I am of the opinion that the Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics are one of the most epigenetic impacting pharmaceuticals that has ever been unleashed on society, and frighteningly so.
If you combine the molecule’s broad spectrum of influence that permits it to penetrate deep, hitting an untold number of points in a person’s metabolic environment greatly influencing epigenetic machinery, and then you add the sheer number of historical worldwide prescriptions, you have the recipe for disaster.
Let’s look at it this way, a real-world analogy is its similarity to brute force hacking software. In a simple brute force hacking attack, the hacker attempts to gain access by literally trying something over and over. There are no limits to the number of access attempts. The higher the scale of the attack, the more successful the chances are of entry.
In our bodies, the Fluoroquinolone molecule attempts access to every aspect of our biological system. It uses excessive metabolic influence to gain access to areas, such as the brain, spinal cord, bone, etc… No area is off limits. Any weakness in any area of access and the greater the chance of a negative outcome.
From a genetic standpoint, this tremendous broad-spectrum activity has the ability to change the genetic phenotype without changing the genotype. What that means is that it impacts gene expression, or the ability to activate or deactivate genes. For many people, this can carry with it the possibility of a pathogenic process that can manifest quickly or, for some, many years later.
This creates a frightening dilemma……currently the Fluoroquinolones are way ahead of medical science.
A Step Ahead
Modern genomics is progressing at breathtaking speed, defining hundreds or thousands of rare pathogenic genetic variants that each person harbors inside their genome. The potential associations between these variants and a possible disease state that they can manifest are enormous. While it is true that the vast majority of the yet to be discovered variants are likely to be inconsequential, at present, we do not have a complete picture.
Regardless, the Fluoroquinolones are reaching these yet to be discovered pathogenic variants ahead of us. It is reaching them before we have had a chance to discover these variants and research their ability to cause us harm.
The Fluoroquinolones have the ability, that we know of, to initiate and sustain genetic change via at least three systems, DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs, and it would appear that they have the ability to induce global epigenetic changes under both normal and pathological conditions (1, 2).
It is shocking to think that this monster has been impacting society for decades and I am afraid, no, I am confident, that we will be dealing with the tremendous pathological outcomes unleashed by it for many years.
Right now, we are living in an age of profound medical ignorance, despite our advances. Those that we trust with our medical safekeeping are ignorant to the fact that a monster that they unleashed years ago is causing a tremendous amount of disease right before their very eyes, and yet they cannot see it. It some cases they choose to turn a blind eye.
The Fluoroquinolones have been implicated in late onset Mitochondrial Disease, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, dementia, Parkinson’s, various neuropathies, cognitive dysfunction, neuropsychiatric illnesses, and much more. The symptoms of their adverse event profile can reach into the hundreds and defies differential diagnoses by most doctors (3).
While it is true that there are several other pharmaceuticals that have a penchant for harm, the Fluoroquinolones are at the very top of the list when you consider their wide-ranging ability to penetrate and method of action, and then combine it with the sheer amount of prescriptions written, the ability to create delayed adverse events, and a medical system that does not include the Fluoroquinolones in their differential diagnosis algorithms. The Fluoroquinolones truly hide in plain sight slipping through the cracks our pharmacovigilance system.
Do you know of a loved one, a friend, a co-worker, who suffers from a medical condition that defies diagnoses or is of unknown origin? If so, do some detective work and search their medical history. Don’t necessarily look in the immediate past and also remember that Fluoroquinolones are routinely given during surgery, often without the patient’s knowledge.
If you are faced with potential antibiotic use, for yourself or a loved one, please become informed as to the choices that you have available. If antibiotic use is necessary, there are generally safer alternatives than the Fluoroquinolones. Discuss all these concerns with your doctor so as to choose the safest method for your particular situation.