Jennifer's Story

Sure I am working, but I am in pain every hour while I work at my computer 8 hours a day. I refuse to quit. I took Cipro almost 3 months ago for a UTI.  I was given sulfa for 3 days first, but the symptoms were still there (i.e. painful, frequent urination).  So I went back into the doc and asked for more.  Unfortunately I pointed out that I had taken antibiotics 2 years earlier for a UTI and the UTI went away just fine.  I found out later that the antibiotic I took 2 years earlier was Macrobid as well as Ofloxin (both quinolones), again 2 because the UTI did not go away with just the first course of antibiotics. 

Looking back to two years earlier when I took the Macrobid and Ofloxin, the only side affect I had then that I never knew was related to the antibiotics was a terrible nightmare--one so bad that I thought I had woken my roommate up with all of the screaming I was doing in my dream.  I even asked her about it and sent a note to my boyfriend about how bad the dream was.  Anyway, I was also really, really sleepy all of the time I was on the antibiotics as well, but I had no other side affects.  So that is why I suggested to the doctor that we use the same ones (unbeknownst to me what I was about to get myself into). 

Well, for some reason the doc gave me Cipro instead of Ofloxin this time.  I took 250mg twice a day for 3 days.  I felt fine when I was on it, but I remember when I was on a 5 hour flight my first day of taking the pills, that I had trouble getting my arms comfortable because the guy next to me was hogging the armrest.  Still I fly frequently and had never noticed this problem before. On my daily walks the week after I stopped taking the Cipro, I noticed my left elbow hurt badly.  Then 2 weeks after I stopped taking the Cipro, my shoulders started killing me at work.

 Well that was about 2.5 months ago, and my shoulders still hurt as I type this.  I cannot hug my husband at night anymore or turn on my shoulders at all--I have to sleep flat out on my back.  I can no longer golf, go bowling, or
do the housework I like to do.

Just in the past week, I have started to get better.  I did a couple loads of laundry over the weekend. I have an apt with a rheumatologist tomorrow, though I do not have much hope since there isn't much they can do except confirm it is indeed a reaction to the Cipro and not other types of arthritis.  I know Cipro usually only affects the Achilles tendon, but for me, it affected only my upper body.  And the anti-inflammatories my doc told me to take only make it worse.

Last Updated 5/05/04