I share my story of Levaquin toxicity with hope that it can help others who have experienced devastating effects from fluoroquinalones. Before taking a medication in this class, I encourage you to educate yourself.
“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” ~Hosea 4:6
In April, 2020, following the birth of my sweet baby girl, I was readmitted to the hospital after testing positive for a C-Diff infection and possible abscess that showed up on a cat scan. I was later told that I probably never had an abscess: it only appeared to look like one because of a substance they used during my emergency hysterectomy. To be safe, they decided to begin treatment both orally and through IV by taking Metronidazole, Levaquin, and Vancomycin.
Levaquin has an FDA black box warning, which is the strongest warning placed on a medication, yet it is OFTEN prescribed. It’s concerning to me that doctors do not discuss the potential side effects of a medication most times and are often quick to dismiss any adverse effects that patients experience.
Within 30 minutes of taking Levaquin, I experienced a sudden onset of panic attacks, severe stabbing pain throughout my entire body, and a feeling of disconnect from reality. Since this happened late at night I waited until morning to discuss the side effects with my doctor.
Still in the hospital, I told my doctor all I experienced, expecting him to be as alarmed as I was, but was met with a heartless, arrogant response, “How many years did you attend med school?” He told me there were no other options, that I had no choice of using another antibiotic, and needed to trust him.
Because of Covid restrictions I was unable to have any visitors, including my husband who would have been my best advocate to insist on a change of medication. I went from taking Levaquin in IV form to a single once-a-day pill, and was told I had to take the pill before I could leave the hospital.
After arriving home, the side effects from taking the Levaquin continued to get worse until I decided enough was enough. I was not going to continue taking this poison. My husband had another medical professional tell him if they were him they would hold their wife down and force it down her throat – and that I needed to continue taking it.
Levaquin’s effects lasted almost an entire year and I’ve learned that some of the effects are completely irreversible such as permanent damage to the mitochondrial DNA.
Over the year, directly following the medication, I experienced panic attacks, anxiety, depersonalization, paranoia, delusions, loss of touch on my scalp, feet, and side of left hand, insomnia, heart palpitations, irratic heart rate, severe unexlained weight loss, joint pain in knees, elbows, ankles, and all fingers when bending, abnormal ALT and AST results, depression, extreme brain fog, loss of short term memory, inability to complete simple tasks, full body neuropathy, severe muscle weakness, and muscle atrophy.
I wondered if I had a disease or mental illness. I even considered having a demon and asked others to pray over me. I spent countless hours researching, which caused me to literally turn into a hypochondriac. I just “knew” I was dying from some incurable disease and was going to die.
I did not know at the time that I was experiencing the after-effects from Levaquin. I just thought that once I stopped taking it I would be fine.
Before Levaquin I was on no medications.
Following Levaquin, I was put on antidepressants and a benzopine to help me cope with every day life.
Every day I literally thought I was going to die and even wanted to so many times.
For several months after taking Levaquin I could not even take care of my children, let alone myself. I would try to make a grocery list or follow a recipe and would just stand there and stare at it trying so hard to be able to comprehend and follow through with the simple task.
My husband became Mr. Mom.
He worked all day and then would have to come home to cook supper, care for the kids, a newborn, and his wife. I hated it.
And I don’t remember him ever complaining, EVEN ONCE, and that’s not because of my short term memory loss. Ha!
God gave Him supernatural grace and mercy to be able to do the things he did. My once quiet husband turned into a literal evangelist who would spend hours reading scripture and preaching to me bring me out of the dark pit I was in. He would play sermons, read God’s Word, pray with me, love me, and would not stop fighting to get his wife back.
He never gave up hope even when I did.
All I wanted to do was sleep 24/7 but was unable to fall sleep for more than a few minutes at a time. I just laid in bed until someone would literally have to drag me out and order me to take a shower. I remember trying to make oatmeal for breakfast and my arms being too tired to stir. I remember smelling something burning and realizing the side of my hand was being burned without feeling any type of pain. I was completely unable to even talk at most of my doctor appointments and my husband had to talk for me.
I had off-the-wall delusional thoughts that lasted for almost an entire year and satan used this for his advantage. Before Levaquin I felt close to the Lord. But what happens when a literal hell breaks lose in your mind and body and you no longer “feel” God’s presence or “feel” like you are capable of contributing a single thing to His kingdom due to health/mental issues? What then? I was so weak mentally and physically and didn’t understand why. “How could a loving God allow this to happen?”
More Drugs Leads to a Whole New Cascade of Horrible Side-Effects
Please know I am neither anti-medications nor anti-doctors. There are many doctors, including one that treated me this past year, that truly listen to their patients and allow their patients freedom of choice without shaming them or dismissing them. There is a time and place to be on medications. I know that medications have saved countless lives, but have destroyed countless lives as well.
I believe there are many out there labeled with mental disorders, fibromyalgia, and other diseases who have just experienced devastating effects from medications without being aware. These people are someone else’s mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, child, friend, loved one. They might be you.
When a prescribed medication has received a black box warning from FDA. it’s because adverse effects are possible with only one dose.
The FDA themselves warn that Levaquin has “disabling and potentially permanent serious side effects involving tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, central nervous system, and psychiatric reactions after only one dose.”
Fluoroquinolone drugs include: Avelox, Baxdela, Ciprofloxacin, Gemifloxican, Levofloxacid, Norfloxacin, and Floxacin.
Often these are handed out for a simple bladder or sinus infection which would be better treated with D-Mannose or the homeopathic cantharis 30 if the onset is sudden and there is burning when urinating.
A deficiency in B1 can mimic Alzheimers and can lead to Korsakoff’s Psychosis if not treated. Those most likely for this deficiency are diabetics, those who drink excessive amounts of alcohol, and those with heavy antibiotic use.
It has now been 15 months after Levaquin, and I can thankfully say that I am about 80% better!
I am now completely off of all medications and am able to manage my household and care for my family once again!
Without the help and mighty intervention of God, my husband, parents, and the doctor I mentioned above, I would not be where I am today. I still struggle with coming up with the right words to use in conversations, have short term memory loss, joint pain, dizziness, and brain fog at times, but I am continually improving each month!
I began taking several supplements and can tell a huge difference in my motivation and energy level after only 2 days taking 500 mg a day of B1 vitamin!
What has worked for me may or may not work for you, but this is what I take daily:
- B1- Thiamine- 600 mg. (yes, thiamine supplementation can do amazing things!)
- Chelated Magnesium Glycinate
- Niacin- B3- 500 mg.
- Omega 3 or cod liver oil (read more here)
- D3- 5,000 IU
- 1 T. integral collagen 2x daily in cup of hot tea
For sleep, I take melatonin, magnesium, and valerian root which helps me sleep all night and wake up feeling motivated.
I have never been a morning person and am usually a night owl, but after taking B1 I am now waking up around 6:00 and sometimes earlier ready to start the day.
There is fluoride/fluorine in fluoroquinolones and many antidepressants. Advanced TRS binds heavy metals and over 80,000 toxins, allowing the body to get on the path to healing itself as it was designed to do. (See “What Is Advanced TRS?” here).
For those reading this searching for answers and feeling hopeless due to the after effects following a medication, you can heal and there is hope!
With God’s help He can lead you to the right doctor and information needed to begin healing. Yes, and I believe in miracles, too. God can heal you instantly if He chooses, but often God allows a health crisis not because He is the author of it, for He is not the author of evil, but He allows even the bad and the devastating effects of this sin sick world to bring about good for those who love Him in order to bring glory to His name.
Please know you are not alone and it’s normal to receive judgment and criticism from friends, family members, and even doctors who have not experienced this first hand. You are not the only one going through this, and God can use this to grow in your intimacy with Him if you will allow Him.
My story is not intended as medical advice and should not be substituted for medical advice and much prayer.
FLUOROQUINOLONES: THE DEADLIEST ANTIBIOTICS ON THE MARKET?
Dr. Jay Cohen documented the following reaction rates in this 2001 study:
- Nervous system symptoms occurred in 91% of patients (pain, tingling and numbness, dizziness, headaches, anxiety and panic, loss of memory, psychosis)
- Musculoskeletal symptoms in 73% of patients (tendon ruptures, tendonitis, weakness, joint swelling)
- Sensory symptoms in 42% of patients (tinnitus, altered visual, olfactory, and auditory function)
- Cardiovascular symptoms in 36% of patients (tachycardia, shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations)
- Skin reactions in 29% of patients (rashes, hair loss, sweating, intolerance to heat or cold)
- Gastrointestinal symptoms in 18% of patients (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain)
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