• Name: Mark

  • Email:

  • State or Country of residence: Colorado

  • Sex: Male

  • Age: 50

  • Quinolone taken: Cipro and Levaquin

  • Reason for the Quinolone: Sinus infections

  • Was a safer antibiotic tried first? : Yes

  • How long ago did you take the Quinolone?: Started with Cipro in 1995 and Levaquin in 2002

  • How much have you recovered as of now?: 80%

  • Does your doctor agree the Quinolone is the cause of your problems?: Yes

  • Do you have a history of seizures or neurological problems?: No

  • Please list anything your doctor did that helped in your recovery:  I have had to have 3 Achilles tendon surgeries.




Mark's Story

I tell this story to confirm what I is said on this website ... NEVER TAKE A QUINOLONE ANTIBIOTIC. Get your doctor to recommend something else.

Here's why:

I have had a problem with sinus infections since my mid 30's. I was given Cipro a couple of times in the early 1990's and in late 1994 I developed a couple of lumps on my left Achilles tendon.

I went to an orthopedist who immobilized my ankle with a boot for 12 weeks and then decided to operate. 5 months later I was still unable to walk and my Achilles tendon was huge. He referred me to a foot specialist who immediately told me I would have to have surgery again or I would walk like this for the rest of my life.

The second surgeon had to do a banana split cut on the tendon to remove the bad tissue, put it back together and then reshape the outside of the tendon.

This entire process took almost 2 years to recover from and neither doctor new what caused this problem. In 2002 the same thing began to happen to my right Achilles. I went back to the foot specialist that had fixed the left Achilles. He immobilized the foot in a boot for 8 weeks. During this follow-up visit he asked what I thought was a ridiculous question and lucky for me my wife was there.

He asked if I had been on an antibiotic when this had happened. I replied no but my wife reminded me of the sinus infection I had a couple months earlier. I told the doctor I had taken something that began with an "L" and I took 1 pill for 10 days. He left the office and came back with a sample of Levaquin and I confirmed that was what I had taken.

Needless to say he could not get the large lump on my Achilles to go away over another 4 weeks and I was in for my 3rd Achilles surgery. I was fortunate to have found such a skilled surgeon but again this took most of that year to recover.

Although things have been better and I can function pretty well 90% of the time I am constantly reminded of this painful time in my life whenever I put on my socks.

I just recently had another sinus infection that did not go away with a different antibiotic. The doctor prescribed Levaquin and I took it out of desperation. I know ... very dumb ... but I thought if kept my activity level down I would be OK.

My right foot is now in a boot because of the pain in my Achilles. I only hope that catching it this early I can prevent another surgery.

I will keep the boot on until I feel the drug has left my body and hopefully this time I won't have to get cut.

PLEASE let this be a warning to ANYONE ... DO NOT let any doctor tell you different. The QUINOLONE Antibiotics are dangerous and are not worth risking your future health.

I have no idea how this will affect me in my later years. I only hope I can save someone else the pain and suffering this has caused me. Take care and be responsible for yourself ... because the drug companies will not tell you what the risks are and most doctors don't know and in most cases will not believe those of us that this has affected.

Sincerely ... Mark Smelker ... Denver, Colorado

Last Updated 10/05/05