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),
- gemifloxacin (Factive) and
- delafloxacin (Baxdela),
ask your doctor the two questions that are always fair game to ask about any drug or treatment:
- What are the risks or side effects of this?
- 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: