Linda B's Story

I took Levaquin, 500 mg., for ten days during the first week of April 2004. 

On day 10 I experienced severe pain in my right hand, elbow, shoulder, both knees, right ankle, and started with episodes of irregular heartbeats. 

I tried ice bags, Tylenol ( the only pain reliever I can take), and rest.  I stayed home from work for one day.   I checked on the internet for adverse reactions to Levaquin and found that my symptoms matched.  The prescription information said to contact my doctor immediately. 

I called the podiatrist who had prescribed the Levaquin, and he said that he "had never heard of such a reaction."  I asked him what I could do, and he had no answer.  I then called my internist and got an appointment for the following week.  My internist was skeptical at first, but he did verify that I had tendonitis in my arm.  He had no idea what to do.  I went to my rheumatologist two weeks later.  He also had no suggestions other than to try taking steroids.  I said I would wait.  I went home and checked websites and information from others who have had adverse reactions and found that  steroids could create more problems. 

I was tested for lyme disease and inflammation.  Both tests were negative.  My rheumatologist had no other ideas or advice.  I went to a cardiologist to have the irregular heartbeat checked.  On that day the irregular beat was not present and the electrocardiogram showed no evidence of a problem.  (The irregular heartbeat comes and goes- sometimes lasting for weeks at a time.) 

I have tried Milk of Magnesia, Maalox, Tums, vitamins, and a healthy diet (with plenty of protein).  Nothing seems to make a difference.  I did have a few days when the symptoms lessened, but they keep coming back.  Three months later:  my arms still hurt, my legs start aching when I walk more then a block, some days I ache all over, and my irregular heartbeat seems back to stay.  I refuse to let this stop my "normal" life.  I keep working and try to rest when I can.  I can't carry anything heavy.  I spend many sleepless nights due to pain and the irregular heartbeat.

I have spent countless hours on the internet to find any ideas  on how to remove this "poison" from my body.  Financially, I have paid for doctor's visits (co-pays) and if I try some alternative therapies such as acupuncture,  my medical insurance will not cover the costs.

Last Updated 7/12/04