Anne's Story

My FQ syndrome was caused by Levofloxacin (Levaquin) administered in a 500 mg/day doses for just under two weeks, beginning at the end of March this year.

The medicine was given to me during a stay in hospital in New Delhi to treat bi-lateral pneumonia contracted during my travels in India. It was one of a number of medicines prescribed at my admittance to hospital.

On the 8th day, just as I was about to be discharged from hospital, without any warning, I developed debilitating pain in the Achilles tendons of both legs. The hospital doctor did not diagnose the problem (other than ruling out thrombosis), but told me to continue the various medications I had been taking for another week after my return to the US.

The pain got worse from day to day and 4 days after my return, I   consulted my GP, who immediately diagnosed Fluoroquinolone ADR. He offered no treatments and told me it might last as long as 6 months.

Since that time (early April), I continue to suffer from severe pain in both Achilles tendons. Walking is very difficult a lot of the time. I am frustratingly slow, my feet just won't move and my legs feel impossibly heavy, in addition to swelling up grotesquely. Over time, I have developed a number of other intermittent symptoms, as well, including burning sensations of the skin (especially my face), electrical charges throughout the body, pins and needles and weakness in both legs and arms, occasional pain in my
wrists and elbows and swelling of arms and hands.

It is no exaggeration to say that this experience is affecting my life (and quality of life) in major ways. I feel like a shadow of myself in terms of what I can accomplish in the course of a day. Obviously, my reduced mobility is affecting my family as well. The financial burden is substantial, especially since acupuncture isn't covered by insurance.

Still, I consider myself fortunate that I am not fighting the whole range of symptoms associated with FQ poisoning. My heart aches for those whose pain and suffering is so much worse than mine. Meanwhile I wait and hope  for healing for each and every one of us.

Last Updated 06/17/04