Gary's Story

June 2003, I was given a 7 day course of 500mg/Cipro to be taken twice daily for a suspected urinary tract infection.  I took all the pills in the prescription without any noticeable problems.  One week after completing the rx, I noticed small twitches in my calf muscles.  Within the next couple of weeks, I was hit with massive anxiety attacks and joint/muscle pains.  I also began to have burning sensations in my shoulders and legs.  I also started having "pins and needles" sensations in my arms and legs along with numbness.  By the third month after Cipro, I was having trouble walking due to pain and fatigue of the legs.  I struggled to pick my one year old daughter up due to muscle weakness and pain.  The muscle twitching in my calves got progressively worse and the rest of my body began twitching.

Sixteen months later, I still have muscle twitching and muscle pain/fatigue.  Just within the last two months have I noticed any improvement in regards to muscle/joint pain.  This improvement is only evident when I don't use my muscles in any strenuous way.  The slightest bit of exercise brings on the aches and pains.  But that is still an improvement over the constant pains/aches that I've experienced since the onset over a year ago.  For me, the overwhelming anxiety was the first to fade, probably about 5-6 months after completing the Cipro.  That said, I still struggle with minor anxiety to this day.

The cost of this ADR to my family is something that can't effectively be measured.  I have basically lost a year of my daughter's life.  She is now two years and three months old, and I was basically locked in this hell for the past 13-14 months.  That is time that can never be recovered, and the guilt associated with that absence is something I will carry forever.  1-2 year old children can't grasp the fact that daddy is sick and can't play with them.  In regards to my wife, it has been a struggle for her as well.  She had to watch me go from a person that was strong and independent to one that could barely get out of bed.  The pain and anxiety have caused depression on my part and that has hurt our marriage in ways that I don't even fully understand.  Hopefully there will be healing for the two of us once this nightmare of Cipro has abated.

Luckily for me, I am self-employed.  If not, I most assuredly would have lost my job.  For the first three-four months, I would only work one to two hours a day.  And during that time i was not very productive.  There were many days that I couldn't muster the strength to even make it in.  While I still have a job, my company has suffered in my absence.  As a business owner, much of my income depends on relationships that are developed with my customers.  During the past year, many customers have left because I was unable to maintain those relationships.  Hopefully, i will be able to repair some of the harm done to my business by Cipro.  It is like a ripple effect that damages every aspect of your life and is so much more than just an adverse drug reaction.  It is a life altering tragedy.

Last Updated 10/26/04