When talking to other FQ sufferers about toughing it through their reactions, one common point of fear and trepidation keeps coming up; that is whether to use anti-anxiety, or any psychotropic, medications during the course of their reactions. In some ways the fear is very justified, after all our bodies have been radically changed by the FQ toxicity and we now respond differently to medications. The way we start responding to drugs or chemicals after our toxificationhas to do with our own physiology coupled with the type of reaction we are having. I personally believe this poor reaction to medications is related to a malfunction in the body’s detoxification process. Couple this with the fact that psychotropic medications are also altering brain chemistry that has also been changed by the FQ’s, then caution is definitely in order. Even though there is some commonality in each person’s reaction, one FQ sufferer can respond completely different to a medication than the FQ sufferer, we have seen it time and time again. But FQ sufferers must keep in mind that our bodies are much more sensitive to chemical changes.
I believe that some of the fear, justified or not, lies in the pages of the Flox Report, written by Teo Boomer and last updated in March 2007. On page 139 of the Flox Report the author states “We have not recorded a single case of a person that has not improved over time, save the cases of those that had very severe reactions and opted the way of helping the symptoms with drugs for sleeping, for anxiety and for the pain. And even taking those medicines, you can recover from a severe reaction, but it is less likely.” And “In severe reactions, there is a clear link, a very strong relationship between the psychotic drugs taken and the outcome after 5 or 6 years. The more drugs taken for depression, anxiety, insomnia, nerve pain and seizures, the worse the prognosis (likely outcome). “
Because of this information, I have had quite a few FQ sufferers question me about the validity of this information when trying to decide on whether to take something for their psychological issues. After all when a FQ sufferer seeks treatment for his acute reaction it will usually lead him to a physician or psychiatrist that will recommend and prescribe a psychotropic substance. As matter of fact, some physicians recommend long term low dose benzodiazepines or anti-depressants as a treatment, which would contradict the above statements. I have spoken with many FQ sufferers who have taken both benzodiazepines and antidepressants to assist them through their ordeal and frankly they do not know whether it harmed their recovery or not. I wrote and earlier article on antidepressant usage using anecdotal information shared with me by other FQ sufferers.
I have scoured the Flox Report for any more references to this controversial information but cannot find any. There are many questions to asked here: Do psychotropic substances delay only the neurological recovery or does it include the muscular skeletal recovery also? How do we know these psychotropic substances actually altered (lengthened) the recovery process? Where these just subjective observations made by the sufferers? If one stops taking psychotropic substances does the recovery process hasten? These are very strong statements that have inspired fear and caution in many FQ sufferers but I cannot find any more information other than this subjective and anecdotal reference.
Now I understand that any information that we collect is considered anecdotal by the definition of “reports or observations of usually unscientific observers.” I however would like to try and shed more light on this mystery so I am asking the help of you, my readers who are also fellow FQ sufferers. I have created a very short survey that I would like each of you to take to help us understand this conundrum even more. It may or may not shed any more light on this mystery, but it is worth try. Please click here to follow a link to the psychotropic medication survey. I promise it is short and will take only a few seconds of your time, but the information we garner may be of help to others. Please remember that we must not get complacent in our battle for a solution to these reactions and every clue that we can uncover will place us closer to that goal. I get contacted weekly by new sufferers who are looking for answers and any information that we can provide to empower them will place them further along in their information journey than we were when we started this challenging ordeal. I will post a follow up to this article in the future as soon as enough anecdotal information is provided to me by fellow FQ sufferers. In the meantime, please use caution when choosing any medication and always discuss any and all medications with your trusted medical professional.
Admin Update: April 19, 2010
Thank you to all who completed the questionnaire thus far. Of the individuals that responded so far 3/4 listed their reactions as severe (both acute and delayed), and 1/4 listed their reactions at intermediate. Interestingly enough 3/4 respondents said that they feel taking a psychotropic medication did not increase their recovery time so far and any negative effects abated when the psychotropic medication was stopped. The other 1/4 of the respondents felt that it hampered their recovery time by increasing negative side effects and further unbalancing brain chemicals. I will keep posting updates to this article as more questionnaires come in.