Supplements To Recover From Cipro (How I Completely Recovered)

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If you’ve had a severe reaction after taking an antibiotic called Cipro, it can be a scary time if you’ve read some of the horror stories on the internet. In 2007, I took Cipro and I was “floxed” – or that’s what we called it back then. I developed some of the now well-known side effects of the antibiotic and it would change my life for 2 years. In this article, I want to share with you which supplements I used to recover from Cipro.

Also, please leave a comment below sharing your experience and any supplements you feel have helped you.

floxed
Antibiotics are one of the best discoveries of the 20th century, but some of them can produce serious side effects.

I’ll save my own personal story about Cipro and all the ways it affected me for a future article. I’ve spoken about it before in many different forums (here is one of them), my old blog, and I still have people privately messaging me over 10 years later asking me for advice on how to recover because of my story and people get referred to me.

I was one of those rare successful recovery stories that you didn’t see too much of back then (there are a lot more now). One of the differences between my story and others is my proactive approach to recovery from day one. After I had taken the antibiotic and realized I had a reaction, I started implementing strategies to deal with it right away.

My goals were to achieve the following:

  • Use supplements to bind to the antibiotic that was still in my body to reduce further damage.
  • Alter my diet in a way that would help speed up my recovery and minimize damage.
  • Change or add in new supplements to boost my body’s repair mechanisms, increase stress resistance, and protect cells.

One of the things I came across most in trying to help people recover is their reluctance to take supplements and fear of new side effects from taking them.

Symptoms associated with being floxed can fluctuate a lot as you recover (it tends to go in cycles). This cyclic effect is not unique to quinolone-recovery but also happens with many other conditions.

While I did sometimes notice old symptoms come back or new ones appear as I added new supplements, these effects were always temporary. And after each cycle of my symptoms reappearing (insomnia, nerve pain, tendon pain, etc)  I would get much closer to fully recovering.

The whole process of recovery took about two years, but I was mostly better after around 14 months.

Supplements I used to help me recover from Cipro

Anyone who reads my blog now will know that I switched to a vegan diet in 2012, but at the time of taking ciprofloxacin, I was a vegetarian.

So, in this case, I will include non-vegan supplements that I used and also direct you to vegan alternatives as well. I know many people who are floxed are scared of using animal-based products, so perhaps the vegan option will be better.

#1. Protein powder

Whey protein powder contains all the essential amino acids that you need to build protein. Whey protein’s amino acids are also very bioavailable and also significantly raise levels of IGF-1 which helps boost collagen synthesis, which can improve and speed up tendon and ligament recovery. [1]

If you have any significant tendon, ligament or muscle damage from Cipro, I recommend you take protein supplements.

How much I took

Each day I had between 2  – 3 whey protein shakes. Sometimes I would mix the whey protein in with my morning oatmeal even!

Why I supplemented with protein

I developed Achilles tendonitis in both of my tendons, which stopped me from doing exercise for a long time. It took me about one year before I could exercise lightly again.

You cannot simply rely on supplements to heal. To improve recovery, you also have to stress the tendon to help remodel and strengthen it. One of the mistake I made which lengthened my recovery time was not doing any strengthening exercises.

If you don’t strengthen your tendons, they will be prone to injury and flare-ups in the future. There are many good physical therapy and sports websites out there which can give good advice on the best exercises.

The product line for Reflex Whey protein has since changed since 2007 – 2009, but there are many good options to choose from.

After I recovered from Cipro-induced tendonitis, I never developed it again.

Vegan protein powders


#2. Bromelain supplements

Bromelain is found mainly in pineapples. It’s non-toxic and has been found to be safe in humans while retaining its proteolytic ability once absorbed. 

Bromelain has been studied a lot for its ability to enhance soft tissue healing, but it also has numerous other benefits such as improving sinusitis symptoms, treating diarrhea, speeding up recovery from surgery, blocking pro-inflammatory cytokines which cause tissue destruction, and can improve cardiovascular health.

How much I took

I took one capsule per day away from food. Usually first thing in the morning!

Why I supplemented with bromelain

Based on the research I did at the time, I concluded that adding bromelain would be a good idea because of its powerful anti-inflammatory effects. There was a good amount of evidence that it helps promote healing in sports injuries as well as improve pain and swelling associated with arthritic conditions (something that many ‘floxed’ people report).

Bromelain has been found to promote tendon recovery by increasing the tenocyte population [2].

This is the Bromelain supplement I recommend.


#3. Magnesium supplements

I’ve always had issues with being more susceptible to magnesium deficiency and that’s why I have to always supplement it despite getting over the recommended daily allowance from my diet.

How much I took

I took between 300-400 mg of magnesium citrate (powder form).

Why I supplemented with magnesium

So, in my research, I came across studies that indicated diets that are deficient in magnesium may lead to a great risk of damage from taking quinolone antibiotics. Studies indicate that quinolone-induced toxic effects could be prevented by magnesium supplementation.

In a study from 2001, researchers looked at dogs that were magnesium deficient and dogs that were given ciprofloxacin and saw that in both cases there were significant biochemical alterations in tendons that would put people at risk of quinolone-induced tendon disorders [3].

Several other animal studies also link magnesium deficiency or the antagonistic effects of quinolones on magnesium availability as the reason why quinolones such as Cipro can be toxic to chondrocytes and cause arthritis [4]. Rats that are administered magnesium and vitamin E is able to diminish the damage from Cipro [5].

Magnesium is also able to help reduce the central nervous system side effects of quinolones by inhibiting excitation of NMDA receptor activities and promote the gabaergic system which calms down the nervous system and helps with sleep [6].

Check out my article here about how supplementing zinc and magnesium can improve sleep in humans, as well as my article on tips to deal with insomnia.

This is the magnesium supplement I recommend.


#4. Phytonutrient supplements

There are many different phytonutrients that can have protective effects by increasing cell protection mechanisms, up-regulating DNA repair, reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and immune system dysfunction, and protect against oxidative stress and cell death.

Although we can get many of our phytonutrients from a healthy plant-based diet, the amount obtainable from diet alone can be too small to have a significant effect. Also, many people who have a reaction from Cipro report sensitivities from foods and have a more limited diet.

Here are a few supplements, foods, and drinks that I recommend trying out:

Green tea 

EGCG is the main active component in green tea and is able to help protect cells against antibiotic-induced toxicity in animal studies. The reason for taking EGCG is to help increase protection against central and peripheral nerve damage and cartilage destruction.

One of the mechanisms green tea protects against arthritis is by suppressing the same MMP enzymes that are linked to damage from quinolone antibiotics [7].

Green tea has also been shown in several studies to protect against different antibiotic-induced ototoxicity (hearing damage). Some of the mechanisms behind the ability of green tea to protect against hearing damage are by suppressing free radical damage, inhibiting inflammation and caspases to prevent cell death.

Drinking matcha green tea will provide significant amounts of polyphenols or you can take a supplement. I would not recommend doing both! If you would rather drink green tea,  check out my article on sencha vs matcha green tea.

I took 700 mg of AOR EGCG supplement at the time. I’ve not been able to find many places which sell AOR supplements anymore (they were my preferred supplier), but there are other brands available. I recommend at least 400 mg of EGCG.  Life extension also has a good EGCG supplement.

Green tea (beverage) also contains an amino acid called L-theanine which is able to help promote alpha waves in the brain and calm anxiety and stress. I wrote an article here on how L-theanine relieves stress and also list which green tea contains the most l theanine.

Curcumin 

This polyphenol is found in turmeric (a popular spice in Asia). Curcumin has been found to be protective against neurodegenerative disorders and also significantly improves the symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis by blocking the destruction of cartilage.

Studies show that curcumin may help prevent and even promote nerve regeneration [8].

When I got floxed I regularly used turmeric in my meals and also added to my green tea along with ginger.

Ginger 

In powder form, it can be used in teas and in food. Ginger helps to alleviate symptoms of nausea and also dry mouth.

Bilberry or Blueberry

Anthocyanins have many health-promoting effects which can aid in recovery. These include supporting eye health, stabilizing blood sugar, promoting gut health. They also help improve the structure and strength of collagen.

Polyphenols and other nutrients promote healthy stem cells and their proliferation to promote healing.

Multiple studies have shown that a combination of polyphenols and vitamins are able to increase bone marrow stem cells and may speed up healing.

In this paper, it is shown in humans that a combination of green tea, astragalus, goji berry extracts, L. fermentum, ellagic acid, beta 1,3 glucan, and vitamin D3 can increase the number of circulating stem cells.


#5. Vitamins, essential fats, and probiotics supplements

When I was floxed I started to take a supplement called “Essential Mix” by AOR. It contained all the essential vitamins and minerals as well as a few extras. In the first few months, I took a full serving and then lowered it to 50% because my diet was already a very healthy plant-based, vegetarian diet.

I haven’t been able to find this supplement for years (I think it’s been discontinued) but it was formulated well.

I would recommend taking half a multivitamin, especially if your diet isn’t that great. Any deficiencies will slow your recovery down significantly.

Aside from all the basic nutrients, the supplement I was taking also had tocotrienol (a highly effective form of Vitamin E), choline, Vitamin K2 (most multivitamins have K1), chromium, boron, silicon, vanadium citrate.

If you’re a vegan (or not) I have a review of some good vegan gummy vitamins here you can take a look at. Otherwise, just choose a multivitamin that suits your needs.

If you don’t want to take a multivitamin I recommend the following:

Vitamin C

Take 1000 – 2000 mg to help supports adrenals, the immune system, and increase collagen production. High dose vitamin C may also accelerate Achilles tendon repair by stimulating blood vessel growth and collagen synthesis.

Vitamin E

Take a mix of tocopherols and tocotrienols, as these act as powerful antioxidants and aid in recovery.

Tocotrienol supplements.

Methylcobalamin (B12)

Vitamin B12 is crucial for proper nerve function and it can help repair damaged nerves. If you’re taking a multivitamin, you could skip this supplement.

Vitamin B12 supplements

Omega 3

Essential fats help calm down inflammation, improve symptoms associated with anxiety, depression and can help support nerve health. Studies have found that omega 3 prevents nerve damage and speeds up nerve regeneration [8].

Although recent studies have concluded that omega 3 may not benefit people with dry eyes (something people who are floxed may suffer from), I found that omega 3 completely eliminated symptoms of dry eyes when I took it after taking Cipro.

Omega 3 supplements from algal oil.

Probiotics

Quinolones, just like all antibiotics, destroy our microbiome and this can exacerbate certain symptoms like inflammation and neurological side effects. Probiotics are useful in preventing the occurrence of pathogenic bacteria from taking hold in the bowel.

Probiotic supplements.



What to expect when you take supplements

Recovery from being “floxed” by quinolones can be a long process. Supplements can help speed up recovery and prevent further damage.

Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure for this problem other than supporting your body and mind to heal from the damage. For some people, the recovery process is just a few weeks (very mild reactions) while others with a moderate to severe reaction can take years.

When I was affected, I had a lot of symptoms but thankfully most of them disappeared within the first 12 months and then they were completely gone by two years. I could function more normally after about 14 months out from taking Cipro.

Altogether, I was taking over 100 different nutrients (including all those in the multivitamin) and I believe this helped me recover quite fast relative to many other people. I spoke to people who got affected after taking quinolones for many years, and unfortunately many of them never fully recovered.

We went about our recovery in very different ways. While many people were afraid to supplement and be proactive due to being worried about side effects or a flare-up of symptoms, I was absolutely 100% determined to recover.

And that’s exactly what I did. Not only did I recover, but I felt even better than I ever did. You can see the extent of my problems after taking Cipro by checking out this forum. I posted on others, but they have since been shut down (including the Yahoo Group I was a member of).

If you have any questions about my recovery or the supplements I listed here, please let me know below in the comments.

I wish you well and a very fast recovery from Cipro! 🙂 

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28 Comments

  • Congratulations on your recovery! I admire your proactive approach and determination. I too healed from serious illness, and your article brings to mind a saying my mother had, “when there is a will, there is a way!”

      • Hi it’s been almost three days after taking Cipro hcl 500 mg tab for one week as I took 1 tablet 2 times daily. Just before returning to work I felt dizzy, light headed I thought I was really going to black out so I sat down waited about ten minutes stated to walk again the same thing happened. I felt like a bug was in my stomach, my ❤️ was racing. It took a good 45 min until I felt better. As my day went along and after reading the side effects of this drug I was in shock knowing that I started to develop such side effects although am praying that the sides effects will just go away. I went back to work however it wasn’t the same energetic me. I found myself tired at work which is not the norm.
        Am into the fourth day without Cipro now am having diarrhea, feeling very tired, not sleeping properly, seems like am developing more frontal headache. Am happy God has brought me to read how I will take care of my health from this point after reading your article, much appreactive as doctors wouldn’t have been able to see me through this one. I thank the creator. Will let you know the end results.

    • Hey… Thank you for your suggestions. I’ll try to reach out to people who’ve been affected and ask what supplements they’ve found helpful. I’m guessing of the forums have been closed down now, so people hang out in Facebook groups?

  • Congrats in the recovery. Victimized by Cipro a week ago at 58. Joint aches, lightheadedness, brain fog and difficulty sleeping. I am going to give your suggestions a try. Any thoughts on interactions of these items? Also, would be interested in your vegan diet basics.

    Thanks

  • Hello Matt, I am 19 years old and took Cipro a total of five times. I began to have tingling on my left side of my face, arms, and hand. After about three weeks, those symptoms went away. However, I will have random pop-ups of tinglings. Additionally, my anxiety has been so terrible since the reaction. I have had some other side effects pop up even after the initial side effects had gone away. Your blog post and information about supplements are fantastic. I am going out today to get some supplements to continue my road to recovery.

  • Matt,
    Thanks for your article. I appreciate every recovery story I can find since there are so many horror stories online. I’m about 10 months into symptoms from Cipro–which has mainly affected the ligaments surrounding my knees but also my elbow tendons to a lesser extent and at times my ankle tendons. I’m only 29 and have no previous medical history but I was biking a lot when I took Cipro to train for a 200-mile ride and I think that might be why I was affected. The problems started with my knees and became worse over the following several months. I’ve stopped biking but I’m still walking as much as possible and do physical therapy exercises. It will feel like I’m making progress but then I’ll have a bad week. I don’t know if you experienced similar ups, downs and setbacks. Anyway, I hope I’ll be able to share my full recovery story someday soon.

    • Hi, my name
      Is Lydia and I was on this for 7 day taking 2 pills a day and my wrist have been hurting, I was just thinking okay it must be arthritis, but after reading this maybe it isn’t. How long have been we’re people taking this and have lingering side effects?

  • Hi Matt, on may levels, I thank you for this post. I was floxed a week ago today. I quit the meds after googling my symptoms (immense brain fog, dizziness, and general malaise) six days into a ten day prescription. Two days after quitting, my joints started cracking (as in the popping sound when you crack your finger joints). I experienced the most anxiety I’ve ever had in my life when I laid in bed reading about the potential for irreversible effects as I experienced nerve twitching, never pain, muscle pain, etc. I went to a hospital emergency the day after. The doctor informed me that ciprofloxacin softens collagen. He said the collagen would be back to normal in about 5 – 6 days. While my joints are popping less, and while my shoulders (tendonitis/bursitis) seem to be getting better or at least stabilizing, my Achille’s tendons and all legs muscles are worse (or as bad) than than they’ve been since ingesting the poison a week ago.

    It was comforting to effectively read from you that it’s a three steps forward, two steps back recovery process. This week I dug deeply into herbal/natural remedies to detoxify from the fluoride in the medication. I’ve been taking nascent iodine, among many other supplements including Cali tea by Sunrider (natural, decaffeinated green tea with many other herbal additives that detoxify the body – Sunrider makes top-end products by a gent names Dr. Chen that I encourage your readers to check out). I’m also expecting a box of Borax (detoxifies your body from fluoride) – I intend to take 1/8th of a teaspoon daily.

    I have a long list of things that I’m taking. While my condition has worsened in some areas since my last dose (you all know the symptoms), I feel some improvement in others. I’m 47, but otherwise felt like 27 health-wise before this happened. Today I’m walking like a 97-year old man to give my tendons a rest after a twenty-minute walk yesterday that may have put more strain on my tendons than they were ready for. While here, my hip joints have also taken a beating.

    This all said, some days I’ve had full confidence that I’ll fully recover while at its worst, I’m more scared than I’ve ever been in my life that I won’t. The second saddest thing about this all was that I didn’t even need the medication. Had the doctor actually run a urine sample the first time, and warned me of the risks in taking the medication and suggested I wait two days for results rather than simply prescribing the medication to me without the test, I’d never have taken this medication unless I was otherwise on my death bed in need of such an antibiotic.

    Lastly, the literature from drug-informing websites claim that such reactions to cipro are rare with the risk of tinnitus for example, which I now have (always there, sometimes worse than other times and today for the first time has been changing in terms of pitch and volume), has a .01 – .1% chance of developing. I’ve always been a really healthy and strong person – I always think that I’d never be one of the unlucky ones. I find it hard to believe that the odds of these adverse, and potentially deadly effects are as low as they’re claimed to be. It’s INSANE that neither the doc or pharmacist warned me or gave me anything to read up on about the risks. And yes, it’s sad that I didn’t do my own homework. The doctor told me it was a great medication – I took his word for it.

    I’d love for an opportunity to speak with you if only briefly if you’re open to a call.

    Thanks again for your thoughtfulness. I’m happy for you you that you’ve recovered and am grateful for the hope and advice you’ve given your readers and me.

    Darcy

    • Hi Darcy,

      I hope you’re feeling somewhat better since you left this message? I’ve been away working on other things and haven’t really updated the blog in a while but I do intend to do so soon. I could also perhaps expand a bit more on this topic in the future as well.

      After taking Cipro and having a moderate to a severe reaction, I think it’s hard to imagine that things will get better in just a few days. I’ve read hundreds of stories and spoken to many people back on the old Yahoo Group as well as forums that used to exist (they seem to be down now.) I guess they’ve all moved to Facebook groups?

      There are reports though that recoveries do happen, at least in the studies on PubMed, within weeks to months. That’s the kind of time frame I’d expect. One thing I noticed after the acute symptoms settled was a tendency to injure myself over and over in the same spots. This persisted for quite a while and I had to realize my limits.

      Eventually, I was able to build myself back up again so that I could do just as much as before and not have to worry about getting injured. The key is taking it very slowly with stretches, weight-bearing exercises, and working back up to your previous level of fitness. The good news is that I felt even healthier later, a few years after Cipro, than I did before.

      I hope the same for you too…

      I have tinnitus also but it really doesn’t bother me. It’s something that I had prior to Cipro… probably from playing in bands. 🙂 It’s very low for me, so 99% of the time don’t hear it. But if I listen to it, it’s there.

      Be careful about what meds you take in the future as some can make it worse…

      I personally don’t believe that the side effects are as rare as they make out to be either. I think my own case was probably made worse by being low in magnesium (maybe) – since I had issues with it before. In animal studies, it does make then more susceptible to side effects…

      That being said, my mother has taken Cipro many times and hasn’t had any issues. Same for my uncle.

      Perhaps we can talk some time.

      Matt

  • There’s no recovery from cipro. Cipro cripples and kills people. I can’t comprehend why doctors still prescribing this poison. You can spend all your money in supplements and you won’t recover from this poison. If you were healthy before cipro, you are not going to be the same after Cipro. Cipro kills slowly the mitochondria in your cells creating all kind of ailments in your body.You will suffer from bone and articulations pains, stomach ulcers or constipation, imsomnia, stress, unexplained weight loss, your mobility will be reduce greatly, and people will wonder what happened to you, why you are moving like a 90 year old sick person . All this symptoms and more will last until you punch out. Thanks to the devil’s pill that a doctor prescribed named Cipro. The recovering from this will never happen.

    • Hi Juan,

      Sorry that you feel that way 🙁 I do understand how severe some people are affected by these antibiotics and I would never recommend them to anyone. However, I was affected on my birthday on October, 21st, 2007. I joined the Yahoo Group that was up at the time and a few forums and there have been many awful stories and I too was extremely worried that I would never recover and be normal again.

      But I did recover, and it’s now been 13 years and I don’t experience any of those side effects and I haven’t for a very long time. After I was affected, I got stronger and felt healthier than ever before. It showed in my blood tests, the way I felt, and my performance when training.

      I too suffered from severe insomnia after the very first dose of Cipro. I could not sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time and nothing worked. This went on for 4 months straight with intense nightmares almost every night. After 4 months, I noticed that I was gradually able to sleep for longer and longer. It took over a year or so before I could say that I was sleeping well again but sometimes certain things would easily trigger insomnia (things that would not do so in the past.) But this eventually also went away.

      I now sleep perfectly well and have no trouble falling asleep or staying asleep (two issues I had after cipro).

      I have not experienced Achilles tendinitis at all since it healed around 2009. I have done lots of training, particularly running, and kung fu in that time. At first, I was much more prone to injuries of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles – like many of us were after these antibiotics – but that went away also as I trained my body to become stronger.

      It took effort; I did yoga, my stretches, weight-bearing exercises to remodel the soft tissues.

      Some mitochondria (depending on the cell) only last a few days and are replaced. I know there are many delayed side effects that come with it (things that pop up months after…) but it’s like a domino effect where the system is trying to rebalance and correct itself, but in doing so, that sometimes means the cells have to be destroyed to be replaced. If the cell is damaged, it will try to repair it, but if it can’t do that, it will eventually die. But these cells are replaced by stem cells in the body (younger people can recover better…)

      We see the delayed effects in other kinds of treatments too, such as chemo. Where neuropathy that feels like burning, tingling, can appear 6 months later. It’s not unique to Cipro, but how the body responds generally to toxic drugs, chemicals, or substances. I too had this tingling and burning sensations and they completely went away and never came back.

      This is me recently… I’m not moving as slow as a 90-year old: https://youtu.be/v4_JaPirRHQ

      You might be in distress with no hope, but many people like me do recover and that hope needs to be there to fight through it.

      There is no miracle cure, you’re right. But there are things that do help.

      I hope for your recovery… So sorry that you’re experiencing this. 🙁

  • Thank you for sharing, I took a Cipro and flagyl in February 14th. The thing I’m dealing with the worst is my balance. I feel liquid move around in my head and I don’t know if it’s allergies or what but I do need to supplement with some vitamins because I lack vitamin k, b2, and d3. I’m taking magnesium and I think I’m gonna start drinking tamarind paste today. Thanks for giving us some hope. God bless you

  • Thank you so much. Currently suffering gastro issues, tendonitis or tendonopothy.. freaked out. Any new protocol you’d suggest since initial post. Thanks.

  • I took Avelox in January 2020. I have been recovering ok but was excited about finding your info on healing. Bromelain, day 2…made my life so much better. I take mag and other supplements, but will definitely be doing tumeric, green tea etc. Still have pains, nerve issues, but I can walk now and started lifting very light weights. Amazing compared to how I was during my first couple months. Just wanted to thankyou for sharing.

  • Hello,0,
    I was given Cipro this past March after a procedure on my liver. It took it for 4 days (should have been 7 but I stopped early due to effects). Prior to this I had no problems with digestion whatsoever in my life at anytime. Since Cipro, I cannot digest anything with wheat, no beans, nothing with any amount of fiber in it and my digestion in general is awful. I have been taking a probiotic since March and continue with supplements I’ve taken long term including magnesium, flaxseed oil Vit d3, biotin, COQ10, marshmallow root and slippery elm. Sure hope I feel better soon. This really saddens and worries me. This drug should be taken off of the market. Please advise if you have any suggestions.

  • Hi, thanks for much for posting this. I just took Cirpo last week, and now I’m going crazy with all the symptoms. I was a healthy 23 year old woman. Now, my life has turned. I am just wondering if u ever encountered eye issues or see any neurologist? I couldn’t sleep at all for the last three nights.

    • So sorry that you’re suffering from taking Cipro! I got floxed around the same age as you and it was quite rough for a few months but things did get much better. The main thing is that I was proactive in my recovery right from the start (as I mentioned in this post).

      I had lots of eye symptoms, some that were more obvious included: floaters in my vision, flashing light in my eye, dry eyes (fish oil at the time helped a lot), and my eyes would take longer to adjust from being outside to going inside. I also had this static vision thing going on, too. All of these symptoms aside from a few harmless floaters (don’t even notice them…) went away. 🙂

      As for insomnia, it was hell… for 4 months. I could not sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time and I had terrible nightmares. I had sleep onset and sleep maintenance insomnia (never had insomnia in my life prior to Cipro). This gradually got better and better but most of the improvement came after 4 months I think. After that, I started to sleep longer and longer, until I could sleep right through. I think my sleep was pretty much back to normal after a year or so, but even well before then, it was still pretty good again and I could function fine even if I had to fall back asleep again in the middle of the night.

      I had to just roll with it, accepting insomnia, and then I simply stopped worrying about it. You need to try to do this otherwise you can develop something called “learned insomnia” where you associate bedtime with not sleeping.

      I stayed awake watching movies, I did things to take my mind off it, and then I slept when I could. I put the radio on very low in my room, kept it fairly cold, and took some herbal tea to help relax me. I also took l-theanine, and magnesium. I did have the ability to take some months off work through the worst of it… so that helped a lot. I just accepted it and did not worry, knowing that it would pass.

      I never saw a neurologist because I knew what happened. However, if you have any doubt, then perhaps you should see one?

      The recovery was up and down but I had zero doubt that I would fully recover. And I did fully recover and have no symptoms. I felt HEALTHIER and YOUNGER years after I got hit by Cipro.

      So there is hope, but you gotta try to keep calm, do what you can to support your body and mind in healing, and let time go by until your body repairs.

      Try not to worry… You’re young and you can recover from it despite the horror stories you might hear.

  • I just stopped Cipro yesterday after taking 500 mg BID x 4 days (I was supposed to take it for 14 days total). Both of my knees started hurting after taking a walk after 7 doses of Cipro. Then, pain on the inside of both ankles and both elbows. After reading the side effects, I called my GI offi e who ordered it for an ecoli intestinal infection and I was told to stop it. I’m so frustrated after reading more about the potential side effects of Cipro….Why in the world would my GI CNP order this as a first line of treatment?!?!?! I’m already taking magnesium, B12, B2, a MVT which includes D3/K2, Omega 3 as well as GI Revive. I’m scared to take a walk or exercise but will search PT exercises for gentle stretches as you mentioned. Thank you for giving me hope that this won’t be permanent damage.

  • Hi Matt,

    About 3 weeks ago my dentist prescribed me Cipro. I instantly got pretty much all the side effects, unfortunately memory and confusion were 2 of them and didn’t realize what was happening until 13 pills into it. By that time I had neuropathy in both arms and legs, extreme muscle weakness everywhere, crazy exhaustion, fatigue, I can barely swallow or breath, I’m dizzy and faint feeling all the time, still confused and having memory issues, super bad case of thrush, and of course a rash all over my back and stomach! It’s also caused really bad anxiety and manic feelings and some pretty worrisome depression. I read so many cases of people who were perfectly happy before Cipro who then committed suicide after. I’m terrified with it only being three weeks its going to get worse before it gets better.

    I’m going to my doctor today to see what he can do about the rash and thrush and anything else and already made my list to get all the supplements you recommended. I really do hope your method works, it has to…

  • On August 3 2020 I was prescribed a 10 day course of Levaquin 750 mg. For a UTI.
    Dr advised first dose evening of the 3rd and next dose in the morning.
    On the first day I developed unimaginable abdominal pain , spasms and cramps. Spiking BP and very rapid heartbeat. Dr advised me to go to ER.
    Since I was recovering from pelvic floor surgery an abscess was suspected so a CT was ordered. Lots of blood work including cultures as I am a previous victim of Sepsis.
    I asked about possible drug problem but it was not investigated. No treatment was given for BD aNd heart rate that alone were a medical emergency. Told I only had UTI I was sent home.
    I continued the Levaquin for 5 more days and was in unbearable pain . Developed watery diarrhea and could not eat.
    Starting researching the drug and discovered all of my symptoms matched much of what is known about this drug. I also found out that the high dose I was on , 750 mg. Is a 5 day course. I already had taken for 8 days .
    I quit there and then and within 24 hours I started to improve. I am now 5 days off of it. I am extremely weak and lightheaded. I have insomnia. No appetite but I am eating nutritiously. Just started back on my supplements. Praying that I will fully recover. Thank you for helping with all the information on here.

  • Hi again Matt!

    So another five days have gone by and things seem to be progressing fairly quickly… the neuropathy is a little worse, the muscle weakness and exhaustion is extremely worse along with the fatigue. My ability to swallow is a little better, I contribute that to the thrush getting better – I stopped using nystatin and started alternating between baking soda and apple cidar vinegar. But I still can’t breathe. My head is still all cloudy, no memory, can’t concentrate, lots of anxiety, plenty of depression when I never had any. And I’m drinking a TON of filtered water with trace minerals added back in and totally never pee? And that never happened before cipro.

    I did start all the supplements you suggested. So I’m praying they work.

    Also, I went to my personal care physician, that I’ve seen for years. I have a great relationship with him and he’s always seemed so open about all kinds of strange types of things. Now all of a sudden the man thinks I nuts. Trying to tell me I have MS. He wants me to get an MRI. Keep in mind 4 months ago, I had a concussion, I was unconscious for 6 weeks and had neuropathy so bad for 4 more weeks I couldn’t walk. I had 6 MRIs, a spinal tap, and was tested for EVERY disease known to man. I’m pretty certain they would have found MS. I’m just so let down by modern medicine.

    Thank you for posting this information. This is about the only thing that has giving me hope this past month! Before I read this I was certain I would end up in a wheel chair or taking my own life…

    • Sorry to hear that some things are getting worse. This is to be expected… I had things coming and going for months and they would generally cycle. WIth each cycle the symptoms were a little less intense. Make sure that you’re eating well, don’t eat too much… sometimes be a little hungry but don’t go for days without food. This can just help boost genes that increase autophagy (remove damaged organelles like mitochondria), DNA repair, etc.

      What do you mean by “can’t breathe” ? Do you feel your chest is tight or you can’t get enough air? Try to control the anxiety if you can, as it can spiral out of control. It’s happened to me in the past (unrelated to Cipro). I highly recommend Dr Harry Barry (check out his Google talk and his channel on YT). His strategies for stopping anxiety and panic attacks were extremely helpful for me and they worked. It’s not intuitive, so try to watch!

      Flagging Anxiety & Panic | Dr. Harry Barry | Talks at Google
      https://youtu.be/ZE9vllbn9Rc

      Here’s his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnadtVqAT6z20QdoXW-xLjw

      The quinolones and all the symptoms will likely cause further anxiety (not just the drug induced anxiety), so you need to get that under control if you can and try to remember that you will get passed this and you will recover. Try not to be afraid or panic about what has happened. It’s like a storm that you just have to ride out while suporting your body… Be easy on yourself though and don’t get frustrated with setbacks.

      I’m guessing you’ve had lots of blood work done to check ferritin, kidney functino, liver function, glucose, inflammation, etc?

      Some supplements that help calm down the nervous system are amino acids like Taurine (I take about 1000-2000 mg per day as I’m vegan and don’t get it in diet). It is especialyl helpful against certain type of neuropathy. And also l-theanine (400 mg per day). Yogi Sleep teas with ingredients such as Valerian root and chamomile were helpful.

      Sorry to hear that your doctor thinks you’re crazy. I was fortunate that my doctor always listened to me and he learned from my experience. The journey to recovery doesn’t have to be something you go through alone though. There is a lot of support out there, but try not to get to down about the really bad stories…

      You know what happened… You just need to make sure that your body is functioning and you’re not in any immediate danger (hence why I recommend blood tests to rule things out). Then you can just take it slow and recover.

      I wish all the old forums and Yahoo group was still up and running. I documented my recovery for many months quite extensively. But I have mentioned here some of the main things.

      Some of these symtpoms like neuropathy or autonomic issues are not unique to quinolones in that they can show up months after. It’s just the way the body deals with damage, trying to repair and then ultimately killing the cell to regenerate new.

      If you have lots of symptoms, they can stem from dysfunction in a system in teh body. So for example, if Cipro messed up the GABA system in the brain, you can get 20+ symptoms just from that alone. One this resolves, they all go away.

      Please listen to Dr. Harr Barry. It’ll just prepare you to better deal with anxiety that comes along with being floxed.

      It’s still very early days… you will get a lot better!!

      I was already healthy prior to Cipro, but I was even healthier and stronger AFTER I recoverd. So don’t believe that you’re damaged forever.

      Take care of yourself and please update me from time to time about your progress and also feel free to ask any questions!

  • I took Ciprodex for an ear infection. 1 dose of 4 drops and felt pain increase, stabbing and throbbing pain in my ear, burning inflammation in my jaw, weird taste in my mouth, weird numbness in tongue, some loss of taste. Loss of hearing. Days later I was told to try it again that perhaps the symptoms increased due to water in the ear. Why I listened to the ENT Specialist when he told me to take this again, I am still struggling with. But I took another 4 drops in my right ear and biggest mistake, immediate intense pain, burning inflamation and throbbing in jaw and throat, stabbing pain in the jaw/ear, hard to swallow. My eyes were swollen and my face looked crooked. My right side much more swollen than left. I was in agony!!! Went back to doctor, he brushed off my symptoms, said it could be because I was sleeping in recliner instead of bed. I could not sleep in bed because the pain intensified when lying down. I had to press him to do something for the pain and inflammation so he prescribed a steroid. They make the throbbing pain stop, but still inflamed and hard to swallow and eat, jaw feels like its out of place and my bite is different. It’s hard to chew. Once the steroid wears off, the throbbing begins again and stabbing pain begins again on and off. I reported this to Novartis and they had no suggestions for how to reduce pain. I began my own remedies to try and subside the inflammation, I make turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, coconut milk tea. I do protein shakes with blueberries, I do a green shake of dandelion green, cucumber, celery, avocado, coconut water, cilantro. I eat mostly scrambled eggs because it’s hard to chew. I am supplementing with NAC and now will add bromalin based on learning that helps as well. My first concern is to make the pain stop. Still in disbelief that 8 drops of this could do such damage, but I am a very informed about my body and how it reacts to things as I tend to be sensitive to meds and strong scents, etc. There is zero doubt that this med caused this. Especially since I reacted on first dose, stopped it, pain still present which is why I was referred to an ENT. Then the second dose literally threw me into marked increased intensified pain and symptoms. Every symptom was magnified immediately upon second dose. I can only pray that I can completely recover from this and that the damage is not permanent. On another note, I took levequin in 2008 for a sinus infection, three rounds of it, that threw me into adreanal fatigue and taxed my thyroid (I am now hypo thyroid), I learned that it is in the same family of drugs. So toxic.

  • Thanks for writing back!

    I am trying to eat. I don’t have much of an appetite. Most of my nutrition seems to be coming from the supplements and my morning protein drink lately but at least that’s something.

    The not being able to breathe is more like more lungs just can’t hold that much air anymore and every since I took the Cipro it feels like I can barely swallow too. It’s not a very good feeling. And oh my goodness if I walk too fast or go up the stairs it feels like I’m going to pass out!

    As for the blood tests, I did have them done when I was in the hospital from Jan-April of this year when they did the MRIs and spinal tap. They tested for MS, Lyme, epstein-barr, gullian barre, kidneys, liver function, blood count levels, they checked for different viruses and bacteriaes, i mean they literally searched for everything… The only thing they could come up with was I small discrepancy in the white matter in my brain likely caused from a concussion I received a few weeks early. Which eventually caused me to fall unconscious and when I did wake up my legs didn’t work and I didn’t know who I was and had amnesia, hence all the tests. And why my doctor for some reason wants to repeat. BUT the problem being when I was younger I was an IV drug user, I literally do not have a single vein, like when I had my son two years ago they couldn’t find a vein with the ultra sound machine even for the IV so to even get an IV for the contrast for an MRI that I don’t even need (or to have blood tests done) I would have to get a picc line which wouldn’t be very much fun. But I suppose I should look into sooner than later. It’s all just really bad timing. One car, my dad working, mom had a stroke, she’s trying to work half paralyzed, son just went back to school 30 minutes away, 2 year old at him, mom has physical therapy twice a week, I’m all screwed up… it’s just a mess.

    Oh! But the anxiety. I don’t think it’s so much anxiety over like worrying about the symptoms I’m having i think it’s literally the Ciprp just messing with my CNS. It’s also causing depression too. I’ve never had depression before. Like I’d see this commercials and they’d say this drug may cause suicidal thoughts or actions and I’m over here like how the f?! But now I’m like okay, I get it… I mean I’m not at a point where I want to kill myself, but this stuff has my head so twisted where it has me feeling like I’d be okay with not being alive anymore. And oh my God, I’ve never felt like that! During the day I play with kids, and at night when I put them to bed I come out side and smoke cigarettes and listen to music and talk to my friends online… now for the last month I silently watch them play and at night I silently smoke , no music, no friends, just stare at the ground… this is probably the most social interaction I’ve had in the last four weeks. And it’s like I’m not even sad about it, I’m just numb to pretty much everything. The Cipro has somehow turned off everything? Happiness, sadness, fear, joy, excitement, hate, love, I mean even my feelings towards my children as fucked up as that is to even say! One of the supplements I got was amino acids, so hopefully that can help with the anxiety and especially this depression and other especially issues. And then the memory and confusion issues too.

    I’ll check out the videos you suggested to. Really anything to help.

    I guess my main question and I don’t know if you can answer because it’s probably unique to each individual, but how much worse will it get before it gets better? Like week one was terrible. Then week two was worse. Week three I thought it couldn’t get worse. Week four I realized I was wrong about that. Then this morning I woke up like are you serious?!?! I just feel like I’m half ready to give up already. Like I’m only a month into and I’m remembering all those stories I read people wrote about their loved ones that committed suicide due to fluoroquinolone toxicity and I’m like really I don’t know how much more I can deal with. I can handle the physical. I went through heroin withdrawal, it wasn’t fun but I did it with no withdrawal medication just fine. But this Cipro in mind is literally driving me crazy.

    Sorry to use you as a therapist. Like I said, you’re kind of my only friend currently? 🙄

  • Thanks so much for your article. I was “floxed” 10 years ago, and my health took a drastic turn although at the time I didn’t know all of the symptoms were related. I’ve always loved to run and exercise, but over the course of 10 years, my tendons and recently arteries took a huge hit and I’ve finally put the puzzle together after many visits to the ER for chest pain, and head pain. A biofeedback test showed damage to my aorta and arteries around my brain, and that’s when I realized it was the cipro, since now the fda has warned against aortic aneurysms. I also suffer from extreme anxiety, depersonalization, nightmares, and now nerve pain in my toes, as well as weakness in my legs…things I never had before taking cipro. Long story short, I’ve been taking a number of supplements that have helped, but haven’t tried detoxing with borax and am grateful for that suggestion. Some others I’ve noticed that help are lipsomal zen (because I read in addition to the mitochondrial damage and collagen damage, cipro is a gabba inhibitor, which could be tied to the anxiety), and also I take l-arginine for circulation and hawthorne berry to strengthen the walls of the heart. I wish I had known about all of these things earlier, but am grateful to be discovering them now. Healing wishes to all..

  • Hello! I think i ve been floxed.I had to take oflaxcine eye drops for a branch i got in my eye.A few weeks later i m. Having issues with hypnic jerks.This can go on the whole night.tingeling on my body and in my brain.very anxious, spasms, headpressure, elektricity feelings in my brain.Weak muscles.Is this due to the gaba receptors?And what can i do to heal it? I m taking, magnesium taurine, b conplex nac, vit c, calcium d glucarate, fish oil, cbd oil, pro biotics. I m terrified of these hypnic jerks. Will this last my shole life? Thankyou

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