What is Floxing?

The fluoroquinolone (FQ’s) class of antibiotics are capable of setting into motion an idiopathic syndrome that causes numerous symptoms that can number into the several hundred. These reactions are different from those caused by anaphylaxis or allergic reactions, or your basic class of understood side effects that go away when the drug is stopped.

FQs in susceptible individuals (and it is not known who is susceptible until after the fact) cause a long term to permanent, sometimes progressive, multi systemic, crippling, full blown syndrome – most notoriously affecting two or more of the following broad systems:

  1. connective tissue – not just tendons but cartilage, ligaments, other collagenous tissue,
  2. neuropathy (permanent), and neuromuscular weakness (mysthenia gravis- like), and
  3. CNS damage that is severe, frightening and disabling . . not to mention heart, GI, and vision issues.

Uniquely, and for many, these adverse symptoms do not appear right away.  Instead the appear days, weeks, or months after successfully finishing the course of therapy.  Some patients connect the dots, but many do not suspect, instead the view the FQ’s as benign therapy and cannot fathom the idea that an antibiotic could cause such devastation.

If you are reading this for the first time know this: The FQ’s are different than any other class of antibiotics.  Their method of action is different from other, safer antibiotics.  They are considered chemotherapy!  Yes, I know they are strong words but it is true. The FQ’s are used as adjunct to chemotherapy to mop up rogue cancer cells (1), they are developed into standalone chemotherapy drugs (2), and exhibit “late effects” similar to systemic chemotherapy (3).

Coincidentally,  in the same time frame , when the world saw an increase in the ‘mystery’ illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Gulf War Syndrome, etc…, the usage of FQ’s was exponentially increasing at the same time (4).   If you are experiencing unexplained health problems please do yourself a favor and check your medical history for FQ usage.  A comprehensive guided to the names common names of FQ’s and their generic equivalents can be found here. If you are unsure of a drug name ask your doctor or pharmacist for clarification.

Although many doctors remain woefully ignorant to the propensity for the FQ’s to do such levels of harm (mainly because of the FQ’s ability to separate cause and effect), the FDA is recognizing this syndrome and has coined the phrase Fluoroquinolone Associated Disability or FQAD (5).

A list of FQ adverse symptoms commonly reported by sufferers (not all inclusive):

Central Nervous System

  • psychosis
  • panic
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • seizures
  • tremors
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • depression
  • suicidal thoughts
  • tinnitus
  • memory loss
  • brain fog (Impaired thinking)
  • headaches
  • depersonalization
  • abnormal dreams

Peripheral Nervous System

  • fasiculations
  • tremors
  • numbness
  • pain
  • burning
  • tingling
  • itching
  • stinging
  • weakness
  • spasticity
  • gastrointestinal motility issues and pain
  • teeth, mouth and lip pain
  • neuralgia
  • reduced muscle output

Autonomic Nervous System

  • cardiac – tachycardia
  • cardiac – bradycardia
  • cardiac – palpitations
  • abnormal sudomotor (sweat response)
  • lightheadedness
  • low blood pressure
  • high blood pressure
  • pupil dilation dysfunction

Musculoskeletal System

  • joint pain
  • tendon pain
  • tendon rupture
  • muscle pain
  • muscle weakness
  • muscle wasting
  • rhabdomyolysis
  • exercise intolerance

Gastrointestinal

  • liver damage
  • kidney damage
  • pancreatic damage
  • impaired swallowing
  • colitis
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • digestive tract pain (abdominal pain)
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • acid reflux
  • gastritis
  • delayed gastric emptying
  • nausea

Ocular

  • vitreous floaters
  • focusing Issues
  • eye pain
  • double vision
  • dry eyes
  • light sensitivity (photophobia)
  • retinal tears
  • drooping eyelids
  • black specks

Miscellaneous

  • DNA damage
  • Dryness (body wide)
  • Rashes
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

 Dermatological

  • dry Skin
  • easy sunburn
  • rashes
  • reopening of scars and wounds

Endocrine

  • thyroid abnormailites
  • low testosterone
  • hair loss
  • hypoglycemia
  • hyperglycemia
  • excessive thirst and urination
  • temperature regulation problems
  • fatigue

Dental

  • broken teeth
  • gum issue

Reproductive

  • Ovarian Cysts
  • Erectile problems
  • Missing Menstruation 3 months or more(Amenorrhoea)
  • Dry Vagina during Intercourse
Vascular

  • Poor peripheral circulation
  • swollen veins
  • Purple or red spots under skin esp. in limbs (purpura, petechiae)
  • Swelling limbs (edema)
  • Easy / excessively large bruising

Food Sensitivities:

  • Caffeine
  •  Sugar
  •  Soy
  •  Milk
  •  Alcohol
  •  Gluten
  •  Carbonated beverages (non-alcoholic)
  •  Aspartame MSG
  •  Acidic foods
  • Nightshades (tomatoes, white potatoes, , eggplant, peppers)
  • Sulfites

Because of the long term nature of these drugs and their ability to mask cause and effect and their epigenetic capabilities, it is still uncertain if even mild cases can have symptoms that show up numerous years after the initial onset and after the patient has, on the surface, appeared to completely recover.  On more than one occasion I have had contact those who, on the surface had an apparent mild reaction and proclaimed themselves healed, have come back much later when symptoms reappeared after a systemic stressor.   Only time will supply us with the data.