One of the biggest hurdles that we face as FQ victims is determining the type of reactions that we are having. Becoming an FQ victim creates absolute uncertainty. When we experience a new symptom we wonder if that symptom is with us for a day, a week, a month, or permanent. We want to know whether our reaction is going to be long lived or short lived or whether it will be intense or mild. As the old adage goes, there are no easy answers for those questions and anyone who tries to tell you something different is trying to sell you something.
FQ damage involves a complex morphology that is not yet fully understood. This damage can affect everything from your tendons, to your central nervous system, to your DNA, plus everything in between. Now, add to the mix that everyone’s physiology is different and you get a very complex stew. On top of that, some of us were perfectly healthy prior to FQ damage, while others had prior sickness and disease, while yet others had allergies and sensitivities. Now toss in other variables that play an important part of the mix such as the age of the person, weight of the person, type of FQ taken, dosage amount, concurrent medication that was taken at the same time, and length of treatment. It is analogous to having a handful of dice and rolling them onto the table.
Having said all that, there are some loose guidelines that I personally follow when trying to get a basic idea of the severity of a reaction. Some would probably accuse me of being irresponsible and I will probably even catch some flak for posting this information but just remember it is my opinion only.
I believe the quicker and more acute the initial onset of ADR’s after the initial reaction, on average, usually means a more compressed timeline for the reaction. These reactions are akin to being shot by a shotgun at about 3o feet. Whether it is a single or double barrel depends on a lot of the factors that I had listed above. These reactions can be very acute with sudden and horrific ADR’s. The positive side to this, if there is one, is that these types of reactions usually clear up faster, although it’s virtually impossible to tell this to someone who is actually going through it.
Conversely, I believe the longer the initial onset of the ADR’s after the initial reaction the more drawn out the timeline. These reactions are usually spared the shotgun blast of the very acute reaction but instead have their reaction drawn out over a greater timeline. It is unfair to compare one reaction to another, in terms of the suffering, because both reactions are equally traumatic to their victims.
Usually, most of the reactions that I have come into contact with fall somewhere in between with a majority of them having a quicker onset. Some people get really get confused with the term “delayed reaction”. To have a true severe delayed reaction your symptoms usually present themselves months after your exposure. If your reaction is within weeks of the exposure I usually consider it a quicker onset. But I have to throw in a caveat that occasionally there are those reactions that don’t fit or make any sense whatsoever.
A lot of FQ sufferers experience a commonality in their symptoms. That means one person will get a particular problem very severe while yet another person will get it very mild, but everyone will usually get it to a greater or lesser degree. What is irresponsible is telling someone that their ADR should go away in a certain time frame. I often read things like “those symptoms will lessen in 1 year” or “they will disappear by the third month.” The problem is there is no “one size fits all” timeline for the ADR’s..
It is unfortunate that currently there is no cure for these reactions. It is my opinion that rarely does anyone get out without some sort of collateral damage. There are theories, which I think deserve a lot of credence, that certain medical conditions seen by doctors today have their root in FQ exposure (but that is another article). Having said all that, most people will see a significant amount of recovery over time. Someday we will know the truth.