The symptoms of quinolone toxicity

1.The symptoms that affect me most
2.Summary of effects of quinolone toxicity

1. The symptoms that affect me most
Three weeks before quintoxication, I had driven 7,000 km in the van, mostly withou tusing campsites, by very circuitous and rambling routes, from Coníl to Bretagne, via the east, then west, then north, and back again via the Pays Basque and Pais Vasco. I was strong, could run like the wind and was as supple as at 25. I'd been an actress, architectural designer, herb grower and tisane-maker, goat-keeper, horse-person including taming difficult horses, gypsy, cook, nanny, university teacher, examiner and course designer and several other things. I could build barns and corrals, fell, lop, plant and care for trees, service my van - I could do nearly anything. If I was ill, if I was broken-hearted, if I was poor or homeless, I just battled on - nothing stopped me for long.
Then, BANG!

Prescription for slow, lingering death - but I've been very profitable to others in the meantime

The price of a life?

The quinolone toxicity symptoms which most affect me:
Dementia – sometimes my short-term memory and concentration span are as low as 10 seconds, sometimes I hardly know where I am or when, what, why, who.. and I set things on fire and sit right in front of them, wondering vaguely why it's so bright and hot and why there's such an odd smell. In fact, I'm getting more and worse symptoms of dementia, to the point where I've glimpsed the serious stage when you don't recognise people or go to market with no clothes. (Luckily, I can't go to market!)
Spatial dysphasia – I manage all right in quiet, familiar places, but a street, a market, or a group of more than two people make me so dizzy and confused that I soon start crying. At home, I know the floor isn't 3km away, but only from prior knowledge – I can't really judge. In strange or busy places, I walk into door-frames or just stand still in a state of utter confusion or start crying and collapse.
Visual dysphasia – not understanding what I see. Things appear and disappear, move and jump about, or simply don't make sense. (I'm usually all right with trees and sky and natural things.) I can't count money or follow sudden movements.
Aural dysphasia when tired (which happpens very fast and suddenly)
Brain fog – not the same as or related to dementia or pain. It's a specific condition with many psosible causes and it really does feel as though one's brian is filled with thick, pea-soup fog or even just pea soup! Trying to think at all is like trying to swim through a lake of mud. It can last for a day or for weeks. I hate it.
Suicidal ideation, preparation, obsessive longing (but that seems quite logical and sensible, in the circumastances. I wish I could have found someone for Kiti, then I could have left this face, this body and this hideous civilisation, instead of contributing to its ruin.)
A horrible psychotic feeling that some part of my body, usually my feet or toes or nails, isn't properly placed or is soemhow all wrong. I have to keep trying to get it right. Thank God it only happens sometimes; I've always thought that the people in straitjackets so that they won't keep biting or picking at themsevles must be some of the unhappiest people in the world.
Loss of affect – at first this was due to the drug, but I think that now it's just due to endless loneliness and abuse
Lips gone floppy, eyelids droop
Disfigurement – another of the hardest things to bear
Reversing letters and words – I've corrected this text quite a lot, but I used to have to correct every word several times
No creativity, no self-discipline
Tremors of lower jaw, hands and arms, worse when tired, often break or spill things, can't use a screwdriver or draw or write properly, can't sew on a button. My left hand goes crazy if I try to scratch my euyebrow, for instamce.
Photosensitivity of eyes, especially to sunlight
Floaters, flashers, diplopia, blurred sight
Insomnia – extreme
Inability to write more than a few lines by hand
Inability to read more than a few words on paper and even worse if it's a form to fill in or anything that isn't simple. Imagine – I can't open, read, understand or reply to any letters, fill in forms more complicated than a cheque. Anyway, I'd never manage to envelope and post them. I can do everything on the computer, but I hate computers and used to do everything by hand and brain! Anyway, there are lots of things one has to do on paper and I can't.
Very severe arthralgia, due to destruction of cartilage, tendons and ligaments. It's so bad that often in winter I can hardly move at all and even in better weather I'm stiff and groan.
Fascitis, especially plantar fascitis – terribly painful – and fascial tears and fasciosis
Acute and chronic tendonitis and tendonosis
All the connective tissue of my feet and ankles is soggy, so that if I do manage to walk 500m one day, the next two my feet will feel like jellyfish
Severe, chronic and acute bronchitis and shortness of breath, taking me to the verge of congestive heart failure. (I think I have serious lung damage, but not sure.My lungs hurt a lot.)
Hair loss, first scattered, but lately a huge patch, quite suddenly. (This is due to death of small fibre nerves.) Hair growing white and brittle.
Extreme and sudden muscle wasting (This is due to death of small fibre nerves.)
Otitis, considerable hearing loss
Epsiodes fo weeping that last for days or weeks, but this has almost completely stopped now
Agoraphobia - sometimes intense
Deformed fingernails, toenails and skin, due to collagen destruction and mutation
Rapid artificial ageing, shortened lifespan (loss of telomeres occurs in DNA)
Peripheral neuropathy, affecting all peripheral nervous systems
Peripheral neuralgia – sudden shooting pains, prickling, tingling, buzzing, stabbing, cold, hot – there's quite a variety.
Occasional near-paralysis of arms and hands
Inability to walk or difficulty in walking. This is always because because of connective tissue damage (joints, tendons, ligaments) but also often because of CNS damage – I can't remember how to do walking.
Sometimes I can't work out how to do talking, or how to do other previously simple things – or why!
Glandular dysfunction – all glands, but the most annoying is adrenal, as I shoot from hyper-nervosity to near-inertia and back again.
Digestive problems – there are few things I can eat. Can't drink even a sip of water, but can drink a tiny bit of carbonated water in the evening or at night. Can't drink soup or juice – have to drink weak tea or tisanes. Flat water and any other liquids make me violently sick.
Nausea, sickness, diarrhea, bloating
Urgency of urination, but other times difficulty in urinating
Continual outbreaks of cystitis, which I never, never had before the fatal one. Sadly, I know now that d-mannose cures it easily and quickly, but in my case so does ice! Just sitting with a bottle of frozen water between my thighs for twenty minutes is all that's needed and was all I needed that first time. It wouldn't have contributed as much to the “economy” though.
Severe intolerance of or allergy to even a trace of soy
Severe intolerance of or allergy to many other things, external or ingested/absorbed
Something broke or tore in my left wrist (rotor cuff, I think) shortly after quintoxication, when I picked up a clementine, and it's still painful and weak.
Even tiny wounds take ages to heal; old, long-forgotten wounds reappear, re-open and fester.
Fungal infections
Sores, ulcers (nothing very bad so far)
Extreme coarsening and loosening of skin
My flesh is so soft and unresilient that it hurts a lot even to lean against a wooden chairback, bump lightly against any hard object, or even lean the flat of my hand on a table. Even wearing a light, loose, cotton nightdress is slightly painful and tiring. When I touch my face or limbs, their sogginess revolts me. I used to be firm all over, like an unripe nectarine; now I'm soggy like like a mouldy peach that's been lying in the grass for weeks.
As my head gets balder, my face gets hairier. It's covered with a thick fluff now.
Pruritis (itching or desire to scratch)
Vasculitis, varicose veins. I hadn't a trace of one before, nor any visible veins except inside my wrists.
Terrible headaches
That's not all, but it's enough. Most of these symptoms or effects are worsening quite rapidly.

2. Extract from Quinolone Toxicity Report

The toxic agent (the quinolone compound) enters the blood stream and spreads throughout the body. The defenders of the quinolones are even proud of the big penetrative power of the drug, that reaches delicate organs like the brain that are very well shielded against most chemical compounds. Therefore, it is not surprising that symptoms of the toxicity arise over all body areas and systems.

For a complete list of symptoms, see later in the report. A strong reaction generates some 30 to 50 symptoms. In some cases adverse reactions appear right after the ingestion of the antibiotic. In intermediate and severe reactions you may start with a few symptoms and as time passes new and debilitating symptoms arise, especially around the second, sixth and ninth months mark post-floxing. And in many cases of young, very healthy and active people, the worst injuries emerge progressively up to eighteen months or more after the cessation of the drug (we have deducted it beyond any doubt from various crystal-clear cases plus several unwilling re-exposures with quinolones). There are many medical articles as well, that state that a lot of the drug induced symptoms start some weeks to months after completing the treatment.

Here we include the most easily recognizable and common symptoms in three groups. Please take into account that the heading of the three groups is only for orientation purposes and to make the text more intuitive. Some of the disorders are cyto-toxic or vascular, for instance, and the headings do reflect that fact. Some injuries have a multiple root like eye damage that can be muscular, neurological, vascular and toxic but are included just in one group for the sake of simplification.

Joints and muscles:

­Arthralgias (pain in joints) especially the tendons of the feet, ankles, knees, hips, elbows, shoulders, wrists, neck. Pain of different kinds, very frequently migrating around a joint and then moving to other joints over time. Pains are bearable sometimes but they often are very debilitating, requiring almost absolute rest for months because patients cannot walk at all or more than a few paces or stand up for long. Even if the patient is functional, pains have a neurological root and can be very intense and interfere with normal activities and prevent sleep. These arthralgias evolve to osteoarthritis in many cases with cartilage erosions. The arthralgias start as early as during the antibiotic treatment. In other cases arthralgias show mildly at the beginning and their intensity increases to its maximum intensity up to a year and a half later. For athletes with this type of delayed reaction, a medium level of pain can be constant but some six hours after exercise the symptoms may be present as acute pains that can be excruciating if the limit of tolerance is reached. This limit consists of the maximum exercise that a given body can tolerate before its impaired repairing capacity is overwhelmed by the physical demands. For the average floxed athlete, this limit is much lower than it was before the quinolone intoxication. The joints, fingers or toes can also become inflamed and appear red and feel hot.

Pains in different areas of the body not considered main joints. Pains tend to be generalized and migrating. Can be mild or very intense. Common areas affected are the back, neck, head (jaw, skull zones), chest (breastbone), groin, testes, plantar fascia (sole of feet) and others. They can be very debilitating. Pains in many muscles over the body (myalgias), that cause a lot of stiffness and soreness. These pains are of every kind, like diffuse, acute, throbbing, pulsating, vibrating, burning, shooting, stabbing, dull, deep, tremors, and many times they increase at night. A floxed person can feel pains at all times, even while resting and walking, changing positions when sitting, being unable to cross legs or make some body movements. In severe cases the pain lasts for five to six years on average.

Acute tendinitis over different parts of the body very similar to normal types of tendinitis but different in its persistence and unresponsiveness to conventional treatments. This type of tendinitis is very acute at times, requiring immobilization, and is nearly always triggered by a level of use that was normal in the pre-floxed state, or normal daily use. The tendinitis does not respond to anti-inflammatory medication, which in fact, can make the symptoms worse. Sometimes the tendinitis 'migrates' within a joint and from one joint to others, which merely reflects that all tendons are equally affected and that the ones used most are the ones that fail and experience pain and damage. In the first stages of the floxing, the tendinitis is predominantly enthesitis, which is inflammation of the insertions of muscles and tendons into the joints. In many cases they end up in partially or fully ruptured tendons (achilles, shoulder rotators, wrists flexors). It is a class effect of all quinolones, in other words, all these antibiotics are very toxic for all the tendons in the body, for everybody. For every one the quinolones cause small and multiple injuries in the tendons, that eventually rupture in those people unlucky enough having weak tendons, having taken corticoids, having pre-existing vascular problems (pre-diabetics) or being magnesium deficient. Long- term floxed persons, usually affected by a severe reaction still have tendinitis in critical areas of the body 4 or 6 years post-floxing. Very typical long term tendinitis are: plantar fascia, achilles tendon, posterior tibialis complex, toe flexors, insertions of knee’s tendons, both ends of the ileotibial band, iliopsoas area, shoulder rotators, elbow epicondyle, forearm and wrists.

Arthritis-like symptoms. Many symptoms resemble those of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, but are always sero-negative and with a different pattern of clinical symptoms. Reiter's is a common diagnosis for many floxed persons, even if they do not have the HLA-B27 antigen.

Osteoarthritis-like symptoms. Joints usually start to make a lot of noise. After the intoxication, and with time, healthy cartilage becomes softened and erosion takes place, and the illness presents itself as a true clinical osteoarthritis. Knee cartilages are specially targeted by quinolones, with a very high incidence of torn menisci (inside the knee). There are many cases of complete destruction of previously healthy joints and the patient has to be submitted to very invasive surgical procedures and or total joint replacement. The most damaged cartilages are the most weight bearing ones: knees, hips and low spine. Cartilages of people that have taken several short-term quinolone treatments, as well as cartilages of those that have taken prolonged courses or high doses, have a very decreased bearing capacity. Fluoroquinolones rarely can cause osteonecrosis of the femoral heads and other areas, requiring total joint replacements.

Permanent stiffness that exhibits a clear loss in range of movements, especially with legs and arms, but that can affect the whole body. The most affected joints are the hips (adduction, abduction, flexion and extension), knees (flexion, adduction), and shoulders (extension). Increased stiffness after exercise. It takes longer to recover from exercise, and there is a clear loss of flexibility. Soreness in many muscles, especially legs and shoulders, and also a predilection for the neck. Weird sensations in the muscles and joints. Clear feeling that something is going very wrong.

­Shallow breathing that causes a deficit of oxygenation that complicates insomnia, recovery and other reactions and metabolisms in the body. During the acute phase the floxed persons can have a sense of not grasping enough air and subsequent sense of dying.

Very slow recovery from impacts and blows. Whenever the affected person is hit in athletic or daily activities, the flesh takes much longer to recover from the pain, along with increased haemorrhaging and inflammation. Dark veins, haemorrhage-like patches under the skin.

The skin (and other collagenous tissues) loses nearly all capacity of recovery. A cut on the skin near an affected joint leaves a pink scar for many months afterward whereas it would have become unnoticed in a pre-floxing state.

Cold feet and hands. The presentation resembles Raynaud's syndrome. In many severe cases several phalanges of fingers turn numb or become close to frozen with cold conditions that did not cause any trouble before the floxing. Loss of sensitivity in hands and feet.

Increase in the shape or depth of vertical ridges in fingernails. Pains in the nails of the big toes that feel as if they were about to fall apart.

Chest pain. Tight chest.

Weight loss, probably due to muscle destruction and atrophy and alterations in intestinal function. The weight loss reaches 15% of total weight in many cases, which is very hard to put back on again. Typically, people loss up to 15% of their weight at the start of the bottom line of their reactions, and then recover some 8 or 9% of it during the beginning of the recovery phase. The last 6 or 7% of the weight is difficult to get back and only happens when the healing is almost complete. Originally, thin people also lose the same amount of weight. This loss is muscle mass mainly.

Central and peripheral nervous system and systemic:
Brain fog, depression, depersonalization, short-term memory loss, and lethargy. Slurred speech. Inability to speak fluently. Forgetting words, getting stuck in the middle of a sentence. Some are caused by the insomnia but it is mainly a neurological injury of the brain. Headaches, especially unilateral, or affecting one side only. Foggy mind, drowsiness, lethargy, loss of drive and power. Need to sleep. Tiredness and intense fatigue. Crying episodes. Loss of balance, strong feeling of being rocked back and forth and that everything is moving.

Twitching, numbness, sensory disturbances, burning on the skin, trembling, throbbing, pins and needles sensations, and pulsating pains in muscles and joints are the hallmark of this disease; especially in the lower legs (ankles, Achilles, calves, thighs and knees) arms and hands, but can manifest all over the body. Fasciculations (visible crawling under the skin) of muscles, due to denervation, a very serious neurological symptom. Twitching is manifested earlier in eyelids and the triangle on the back of the hand placed between the thumb and index finger before it can affect the whole body but later spreads all over the body. Some days a “quintoxed” or “floxed” person can have hundreds of series of twitching all over the body.

­Burning skin, very common, burning lips, buzzing and all sort or weird feelings over the whole body. Gum numbness.

Insomnia, very acute and difficult to deal with. Restlessness, great loss of sleep quality. Intolerance (great nervousness or increasing symptoms) to concentrated coffee (espresso) and tea. Intolerance to coffee can be present for more than 7 years (probably forever, but we only have abundant data of people up to 7 years out). Insomnia can last more than 4 years during which is difficult to get more than a few hours of disrupted and bad quality sleep.

Anguish, depression, pre-seizure state. During some part of the intoxication most people experience anxiety and panic attacks (awakening amidst strange nightmares with fear and a feeling of dying), especially at night or when falling asleep, but also while being awake.

Vision problems. Diplopia (double vision) and other focusing problems. Over-scanning eyesight (swirling focusing). Large amount of floaters (dark worm, cobweb, string or spot like) that seem to float in the vitreous area of the eyes. Also ziggies (brilliant minute lights that move in a zig-zag or wavy, wandering manner in your field of vision). Sparks (flashing lights). Halos and curtains of watery sight in the upper part of the field of vision that move sideways along with your eye. Waves-like in the outer margins of the sight. Acute photophobia or intolerance to strong sunlight or artificial light. Complete or partial loss of vision (transitory, but lasting up to 6 minutes as absolute blindness seeing only solid white). In extreme cases, complete irreversible blindness has been documented in medical papers. Eye pain, ocular pressure, blurred vision. Loss of vitreous acuity. Cataracts, macular degeneration. Quinolones cause degeneration of the retina, especially the outer margins. In many cases, some very worrisome implications such as dry eye syndrome are also experienced. Dry eye can render zero mm of tear absorption in the Schirmer’s test. Vision damage reaches its peak about two to six months post-floxing and lasts for years or becomes a permanent injury, being a marker of the likelihood of recovery (i.e. the drier the eye and longer lasting, the lesser are the chances of overall recovery). Vision damage caused by quinolones has a high ratio of irreversibility. Severe reactions have nearly always associated some degree of damage on the vision that is invariably assessed by the patients as very disabling. We have seen so many, really a great many, cases of irreversible damage of vision, or injuries not cured by the 5th year mark, and the distress inflicted on the sufferers, that this alone would be enough cause to withdraw all the quinolones from the market for primary care treatments.

­Diminished erectile function (semi-impotence). Difficulty to reach hard erections. Decreased sex drive (libido) both for men and women. Can last more than three years in severe reactions for young people that were very healthy and active sexually pre-floxing.

Digestive problems. The quinolones damage the entire nervous network governing the intestines. Alteration of intestinal movements. Intolerance to foods and many compounds. Bad reactions from defectively digested foods. Inability to absorb some nutrients, especially minerals. Weight loss. Destruction all of the flora and proliferation of bad fungi such as candida.

Violent rectal (anus) pain and spasms that may cause fainting. Spasmic pains of every sort and intensity in every part of the body: skull, lower head, neck, jaw, shoulders, arms, back, hips, legs, ankles, fingers and toes.

Trembling of a limb after sustaining tension with the muscular groups of that limb. For instance, trembling of the leg after toe raising for a while, or an inability to write steadily after holding a heavy load with that hand.

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Ear pressure, usually in waves of pressure. Hypersensitivity to normal sound. Headaches, head pressure, mainly asymmetric. Hearing loss that can be permanent.

Heart palpitations and strange pounding and throbbing. Skipped heart beats. Alterations of heartbeat. Irregular heartbeats are usually more common after eating. The heart palpitations and arrythmias are some times life threatening. A serious heart condition called prolongation of the QT-interval is a class effect of all the quinolones, showing once more that they are very defective drugs. Some times floxed persons require the implantation of pacemakers. Many thousands of people die from heart attacks that are not of an infarction kind but cardiopathical, caused by deffective nerve signals. Most all of them are caused by toxic compounds, like environmental hazards or medications, among them the quinolones (none of them are attributed to the real cause).

Neuropathies in limbs, with a lot of pain with muscle wasting and nerve involvement. In many cases they resemble muscular injuries. For instance, a femoral (upper leg) nerve neuropathy can be considered a pull in the hamstring; a peroneal nerve neuropathy can be disguised as an ankle strain, or an overuse syndrome and so on. These neuropathies have a rapid onset and grow in intensity for many months. In many cases it takes several years to get a remission of these neuropathies.

Alterations of liver, kidney and pancreas enzymes and parameters. While taking quinolones the cholesterol and tryglicerides skyrocket up to three times their normal values, to return to normal range in a few weeks. Quinolones also provoke hypo- and hyperglycemias as a class effect. The quinolones accelerate the progression towards full diabetes of those individuals with an unrecognized pre-condition.

Autoimmune-like responses:

Many symptoms of a quinolone poisoning resemble those of some autoimmune disorders because in acute intoxications they cause a type of small vessel vasculitis with neurological dysfunction:

Dry eye, dry mouth, dry sinuses, dry ear and a shift towards dry skin. Dry eye can be measured with moisturizing stripes rendering null values in severe reactions. Sticky, gritty eyes. Dry eye can have serious consequences if not treated. Dry mouth, especially at night or when taking any vasodilator. Dry sinuses cause many infections that are also opportunistic due to the compromised immune system of the severely floxed persons. Dry ear turns the protective earwax into a sort of useless sand dust. Decreased semen production. Many doctors insist on diagnosing floxed persons with Sjögren's.

Problems with foods and drinks. Your intestines are also altered and their permeability and ability to process foods is impaired. Abnormal intestinal function, food intolerances, chemical disturbances, cycling of symptoms and general malaise. Increased sensitivity to chemicals, especially to quinolone-tainted foods (poultry, beef).

Sensitivity to perfumes, health care products and chemicals. Taste and smell perversions. Lack of sense of smell.

Cycling or relapsing of symptoms. After the acute phase, nearly everyone experiences cycles of improvement and relapses.

Endocrine alterations (hormones basically), with skewed ranges for cortisol, thyroid hormones and others, causing all the associated symptoms.

Symptoms of hypo and hyperglycemia, due to deregulation of the sugar metabolism.

Many symptoms that resemble fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, lupus erythematosus, lyme, rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, vasculitis, AIDS and other diseases.

Skin rashes, especially in distal areas (hands, ankles). Itching, all over the body, with little intensity, plus more intense in some specific areas (hips, for instance) when taking a hot shower, plus itching in the groin and scrotum at night when hot. Reddish or red-blue upper eyelids. Increase in vertical ridges in nails of toes and fingers.

­Problems with foods and drinks. Your intestines are also altered and their permeability and ability to process foods is impaired. Abnormal intestinal function, food intolerances, chemical disturbances, cycling of symptoms and general malaise. Increased sensitivity to chemicals, especially to quinolone-tainted foods (poultry, beef). Sensitivity to perfumes, health care products and chemicals. Taste and smell perversions. Lack of sense of smell.

Cycling or relapsing of symptoms. After the acute phase, nearly everyone experiences cycles of improvement and relapses.

­Endocrine alterations (hormones basically), with skewed ranges for cortisol, thyroid hormones and others, causing all the associated symptoms.

­Symptoms of hypo and hyperglycemia, due to deregulation of the sugar metabolism.

Many symptoms that resemble fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, lupus erythematosus, lyme, rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, vasculitis, AIDS and other diseases.

­Skin rashes, especially in distal areas (hands, ankles). Itching, all over the body, with little intensity, plus more intense in some specific areas (hips, for instance) when taking a hot shower, plus itching in the groin and scrotum at night when hot. Reddish or red-blue upper eyelids. Increase in vertical ridges in nails of toes and fingers.

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