with the meds is enough to scare anyone.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Thank you for sharing your experience with this antibiotic. You are right, Cipro drops and "go systemic" and some have had permanent disabilities occur.

    I'm putting two and two together on some eye issues related to fluoroquinoline drops I was given about 5 years ago, and may write about that eventually. I wouldn't have made the connection apart from reading about the effects of this antibiotic given at the same time as steroids, another med with serious side effects, but which is often prescribed too casually.

    In reading about this topic I've come across info on this class of antibiotics and animals. It's very interesting, and I'm glad to hear that your pet did not have apparent side effects. There are times when no other medicine will work so the risks are worth the attempt, but prescribing it when another will work is unconscionable, even for pets.

    It's so important for people to have discussions about what is happening with these meds, so thank you again for sharing your experience here.

  • gracenotes profile image


    4 years ago from North Texas

    RTalloni, I am so sorry you still deal with the after-effects of the Cipro.

    Here is my experience with Cipro. After my first cataract surgery, my surgeon prescribed Cipro drops to prevent infection. Cataract surgery patients have to use their after-surgery drops (of which there are several) for about a month following the removal of the cataract. I had previously had bursitis and tendonitis in my shoulder -- and it returned and lasted the whole time I was using the Cipro drops. For my second cataract surgery, I asked that a different prescription drop be used, and the surgeon said, no problem. No problems with tendonitis on the second surgery!

    Can mere Cipro drops go "systemic?" I believe so. While it's true that there is a risk of infection after cataract surgery, I am not so sure that fluoroquinolone drugs are really the best choice. If the patient is very careful after surgery, and does what the doctor says, the chance of infection is really low.

    Just having these drops in my eye, makes me suspicious of bigger doses that might be given orally or in an IV at the hoapital. Really, I am tempted to tell my primary care physician that I am allergic to fluoroquinolone drugs, but I'm not sure what the point would be, as these days, if you are admitted to the hospital, typically your case is handled by a hospitalist, not your primary care physician.

    But at least I know more now and can advocate for myself if I have any say at all.

    I will say that, over the summer, my poodle developed a deep melting corneal ulcer on her right eye. A serious bacterial infection moved in. So, I administered ofloxacin drops, probably 6 times a day, then we switched to levofloxacin for a while. After the infection healed, we had to start trying to get the corneal scar tissue to go away, but my poodle is blind now, anyway, despite our efforts. The antibiotics had nothing to do with that, I don't think. Nonetheless, I am happy to say that the corneal ulcer has completely healed, and Tessy suffered no side effects from the fluoroquinolone drugs. She is active, and walks very well for a dog of 14, even if she can't see anything! We were very lucky with that. If the infection were not stopped in its tracks, her whole eye would have collapsed, followed by enucleation (removal of her eye), which is a "big" surgery.

    But, yes, physicians must be very careful prescribing those drugs. Speaking for myself, I don't want them unless it's a matter of life and death (or a matter of possible loss of vision!).

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey

    Hi Roberta,

    Yes, what is happening in nursing homes is unbelievable. It's not that some people are not being helped, but that far too often what you wrote it is true and the reasons as well as the consequences are multifaceted.

    Ordinarily, I am careful to take as little medicine as possible anyway, but when an emergency situation hits and a patient is weak, does not have time to do research, etc. things like this can happen to the most careful of people. It has been stunning to read more about this particular family of antibiotics.

    I'm focused on doing what I can to heal from the side effects and thankful I recognized what was happening before taking more of the stuff. What has happened to others who did not recognize the damage the med was doing is appalling.

    Thanks very much for helping to highlight this topic so others can benefit from the knowledge, hopefully before they take it.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    4 years ago from Houston, Texas

    Hi Roberta,

    Since you mentioned nursing homes, I personally think that many patients are over medicated which is a sad situation. They become very vulnerable and often no longer have as many people who can advocate for them.

    Thanks for bringing the side effects of Cipro to us in this detailed hub. Sorry you suffered from having been given that antibiotic. We should always be aware of potential side effects of any drug and take them only if truly needed and less harmful treatment methods will not work.

    Sharing this and pinning it to my 'Do You Know This?' board.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey

    Hooks and Needles:

    It has been amazing to read up on the various and serious side effects of fluoroquinolones, including Cipro. I'm sorry you had that experience, and that your other condition requires antibiotics.

    You are absolutely correct, sometimes this class of antibiotic is the only one that will save the life. The problem is that doctors are disregarding the warnings and not saving this class of antibiotics for those illnesses. It is being prescribed for simple UTIs and other conditions that can be treated with other classes of antibiotics.

    The reports of the dangers this presents to society in general, and of the suffering people have endured because they trusted their doctor and took what he prescribed without doing research first continue to grow in volume. Doctors have a responsibility to take the warnings seriously for the sake of their patients. Not doing so is worse than a disservice, it is despicable.

    The unexpected surgery I had to have was desperately needed and I feel like a new person on that count, but I am still recuperating from the side effects of Cipro. You might like to do some reading on the possibility of whether a different family of antibiotics could be used for the condition you mention.

  • Hooks and Needles profile image

    Hooks and Needles 

    4 years ago

    I'm not prone to kidney stones, but after taking Cipro I got one and I later read that it could cause them. Talk about excruciating pain! The trouble is, because of another condition I have, this is the antibiotic they always prescribe for me.

    I think staying away from antibiotics if possible is the best route. The trouble is that sometimes they are needed.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey

    Jackie Lynnley:

    Yes, I've read about the drug reps' relationships with docs, and it is an interesting study. When there is time to discuss issues with a doctor we can figure out whether they are more interested in prescribing drugs than getting to the root of the problem, but in cases like mine, when the situation is in the ER and there's no time to research the best doc or meds that are prescribed, patients are in a bind, meaning that it is even more important for medical professionals to act responsibly.

    If I remember right, at 9/11 our government's legislators were given Cipro for the anthrax scare. I wonder how many of them researched it before taking it, and how many have had side effects.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    You know you see these people with their little medicine cases running in and out of your doctors office and I figure that has to be why they give us stuff they shouldn't; getting a kick back somehow? What other reason could explain it.

    Since I read on a migraine headache prescription I was given once that one of the side effects was death; I have paid very close attention! Sharing again to hopefully spread the word.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Thanks for stopping in to learn about the side effects of these medications. People who have never taken one of them can be informed and help those who have recognized what is happening to them. So appreciate your visit here!

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    4 years ago from The Caribbean

    Thank you for sharing from your personal experience. As you rightly said, someone in pain is not always alert enough to read or ask questions. However, this is a useful warning. I'm sure some people will learn from your story. Very useful!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Thank you for letting me know that this information was helpful to you.

    A friend I hadn't talked with in some time called this morning and on hearing about my experience with Cipro she described ongoing symptoms she deals with due to Leavaquin--so heartbreaking, especially because doctors do not seem to be aware of the warnings about symptoms that have been documented. This class of drugs is being misused by medical professionals and the warnings are being disregarded, so it is important for patients to be aware and, as you say, careful.

  • prasetio30 profile image


    4 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Very informative hub and I learn something new about the side effects of this medicine. I have never knew before. The prescription from the doctor often use Ciprofloxacin. I should be careful from now on. Thanks for sharing. Voted up!


  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Thank you for letting me know you found this to be a service. Appreciate that you stopped in with your kind comment.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey

    Jackie Lynnley:

    Thank you for letting me know this hub is useful to you. I am continuing to read up on the most natural ways I can work on healing from the side effects. It's very strange to feel so much better due to the surgery I desperately needed, and yet have this other business going on in my body due to the fluoroquinolone side effects that is like a heavy weight. Focusing on healing rather than the difficulty of the symptoms is helpful.

  • breakfastpop profile image


    4 years ago

    I am so sorry you had to experience such a horrible time, but I do think that you have performed a public service by writing this hub. Voted up, extremely useful and interesting.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you and I will not forget this name for future use and warning others. It is really great to share this. Nature has some great antibiotics with no side effects and I am learning to use those.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Thank you kindly. Though there is a lot of information on the topic, it is surprising how many people are unaware of the dangers that this family of antibiotics holds for patients.

    I just talked to another friend who experienced severe tendon pain after taking Cipro. When people connect the symptoms to the medicine and then do some reading on it they can hardly believe it happened to them because doctors are so dismissive of the warnings.

    So appreciate your visit and comment.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    I'm sorry that you had to endure such a horrible experience, RTalloni. I hope the situation improves for you very soon. Thank you for creating this hub, which should be useful for many people.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    The side effects fluoroquinolones can have should not be minimized, not by doctors, other caregivers, and not by patients. Once they hit, patients have to work through the initial onset, hopefully with the right knowledge of the cause so they can know the best course of treatment, then there is some time ahead of them in which they wonder what the future of the effects will mean for them. I'm glad you gained some information from this hub that may help you, a family member, or a friend. Thanks very much for stopping in with your comment.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    Thank you kindly. Some of the reading I've done indicates that this antibiotic may not have been the best choice for the surgery, and certainly not for a suspected UTI.

    Though I think I have included that link in the post, any links added to the comments are appreciated because this post has a lot of them and highlighting info here may help readers find what they are looking for more easily. Issues with the doctor are certainly a question to consider.

    When in the ER and too sick to think straight, an available surgeon is pretty much assigned to a patient. I have learned that an advocate could check on whether that surgeon is the best one to hire for the job that has to be done!

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey

    Jackie Lynnley:

    It is upsetting, but determining to ask questions, educate ourselves, and speak up helps. Patients sharing their experiences can be useful to everyone, even dismissive doctors, for they may eventually get enough information to cause them to pay attention.

    That doctors are using this family of antibiotics when safer ones could be used is something patients need to be aware of, "inappropriate use of fluoroquinolones in children and adults is likely to be associated with increasing bacterial resistance " quoted in:

    Thank you for adding to this discussion and your encouraging response to this hub.

  • RTalloni profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from the short journey


    I am now wondering how doctors would respond if when they prescribed a medication patients asked, "Doc, you know this medication is going to come with paper work warning me about side effects. What can you tell me about them?" Reading the inserts after purchasing the medication is important, but a little late in my case, since it was initially administered in the hospital. Patients feel awkward asking questions about meds because no matter what words are used in the reply, the attitude is generally that the patient is out of line by asking the questions. At this point, I am still dealing with side effects that have set back the recuperation from surgery. Thank you for adding to this discussion and for your kindness.

  • epbooks profile image

    Elizabeth Parker 

    4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    Wow this is good to know-never would have known that Cipro had such terrible side effects!

  • FlourishAnyway profile image


    4 years ago from USA

    I'm sorry about your experience. It's good that you describe it for others so that they can be informed and ask questions of medical professionals. Explore more about whether you should have been given Cipro in the first place. Usually I don't paste links in comments but look here to consider whether this fits your personal situation: Perhaps you may have an issue with your doctor as much as the medicine itself.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    It makes me so mad that doctors do not discuss side effects with patients but I can tell you I have learned the hard way to not put a pill in my mouth without knowing the side effects. With my Myelopathy I was treated like a hypochondriac many years and I am sure they thought I was after drugs of some sort when that was the last thing on my mind; I just wanted to know what was wrong with me. One medicine I was given way too much of and possibly causing me much additional pain I found out about from one of a few doctors I was seeing and I made it clear to him had I known the risk I would not have had so many of the shots and that I should have been told and on that very appointment much of my chart came up missing. I'm pretty sure that couldn't happen today but that is how serious this is and many of us want to know.

    Great article; thanks so much for sharing such touching experiences. Glad you are onto this too. ^+shared

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    4 years ago

    I always read the inserts when given new medicine due to problems that you have described here. My granddaughter broke out in hives from a certain anitbiotic she was given as a child. We can't take for granted the medical team is alert to all of the warnings. So glad you posted this so that people can be informed and ask questions when prescriptions are issued. Sorry you had such a horrible experience. Praying you will be safe from future episodes. God bless you!


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