Esther's Story

On February 8, 2000 my mother was given Levaquin for UTI at the local convenience or quick care center. Within 24 hours she experienced severe pain in her heels.

She was seen on February 10 by a second doctor, same clinic, he failed to diagnose the problem.

On February 15 the pain was severe and her heels had turned black. She was seen at her regular internal medicine clinic, again no diagnosis. The pain and discoloration continued and she was seen at the same clinic on February 17, he also failed.

On February 23 she was finally able to get an appointment with her regular physician who promptly diagnosed Levaquin allergy or reaction which was confirmed the same day by an orthopedic doctor with an MRI. Her Achilles tendons were partially ruptured, no repair was possible.  In the meantime Mom had taken the whole prescription of 500mg for seven days.

I have posted this information before, this is an update.  In the following years Mom  has had difficulty in walking and has fallen many times, suffering broken bones, bruises, scrapes, X-rays, more physical therapy and other problems. On March 31, 2004 she fell suffering fractures to the C2 level of her neck and her left arm. Given her age it was decided on only one surgery on her left arm and hope the neck healed on it's own in a Aspen collar. Mom suffered greatly during the two months she was hospitalized and again went through extensive physical therapy.

On July 31, 2004 Mom fell with a fracture to her right hip. Again she underwent surgical repair, remains in a nursing facility, is receiving physical therapy and experiencing pain.  Although Mom is now 89 years old, up until she was given Levaquin in 2000 she was a very active lady, had a busy social life and traveled extensively. Needless to say, that has come to a end.  In addition, my sisters and I have had our lives totally disrupted as we deal with the consequences. 

Given Medicare/HMO's reluctance to adequately provide or pay for any more than short term hospitalization it is a never-ending nightmare.

What makes me absolutely furious is that it's been over four years and we are still finding medical care providers at all levels who have never heard of Levaquin poisoning/allergy.

I have sent the petition to all four representatives/senators from my state. In 2000 I also filed reports with the FDA and Ortho-McNeil.

Last Updated 9/06/04