Fluoroquinolones Antibiotic Alert – especially with EDS

*** Update March 2019 ***

Fluoroquinolones Overprescribed Despite Dangers – This is the strongest warning I’ve seen about these common antibiotics and it makes me wonder why they don’t mention it to us when the drugs are prescribed.

*** Update March 2015 ***

The FDA issued new warnings about possible nerve damage:
Risk of nerve damage from fluoroquinolone antibiotics

This was originally published in the NY Times on Sept 10, 2012 -and originally posted  August 28, 2013

Popular Antibiotics May Carry Serious Side Effects

…class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones. The best known are Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Levaquin (levofloxacin) and Avelox (moxifloxacin).

Adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones may occur almost anywhere in the body. In addition to occasional unwanted effects on the musculoskeletal, visual and renal systems, the drugs in rare cases can seriously injure the central nervous system (causing “brain fog,” depression, hallucinations and psychotic reactions), the heart, liver, skin (painful, disfiguring rashes and phototoxicity), the gastrointestinal system (nausea and diarrhea), hearing and blood sugar metabolism

…link to tendinitis and tendon rupture and… ability to block neuromuscular activity

These lead to especially severe and possibly permanent consequences in people with EDS, and should only be used if there are no other alternatives.

More scholarly articles on this topic:

“More on Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics and Tendon Rupture” New England Journal of Medicine, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199501193320319

“Partial Achilles Tendon Ruptures Associated with Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics: A Case Report and Literature Review” http://fai.sagepub.com/content/17/8/496.short

“The Effect of Ciprofloxacin On Tendon, Paratenon, and Capsular Fibroblast Metabolism” http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/28/3/364.short

“Fluoroquinolone-Associated Tendinopathy: A Critical Review of the Literature” http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/11/1404.short

While none are specific to EDS, having defective collagen already puts us at risk for tendon ruptures.

Other posts about the dangers of fluoroquinolones as of March 2019:

14 thoughts on “Fluoroquinolones Antibiotic Alert – especially with EDS

  1. UCSD Fluoroquinolone Effects Study

    UCSD Fluoroquinolone Effects Study

    Have you taken an antibiotic such as Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Levaquin (levofloxacin), or Avelox (moxifloxacin)? Would you be willing to help in a survey-based medical research study?

    Dr. Beatrice A. Golomb and her colleagues at the University of California, San Diego are conducting a new study to identify and describe side effects and risk factors for good and bad outcomes involving antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone class. Other example fluoroquinolones include Zymar (gatifloxacin), Floxin (ofloxacin), Zagam (sparfloxacin), Trovan (trovafloxacin), Tavanic, and Vigamox.

    Whether you believe you have experienced side effects or you believe you have tolerated them, you are invited to participate in this voluntary study. Participants possessing English language fluency from all countries are accepted.

    Study participants will be asked to complete questionnaire(s). By participating in these surveys, you can help us further understand the effects of fluoroquinolones and report findings to the medical community (including prescribing physicians) and the general public. Surveys will cover your overall health, well-being, fluoroquinolones taken, and symptoms; impacts on your life and career; and your personal story.

    For those without side effects, there is currently just one survey taking 20-30 minutes to complete.

    For those having adverse effects, there are currently 3 (voluntary) questionnaires that can be done separately, each taking approximately 40-90 minutes (time varies per individual). Each survey addresses a different set of concerns related to fluoroquinolone effects. More voluntary surveys may be available in the future. Compensation for taking the surveys is not available.

    If there is a chance you are interested in participating, please visit our website at:


    for further information on this important study.

    If you know of anyone else who might consider participating, then please pass on our website address. We truly appreciate your participation and referrals.

    -The UCSD Fluoroquinolone Effects Study

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Risk of nerve damage from fluoroquinolone antibiotics | EDS Info (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome)

  3. Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA

    Great post! I ended up with a partial Achilles tendon rupture, very annoying as it inhibits normal walking, which throws my balance further off than it already is (scoliosis). Grrrr! But since it was cipro + flagyl or die, I guess it had to be that way. You win some, you lose some 😠

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. tony

    I understand the problem. However What are you supposed to do when your dying of sepsis and the vancomycin cocktail does not work and you antibiotic is switched to Levofloxicin and it works to pull you away from deaths door not once but 4 bout of sepsis in a 15 year period and its the only drug that works for you. Not Zosyn, vancomycin, other penicilins and so on. Not one bad side effect except some lose stool . I say thank you to the inventor of DNA gyrase inhibitors. Sad others had neg. side effects. But I would of either lost my legs or died in 2002 in my late 20’s without it. When I close my eyes I can see the red streak going from my leg up my back, crossing my shoulder heading for my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      Thank you for the reminder about the life-saving quality of these antibiotics. They certainly have their place, and you certainly needed them.

      Just another reminder of how different we all are and how our different situations should determine our different treatments. I don’t believe standardization is going to make face-to-face contact with our doctors obsolete. We need them now more than ever to push back against this kind of profit-driven semi-automated healthcare.


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  10. Pingback: Fluoroquinolones Overprescribed Despite Dangers | EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      Well, it depends on where you look for such warnings. If you take the time and trouble to investigate drugs you’re prescribed before taking them, you’d find these warnings, but doctors don’t have time to research every drug they prescribe.

      Also, since the drugs only have dangerous side effects for a small minority of patients, the general belief that they are beneficial isn’t questioned until there’s a bad reaction – and it has to be reported, which also doesn’t always happen.


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