Fluoroquinolones are a class of antibiotics used to stop or kill the growth of bacteria. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gamifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox) and ofloxacin (Floxin).
Fluoroquinolone use has drawn concern from the FDA, amonth others, prompting the organization to update regulatory warnings on the antibiotic.
And now, a woman from Oklahoma is sharing her own harrowing story hoping to spread public awareness about the serious risks associated with Fluoroquinolone use.
What Are Fluoroquinolone
Fluoroquinolones are used to treat bacterial infections, in cases where traditional antibiotics have little to no effect. They are powerful enough to treat extreme cases such as anthrax, plaque and bacterial pneumonia.
In many cases, the risks associated with Fluoroquinolones do not justify its use. Rather, doctors should only use them as an absolute last resort in special circumstances.
The FDA advises against the use of Fluoroquinolones to treat common illnesses, such as bronchitis, sinus infections, and urinary tract infections without complications. Such illnesses, they suggests are only to be treated with antibacterial medicines void of the risks presented by Fluoroquinolones.
Warning: Fluoroquinolone Risks and Side Effects
Fluoroquinolone use present serious and harmful risks to the patient. Harmful side effects are known to set in after only the first or second dose.
Side effects have been widely reported to last longer than a year and there is a possibility of permanent effects. The following are common symptoms of Fluoroquinolone use:
Long-term pain, peripheral neuropathy pain.
Pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness.
Symptoms affecting tendons, muscles, and joints, including swelling, pain, and tendon rupture.
Depression or anxiety.
Sensation changes or nerve damage in hands, feet, arms, or legs.
Dramatic impact on quality of life such as job loss, finances, and deterioration of relationships.
Oklahoman Woman Warns Of Fluoroquinolones and Peripheral Neuropathy Pain
Anna Winslow first took Fluoroquinolones to treat a simple urinary tract infection. Before Fluoroquinolone, the 62 year old grandmother lived an active and healthy life.
Now, Winslow considers it a victory if she can walk just 25 feet to her mailbox. Here is her troublesome story.
Levaquin Ruined My Life
In 2014, two days after Winslow took Fluoroquinolone to treat her urinary tract infection, she was in the back of an ambulance car with kidney failure. While in the hospital, Winslow developed pneumonia and was treated with Levaquin.
Upon returning home, Winslow reported feeling tired and weak but didn’t think it was of the Levaquin.
In 2015, a second bout with pneumonia struck and again Winslow was treated with Levaquin. By the time she left the hospital, Winslow was in tremendous pain; she couldn’t walk or touch anything.
The pain in Winslow’s hands and feet was a side effect of taking Levaquin called peripheral neuropathy. Winslow went to see her doctor regarding the terrible issue and pain.
Written within the doctor’s report were the words ‘death is imminent’. At that point, Winslow said that “if I had a gun then, I would have shot myself. The pain made me desperate”.
Winslow mentioned to her doctor it was her belief that Levaquin hurt her. Her doctor concurred, saying “I know it did”.
In addition to peripheral neuropathy, Winslow says “I couldn’t get to the bathroom on my own. I couldn’t even make a cup of coffee. I had to wear gloves because God forbid I touch something.
The pain in my hands was so bad. You sit on the couch with your arms around your knees, you don’t want your feet to touch anything”.
Consequently, Winslow’s husband quit his job as a truck driver to stay home and care for her.
I Would Have Chosen Cancer over This
Before the effects of Fluoroquinolones, Winslow withstood a triple bypass and bone cancer. Comparing her previous illnesses to peripheral neuropathy, Winslow says “I was fine when I was getting my chemo shots.
I was a little tired but at least I could walk. If I had to choose, I would keep the cancer over the side effects from Cipro and Levaquin”. Telling words, justly detailing the dire circumstances of this battle-tested woman.
Each time Winslow has her two aneurysms checked out, they grow. Winslow is ‘constantly afraid that these aneurysms are going to rupture someday.’
Winslow and her husband are angry about not being warned of the horrible side effects. Winslow says that the Cipro bottle merely warns ‘stay out of the sun’, while the Levaquin bottle ‘says nothing’.
Winslow’s Message to the Public
The gritty grandmother has a message, stay away from Fluoroquinolone antibiotics, particularly Cipro and Levaquin. In Winslow’s words, “I beg people to stay away from these drugs”.
Winslow has plans to take this to court, having contacted a lawyer to sue Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the company that manufactures Levaquin. Currently, there are nearly 800 cases pending in federal and state court involving allegation that Fluoroquinolone use causes peripheral neuropathy.