Pamela's Story

I had used Cipro multiple times in the past, first time in 1992 through the military while deployed (UTI).  I had even been prescribed Cipro as a postcoital preventive as I am so prone to UTIs. 

Never had a problem until last September/October 2003--I first noticed in my right hand my thumb didn't work right when I lifted a weight (I was doing sit-ups with a 5 pound weight on my chest, thought I had lifted it wrong).

A couple of weeks later I woke up on a Sunday morning, got out of bed, and had such severe vertigo I had to go back to bed.  Never, ever had had that before.  I had also been having stomach pain on my lower left side.  Then the joint pain started in my thumbs, wrists, and especially my left forearm.  And my ankles.  Both ankles were visibly inflamed and my left forearm was so inflamed you could not see the tendons in the wrist--to get some relief I asked my husband to wrap my ankles and arms in Ace wraps.  I went back to my PCP who had prescribed the Cipro and she said my vertigo was due to a "viral infection."  Even with no fever.  So the vertigo passed after about a week, but the tendon pain stayed--finally my husband insisted I see an orthopedic doc, who himself recognized the ADR--because he had had it too! 

He knew of the beagle study and told me to discontinue running, that I could bike, and that he was mostly worried about me crushing the cartilage in my hips and developing arthritis in them if I continued running.  So I bought a Nordic Track recumbent bike and used it until I started pool running in January.  Meanwhile since then I have had about 5 cycles of vertigo (now have a script for Promethazine), and just this past week I had a total relapse of the joint and tendon pain.  It includes swelling in my right ankle (the posterior tibialis tendon), both wrists, my left forearm, both hips, and even my jaw!  As far as how this has impacted my life:  I had to join a gym to have access to a heated pool, I have had to give up treadmill running (I've been running consistently since 1992 in the military), I have had to be careful about lifting things or carrying heavy objects so I don't hurt my joints, I have missed several days of work due to the vertigo attacks, and I am quite simply miserable not to be able to do all the things I do.

During the two weeks prior to my period I simply expect to be in some degree of pain/discomfort.  I am worried that this may last for the rest of my life--and worry that my joints may continue to have pain, and worry that they may be deteriorating.  I continue to use a postcoital antibiotic but now it is Cephalexin, which seems to work fine.  I wish I had been warned about these ADR's, and am angry that my PCP gives quinolones for EVERYTHING!

Last Updated 10/12/04