It all started off in January 2002. I
was diagnosed with epidydimitis (which was obvious due to my symptoms and
warmth of the scrotum) and prescribed amoxiciclin combined with clavulan
for 7 days. As soon as I had finished the course, symptoms returned.
Unfortunately my doc went on vacation, so I had to visit the ED of the
university hospital to obtain more antibiotics.
The diagnosis was confirmed by ultrasound and no bacteria were found in the
urine. (the absence of a positive culture does not necessarily rule out an
infection of the testes and prostate). I was put on a course of Doxicycline
(Vibramycin)for 4 weeks, with no tolerance problems at all. The Doxy
improved my swelling of the scrotum and eased the pain. However, throughout
the year 2002, things were never quite back to normal. Dull pain persisted.
An effort to check prostate fluid and/or ejaculate was not made. (Recurrent
epidymitis with a negative urine culture is strongly suggestive of
involvement of the prostate). However, residual urine was considered
to be "relatively" high for a person of my age as measured by ultrasound. In
the course of that year 2002, I noticed intense pain in my prostate after my
daily ejaculation sessions, which would last for about 1 hour.
(Masturabation significantly improved my symptoms.) This is when I started
suspecting that something was wrong.
In May 2003 (20 months into the problem) I agreed to have a cystoscopy
performed for bladder inspection.
This is where I made my life-altering and stupid mistake. I was convinced
that a flexible fibre cystoscope would be used. (I had informed myself on
the internet that flexible cystos are o.k., as they were only using this gel
anesthetics for the urethra, I was very sure that a flexible cysto would be
As you might have guessed by now, a rigid old cystoscop was used. The
procedure itself was not painful. And it was done professionally with no
bleeding afterwards. However, my prostate was severely bruised and the pain
that occurred 1 week late was unbearable. ED once again. No bacteria were
found in the urine.
The doc prescribed 14 days of ciprofloxacin (500mg twice daily) (the maximum
allowed dose and duration for outpatient use in my country).
I asked him to give me Trimethoprim/Sulfa (Bactrim Roche). He muttered
something about bacterial resistance and then the nurse suggested that "it
was the best option for me to take the cipro".
Being in intense pain, I just wanted to get rid of all my problems and
forget about the cysto, which actually (surprise surprise) didn' reveal
anything normal. DURING the cipro regime the following events were
On day 3, very mild tinnitus and abnormal sensitivity for sounds. I checked
the PDR and I decided to continue nevertheless as "tinnitus and hearing loss
are usually reversible". Furthermore, I was rather tired and slept for 12
hours every night.I could tell when the drug plasma concentration reached
its peak level.
On day 10 my prostate pain was substantially less and so I finished the
prescription (another 4 days). No psychological alterations were
detected. I was rather pleased with myself to have got through that
long prescription of this powerful antibiotic with no APPARENT damage.
However, 5 weeks (!) after having finished my prescription, I reported to
the ED (in tears) because I couldn't walk due to intense pain in both of my
Blood tests revealed no inflammatory process. Urine fully normal. No
swelling, no local temp. rise. Nothing. X-rays were not obtained due to
radiation consideration. MRI was thought to be too expensive. To put it in a
nutshell: I was treated like a hypochondriac and told to take a few
ibuprofen. They refused to report my case to the health authorities. (A
cause/relationship link was denied due the long latency period (i.e. because
problems occurred so much later.)
Finally, I found the yahoo quinolone victim forum and was relieved to hear
that my symptoms had also been experienced by many others.
I did very extensive research on quinolones and their cartilage damaging
effects. I spoke to various experts from all over the world including
veterinary pharmacologists. I also read Stephen Frieds extremely informative
book "Bitter pills", which focuses on quinolone antibiotics.
My results in summary:
(I have all documents and records to prove it). Fluoroquinolones may also
cause permanent irreversible
cartilage damage in susceptible human adults and thus trigger off an
osteoarthritis (arthrosis) month, years or
decades down the road. MRI is not sensitive enough to detect early
degenerative changes. Adult Horses are not given quinolones due their
arthropatogenic potential. Horse owners must be provided with a written
consent about these serious musculosceletal adverse effects. Adults are LESS
susceptible to this chondrotoxic effect than adolescents. This is NOT
equivalent to INSENSITIVE to this chondrotoxic effect.
Some manufacturer (but not Cipro's) state in the US-Label that side-effects
which were observed included:
Levofloxacin: Arthrosis (=osteoarhritis)
Since being floxed I have not been able to do any sports. My girlfriend quit
, because she didn't believe me.
My case was eventually reported to the national health authorities along
with scientific literature. However, they think I'm mad. My physician thinks
that I was genetically susceptible to this toxic effect.
I am partially physically disabled, especially when trying to walk a few
miles. Quality of life questions me staying alive at all.
However, job work is not affected.
I wouldn't even want by biggest enemy to have to endure the crippling and
non-abating toxic side-effects that these drugs cause within the human body.