What is Floxing?

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 categorized as adverse events and 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.

Adverse events are unintended pharmacologic effects that occur when a medication is administered correctly while a side effect is a secondary unwanted effect that occurs due to drug therapy.

It is a common misconception that adverse events and side effects are the same thing.

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 listed:

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

If you are reading about the FQ’s for the first time pay attention to the next few paragraphs. Uniquely, and unfortunately for many, these adverse symptoms do not appear right away.  Instead the appear days, weeks, or months after successfully finishing the course of therapy.  They mechanisms are poorly understood but according to some researchers involve the mitochondria.  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.

It is important for your to understand that, the FQ’s are different than any other class of antibiotics.  Many individuals lump all antibiotics together in their mind as benign substances (penecillin and the pink liquid syndrome).  The FQ’s method of action is different from other, safer antibiotics.  They are Topoisomerase Inhibitors and considered and chemotherapy, as in anti-cancer style medication!  As preposterous as this may sound to some, a quick google scholar search will provide refutable proof.  The only other Topoisomerase inhibitors that exist in the medical realm are chemotherapy (Anti-tumor/anti-cancer) drugs.  See the following documentation:

  • Levaquin used against breast cancer (1).
  • Levaquin effective against lung cancer cells (2).
  • Cipro effective against certain lung cancer cells (3).
  • The FQ’s are used as adjunct to chemotherapy to mop up rogue cancer cells (4),
  • They are developed into standalone chemotherapy drugs (5),
  • Exhibit “late effects” similar to systemic chemotherapy (6).

Coincidentally,  in the same historical time frame since the FQ’s release into modern medicine, the world saw an increase in the ‘mystery’ illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, Gulf War Syndrome, etc…. All the while, the usage of FQ’s was exponentially increasing at the same time (7). Although it would be irresponsible to say that FQ’s cause all of these illnesses, the sheer heterogeneity of syndrome, coupled with the enormous prescription rate of the FQ’s in our society, gives credence to the theory that there are distinct subsets in each of these mystery illness categories that were indeed initiated by FQ exposure.

If you are experiencing unexplained health problems please do yourself a favor and check your medical history for FQ usage. , even if it was many years prior.  A comprehensive guide 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 they do not understand the FQ’s unique method of action which allows the separation cause and effect, the FDA in the recent past, has recognized this syndrome and has coined the phrase Fluoroquinolone Associated Disability or FQAD (8).

The adverse events of FQ’s are disparate and by all definitions, outrageous.  There really is no measure for this type of insidious damage.  This style of damage is ‘off the radar scope’ of most doctors who are taught outdated paradigms in medical school. The damages range from permanent nerve damage, tendons spontaneously rupturing, organ failure, psychosis, and literally dozens more. Most doctors consider this preposterous and they simply can’t wrap their heads around a differential diagnosis to include the FQ’s.  Most of them don’t know what to look for or how to connect the symptoms.  Again, the FQ’s kill and damage through so many mechanisms that it is not usually connected by doctors, so do not expect the average doctor to understand.

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 through damage to the mitochondria (8,9) and their ability to mask cause and effect in addition to 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.  Routinely I have contact with those who, on the surface had an apparent mild reaction and believed themselves healed, only to come back much later when symptoms reappeared after some sort of systemic stressor (illness, surgery, other pharmaceutical usage).   Only time will supply us with the data.

In the mean time, please inform yourself as often safer alternatives are available if you need an antibiotic.  Please discuss your concerns with your doctor.

 

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