Sherri's Story

I went to my doctor on June 23rd complaining of severe fatigue, muscle aches, headache, sore throat and weakness.  I asked him to do some blood work for Epstein's bar, chronic fatigue, virus', etc.  He told me that this was not necessary and that I was suffering from a severe sinus infection.

I questioned his diagnosis as I am prone to sinus infections and did not feel that this was correct. But he assured me that it was only sinuses and prescribed 400mg of Avelox daily for 14 days.

I must admit that on days 2 and 3 I was feeling pretty good so I thought that his diagnosis was correct.  However, after that I began feeling worse and worse.  By day 6 ( a Monday) I started running a low grade fever of about 100, accompanied by the chills.  As the day progressed, my fever kept rising even though I was taking Advil every 4 hours to try to get rid of the fever.  By 6pm, I had a fever of just under 103, my muscles ached and burned as if someone was beating me with a hot hammer non-stop, I couldn't lift my arms at all, I was exhibiting extreme pain in my elbows and wrists.  My tongue swelled up (it felt as if it were 10 times too big for my mouth) and my throat felt tight. 

I called my doctor and told him that I was really sick and needed help.  I explained all of my symptoms to him and asked if the medicine was not right for me.  He told me to give it another day or 2 for the med to work, and if I still didn't feel better, to go see him at his office or go to the hospital for blood work.

I couldn't accept this, as I was so incredibly sick and felt that after being on the Avelox for 6 days, I should have felt considerably better, not worse than my original symptoms had been.  I proceeded to contact a very good friend of mine who is an RN and who's father is an internist.  He literally went crazy when he found out that I was on Avelox and for 6 days already.  He told me to get off the Avelox immediately and said that I was exhibiting signs of FQ toxicity. 

He lives rather far away, so he advised me to seek out a new doctor and rattled off a list of blood work to have done the next morning, which I did.  The new doctor concurred that I had FQ toxicity as a result of Avelox.  The blood work showed that I had an internal virus that was attacking my body along with allergies.....I didn't even have a sinus infection to begin with.

My white blood cells were extremely low and my eosinophils were very elevated.  Fortunately, the fever was breaking by the next morning when I got into the new doctors office (low grade of only about 100).

I was told not to take ANY meds, even for the allergies.  Since the fever was going down, I didn't have to go to the hospital, but was instructed to drink as much water as possible to help flush the toxins from my body.  I was told that had I been on the Avelox for 2 more days, the consequences could have been deadly.

It has been about 6 weeks since that episode.  I am slowly recovering.  I still exhibit fatigue and muscle weakness, daily headaches, tendon discomfort in my hands and wrists, and severe anxiety, all a result of the toxicity.

My doctor is allowing me a low dose of Lexapro (5mg) to help deal with the anxiety.

I have been out of work since June 15th (it's now Aug 1st), although I do go in occasionally for an hour or so to take care of messages and such. Fortunately I own my own business so I can afford myself the time to rest.  I teach quite a few exercise classes each week, which I still have not been able to resume to to muscle fatigue and weakness.

However, I am recovery, slowly, but the recovery is coming on.

I am scheduled for an EKG in a week to make sure the virus and toxicity has not attacked my heart.  I will keep you posted on the outcome of that.

Last Updated 8/02/04