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An Unexpected Cipro (antibiotic) Experience:

This piece is from a blog and was born as a response to a Mother who claims her son had a much better experience on Cipro.

This story articulates a shocking side effect experienced by a patient who wishes to remain anonymous: posted here with permission of the writer.


I write this, bound in my wheelchair for the last five weeks as I have two ruptured tendons. I believe this rare happening of two tendons being ruptured at the same time and the negative medical information on tendon weakening from the medication Cipro, which I had taken October 27 2007, eight months earlier, are related.

[The drug] Cipro or Ciprofloxacin which is a member of the Fluroquinoline family and is manufactured by Bayer pharmaceutical company.

Both my Achilles tendons snapped without warning within an hour of each other on June 21 2008. The first went when I was dancing at a 50th birthday party for my friend. Luckily there was a doctor there and he advised me that my Achilles tendon was torn or ruptured. He said “go home, ice it and go to emergency in the a.m”. The second tendon ruptured an hour later after we got home. I tried to hop to the bathroom on the good foot. I took three hops and I fell down. I was alone in the house as my family had gone back out to the car to retrieve our things. I shrieked and they came running up the stairs to find me flat on my face.

I have bi-lateral Achilles tendon complete rupture. The next morning at the emergency room, the doctor, Dr. Sun (who has been practicing medicine for over 30 years) said he'd never seen or heard of two Achilles tendons rupturing at the same time and actually told the med student who was doing rounds with him, that they were unlikely to ever see it again.

The emergency surgeon on duty (Dr Yoneda) who I saw next also said he had never come across two Achilles tendons rupturing at the same time, before and his specialty is sports injuries.  What made it more confusing to the medical specialists was that I had not been exerting excess stress on the tendons at the time of the ruptures. He wanted to get me into surgery right away but there was no space. (His specialty is sports injuries.) I was booked for surgery first thing the next morning. The surgeon who did the repair said he had never seen nor heard of such an occurrence in his career. He is the head of the orthopedic surgery repair on my legs said he also had never heard of such a thing. One breaks one tendon or the other, but not both at the same time.

I woke up after surgery wearing a match set of fibre glass casts which will be on for 3 weeks and will be followed by air casts. I cannot walk, cook, do laundry or major housework, bathe without assistance, grocery shop etc. etc. I cannot leave the house unless someone will carry my wheel chair down the stairs. Housebound gets incredibly frustering very quickly! I wear knee pads to crawl into the bathroom and up the stairs when I do get taken out. The summer has just begun and my two teenage boys are out of school and I cannot even drive them to a friend's house or the beach. My husband who is runs his own business is forced to do everything. This is causing him to be away from his office and employees a fair bit. He is the most amazing person I know.

Luckily my sons have stepped up to the plate and are helping out with what they can. Their learning curve has taken a right angle and gone right through the roof. Needless to say I don't think I need to worry about ever feeling unappreciated again.All the things that just seem to magically happen around the house are right in their faces! The 13 & 17 teenage attitudes have gone on vacation (hopefully extended.)

As for the pain, it is constant. I can subdue the worst with regular Tylenol #3 ( which can cause liver damage and constipation, and codeine is addictive) My back neck and shoulder muscles are suddenly being over worked from maneuvering the wheelchair so at night when I try to sleep with my legs elevated the nerves strangulate and cause my hands to seize up. I get up between 3:30 and 6:30 a.m. to get the blood moving so I can open and close my hands again. After the pins and needles subside which takes about an hour I can sometimes go back to bed only to go through it all again when I wake up.

After the casts come off, there will be extensive long term physio therapy and I am only hopeful that one day my recovery will be complete. Nobody can say at this time, if I will have full recovery. There is the possibility that other tendons in my body are at risk. The Achilles are the most vulnerable but all are possibly weakened and what with all this extra exertion I just have to hope for the best.

Tendon problems are the tip of a very large and unusual iceberg of symptoms and side effects for which Cipro and the entire Fluroquinolone family is responsible. Many are mysterious and are misdiagnosed as other conditions such as Lupus, Lime disease, MS and Fibromialga (which get treated with more pharmaceuticals that bring a raft of side effects all their own.)

Please Google FLOX REPORT for more information. Also you’re your pharmacist for links to medical journal studies that are easily available for anyone who cares to look including the doctors who prescribe the drugs in the first place.

You may have thought your Doctor had extensive training in medical school. Not so, in fact only 4 of the 17 medical schools in Canada actually have pharmacology programs for Doctors in training at that. Surprised? I was. Starting next year there will be a mandatory 2 year pharmacology program added to medical training according to the college of physicians and surgeons in Canada.

It's terrifying to think that only Doctors can prescribe these drugs and they are relying on information given to them by the same companies selling them. They hear the positive greatly outweighing the negatives if they hear the negatives at all. The only way they can become properly informed is do the research themselves. That's a pretty daunting task considering the number of drug on the market not to mention drug interactions.

So in the end although while this experience is not something I would wish on my worst enemy it is about time that we woke up and saw what kind of crazy system we are relying on for our health care. Regarding your son, you may wish to seek an alternative treatment after you've done a little of your own research. Personally I would run screaming in the other direction if someone offered this to my kid! As far as my bladder infection goes there are loads of other perfectly effective antibiotics albeit with some side effects that are available.

From the first milligram of Cipro you ingest it is toxic. Given a therapeutic dose and who knows. Everybody’s threshold is different. There is no science available to tell. So in my opinion always do your own research, check with your pharmacist (although some of the ones I checked with didn’t know either) and avoid the pharmaceutical jungle whenever possible. Good luck.

Prepared by a patient who wishes to remain anonymous.

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