I so often get frustrated at the lack of common sense in the medical field.  It would seem that with advanced medical education there would also be ability make educated decisions based on presented facts.  Although this seems logical, and in a sense, what doctors do, alas, what I usually see is just the opposite.   Doctors learn diagnostic paradigms that, for most, lock them into a rigid thinking pattern that prevents them from thinking outside those set paradigms.  In order to play it safe and conform to the patterns that encompass the basic standard of care they rarely deviate from establisheddisgusted doctor paradigms.

Proponents of this system would counter saying that this standard is necessary in order to make sure that the most appropriate care is given for each patient.  So what is the problem?  Humans are so unique!  Even though our biological systems are the same, the infinite amount of variables involved that influence human physiology is mind boggling.  Treating each patient by rote is both dangerous and ignorant.  Yet, it is the norm.  Physicians through medical school programming and then subsequent reinforcement in clinical practice become programmed to follow dogma. Because of this, most doctors cannot think outside the box and make even simple links in logic.  Let me give you a basic example with simple documentation and the crux of this article.

I know for a fact that Fluoroquinolones (FQ) cause delayed adverse reactions. These reactions can manifest themselves days, weeks, months and years post treatment. I have made this conclusion based on my own experience, observation and interacting with other FQ sufferers, talking with researchers, and reading medical literature.   These reactions can encompass the areas of neurological (brain, spinal cord, and nerve problems), cognitive problems (learning, memory, and attention difficulties), dental and oral health and vision problems, digestion problems, bone, joint, and soft tissue problems, endocrine (hormone) system problems, lung problems, heart problems, and fatigue.  So how should we convince a doctor?  Well, common sense would tell us that it should be simple.

  1. First, establish the fact that FQ’s are powerful antimicrobials. This step should be easy, as no self-respecting doctor would or should deny the powerful ability of these drugs.
  2. Second, (you may lose the doctor on this step) FQ’s are chemotherapeutic drugs.  They are chemotherapeutic drugs or agents by definition and, as a matter of fact, they are chemotherapeutic drugs in every sense of the word.  This fact is not hidden away from the clinical medical establishment, its just that doctors don’t refer to FQ’s in this sense or terms.  However there is plenty of documentation supporting this definition of FQ’s. (1),(2),(3),(4) and more.  If he/she is still not convinced you can tell them that there are existing  cancer (chemotherapy) drugs that have been based on the FQ’s.  One such drug is Vasoroxin (5) found here and is a quinolone based drug (I believe off of Levaquin if my memory serves me).  Additionally FQ’s are given as adjunct therapy with other chemotherapy drugs to help ‘mop up’ cancer cells and to keep them from re-seeding(6).
  3. Third, one of the complications openly acknowledged by the mainstream medical community is delayed adverse reactions to all forms of chemotherapy or as the medical community refers to it as “late effects”.   Cancer.net defines chemotherapy late effects as “a side effect that occurs months or years after cancer treatment.”  The description of late effects aka “delayed adverse events or reactions” encompass the same health problems that FQ sufferers describe and experience.  Here are several links describing “late effects” of chemotherapy: (7), (8), (9)With a little simple Google investigative work a person can uncover many more credible links to bolster these connections.

It seems so simple doesn’t it:  FluoroquinolonesChemotherapy Late Effects;   1-2-3A simple three step action that logically links FQ’s to the ability to initiate delayed adverse reactions.  There are no grand leaps of faith or conjecture required to link the steps.  Now I am not guaranteeing that your doctor, or any doctor for that matter, will become a believer, but it’s worth the try, especially if you’ve been trying to explain your delayed or long term problems from the FQ’s.

Ironically, most doctors would understand completely if you told them that you were having long term health problems from a previous round of chemotherapy years earlier. So, just maybe, if you can get him/her to link the two (FQ’s and Chemotherapy) in their mind you may have a shot.   Sadly, and usually the case, if you tell them that you are experiencing long term health effects of a fluoroquinolone antibiotic taken much earlier, maybe even years, your ideas would probably, at best, be politely dismissed, and sometimes rudely dismissed.

So where is the disconnect?  Let’s throw out the argument that most doctors are not taught that drugs used so routinely can have long term adverse profiles. Instead, some of m3 docsy friends in the psychology world believe the answer is simple. Doctors cannot admit that something that they prescribe every day is actually capable of such long term pervasive damage.  Most will admit to a rare occurrence of adverse symptoms but they are usually limited to those who experience immediate reactions.  Admitting broader or long term problems conveys and sense of culpability or liability that they do not want to venture into.  In every sense of the meaning, it is “plausible deniability”. They have the ability to hide behind the FDA and other organizations who offer blanket “plausible deniability”.

 You wouldn’t think that three small steps would be so hard to follow.