Quinolones: A Danger Zone :: By G. Ungurean & C. Nuara

This article is actually Part II of the previous one on the horrific side effects of taking the class of antibiotics called Fluoroquinolones. That article can be found at this link.

Since writing the original piece, I have been receiving many emails, asking questions such as, “Are the effects of Cipro and the other sister drugs reversible?”

After intensive research on the effects of these horrific drugs, what Cindy and I have found is quite alarming. I even thought about not writing this follow-up piece. But I asked my husband if he would rather know the truth about Fluoroquinolones (FQ for the duration of this article) or just hold onto hope?

He answered that he would want to know the truth instead of holding onto false hope.

If you missed the original article, I am posting it here:

“WARNING: Cipro, Levaquin and All Fluoroquinolones Causing Permanent Ligament and Nerve Damage”

Below is an excerpt from an article Cindy found by a former Toxicologist (written several years ago):

Toxicology of Fluroquinolones/Quinolones [Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox, etc.] by Dr. Joseph King

“I too have been devastated by the Fluoroquinolones (Levaquin) and have some major health issues and physical damage from this drug. However, having been a former Toxicologist and a retired university professor, I began to investigate the routes the Fluoroquinolones take in the body. I was able to find the original records by the original chemist that first developed the quinolones in Germany. And here is what I have discovered and proved through clinical testing and laboratory analysis on my own blood and body tissue(s):

The quinolones (Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox, etc.) adduct to the DNA of mammalian cells. It is called a DNA Adduct. I proved this with my own blood analysis. I sent my blood to a registered Toxicology lab requesting a DNA Adduct Mass Spectrogram Analysis, and the analysis confirmed that the quinolone had adducted permanently to my DNA (every cell in my body including Stem Cells). This is how the quinolones work; this is how they were designed to kill bacteria, by adducting to the bacteria’s cell-level DNA, disrupting its reproductive (replicating) cycle and thus extinguishing itself. The same process happens with good and healthy cells throughout the body.

This adduction permanently altered the manner in which all of my cells reproduce in my body to repair tissue (including muscle, tendon, all connective tissue, organs, etc.) at the mitochondrial level. This was further proven through additional series of blood tests….

All the tests confirmed the destruction to the tissue at the cell levels of my body. The damage is permanent and progressive. Other words, the Fluoroquinolone is dissolving me, to put it into street terminology. There is NO reversing the effect. Once the DNA is “adducted,” (altered) there is no repairing it, or stopping the process-progress. The individual’s DNA has been placed on an abnormal destructive course (cycle) [de-railed] from the normal healthy cycle. Thus, all the problems that everyone is reporting after taking this drug.

The process is similar to the long-term effects of exposure to radioactive fall-out. Are there any methods to correct this alteration? Unfortunately, No. Not with the current science or medical applications that we have.

One has to treat the various medical and health problems on an ad-hoc basis with whatever works. Yes, there are things, chemicals, events, food products, supplements, and drugs that can make the condition worse or better. And there are some good lists and surveys on various web sites that all of us have reported on what works and hurts our conditions. Just as many of my former students who are now molecular bio-chemists, neuro-scientist/biologist, doctors, nuclear biologist, and molecular toxicologist have told me, “Joe, get ready to spend a lot of time in the Emergency Room.” And they have been correct in their prediction.

I wish I could offer some solutions to the adverse side effects we have all encountered from these drugs, but I have nothing. Believe me, I have investigated this from every angle, avenue, source, and every research facility world-wide. And please save your money; there is no supplement, treatment, cryo, detox, ozone, hyperbolic, flush, vitamin, nutriment, infusion, injection, patch, filter, organic compound, puncture, or holistic method that will correct and reverse the damage.

There has been a lot of talk about stopping the manufactures of the quinolone-based drugs because of the extensive damage and adverse effects from these drugs. This is NOT going to happen. These medications will continue to be prescribed UNTIL victims bring legal action directly against the doctors in their hometowns that prescribed the drug to them for treatment. Once a few doctors in a city have been hit with lawsuits for prescribing this class of antibiotics to patients, rest assured the word will travel fast throughout the medical community, and the practice will stop.

Doctors are treating minor infections with a drug that is an Atomic-bomb in the body and handing these quinolone antibiotics out like candy to patients. How sad.

My prayers are with everyone that has been damaged like myself from the Fluroquinolones.

It is not my desire to be so hopeless in my posting, but we have to face the facts and science behind the drug. There is way too much puffy fluffy garbage being posted all over the internet about fixing and reversing the damage from this drug. It is just not so. Once poisoned, you are poisoned – bottom line.

However, we must all learn to manage our condition(s) the best we can, and not depend on the medical community to help us, because they are basically ignorant on the matter; they are just not trained in med school in these areas (molecular biology, toxicology, etc.). Therefore, we must all band together and post what helps our conditions, what decays us further, and why the interactions.

For example, why do some people who take the quinolones have little side-effects, while others are blown away?

Answer: It has to do with two obscure liver enzymes (I have their code numbers if you want them) that metabolize the quinolones and thus minimizes their DNA-Adduct actions.

There are only two labs in the country that can detect these two enzymes in a blood sample (Nichols Institute Division of Quest Diagnostics, and Aurora Labs). If you have high levels of these two enzymes, you fair better and can tolerate the drugs. If your levels are low or non-existing, you hit the floor – “game over.” The drug DNA-Adducts all over the DNA chain causing widespread hits to the body. I had a 71% hit to my DNA; my two liver enzymes were extremely low, and I was hit hard by the drug. I hope this explains better the mechanics behind the quinolones [this was info that was not revealed to the FDA during the approval process for the drug(s)]….

[*A link to the full article is provided at the end of this excerpt for those who want to learn specific details about these liver enzymes and DNA adduct testing.]

In my case, and after a week in the hospital for the 14th time sick as a dog, the hospital sent me home. I could not sleep, and went into my room to watch some TV. On came an ad asking if you have ever had tendon ruptures, etc. I called the phone number the next day – this was three years ago. Talked to a New York lawyer that was putting together the class action suit against J&J. He was surprised that I was still alive. He Fed-Ex’d me all the material and stories on Levaquin. Got the package the next day, and read it.

After reading the material, I went straight to my doctor’s office, walked into his office and told his nurse I wanted to see him, and I would wait all day if I had to. Well, my doctor is an old friend of mine, and he knew the hell I had been going through, just like the rest of you, same stuff. He saw me and took me right into an exam room. I told him, “I think I have been poisoned by Levaquin?” Showed him the documents from the lawyer, and he said to me with his head buried in his hands, “Joe, you are screwed” (I cleaned up the verbiage). He did not know what to do except tell me that he had never used that class of drugs; that just seemed too dangerous. He told me to tell him whatever I wanted him to do for me, and he would.

I came home and called the Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office and asked them if they could run a DNA-Adduct test for me. I knew about the DNA-Adduct test from my old training in toxicology. They told me that they used an FBI-approved and certified Toxicology Lab, and gave me the phone number. I called the lab and the director answered.

Come to find out the director had contacts at the university where I taught, so we had a connection. She told me to fly two vials of blood up to her and she would personally run the analysis. She was aware of this problem with the quinolones, having been a certified clinical lab tech and micro biologist and a forensic biologist/toxicologist. So she did it for me as a favor. She had two other cases of the same nature from two friends of hers, and a family member.

She got the results and contacted a number of her peers to review the findings and advise on the results and prognosis. She contacted some real heavyweights in the field of toxicology, pharmaceutical toxicology, and pharmaceutical research and development, plus numerous med schools and research centers. Nobody could afford a solution to help me.

I wish I could tell you the name of the lab, but she asked me not give it out; they are not equipped to handle such a load with all of their other work they must do. Very sorry about that. But there are other tox labs out there that you can contact; I do not know the cost to perform such an analysis. They will tell you how they want the blood sample, and how to ship it to them, and you can have your doctor pull it. He does not have to order the test, BUT I AM SURE HE/SHE will freak out when you inform them of what you are going to do.”

*Link to Dr. Joseph King’s full article: “Toxicology of The Fluoroquinolones/Quinolones”

Video link: Dr. Joseph King discussing his health issues from a fluoroquinolone in an interview.

Here’s a link to another article of interest: “Fluoroquinolone Trouble Untangled” From May 2018.

It links to a good article on the Nature site but warns: “There’s a disturbing part of the Nature article, though, where some researchers in the field talk about their worries about publishing results that could affect the commercial prospects of widely used drugs. I understand companies wanting to protect themselves against unfounded accusations, and there’s an endless supply of those. This blog allows me a personal look at many of them, and they just keep on coming. But not all reports of trouble with marketed drugs are unfounded – far from it. It’s a black eye for the industry to go after honest researchers reporting their honest results.”

Here is the link to that article from the Nature website dated March 2018. It’s titled “When Antibiotics Turn Toxic.”

Gulf War Syndrome

We’ve heard about so many soldiers who came back from the Gulf War with very strange physical complaints. My husband volunteered for Special Ops in that war, and he told me that he and all other soldiers were given injections monthly. They were told that this would protect them from Anthrax poisoning. The injections were mandatory.

My husband must have high levels of the liver enzymes which protected him from horrific damage to his body from the FQ drugs.

I remember a doctor once telling me that FQ’s were first used as way to prevent Anthrax poisoning. My husband is sure that is what was given to all of the troops by injection.

From militarytimes.com New FDA warnings on Cipro may tie into Gulf War illness

During the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War, then-Navy corpsman David Ridenhour often browbeat troops in 1st Battalion, 5th Marines to take their medications — the anti-nerve agent pyridostigmine bromide and another pill, new to the market, to prevent anthrax.

Ridenhour took them. And while he doesn’t completely blame his Gulf War illness symptoms on the drugs, he was interested to learn that last summer the Food and Drug Administration toughened its warnings for Ciprofloxacin, or Cipro, saying the potent antibiotic can cause severe and sometimes permanent nerve damage.

Ridenhour has that damage, known as peripheral neuropathy, which manifests as tingling and numbness in his limbs.

“They told us to start taking the Cipro, and I didn’t know what it was for,” he said. “But I clearly remember being told it was to prevent anthrax. Until then, as far as I knew, anthrax was a sheep disease.”

It’s been well-documented that the Defense Department stockpiled 30 million doses of Cipro during the Gulf War, and 150,000 troops received anthrax vaccines to prevent infection. But less well-known is that during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, some troops actually took Cipro in anticipation of an anthrax attack.

According to Marine Corps documents, members of I Marine Expeditionary Force near Jubayl, Shaikh Isa and Bahrain International Airport and elsewhere took Cipro for a week or more as a prophylactic — although it was not approved to prevent or treat anthrax.

That approval from the FDA wouldn’t come for nine more years.

“What gives me nightmares at night is that I feel like I helped poison the guys in my unit,” Ridenhour said in a recent interview with Military Times.

Powerful antibiotics

Cipro and other fluoroquinolones — including Levaquin, Avelox and other medications with “flox” in their names — are powerful antimicrobials used to treat serious bacterial infections.

But along with potency comes a litany of precautions, warnings and side effects — information that service members and their families should consider when they are prescribed these medications, or when they request them to treat routine infections.

In 2008, the FDA added a boxed warning — its most serious alert — to fluoroquinolones, noting they can cause tendonitis and tendon rupture. In 2011, the agency added a second boxed warning, saying the medications can worsen the symptoms of myasthenia gravis.

And while the most recent warning for peripheral neuropathy is not the most severe alert, it is alarming. According to the FDA, nerve damage “may occur soon after these drugs are taken and may become permanent,” and is unrelated to dosage levels.

The warning applies to oral medications as well as those delivered by injection.

“The onset of peripheral neuropathy after starting fluoroquinolone therapy was rapid, often within a few days. In some patients, the symptoms had been ongoing for more than a year despite discontinuation of the fluoroquinolone,” according to the FDA.

In 2011, 23 million patients received prescriptions in the U.S. for Cipro and other fluoroquinolones, including 294,069 prescriptions dispensed at Defense Department facilities. From 2009 to 2012, a total of 1.2 million prescriptions for fluoroquinolones were distributed at military treatment facilities.

‘Guinea pigs’

Cipro has a long history of use in the U.S. military, dating to at least 1989 when it was tested on soldiers in Egypt for travelers’ diarrhea.

It was again widely used in the Persian Gulf War, although the number of those who actually took it is not well-documented. Former troops who wrote Military Times said they took white pills that they later figured out were Cipro when the drug became more widely recognized and distributed.

“I’m one of those Marine combat veteran guinea pigs who took those pills,” one former service member wrote. “I’m 100 percent service-connected [VA disability] because of the toxic soup we were exposed to and those damn pills.”

Biological warfare experts and retired Marine Gen. Walter Boomer, who led I MEF during the Gulf War, said precautions were taken because the threat of an anthrax attack was legitimate.

By September 1990, Iraq had achieved industrial-scale production of anthrax, had stockpiled 30 tons of the medium needed to grow more and had shown no reservations about launching chemical attacks on its own people.

“We viewed [anthrax] with as much seriousness as their potential to use chemical weapons; … I was presented by [U.S. Central Command] with these options that if we were attacked it would prevent an outbreak; so with that information, it was a fairly simple decision,” Boomer said.

Scientists have spent years trying to determine what may have caused 250,000 Gulf War veterans to develop multiple and often debilitating symptoms after the war.

Because symptoms are varied and troops were exposed to a variety of environmental hazards, from oil well fires, pesticides, vaccinations, medications and possibly nerve agents, researchers say it will be difficult to pinpoint a cause.

But Ridenhour thinks the recent FDA warning may explain some of his symptoms. “It clearly says ‘peripheral neuropathy,’ and that’s what I have,” he said.

In 2000, the FDA approved Cipro to prevent inhalation anthrax after possible exposure, the first antibiotic approved as a treatment in the event of a biowarfare attack.

During the 2001 anthrax attacks, thousands of workers at the U.S. Postal Service, the White House, the U.S. Capitol and elsewhere took Cipro. The Department of Health and Human Services requested enough to provide 12 million people with doses for 60 days.

While Cipro and other fluoroquinolones are widely prescribed, their use has leveled off since 2002. Within DoD, prescriptions for fluoroquinolones actually are waning, down 14 percent since 2009, according to Pentagon data. – source

Brethren, even though the former toxicologist used terms (in his full article) that lay people would not ordinarily understand, I think that he did a good job of explaining what FQ’s do to the DNA (every cell) inside the human body.

I know that this is very discouraging news for people who have been harmed by these drugs. But at least we have answers. And we can pray that the Lord would allow doctors and chemists to find something that would stop or at least slow down the damage being done to the DNA.

From washingtonpost.com Postal Workers Sue Maker of Cipro (article from 2003):

Four U.S. Postal Service workers have sued the maker of an antibiotic they took during the anthrax scare two years ago, saying the drug caused harmful side effects.

The lawsuit filed in Superior Court on Friday alleges that Bayer Corp. failed to disclose data that Cipro could damage nerves and tendons.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, also accuses three New Jersey hospitals of failing to provide warnings, perform exams or offer alternative medications.

Thousands of people who may have been exposed to anthrax spores were encouraged to take Cipro or doxycycline, another antibiotic. Anthrax spores were found in mail or mail processing facilities in the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Connecticut.

The anthrax attacks killed five people and sickened 17 nationwide. No arrests have been made.

Representatives from Bayer Corp., the Pittsburgh-based U.S. subsidiary of German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG, and the New Jersey hospitals said they were unaware of the lawsuit and had no immediate comment on it.

Last month, after a Philadelphia law firm announced plans for a similar lawsuit, a Bayer spokeswoman said Cipro’s label warns of side effects.

The four New Jersey postal workers suing Bayer worked at the Hamilton postal facility, where at least four anthrax bacteria-laden letters with Trenton postmarks were processed. That building has been closed since 2001.

Mail handler James Sherman said he developed pain in his elbows, knees and groin shortly after taking Cipro.

“I later complained to the hospital,” Sherman told the Star-Ledger of Newark. “But now, I walk like I’m crippled all the time. I never had these aches and pain before.” source

From Cynthia Nuara: I was prescribed Cipro two months ago, and there was no warning on the label. The only warning I had was from a doctor at an urgent care place I went to on the weekend. He said Cipro is best reserved for use when other antibiotics fail, and that in my case it could interfere with another medication I took regularly. I mentioned that I’d heard of a possibility of it causing an Achille’s tendon rupture, but he said that was rare. However, another doctor there called me on the phone when test results came in, and told me to stop the antibiotic I was on and switch to Cipro for three days.

Not only did the Cipro not work, the muscles spasms on one side that I’d suffered nearly three years before came back. I’d ended up in the ER with those; and doctors did not find the cause. Those spasms had subsided since, though the soreness had never gone away. I’d had to be very careful, especially when turning from one side to the other while lying down. But not only did these spasms come back after taking Cipro in August, other symptoms that had begun nearly three years before came back that, until that time, I had not connected with the cause of the spasms. Those symptoms were joint pain, hair thinning, and shortness of breath.

This is when a lightbulb went off in my head, and I decided to check medical records that were in an online chart to see if those symptoms three years ago had begun after I’d been prescribed Cipro. Sure enough, the proof was there. This led me to further research Cipro, and I was floored at what I found.

Those online records only went back to 2015, but I have to wonder if I got hold of all my medical records if I would find out that Cipro or another fluoroquinolone, Levaquin, that I’d been prescribed a number of times in the past had caused chronic fatigue and pain that finally sent me on a quest in 2005. At that time, I was found to have fibromyalgia and complex sleep apnea (obstructive and central sleep apnea).

With obstructive, your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep. With central, your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep because your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing (definitions from Mayo Clinic).

Having read Dr. King’s and others’ reports about fluoroquinolones causing the brain to fail to send the proper messages to the body of those susceptible, causing weakened muscles, respiratory issues and insomnia – it seems to me that it could be a contributing factor to sleep apnea.

Due to recent worsening sleep apnea, I was sent for a sleep study last week. This time the results were exponentially worse than in 2005 (And just like in 2005, the cpaps/bipaps made my central apnea worse.) Granted, I had gained weight since 2005, but here’s the lowdown on sleep apnea: untreated (as in my case since these breathing machines didn’t help), it contributes to weight gain due to increase of the stress hormone cortisol that it causes your body to produce, etc. See the Johns Hopkins 2017 report, “More Evidence: Untreated Sleep Apnea Shown to Raise Metabolic and Cardiovascular Stress.”

Here is a list of the symptoms I experienced after taking Cipro nearly three years ago:

Painful muscle spasms on my right side; increased back pain; knee pain; shortness of breath with any activity at all; hair thinning; dry eyes; intense itching, and rashes including occasional hives. The only thing that subsided were the spasms and hair thinning.

Here is a list of the symptoms after taking Cipro in August:

Painful muscle spasms in the same place; feeling like my back and hip muscles were weak and that I could collapse; worsening shortness of breath; knee and elbow pain, spasms in my legs; stenosing tenosynovitis (aka trigger finger), increased hair thinning; vision worsening; dry eyes worsening. The right-side muscle spasms have subsided “somewhat.”

Geri and I will continue to research these fluoroquinolones and case studies of those who’ve been affected.


First, here are some other articles that may be of interest to you:

Dr. Joseph King pictured here with photo and links to some articles.

Daily Beast: Floxed: Why Are Doctors Still Prescribing These Dangerous Antibiotics? (Sept 2019)

New York Times: Popular Antibiotics May Carry Serious Side Effects (Sept 2012)

Good Rx: Why Doctors Are Rethinking Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics (Jan 2019)

Wikipedia: “Ciprofloxacin”

There are also support groups on Facebook for those who’ve been affected by fluoroquinolones. May God help all who have been severely affected by these antibiotic atomic bombs that doctors have prescribed “freely,” even as a first choice to treat infections that could have been treated by less strong antibiotics, even after increasingly strong “black-box warnings” began to be issued to them since 2008 regarding the potential dangers of these drugs. (The FDA began requiring the first black box warning for fluoroquinolones after the public interest group, Public Citizen, pressured them.) Sadly, those warnings weren’t given to patients.

Fluoroquinolones should be reserved for infections that have become life-threatening due to no other antibiotic successfully treating the infection – in other words, when the benefit could potentially outweigh the risk.

Unfortunately, investigating medications that have already been on the market for years isn’t a priority for research agencies such as the US National Institutes of Health, and drug manufacturers aren’t trying to find alternatives to treat resistant infections. Why? M-O-N-E-Y. It doesn’t pay them to do so.

So, what can we do? Speak up. Spread the word about the potential dangers of taking fluoroquinolones, hold manufacturers accountable, and make sure doctors stop “killing flies with machine guns.”