Olivia's Story

I was prescribed Cipro 500 mg 2x a day for 10 days in August of 1999 for an undiagnosed abdominal infection after returning from India. I experienced some soreness in my muscles while on it, but had not been warned of any serious side effects, so continued to take it. On the tenth day I seriously damaged my right bicep while doing almost nothing at the gym. The doctor diagnosed "tendon strain." A month later I damaged my right shoulder so badly (using an exercise theraband) that it took a year and a half to rehabilitate it and it is still not fully functional to this day. I lost six weeks of work at that time because I was not able to drive my car at all. I went back to work half time for a month after the six weeks, and then went fulltime, but have been almost in constant pain since my first injury.  I have swollen knee tendons, swollen shin muscles, quad tendon pain in both legs, chronic pain in LEFT shoulder, weakness and lack of range in the RIGHT shoulder, chronic Achilles pain, and generalized weakness which has disabled me. I am not able to open my car window, my house windows, open cans or jars, shovel my car out in winter, or use more than 50% of my strength for any task without damaging a new tendon. I went from being an extremely active, fit 40 year old, to a crippled 44 year old who barely makes it from one day to the next. I used to run or bike every day, lift weights 3x a week and dance (African) 3x a week. I now can weightlift no more than 1-2 lb. weight, where I used to lift 10-12 lbs.

This kind of long-term (or permanent) disability was PREVENTABLE. Since the amount of damage is dependent on how much of the fluoroquinolone is actually ingested, if I had been warned about the dangers, I would have gotten off the drug on the third day, instead of taking the 10 day course. Not a single doctor or pharmacist or insert warned me of the possibility of long-term, serious, or permanent damage.


Last Updated 4/26/04