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Cipro and Levaquin Black Box Warning added by FDA

Austin Kirk

On Tuesday, the FDA announced that they are requiring the makers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as Cipro and Levaquin, to add a black box warning about an increased risk of tendinitis and tendon ruptures. They are also requiring that patients receive a Medication Guide highlighting the possible tendon side effects. The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. have been investigating potential Cipro and Levaquin lawsuits against the manufacturers as a result of their failure to warn about the risk of the debilitating tendon ruptures. The failure to provide this detailed warning sooner has likely resulted in thousands of preventable and unnecessary injuries.

>>FDA LINK: Cipro and Levaquin Black Box Warning

The warnings apply to fluoroquinolone antimicrobial drugs, which are prescribed for treatment or prevention of infections caused by bacteria. The increased risk of tendon ruptures and tendon damage have been associated with the following drugs:

  • Levaquin (levofloxacin)
  • Cipro and generic ciprofloxacin
  • Cipro XR (extended release ciprofloxacin)
  • Proquin XR (extended release ciprofloxacin)
  • Factive (gemifloxacin)
  • Avelox (moxifloxacin)
  • Noroxin (norfloxacin)
  • Floxin and generic ofloxacin

PRIOR REQUESTS FOR CIPRO AND LEVAQUIN BLACK BOX WARNING

In August 2006, the consumer group Public Citizen filed a petition with the FDA requesting the black box warnings for Levaquin, Cipro and the other antibiotics, about the risk of tendon ruptures. At that time, they also urged the FDA to require that all patients receive a pamphlet with every bottle describing the risk so that users would know they should immediately stop using the drugs and contact their doctors if they experience symptoms of a tendon rupture, such as pain or inflammation.

Because the FDA failed to act on Public Citizen’s petition for two years, the consumer advocacy group filed a lawsuit against the drug regulatory agency in January 2008, alleging that their petition had been ignored. The lawsuit indicated that providing patients with more detailed information about the risks could allow them to substantially reduce the risk of a tendon rupture by discontinuing the medication if problems developed.

TENDON RUPTURE BLACK BOX WARNING

In yesterday’s announcement, the FDA indicated that a new analysis confirmed that the use of Cipro, Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics is associated with an increased risk of tendon rupture. Although the warning labels already contained information about the possibility of tendon ruptures, large numbers of tendon problems continue to be reported, causing the FDA to finally require the “Black Box” tendon rupture warning and patient information guide.

A “Black Box” warning is the strongest warning that can be placed on a prescription medication. The new language will be placed prominently on the label in a bold black box, indicating that the drug has been associated with an increased risk of tendonitis and tendon rupture. It will also indicate that the risk could be increased among those over age 60, in kidney, heart and lung transplant patients, and with the use of concomitant steroid therapy.

The FDA has indicated that users should be urged to watch for signs of tendon pain, swelling or inflammation. Physicians have been instructed to tell their patients that if tendon problems develop they should call their doctor, stop taking the antibiotic, avoid exercise and use of the injured area. Taking these steps could help avoid an actual rupture of the tendon, which often requires surgical repair and results in permanent injury.

CIPRO AND LEVAQUIN TENDON RUPTURE LAWSUITS

The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing Cipro lawsuits, Levaquin lawsuits and other legal claims for users of fluoroquinolone antimicrobial drugs who experience a tendon rupture. The problems most frequently involve the Achilles tendon, but reports of ruptures have also been seen in the shoulder, the hand, the biceps and the thumb.

To review a potential claim and determine if financial compensation may be available for a ruptured tendon, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

43 Comments Add Your Comments

  1. Risk of Levaquin Tendon Ruptures - Lawsuits Reviewed Nationwide | Legal News & Updates Blog - Saiontz, Kirk & Miles says:

    [...] >>INFORMATION: Cipro and Levaquin Tendon Rupture Risk [...]

  2. I FILL LIKE I HAVE BEEN GIVING TO MUCH CIPROS FOR VAGINIST A PROBLEM THAT NEVER DID GET BETTER ONLY GOT WORST . I FILL THAT THIS TENDERNITIS WERE FRIST CAUSE BY THIS HORRIABLE MEDICATION THAT DOCTOR WILL CONTINUE TO GIVE EVERY TIME I WILL COMPLAINT OF VAGINIST. I WOULD GET CIPRO SO MUCH TILL I WOULD STOP GOING TO THE DOCTOR FOR THAT PROBLEM BECAUSE I WAS SCARE THAT I WAS GOING TO HAVE REALLY LOW IMMUNE SYSTEM AN NO ANTIBOITIES WAS GOING TO WORK.

  3. ciprovictimalso says:

    I believe the previous warnings for these medicines were insufficient & the black box warning has the same problem. I base this on experience from what happened to my husband. He had 3 ruptures after taking Cipro in 1998 & 3 more ruptures after taking CiproXr in 2004. These ruptures involved tendons, ligaments & muscle. Some occurred with no warning. The first rupture was around 11 months “after” taking Cipro in 1998. The rupturing stopped for several years. When the rupturing began again, they started around 11 months “after” taking CiproXR in 2004. “After” listed on the rare adverse reactions needs to clarify the amount of time these injuries might occur. Some doctors and patients may believe that after means only a few weeks after finishing the medicine. My husband has seen almost a dozen different doctors. Not 1 of them associated his 6 ruptures to Cipro. They were puzzled as to what was causing this. This being the case, then these “rare” adverse reactions probably aren’t being recognized by physicians & therefore not being reported. I believe people over 60 are not the age group that actually had the most reported tendon ruptures. My husband was in his early 40′s when he took Cipro in 1998. Tendinitis & tendon ruptures seem to be the only adverse reactions mentioned on these new warnings. There are other adverse reactions that are permanent such as neuropathies. If a person’s tendons can rupture signifying a problem with the tissue, then why would someone think that other adverse reactions won’t occur. My husband has neuropathies, depression, panic attacks, back spasms, muscle & joint pain, headaches and the lists goes on. All of these are listed as adverse reactions from taking these medicines. The Black Box warning still doesn’t do enough to warn people of possible risks.

  4. My name is Leslea and I am a Clinical Laboratory Manager, have been a Medical Technologist for almost 30 years. I am very well respected by the medical staff at my facility because if I bring up a subject, perhaps a laboratory protocol that I want to put into place or changed, I have done my homework on the subject.
    With that in mind, I want to urge physicians to take heed to the fact that fluoroquinolones are not safe for a very large segment of the population. There are literally thousands and thousands of people whose lives are forever changed because of the quinolones.
    I know that most, if not all, facilities with microbiology departments put out an antibiogram, at least annually, for the medical staff to reference. Please use your antibiograms to pick the least toxic and most effective antibiotic for your patient.
    Use the quinolone class only as a last resort, after other antibiotics have failed or the patient will expire if they aren’t used. Using the quinolones routinely just doesn’t make sense when other antibiotics will work. Keep in mind if this class of antibiotics continues to be used so nonchalantly they will become ineffective due to bacteria developing resistance to them.
    I have personally experienced multiple system adr’s to the quinolones, and know a multitude of people like me. That is why I am writing this, I want to prevent the number of people that are damaged by quinolones from growing exponentially.
    The adr’s to the quinolones are grossly under reported due to the fact that a lot of reactions aren’t recognized, but are diagnosed as an unrelated problem. If the number of adr’s to quinolones were accurately reported to the medical community, no physician would ever routinely prescribe quinolones again, unless he was some sort of sadist.
    My motivation for writing this is honorable, our term would be risk management in the medical community, for the layperson it would be a passionate desire to prevent others from suffering like I am.
    Just in case you are wondering, my first reaction to a quinolone caused damage to my tendons particularly my left knee. The tendons were so weak that my knee dislocated 6 times over a 7 month period, I probably should have been in a wheel chair, but I needed to work. I have a permanent baker’s cyst in that knee. The tendonitis was so painful that walking was more like hobbling.
    My second reaction made my first reaction seem like a walk in the park. When I mentioned multiple systems earlier, I meant CNS, muscular, skeletal, soft tissues and connective tissue damage. Four and a half years post two doses of Avelox, I still have a multitude of symptoms, some that are not going to resolve. Although I am in severe unrelenting pain, I consider the worst part of my reaction to be the CNS or brain damage.
    I have debilitating depression, which I never had prior to this. But the thing that takes the cake is the following: I am sure you can imagine that I am or actually was above average in intelligence, Avelox has destroyed my short term memory and has made me struggle to find simple everyday words when carrying on a conversation. My nickname used to be “The Steel Trap” because I never forgot anything and could recall verbatim conversations no matter how long or short the amount of time that had elapsed. My memory was what is called photographic in nature. You might be tempted to say, well you are getting older, well I don’t believe that CNS changes due to aging happen overnight unless there is a stroke involved. That, and the fact that I am not alone with this reaction, speaks very loudly to the truth of the matter.
    I will quickly list the other damage I am dealing with; peripheral neuropathy, myofascial damage in my right hip that has lead to permanent gluteus median adhesions after tearing. I have chronic muscle spasms and knots in my right hip and shoulder, this is the cause of the severe unrelenting pain, the shoulder knots and spasms lead to horrible tension headaches. I also have to take Valtrex to keep shingles at bay, another wonderful symptom of the nerve damage. My tendons and ligaments in my right knee are tender to the touch and painful, my vision is altered due to floaters and blurring, luckily laboratories are notoriously noisy so I don’t notice the tinnitus too much. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. By the way, I was a healthy active person prior to this reaction, I was 47 at the time and most people would guess my age at 35 because of my personality, strength and agility, they were always shocked to find out how old I was.
    Please help me in preventing any other healthy individuals from experiencing this nightmare.
    I also challenge you to do your own research into the real picture of this class of antibiotics, quit taking the word of the FDA or pharmaceutical companies, they have an agenda, but it is less than honorable. You can start by going to http://www.fluoroquinolones.org .
    Thank you for your time.

  5. Db Cipro says:

    The FDA is greatly understating the data in Medwatch and anecdotal reports of tendon and muscle damage by quinolones by saying it occurs primarily to people over 60 Years Old, those taking steroids or kidney, heart or lung transplant recipients. I was a 52 year old healthy person with none of the above before my entire health was wrecked by a week of Cipro tablets and one Levaquin. I was and still am pretty sedentary, and there is no reason I have severe aches and pains all of my body from these medicines. I have a constellation of other body and mind injuries from these pills, all of the side effects are listed on the Cipro and Levaquin warning sheets, yet my doctors won’t admit the drugs caused them, and worse yet, they can’t prescribe anything that will alleviate these life destroying side effects. See my story at my website, or read http://www.fqresearch.org for more horror stories. The FDA is not doing their job, or can’t even analyze their own data. The public should have access to true statistics of the injuries. These are not ‘rarely’ occurring side effects.

  6. I was previously a healthy 40 year old with no history of kidney, heart or lung problems . A 10-day prescription of Levaquin 500 mg for pneumonia completely changed my life. I have lived with crippling pain and neuropathy for more than seven months because of this poison. The thing I want to point out is that I had a DELAYED musculoskeletal and neurological reaction. I suspected my symptoms were caused by the drug; but when I began researching side effects of fluoroquinolones, my suspicions were confirmed when I found thousands of others online who were suffering from the same problems I was suffering from. Imagine how many others are suffering who have not connected their pain with the drug because they had a delayed reaction. Doctors: Wake up! These are not rare reactions. I personally know more than 10 people who have had a negative reaction to a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. When patients go to the doctor with these symptoms, doctors don’t even think it might be from a drug. Instead, they order thousands of dollars worth of tests that all come back negative. Why doesn’t the FDA require doctors to follow their patients for a year after they’ve been prescribed a FQ? I’m sure the world would be shocked! On the other hand, those of us who have been floxed would not be so surprised to see the vast numbers of people affected.

  7. david fuller says:

    Rather than retype this comment over and over, as so many sites are running with this story, I would beg pardon from the host of this site to allow me to paste this comment, which has been spell and grammar checked for errors as well as submitted to those other sites.

    I believe it captures the concerns of those who have been injured by this class and hence a relevant comment to this story, as well as adds the facts that have been deliberately excluded by the FDA within their press release:

    Tendon rupture is the least of the patient’s concerns. This class is associated with irreversible peripheral neuropathy, fatal liver and kidney damage, fatal hypo and hyperglycemia, SJS and TEN, toxic psychosis, spontaneous ruptures not only of the tendons but also muscles, ligaments and cartilage, the list of serious adrs is boundless. More than half of the drugs found in this class have been removed from clinical practice due to severe and even fatal adverse reactions.

    I just received a report of a 14year old male who tore the cartilage in both knees requiring extensive surgical intervention as a result of being on levaquin to treat a nail infection. Not to mention they young lady who has been in a wheelchair for the past decade due to the damage done to her tendons which rendered them beyond surgical repair. She was given cipro for an earache.

    Within the NDA (new drug application) for levofloxacin we find clinical studies that revealed an adr rate in excess of 40% (one or more reactions) and a number of listed fatalities. We find these same numbers with all the NDAs for this class. This tendon issue we are now discussing was first revealed to the FDA back in 1982 (bailey et al). The FDA did NOTHING until Public Citizen filed a petition in 1996 seeking both black box warnings and dear doctor letters. The FDA did neither. Another petition was filed by the Attorney General of the State of Illinois in 2005 seeking these same actions. In 2006 Public Citizen once again petitioned the FDA. Rather than respond to these petitions as required by law, the FDA stonewalled the petitioners for more than three years. It was not until suit was filed in Federal Court by Public Citizen to compel the FDA to respond to these petitions did the FDA do anything.

    And what they did was nothing more than a ‘slap to the face’ to those of us who have had our lives destroyed by these drugs. It is far too little, far too late. And we would not even be tossed this ‘bone’ if this lawsuit were not pending. This is nothing more than a blatant attempt by the FDA to avoid full disclosure of the true safety profile of this class which will be required when they lose in Federal Court.

    Bayer issued a European “Dear Doctor Letter” in February of 2008 in regards to fatal liver injury as a result of being on Avelox. Yet we see no such letter being issued here in the States, nor do we see the FDA requesting one either. This class has been crippling and killing patients since the mid sixties. For more than forty years now the FDA has hidden the true safety profile from both the patient as well as the treating physician.

    Those who have an interest in reading this forty years worth of medical journal entries, case reports, newspaper articles, clinical studies, etc., that documents all that I state here are invited to log unto http://www.fqresearch.org The FDA is also grossly misleading when they state that the risk factor is one in one hundred thousand. The actual risk is .5% to 16% depending upon which citation you prefer to reference as well as the year in which it was published.

    I find the manufacturers to be grossly misleading the patient and physician alike when they state that this class is a safe and effective antibiotic with minimum side effects. I have forty years worth of medical documentation that proves that they are anything but for those who care to read it, rather than this line of misleading and false information being provided by the FDA.

    Mr. David T. Fuller
    Director
    Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Research Foundation
    http://www.fqresearch.org
    fqresearch@aol.com
    davidtfull@aol.com

  8. I am a 34 yr old mother who took three doses of Levaquin 2 and a half months ago for a UTI. I stopped taking the medicine due to myalgia, neuropathy, extreme panic, joint and tendon pain, and so on and so on. I’m still experiencing the joint and tendon pain throughout my entire body. There has not been one day in the past 2 and a half months that I have not been in pain. Let me add that the joint and tendon pain started one week AFTER I discontinued the drug.

    This is an over prescribed drug that in some people can cause long lasting symptoms. Other drugs should be given instead, leaving these antibiotics for last resort use only.

    Seena

  9. My knees haven’t stopped acheing since i started ciorofloxacin for a bladder inf. i was taking ciopro for 6-7 days when i couldn’t bend my knees which also began to ach for the first time. on my own i quit taking the drug and returned to my dr. and told him about my knees and he scribed a different anti for the infection. ever since i have had acheing tendons in my knees.

    my husband was given this drug by same dr. and after 4 days his back aches, i told him to tell dr of it, he is there at this moment. i will not ever take this drug again and its on my drug allergy list, i have told others beware. thxs

  10. I only today found out about the “black box warning”. I have been given Cipro, Avelox and Levaquin a multitude of times for bronchitis, and pneumonia. Even to to the point of IV.
    Now I am suffering pain in the right knee, right hip and thigh, and right shoulder. I am a nurse by profession, and now I am facing a shoulder surgery in a couple of weeks due to tendonitis/bursitis, rotator cuff tear, bicep tear, and frozen shoulder. All these symptoms, plus the neuropathy have all developed over the last 6 months.
    I would personally like to be tested for anything related to the drugs.

  11. Julianne says:

    I was presribed 7 days of levaquin 500 mg. for bacterial vaginitis. I had absolutely no symptoms at this time, but was put on it by ob/gyn anyway. I took the pills at nigth. The fifth morning (after taking 4 pills) I awoke with excrutiating pain in my left calf. I could barely get out of bed and could put no weight on my foot. I could not figure out what I had done to myself. I got worse as the day progressed. Aching all over, numbness in both legs and feet, joint tenderness and exhaustion. I felt as if I had been run over by a train. I looked up Levaquin on the internet and saw person after person validating exactly how I felt. I called the oncall doctor (this was a Saturday, thank goodness, no work) and he said stop it right away. I did and contacted the prescribing doctor on Monday, who was extrodinarily dismissive and said it was not the medicine (I had been perfectly fine until taking this poison.) I felt as if I was being cross examined on the witness stand in court. He wanted to know why I had not had an ultrasound done because I could have a blood clot and why I had not had a complete blood workup because I could have liver damage. I told him because he had not ordered it! He told me it was not his responsibility and for me to receive treatment from my regular family doctor. I called my internest who got me in right away and diagnosed me with Achilles heal tendonitis in both legs as well as neuropathy. I was sent to the lab where eight tubes of blood were taken out and have an EMG scheduled to see the degree of neuropathy I am suffering with. This is absolutely unbelievable!! And to be treated the way I was by the prescirbing doctor is deplorable. Needless to say I have switched doctors already.

    I have researched this drug and am taking natural supplements to see if they help. The pharmasist says that this is seen in people taking levaquin, but generally younger, I am 50. I was in tip top shape before this medication. I can walk, but my legs are sore, become weak and tired, my knees ache, elbow, hands, shoulders etc. My feet tingle and there is a tight feeling in them and in my legs and pain in my hip. I feel like an old lady instead of the vital person I was a week ago. Interestingly, the woman who called from the neurologist’s office to schedule the EMG asked why I was having it done and I told her. She was shocked said she had been on Levaquin a few years ago and has felt awful on and off. She has had a battery of tests done with no conclusive answers. She also is 50 and feels like an old woman. In talking, she came to the conclusion that she is suffering from Levaquin as well and was going to research it. I told her read what people write not what the pharmaceutical company writes. My bottle that I got last week had no warning on it for tendons, just sun a dizziness!

    If my symptoms do not clear up I am going to pursue this legally. I think the FDA has to take this medication off of the market before other healthy, innocent people are left inconpacitated.

  12. Please excuse my pasting this comment as there are hundreds of websites running this story and I wish to get the word out regarding the devastating nature of fluoroquinolone drugs.

    One feature of this class of drugs(fluoroquinolones) is that the damage they cause may very well be permanent. The only reference to permanence I could find on the label is referring to permanent neuropathy. The tendon ruptures, the PN, many of the other debilitating symptoms are also permanent.
    “stop taking the drug and call your doctor” the warning says – but that may be too late for alot of people.
    Another thing: the ADRs for these drugs may appear months after you take them. This is what happened to me. I took avelox in March 2005 for a sinus infection, and in early June I started feeling the ADRS; fatigue, vision problems, neuropathy, dehydration, tinnitis, insomnia. I had no idea what was causing it, and the med. community was no help. They don’t diagnose for ADRs to FQs or any other drug. So patients get mis-diagnosed.

    I feel this is nothing short of a health crisis in this country. Between doctors being ignorant and misinformed about these drugs and the FDA doing nothing, we have a problem on our hands!

    rick

  13. I took Cipro for a UTI in Nov 04, and it never occured to me to put this together with my mysterious symptoms until I heard a bite on TV about Cipro and thought, I’ve taken that..jotted it on a post-it that I finally googled..when I read the accounts I cried, because I have felt crazy, and it finally gave a cause for why I hurt all the time. I have strucurally bad knees so they were repaired and cartilage was scoped back in 2000, after which they felt much better. When the pain started up I just figured my knees were worsening, but it didn’t make sense why I felt it below my knees (I also now have a Bakers cyst), the bottoms of my feet hurt, my forearms and heel of my thumbs, my shoulders,neck, hips, I have weakness in my legs like there is no current, and overall fatigue that is a struggle every day. I had none of these pains before.

  14. my husband was given cipro for a UTI. After taking it for 3 days he started having seizures. Was taken to the hospital by ambulance. At the hospital was given levaquin by IV for 5 days. He had trouble staying awake and slowly got worse. We took him home after 5 days and he died two weeks later. This drug should not be given to anyone with neurological problems. I blame the escalation of my husbands problems on these drugs.

  15. I am a 36 yr old female very fit, healthy and athletic who took one full course of Levaquin 7 months ago for a UTI. I completed the antibiotic for 10 days. Since then I have joint and tendon pain on my knees and ankles , wrist and just recently both my shoulders. Need to say I kept continuing doing the sports for the entire time. But I had to stop doing the sports ( windsurfing , kitebaording and gym ) last week since I am worried during one my shoulder my get a ruptured tendon , since I am in a lot of pain.

  16. This is unbelievable! I have been having problems with weakness in my legs and ankles ever since taking a DOUBLE dose of Cipro for a UTI. The first dose seemed to help to some degree, but the UTI returned almost immediately after I finished the Cipro, so I ended up with a second dose to wipe it out. Since then I have had constant pain in my right shoulder which also leads to neck pain and then to headaches. And my legs are so weak. My legs were always my strongest feature. I love to read and until I took the Cipro, I would read five or six books a night. Not entirely, I would read a chapter or two of each book. But since I took the Cipro, I can’t focus on even one book! I have problems focusing on everything. It’s like my mind is soft. I thought I was going crazy and now I read this?

  17. Bob from Lincoln UK

    I took 7 days of a 28 day course of Ofloxacin in November 2007
    Had to stop the meds due to intense pain in my knees and shoulders.
    4 weeks in: -
    hardly walk with severe swellings in knees , ankles and hips.
    6 weeks in: -
    Toxic psychosis, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts
    9 months in: -
    Pain in joints and muscles, tendons popping in every single joint but worse in spine.
    Chronic back pain
    Worsening of pre existing Tinnitus
    Burning sensations on hands and feet.
    Flushing sensations
    Bee like stings all over
    Feeling of being cold even in hot weather.
    Urinary problems
    New symptoms manifest themselves every week
    Symptoms are progressive and not transient as stated in the prescribing literature.
    I am 43 but feel like 63.
    If you have Prostatitis or any infection that HAS NOT been cultured refuse Fluoroquinolones until they can confirm its life or death, honest it is just not worth the risk.
    BE WARNED YOU QUALITY OF LIFE MAY DEPEND UPON IT!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. I was given leviquin for a uti by my dr for 7 days, my left knee started giving me problems but has subsided a bit since i have been off of it, Now the dr finds the uti still active and gives me cipro 14 day supply i took the first pill yesterday at 3:30 pm, after going to bed i forgot my 3:30am dose during the night so after two hours after i took my bp meds I took the cipro, now I am dealing with pain in my right shoulder and can’t lift my arm hardly at all. I am not taking this medicine.

  19. unbelievable! after taking just 1 (500mg) of cifprofloxacin for uti>i knew it is a poison, this has to stop! right now i am so worried of what’s gonna happen to me now, i am trying to flush it from my system by drinking a lot of water, i hope it will work but as of now i am experiencing some stomach pains, i hope it didnt do a lot of damage on me, because i cannot afford to not work. GOD BLESS US ALL GUYS! We needed to have a prayer rally for this> this has to be taken off the pharmacy.

  20. Well i was given cipro for broncitus and i have been taking it 4 about a week now and i have been feeling like i am getting sick off the cipro and i have basically been feeling weakness in my whole body

  21. I was precribed Leviquin for a UTI. After being on the drug for 3 days I started to develop a extremely painful achilles tendon. I couldn’t understand why. I am a very active individual but knew I hadn’t done anything in which I could tear or damage my tendon. I continued to take to the medication as I never thought to connect the two. The next day I woke up and my calf muscles were so sore I could hardly walk, my spine began to hurt as well, being ignorant I continued to take the pill for a total of 6 days, as I still couldn’t get the connection. I felt like I was a very old woman, and I am only in my 40′s. I decided to call my phamasists and told her of my side effects, she told me to get off the medication immediately and come into the clinic to be seen by a doctor. I did, the doctor took it very lightly stating it was an extremely rare side effect and had never heard of this happening to anyone before. I have been off the drug for 2 weeks now, and I am still deveoping symtoms. The latest is my arms are numb and tingling and my left pinkie finger feels like it is broken. It is swollen and painful. I feel like I have arthritis over my entire body. Before taking this drug I was a healthy atlhletic individual, now I feel like I am 80 years old. I am scared as I am off the drug and still developing side effects. What upsets me the most, is doctors state it is rare, but now that I have stated to research this I see thousands of other with my symtoms. Why is this drug still on the market, and what is yet to happen to me?

  22. I had been an aerobics instructor for 20 years. I have frequent utis and have been given cipro numerous times. A few years back, in the middle of class my plantaris tendon ruptured….went immediately to orthopedic and was diagnosed. and put to bed for a week, then went through 6 weeks of rehab, shortly after being released for that, the plantaris tendon on the other leg ruptured. These ruptures have been excruciatingly painful. I have also experienced ruptures in my right shoulder as well. I still have pain behind my knees and am hoping that i lose no more of my achilles, since they did not do surgery to fix the previous 2.

  23. There cannot be any worse pain! Imagine the pain of a skinned knee and a paper cut ALL OVER your body…plus aching and throbbing with electric shock-like sensations circulating your whole body at once! Sheer Torment!
    That’s just a start Follow this by a sudden disappearance of cartilage, atrophied limbs overnight, sudden deafness, vision changes by the hour, feet that feel like you’ve walked on coal…I’m just revving up!
    Then there is the fear! Fear that you eat some food that has traces of fluoroquinolones or foods that vie for metabolism in the liver, causing an increase in the pain!
    Have you had enough? I have! But this is only a portion of the hell that these drugs cause.

  24. Would any one know what type of doctor I need to see because my GP just says that it is my FMS once again. I have delet with FMS for over ten years, and I know this is not the same type of pain. This pain shifts all over my body and feels as if my bones are being pulled apart. I guess it is a conflict on interest when I mentioned to my GP the side effects I have read about Levaquin, because she is the one that had me take this medication in an IV when I was in the hospital almost a year ago, and plus tablet form after I was discharged. This pain that I am dealing with has been going on for over several months and is getting worse each day. I am normally a very postive person, but this really is making me not what to be in this body any longer then is necessary.

  25. Most of the lawyers only seem to be interested if they could make hundreds of thousands of dollars on these cases., I have suffered for 2 months with limping, pain in both achilles tendons, and cannot move my left hand. I would have never taken Cipro if I knew I would be suffering 2 months later. It is affecting my work, my personal life, and my ability to enjoy life. I can’t even drive without pain.

    Bayer Pharmaceutical should not be able to have this drug on the market. Furthermore, doctors must be more educated regarding prescribing this type of medication. Why they gave me Cipro for a minor intestinal infection, it beyond me.

    Please warn your friends and relatives about this drug. It does more harm than good.

  26. Has anyone else been diagnosed with a condition known as ‘cervical dystonia’ or ‘spasmodic torticollis’ since taking levaquin? It’s just one thing after another for me. I’m only 36, and since taking Levaquin in 2005, I have FMS, CFS, hypthyroid, diabetes, carpal tunnel, complete hysterectomy due to damage to my enitre endocrine system, my CNS system is destroyed, migraines, arthritis, etc etc. Now this cervical dystonia thing. My neck is pulled sharply to one side. I’m barely getting through each day, and I am in pain 24/7. I don’t even bother trying to sleep half the time, and at this point, yes, I’m losing my mind. :)~ My faith is still in he Lord, and somehow I know that He is in control, but it still hurts. :(

  27. I was given Ciproflaxacin back in late July of 09 for a urinary tract infection.In September of 09 my ACL and miniscus both ruptured in my right knee.I had ACL reconstruction surgery and they went in and cleaned up the miniscus which is all they could do for that.I am now experiencing tremendous pain in my right arm constantly,,I have asked the same doctor who did my surgery about it and he urged me to make an appointment beacuse he feels it is tendenitis!! I will never be the same after taking this dangerous drug !

  28. Mary Anne says:

    I have been given leviquin and now toviaz to help with my incontenance. I saw something on TV regarding the leviquin and cipro (which i have also taken). I have 2 strikes against me to begin with…I have Multiple Sclerosis and am Diabetic. I noticed when I took this medications I had a lot of pain in my arms and my legs and feet, however, when I spoke to the dr he said I was having an MS episode and it would pass … well, it hasn’t and I’ve been suffering everyday all the time and I have just lived with it because I thought it was due to the MS or the Diabetes. Where do I go from here. Everyone is tired of hearing me complain everyday of aches and pains.

  29. Mary Anne says:

    I forgot to say that I am also taking macrabid everyday to prevent frequent UTI’s. I’t has been 1 year that I have been taking macrabid everyday. No more UTIs but pain all the time … anyone else experiencing problems with macrabid?

  30. Avelox ….evil drug!!!!! I was given this drug for 10 days for a sinus infection. On the ninth day I woke up with pain in my left knee. I am active so I just assumed I did something while running or weight lifting. Went to the gym later in the day and felt something pop behind my left knee. That occurred in April/09. I discovered that Avelox causes tendon ruptures and tears. I am now dealing with continued throbbing pain in the back of my knee that is just enough to make me cry. I have a doctor’s appt. soon. Along with the knee I also started having hives and welt like marks on my body. I have been struggling with dermographism since taking Avelox. I also have tingling/spasm like sensations across my back that come and go. I also have what feels like indigestion when I eat certain foods. Never had any of these problems before. Nobody can convince me otherwise ….Avelox did this. I am a Physical Education teacher who always put health first…I don’t have time to complain to just complain. Get this drug off the market now.

  31. I was given Cipro on December 28, 2009, for two weekd for a kidney infection. After two weeks the infection came back as soon as I stopped taking the drug. So the docror put me on Macrobid for 10 days after 1 dose of the drug I was having problems walking. I could not flex my foot and my knee was in pain. I asked the doctor if I could be having a reaction from the drug and she trold me she never heard of anyone being alergic to this drug. The side effects from the drug has moved around from my legs now to my arms and hands with no relief. I have been in the hospital twice with no success when I tell doctors I am having reactions from this drug they act like they have no clue. Would SOMEONE EDUCATE THEM!!!
    I have been through multiple MRI’s CT’s with no conclusion. I was an active person prior to these drugs. I can not believe what I am reading here as everyone is having simlar reactions to this drug as I am having. The burning and stinging in my hands and arms is never ending. These doctors are in denial.
    Deb

  32. Jennifer says:

    After just one dose of Levaquin I had an extremely severe CNS reaction. My blood pressure shot up to 220/150 and heart rate went to 220. Developed dizziness/confusion and PVCs. Was treated at the emergency room (basically just monitored for awhile). Afterward, my feet and knees ached for several months, and had noticeable weakness in my hands. Just say NO to quinolones.

  33. I took bactrim and now my fet and hands a cold numb and hurt. Has anyone told us how can we revese this pain?

  34. i took cipro for a bladder infection and have had problems ever since and is getting worse,every tendon in my whole body is so tight and the knots! AND IT MOVES ALL OVER YOUR BODY,YOU MASSAGE ONE SPOT AND THE NEXT DAY IT HAS MOVED TO ANOTHER AREA,these people who still aloow this drug to be given to anyone should be in prison,i was a healthy person,now i feel old and in pain

  35. I was givin ciprofloxacin in november of 20010 and in january i started having pain in my akili’s i thought nothing of it except the fact i was in extreem pain. I was never not told there was side affects when i was in the hospital so I never put two and two together. Well i ended up with another bout of diverstikulitus feb of 2011 and ws given this drug again this time i am exsperencing pressure in my ears pain through out my whole body all I can do is cry because the pain is so bad. My akili’s.knees , shoulder and arm pain are undescribable.PLease any one reading this please please do not take.

  36. I was warned by my Dr. to not lift weights or run while taking Cipro. He prescribed 500MG twice a day for Prostititas for 30 days.

    I happened to come across this thread and one other about these drugs today and after 3 1/2 days into my treatment I am definitely stopping.

    I don’t know if I suffer any ill effects but I have tendonitis in the right elbow and stiff left knee all of a sudden. I had a TPF in that knee with plates and screws. I’ve had tendonitis in the elbow before so it could just be a coincidence.

    Since probably many 10s of thousands maybe millions of prescriptions have been consumed with these drugs —- is it possible that the adverse effects only happen if you are allergic to them?

    Maybe there should be a test for allergic reaction before prescribing??

  37. I too have seen the damage Levaquin can do both of my shoulders have massive chronic tears after taking this drug for eight months!!! I also have muscle deterioration in and around my shoulders. Depression is severe and my spine is now popping in both lumbar and cervial areas. My eye sight has gotten worse (very blurry) and I just had cataract surgery over a year ago and was seeing fine. This is one of the most invasive and damaging drugs I have ever seen on the market. I have seen so much that the FDA and drug companies have thrown at us and nobody cares if it is damaging to you. But are Johnson and Johnson and Ortho McNeil really paying for what they have done??? I watch the cases going through and it depends on their success as to how our success will be in EVER getting anything for our pain, suffering, and the permanent damage this drug has caused!!

  38. My husband first took Cipro in 1998. He was a former Marine and in great shape. He was intelligent and so strong physically. He kept in shape by working all the time. He got sick and went to our family doctor asking the doctor to get him well quicker so he wouldn’t miss any work. He was prescribed Cipro and he took it all. I had no idea that all the things that started happening to him then were adverse reactions after taking this medicine. The one thing we lacked knowledge on was anything to do with medical. Shortly after taking Cipro, things began to happen to his body. He started having a lot of pain in his muscles and joints almost like RA. He thought it was because he had overworked his body to the point it was rebelling on him. He was in his early 40′s at that time. His arms and legs started to jerk and it was worse when he tried to rest. It’s the kind like you may observe a dog sleeping and while asleep their legs move like they’re trying to run. My husband’s was worse than that though. Small blisters with fluid appeared around his ankles. He thought maybe he got bitten by fireants but couldn’t quite remember when or how that happened. We didn’t know it was a type of rash. We’d never seen a rash like that before. Several times he’d wake up with the left corner of his bottom lip so swollen that it looked deformed. He thought maybe something had bitten him on his lip while he slept. We didn’t know this was angioedema of the lip. Never saw anything like it before. He started having some difficulty with his memory which was unusual for he was intelligent and aced things easily. For the first time in his life he was struggling with learning things. He started having anxiety and panic attacks. The panic attacks were the worst. He also had problems sleeping. Usually he slept quite well, but now had insomnia. He thought it was because of the pain in his body keeping him up. He would have vivid nightmares when he would sleep. I remember waking up 1 night listening to him talking in his sleep in a foreign language. I thought it might have been french but whatever it was he seemed to speak it fluently. I woke him up to ask him what he was talking about. He didn’t believe me nor did he think he was speaking in another language. He didn’t remember anything. He started having problems at work. He was the type that whatever he worked on had to be perfect. It was very rare for him to make a mistake. He started making mistakes at work where he was an electrician at International Paper Company. He would get so angry at himself when this happened. He started getting really depressed. Also he was changing in other ways. Agitation, aggravation, anger, short tempered, some bouts of rage where appearing. I thought it was because of the physical pain he was feeling in his body and lack of sleep. It got to where I felt like I was walking on needles and pins nearly everyday afraid anything I said or did would set him off. It didn’t take much. He was changing mentally but I didn’t know why. There’s a line morally that I like to think most people have and you don’t cross that line. His moved completely out of sight. He did things that were irrational like driving over 100mph and passing people on the shoulder of the road where you usually pull over with car problems. I was afraid to say anything thinking it would make him fly into a rage. I did a lot of silent praying that we wouldn’t get into an accident and be killed. It was pretty scary. That just wasn’t normal for him. Around 9 months after taking Cipro, he put a .38 in his mouth and tried to blow his brains out. The gun jerked when he fired it and the bullet went through his cheek. Probably cause his arms and legs would jerk on their own accord. I thank God for watching over him cause that wasn’t the first attempt, He had never in his life tried to commit suicide before until after taking Cipro. The first rupture happened around 11 months after taking Cipro. It was in the soleus group I think. It tore completely loose in the back of his left leg at the ankle and bunched up near the back of his knee. It looked like someone who had polio. He stopped wearing shorts then cause he was ashamed of the deformed way his left leg looked. He couldn’t run anymore after that. He couldn’t walk fast either. It left him with a permanent limp. He has started having problems with bleeding in his feces not long after taking Cipro. He was having numbness in his feet but thought it was working too hard and being cramped up in places he worked on his job. There were a few occurrences where he was not himself at all. I didn’t know what a psychotic episode was. Never saw one so I didn’t know what was going on when he went into this bad rage and attacked me. Our daughter who was a police officer was there and it hurt her so badly taking her father down after he lunged at me with a screwdriver. I can still remember her saying “no daddy” as she restrained him. There was so much pain in her voice. She thought he had stabbed me in the stomach. I remember just standing there in shock as he came at me and something making me bend over as if I had been struck in the stomach. I think the Lord was still watching over us cause I was unharmed. My husband had never physically abused me ever nor even tried until after he took Cipro. It was like some stranger had taken over his body and he was trapped inside helpless. Many years later I finally asked him about that incident. He had no memory of himself ever doing that and it hurt him so badly to find out he tried to harm me. There was another rupture in his right knee months later. It was operated on to repair it, but months later another rupture happened in the right leg but this time it was a muscle that tore apart in the center of his thigh. Now both of his legs were damaged with tears present in both. I bought every kind of brace and sport supports to help him to be able to walk. I wrapped his legs in ace bandages on top of those. Kind of like a mummy. He was taking a lot of pain pills while trying to work. He said as long as he had 2 good arms left, he was going to make a living for his family. It might sound silly, but he had names for his arms. 1 was thunder and the other lightening. He was proud of the strength in his arms and hands. I know how strong he was. He picked up a truck transmission and put it in place by himself. That’s strong. He tried to get a desk job where he worked cause his legs were so weak. Sometimes he’d fall at work when they gave out and he’d tell people who saw it he slipped on something. He didn’t want to lose his job. He was making around $60,000 a year. It was a good paying job. Most people take vacation and go somewhere or relax. He would take his when his legs couldn’t carry him anymore and try to recuperate so he could get back to work. Once he took a tool you burn things with like a soldering iron while at work and during a depression spell he burned deep into his left forearm I think the word “crazy”. The burns were really bad. Later on he burned his arm again even deeper erasing the words. This left a deep scar about 1/2″ wide and 2 1/2 to 3″ long. I can’t imagine the pain he suffered doing that to himself. A desk job had become available and a group from the shop he worked in were standing around discussing it. They were saying they didn’t want it. My husband spoke up and said he’d like to take it. Someone behind him said something along the lines “great, a crazy guy in charge”. He didn’t get the job though he really wanted it so he didn’t have to use his legs as much. I know it hurt him to hear people say aloud things like that about him. He must have endured so much. For a few years, the depression seemed to ease up some and there were no suicide attempts during that time. His legs weren’t any better, some of the mental things like rage eased up and I didn’t feel like I was walking on pins and needles everyday. The arms and legs were still jerking, he still had anxiety and panic attacks, the bleeding, and the pain in his muscles and joints were still there. He was prescribed CiproXr in 2004. I thought the worst was over up till then, but everything got worse after that. The suicide attempts started again. He was becoming paranoid. He did things that were definitely out of character for him. The anger and agitation came back. I was back to walking on pins and needles again. The bleeding became so bad that he would call me at home to bring him a change of clothing. I won’t tell all the things he tried to keep from bleeding through his clothes every time he went to the bathroom. His lip showed up swollen again just like the first time. This time I knew he had a rash but not sure what was causing it. He thought maybe he got into some chemicals at work. They were big sores with dark centers in patches on his body. He was having pain around the kidney area. Had no clue what that was. The jerking of his arms and legs got a whole lot worse. There were times when I thought he had fallen asleep and his arms and legs were flopping. Sometimes at night they flopped like a fish on a bank trying to get back into the water. Sometimes it looked like only the legs and arms were being electrocuted. Years later I began to wonder if they were seizures. I told the doctor my husband was having restless leg and arm syndrome. He put him on a medicine to try to help control that. It only helped a little but was better than it was. He started having migraines. Sometimes they had what the doctor called an aura. My husband couldn’t see right when this happened. They were very painful. I forgot to mention the numerous times he got shingles. That was painful too for him. He was starting to have more numbness in his hands. He was always dropping things. It became harder for him to use his tools like screwdrivers. His legs were getting more numb and weaker. Around 11 months after taking CiproXR, the rupturing began again. This time in his arms. First it was the right arm. The doctor operated and told me my husband had lack of blood in his tissue. After the operation, my husband’s arms didn’t match in size. The one operated on looked a whole lot smaller. The doctor said he cut away dead tissue. It looked like someone had switched arms with him, someone who had no muscle and thin arms. This started in Feb 2005 and was the last time my husband could work. Months later he felt something tear in his arm. There was now damage to the triceps and biceps in his right arm. He had 1 good arm left that hadn’t ruptured. He was trying to be useful and was squeezing a clamp with the same amount of pressure you would use to squeeze a blood pressure bulb. Something popped in his lower left forearm and it bruised up. He had torn a tendon in his lower left forearm. Now both arms are damaged and both legs. His sick pay was ending where he worked so he applied for longterm disability. He was denied. He also applied for SSD and was denied. I never could understand why he was denied. He had all these injuries and the doctors had no idea what was causing it. We were running out of money and things were getting tough. This didn’t help his depression at all. I still have a suicide note he had left for me when he made 1 of his attempts. He was denied a second time for SSD. It was appealed and we went through it again. By this time my husband has all his pride stripped away. The system made him feel like he was nothing and insignificant. Sedgwick CMS was doing the disability for International Paper Company. Sedgwick denied the appeal for disability from International Paper. My husband was finally approved SSD. He was terminated from International Paper cause he couldn’t go back to work. We thought we had a lawyer to fight for his disability from International Paper. That lawyer told us to be patient and that it was going to take years. So we waited and waited. Last year we called him checking on the status of how things were going. He told us he had dropped it long ago but we never knew that. After that we tried to get another lawyer but they all said we had run out of time. My husband’s health is continually declining. He has to use a wheelchair now and rarely leaves the house. He had test done at the VA that showed he had nerve damage. He had gotten to the point long before that where he would have to ask me to open things for him like a pack of lunchmeat cause his hands were weak and numb. His immune system was getting worse. He was falling more often in the house when he would go from his recliner to the bathroom. He lived his life in that recliner. His body had become so weak and his breathing was terrible. He slept in his recliner cause he couldn’t breathe well laying down. Even though he suffered so much pain, everyday he would greet me with a smile and tell me he loved me. That’s all I needed. None of this was his fault. All he did was take a medicine to make him feel better. Feb. 23, 2012, I tried to wake him up, but he wouldn’t wake up. I called my son-in-law over to try to wake him. There were people in my house but I don’t remember seeing them. I remember telling them he’s always cold, that he’s just asleep and won’t wake up. I remember very little of what happened for the next few days. He was only 55 years old. Before taking this medicine he was a strong and intelligent man. How could this happen or be allowed to happen. I didn’t even have the money to bury him. I’m thankful our 2 daughters stepped in and took up payments for his burial. He was my life. Everyday is empty without him. Half of me is ripped away. He didn’t deserve that to happen to him. He was a good man. His name was Michael. He didn’t do anything wrong, but he is the one who suffered so many years through so much physical and mental pain. He was done so wrong in this life.

  39. I was a perfectly healthy 44 year old. After taking Cipro (250 mg) I am now laid up in my bed and I can’t move my right arm, stabbing pain down my shoulder neck arm and now my thumb went numb. Even the slightest movement causes me pain. I’m very scared. I’ve been like this for 3 days now since Friday morning I went to braid my hair and when I brought my arm back down, I had a stabbing pain I couldn’t believe. I can barely move my arm, can’t really turn my head or neck, it hurts to lie here, it hurts to move. I’m debillatated because i can’t do my daily chores or tasks at all, I can just lay here and it hurts to do that. I want to know the fastest way to get this stuff out of my system please tell me if you know. I heard that when this happens to you from quinolones, the first week more movement is bad so I’m just trying to lay still hoping I heal. I lost my healthcare and am hoping I can find help on monday. I’m going to accupuncture on monday as soon as i wake up.

  40. Nichole: Remember, the FDA requires very extensive and expensive studies to be done by the drug company before IT ok’s the drug. Maybe the
    studies did not reveal the the problem. Can the drug company be blamed for something that they didn’t know was going to happen? Even the FDA didn’t know to tell them to make a black box warning! SO SUE THE FDA!!!! During our lives, SHIT happens. Live with it.
    GO TO A FREE CLINIC; THEY EXIST!!! Connie: I’ve been prescribing CIPRO since it came out and have NEVER seen problims like this. The drug store gives you about 6 pages of info about the drug. READ them!!

  41. I was prescribed Cipro 4 days ago and am now feeling severe pain behind my knees. I do not know if it is from the Cipro or not and no idea if I should stop taking it or continue. I have never had problems with my knees before.

  42. m. karr, I’m thankful that you didn’t suffer from the injuries that my husband did after taking Cipro. My husband lived a most pitiful life after that until the day he died. Just because it didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean that injuries don’t happen to others. To think that would be very narrow minded. Though you may not be a cold hearted person, your response to others may appear to be that way. To tell me to “READ them” after my husband died and tell another to “Live with it” makes a person wonder where your compassion is. Like I wrote, I’m happy you didn’t suffer like my husband did. I do know without a doubt what happened to my husband. Be thankful it didn’t happen to you.

  43. I was dx with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2001 and had taken fluoroquinolones i.e., Cipro, Avelox, and Levaquin in the past to treat upper respitory/sinus infections. Since taking these meds, I’ve not only developed MS, I became lactose intolerant, developed hyperinsulinemia and issues regulating my blood sugar, and tendenitis in my hip. I was only 36 when I was dx with MS. Aside from a few sinus infections, I had always been very healthy and have no family history of MS, diabetes or blood sugar issues. In 2010, I ruptured my ACL in my knee following a course of Cipro. My neurologist who treats my MS has now warned me to NEVER EVER take ANY meds in the Cipro family, as fluoroquinolone drugs cross the blood-brain barrier and can make my MS worse. This is based on a study in which labrotory mice which had demylenation disease equivilant to MS became worse in their disease course when given fluoroquinolone ie., Cipro. Only take fluoroquinolones when there is NO other option, especially if you have MS. So many things I wish I would’ve known beforehand.

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