Cipro’s Safety Warnings Just Got Scarier

Cipro’s Safety Warnings Just Got Scarier – by Beth Skwarecki – July 2018

The “mental health effects” can be especially disturbing (who would think to blame an antibiotic for paralyzing anxiety?) and especially with EDS, this antibiotic can lead to tendon rupture.

fluoroquinolone antibiotics—a chemical family that includes ciprofloxacin, or Cipro—have been recognized as carrying several different kinds of serious risks, with the most recent warnings issued just yesterday.

Cipro and friends can cause blood sugar to dip low enough to put a person into a coma, and these antibiotics can also cause “mental health side effects” including agitation, memory and attention problems, and a type of serious mental disturbance called delirium.  

In 2013, the FDA added warnings about these antibiotics’ potential to cause permanent nerve damage. And way back in 2008

fluoroquinolones got a black-box warning about tendinitis and tendon rupture right on the label. (You can tear a tendon, such as the achilles tendon on the back of your ankle, even months after taking a course of the drug.)

This might be the worst part; if you were ever given Cipro, perhaps even for several courses of antibiotic therapy, you can remain vulnerable for the rest of your life.

Fortunately, these drugs aren’t being prescribed as freely as they once were. The FDA warned in 2016 that fluoroquinolones should only be used as a last resort in urinary tract infections and certain other infections, where they were once routine

So if you get a prescription for one of these antibiotics, which include

  • levofloxacin (Levaquin),
  • ciprofloxacin (Cipro),
  • moxifloxacin (Avelox),
  • ofloxacin,
  • gemifloxacin (Factive) and
  • delafloxacin (Baxdela),

ask your doctor the two questions that are always fair game to ask about any drug or treatment:

  1. What are the risks or side effects of this?
  2. Is there another option that’s appropriate for me that doesn’t have those risks?

Sometimes the answer is that a fluoroquinolone really is your best option. If I were exposed to bubonic plague (yes, still a real thing) I’d take it. And for more routine infections, sometimes allergies and bacterial resistance can narrow your options so that a fluoroquinolone is the only thing left to try.

But if your doc is still handing out Cipro for UTIs, at this point they should know better.

Each year, I hear about another alert:

5 thoughts on “Cipro’s Safety Warnings Just Got Scarier

  1. canarensis

    YIKES.
    Won’t be taking that again…wish I hadn’t taken it in the past. Good to know –thank you. I dunno if I’d have heard about this otherwise.

    Every time I read about some new dire effect from a drug, I think about the rampaging war on opioids –which are a lot safer for most people than most of the drugs they put out black box warnings on– I want to scream. A lot.

    But I’m afraid if I start, I won’t be able to stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      Now that we know how much effect our gut microbiome has on our health, both physical and mental, antibiotics seem to be more dangerous than ever.

      And yes, I also feel opioids are much safer than most other drugs of all kinds. Marijuana too, because we have endogenous opioid and camabinoid systems.

      I think that’s because we and these plants all evolved together, but that’s just my wild theory. We also evolved along with spoiled fruits, which become alcoholic and get birds drunk, so I feel alcohol is also very safe.

      Of course, extreme doses of anything can be poisonous, even water, but moderate doses (always depending on the individual) of these drugs are generally benign and much safer than some of the newer drugs being developed.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. canarensis

        Too right about too much of anything.
        And too bad that the entire concept of “moderation” has completely vanished from our society. It’s as if trying to be reasonable about anything is perceived as as being weak.

        I don’t wanna play in this sandbox any more…

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. Zyp Czyk Post author

          I think I know what you mean – I used to think of it as: stop the merry-go-round, I want to get off!

          But it’s not like you can get out of the sandbox and look around to find another one… that’s the trouble: all options, thoughts, feelings cease upon exit – there isn’t a second chance.

          I wish there was a way to completely disengage with life, just for a while to get a break from all this constant deterioration, of self, of medical care, of country, of world, and even of the planet.

          The constant stream of negatives we are assaulted with is overwhelming and when I’m not actively and determinedly “living well”, it feels like a giant wave of death and despair will break right over me and push me under “forever”.

          But even when things are so crappy, there’s always a chance, no matter how slim, that I can find something “good” if I look hard enough. I do my best to ignore the all the crap piling up around me and force my focus on little bits of bright goodness… like the love of my 4-legged child, the feel and beauty of his very sleek fur, the beauty of a sunrise, the feeling of a warm breeze blowing across my skin, some good pieces of music, the unstoppable growth of green things pushing through obstacles (sprouting even through cement sometimes)…

          It’s not like it can outweigh the “bad”, but I try to escape by directing my attention only to what I choose and turning away from bad news. I kind of give myself points for finding these rare beauties and hope/wait (which are the same word in Spanish) for the next change.

          Life as a pain patient is getting more and more difficult and painful, but there may come changes worth sticking around for. I sure hope your pup lives long enough to guide you through this mess to a happier future :>)

          Liked by 1 person

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          1. canarensis

            It is so evident that you understand so much… the frustration, the grinding down of the spirit –and I mean in addition to the grind that comes from the pain itself; the added burden of constantly being bombarded with the utter insanity that’s going on about the meds that provide many of us enough relief to even (*gasp!* have a tolerable, sometimes enjoyable life.* The easy slope to despair. Exhaustion of mind, body, and spirit. I am profoundly sorry that you have had such an intense education in these things, & I feel sometimes like like a weakling because I’m sure you have worse pain issues than I do…I’ve learned enough about EDS to know that I’m fortunate not to have it. Hearing (well, reading) such supportive and encouraging words from you means a great deal more than from someone who doesn’t ‘get’ it or who has only mild pain issues….and it’s humbling.

            I have my ways of trying to look for the good &/or escape from the pain –as you know, Kenta the dog is #1 on that list, followed by reading…I’ve been a book addict since I was 3 –home life when I was a child was so chaotic, violent, & downright crazy that escapism was a survival imperative. I love to dive into my favorite authors, especially science fiction; go to different worlds, societies that have conquered pain & most sickness (including human sicknesses like racism, xenophobia, religious/cultural hatred, & the rest of humanity’s more loathsome characteristics. I took Kenta for a late walk last night & almost tripped over him b/c I was gawking at the bright stars, imagining other life out there (if you like to read, ya might check out James White’s Sector General books…it’s a wonderful & often humorous series; a multi-species hospital in space, where the most amazing aliens get extraordinary health problems, & the heroic doctors work to cure them. Humans live & work with all sorts of aliens & have moved beyond pettiness, greed, & aggression). White had the most amazing imagination, coming up with the coolest –& biologically plausible– aliens of all time (many, many varieties), & it’s somehow cheering to read about all those medical cures, even if they’re cures of sentient crabs or giant furry caterpillars or empathic insects.

            sorry, this is turning into a tome. I think my main problem these days is that I truly cannot understand the willful use of lies to justify sadistic treatment (well, non-treatment) of people in pain, both the living and the dying. As much of a cynic & misanthropist as I am, I’m still utterly flummoxed at what the pols are doing.

            I swear, part of the anti-pain patient campaign (I’m sick of pretending it’s anti-opioid) is that they can’t stand the idea that we might feel good; they refuse to believe we don’t get high, and feeling good is such anathema to these Puritanical zealots that they’re doing everything possible to make sure that can’t happen. Yet we’re trying not to maintain the right to get high or euphoric, but merely to have the means to be somewhat functional & have some quality of life. How dare we.

            Liked by 1 person

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