Fluoroquinolones Their Connection to Older Anti-Malarial Drugs

Even though I knew this information already and had posted on it briefly in a few forums I wanted to document the information that links fluoroquinolones with the older anti-malarial drugs that were known to be very toxic.  This is a very basic overview in a nutshell for those who need to know.

I was once discussing FQ’s with a rheumatologist who made the observation that he knew of some chemotherapy agents and anti-malarial drugs that responded the same way as what I was describing the FQ’s of doing but had never heard of an antibiotic acting similarly.  After the conversation, my interest was piqued so I put on my Sherlock Holmes cap, something that every floxie does quite frequently, and researched where the FQ’s came from.  I read the “Flox Report” again and it lead me to research the link between FQ’s and anti-malarial drugs.

So after I started my search I ran across an article called “The New Quinolones: Back to the Future, by Julian Davies © 1989 The University of Chicago Press.” In this article the author stated that “the quinolones were discovered by accident as a side product in the synthetic preparation of an antimalarial agent.”

The older anti-malarials, the drugs that were discovered in the early 1900’s to fight againStop-Malariast the spread of malaria in third world countries; they were very potent and toxic drugs.  One older anti-malarial drug, Chloroquine, was discovered in 1934 at Bayer laboratories. This drug later became the predecessor on which today’s FQ’s are based. Cholorquine was considered too toxic for human use and it was not used on humans for over a decade after its discovery until World War II.

In a 2008 medical journal listed on Pubmed titled “Antimalarial Therapy Selection for Quinolone Resistance among Escherichia coli in the Absence of Quinolone Exposure, in Tropical South America” the author’s state, “The pharmacore of the fluoroquinolones and chloroquine are similar. In fact the origins of the quinolone class are from the use of chloroquine as an antimalarial. A compound isolated from the commercial preparation of chloroquine was modified to produce the first marketed quinolone, nalidixic acid. Fluorine was subsequently added to produce the fluoroquinolones, resulting in both an increase in potency and spectrum.” This article actually deals with the fact that the use of chloroquine in tropical countries is producing a FQ resistant strain of bacteria.

What is the significance of all of this? Well for us floxies it is important to know that Chloroquine can be a nasty drug.  It has a laundry list of adverse reactions including, gastrointestinal problems especially stomach ache, skin problems including alopecia, itching, and rashes, headache, nervous system problems including psychosis, depersonalization, serious concentration problems, depression, anxiety, confusion, dizziness and peripheral neuropathy, cardiac problems including Qtc prolongation,  and severe eye toxicity including blurred vision, extra ocular muscle palsies and retinal toxicity, Hemolysis with G6PD deficiency. And, on top off all of this it has been documented that it can remain in the body for up to five years or longer in measurable doses!

Now back to the rheumatologist that I spoke with at the beginning of this article, I like that doctor and he is well meaning, and I intend on educating him. But, if I can connect the dots with a computer and a few minutes of internet access so can he.  There is no excuse for ignorance in the side effects of these drugs or any drugs.



...damaged by fluoroquinolones in 2007 at age 46. Prior to, a healthy law enforcement official. Now an amateur FQ researcher, author, and blogger.

3 Responses

  1. Sara says:

    If the drug remains in the system for 5 years, can you expect rapid improvement as the body sheds the drug after the 6th year? Where in the body does it store?

  2. admin says:

    Sara, The drug that the fluoroquinolones was based off of had the ability to remain in the system for years. With this logic in mind it is no wonder that we see many FQ sufferers with delayed responses and reactions that show up years after their exposure to the medication. There are many variables at play in the physiology of the individual sufferer. Some reactions clear up after a year and some go on for years with a new reaction showing up every now and then. It is important to note the most all show some improvement over time.

    The FQ’s have the ability to penetrate into all areas of the body even hard to reach areas, whereas a lot of antibiotics do not. It has been theorized that is stays in tissues longer that do not have a high turn over rate, with a know affinity for the collagen tissues such as connective tissue.

  3. Narniagirl 4ever says:

    Hi, I was given Levofloxacin for 11 days in the hospital back in 2013. Upon release from the hospital I took Levofloxacin orally for eight days. It immediately gave me Rheumatoid Arthritis, the symptoms of Lupus (but no ‘blue mask’) and Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder (ligaments and tendons unable to hold bones in my joints). I have heard, through Amy Moser’s blog, that independent research says the FQs all attack the mitichondria in the cells. Hence, a person has no energy and their cells cannot repair themselves. Have you any information on how to heal mitochondria? The only person I’ve heard of who is getting some results is Dr. Terry Wahls (YouTube: “Minding Your Mitochondria”.) I am trying to follow her very restricted diet, but it is very difficult for me. Have you heard of any natural therapies for building the mitochondria back to health?

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