Bob's Story


A train ride with my daughter in 2000. It was a wonderful day.

In January of 2001 I went to the doctor with voiding (urinating) problems.  After and digital rectal exam, my doctor diagnosed me with prostatitis.

I was put on floxin for about 12 weeks and the condition improved slightly - I was able to urinate.

When I began using the floxin, however I started getting intense rectal pain.  At the time I thought it was the prostatitis, but now I suspect the floxin actually caused the pain.

I battled with the prostatitis and in April 2001 my doctor ordered me to work from home.

I was a mainframe systems programmer with a fortune 500 insurance company.  I was in my job 20 years and earned a salary of about $90,000 annually.

My employer complied with the doctor's orders and I began to work from a bed (sitting was impossible) in 2001.  I worked from that bed with incredible pain and in April 2002 I developed another prostate infection.

When this infection kicked in the pain became unbearable.  I went to a local urologist and he put me on Cipro - for the infection and Vioxx for the pain.  I did not know at the time mixing these drugs would be my undoing.

I was cultured and bacteria was found (with the floxin I was never cultured).

About 5 1/2 weeks into my cipro/vioxx therapy I began to experience incredible tinnitus (ringing in my ears).  I called both the pharmacy and Bayer pharmaceuticals about it and they told me to continue to drugs.  They both stated the tinnitus would clear up after I was done with the prescription.

That did not happen. One Morning in May I experienced my very first ever panic attack.  It was so very very bad.  I thought I was dying.  My heart was pounding incredibly fast - and my family rushed me to the emergency room.

I told the ER doctors about the cipro and they claimed cipro didn't do this.  They refused to listen - even though the PDR states cipro can cause toxic psychosis. 

They gave me intravenous ativan and sent me home.

Things got worse.  Insomnia set in so bad I could not sleep at all.  I went into a high anxiety state.  I had not smoked for 10 years - but because of the incredible anxiety I picked up that habit again.

My life became a life of pacing all day long.  In and out the front door smoking cigarettes in a mental hell that I cannot describe in words.

We started going to psychiatrists, neurologists, neuropsychologists - all who denied cipro was the cause of my psychiatric condition.

They put me on benzodiazapenes (xanax, klonopin, ativan) and sleeping pills (ambien). 

This helped a bit for a couple of weeks - but then I developed a tolerance to the benzodiazapenes.  The dependence became so bad I was put into a rehab facility to get off them.

The people at the rehab facility denied cipro was the root of my problem and treated me like a hard core drug addict. 

I was yelled at, forced to attend meeting (I couldn't even sit still) and went through a bunch of 12 step crap that had nothing to do with my problems.  The facility I was at was supposed to be a dual diagnosis facility (they treated drug addiction as well as psychiatric problems).  That was not the case when I got there, though.  I saw heroin addicts coming down that were far better off than me.  In fact, I became a spectacle.  They all watched me as I paced the floors day and night.  I was reprimanded for not staying in my bed at night several times.  All I wanted was to get out of that place.  They locked down the phones - and I could not even call family when I needed help.

They threatened me - that if I did not cooperate with their plan - they would release me AMA (against medical advice) - in which case my insurance would not cover the very expensive visit.

I mustered up all that was inside of me and somehow convinced them I was cooperating.  My goal was to get out of that hell hole as fast as I could.

They released me with several prescriptions that did nothing - and gave me no relief.

When I got home things continued to get worse and worse.  I was psychotic.  I heard things and saw things that did not exist. I screamed and cried constantly. 

Eventually we saw another psychiatrist who said I should go on ativan only - and that my prior problems were because I was on so many different benzodiazapenes.  Again Cipro was not identified as the real cause of my horrible illness.

I was started on 2 mg of ativan for anxiety and ambien for sleep.  I got partial relief for a couple of days - and then things got worse again.  The psychiatrist kept upping my dose of ativan until I was up to 6mg's per day.  Even at that level the relief I got at first wore off.

I was a complete mess.  My family shot a video of me because they wanted any doctors we saw to see how bad the situation was. 

I cried all the time.  Rolled on the floor, could not sleep.  We finally found a kindly old doctor who put me in the hospital and took me off the Ativan. I was in the hospital for 3 days and very very sick. 

He put me on a regimen of benign drugs to help me get some relief.  I was sent home and experienced insomnia, anxiety and panic so bad I was suicidal every day.

It is now 18 months post benzo and almost 2 years post cipro.  I still suffer from horrible anxiety and insomnia.  I get nightmares.  I jerk and shake.  I feel like I drank 1000 cups of coffee every single day.  Some days are so very very bad.  I still battle with suicidal ideation.  I can't believe that a drug I took for 6 weeks 2 years ago is still affecting me so severly.

I am putting up a couple of pictures of me and my family before I was given cipro and vioxx.  Althogh I had prostate pain, I would give all my limbs to get back to that state again.  The prostatitis still is a very big problem for me - the cipro did nothing in terms of a cure.

I lost my job of 20 years.  They had to replace me. I could not work - and still can not work.  I spent thousands of dollars out of my own pocket for doctor bills, prescriptions, deductibles, etc. 

My video is up on the main site for people to see how damning these drugs are to the entire person.  Contrast that video with my pictures in this story.  It's pathetic.

I finally have 2 doctors who's care I am under that believe cipro and vioxx combined did this to me.  They only believe, however, because of the intense research I DID to provide them with plenty of documentation showing what really happened.

Why don't the doctor's know?  I had no trouble finding the information that linked my psychiatric problems to cipro combined with vioxx.

Why was I ignored?  Why wasn't I believed?  Why wasn't I warned?

I had to move my family in with my mother because of the severe financial strain this put on my family.  My wife had not worked (she stayed home to raise my then 6 year old daughter).  I've missed so much of her little life.  She's 8 years old now and daddy is still very sick.

I am currently on social security disability (primarily because of the prostatitis).  If I still didn't have that I'm sure I'd be expected to work.

Mostly now all I want is to get well.  I want to exist without being in constant pain.  I want to sleep soundly again.  I want a good night's rest.

Then I want JUSTICE.  I crave justice like a drug addict craves his drugs.  Someone must be held accountable for this.  This must be stopped.  There is no excuse for the way the medical community poisoned me - and then dumped me off for dead after they did it.

I feel so badly for all of us who have suffered at the hands of our doctors, drug companies and own FDA.

I will do everything in my power to see that this madness is stopped.  I want to encourage anyone suffering from these drugs or reading this story to get the word out anyway they can.  I'm sick of being part of a "leper colony" that is ignored and mocked by the very people that put us there.


My daughter and I waiting to go on the Wild Mouse at dorney park.


At the park, daddy and daughter, 2000.


My nephew right out of marine boot camp next to me holding my daughter. 


A picture taken 5 months after ingesting Cipro and Vioxx.


Another picture 5 months after being floxed.

This is what it looks like to be in hell.



Last Updated 4/13/04