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Fluoroquinolone Reactions

Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Levaquin (levofloxacin) and Avelox (moxifloxacin)

Fluoroquinolones are antibiotics used to treat many strains of bacterial pathogens. It is also considered a chemotherapeutic antibiotic and a 2005 study from Italy found that among more than 50 types of drugs, Fluroquinolones were involved in the largest number of serious problems and accounted for 11% of all adverse events.


Fluoroquinolones works by interfering with bacterial DNA, preventing it from replicating. However, lawsuits contend that Cipro also attacks healthy DNA, accounting for its widespread side effect profile. Many refer to the horrible reactions as a “Fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome.” Fluoroquinolones are extremely powerful antibiotics and were originally developed for serious or deadly infections that did not respond to first-line antibiotics. Today Fluoroquinolones are being used to common bacterial infections in spite of the dangerous and potentially deadly side effects.

Over 20 million outpatient prescriptions were written for Cipro in 2010, making it the 5th most commonly prescribed antibacterial in the United States. In 2011 the FDA added two black box warnings for Cipro relating to spontaneous tendon ruptures, worsening muscle weakness and potentially life-threatening breathing problems. Neurotoxicity was on the first side effects reported with Floroquinolones and it is estimated that up to 1/3 of patients will experience some sort of psychiatric side effect including anxiety, personality changes or confusion.

Multiple studies have shown that an adverse reaction to Fluoroquinolone induces oxidative stress and causes substantial Glutathione Depletion (body’s master antioxidant). The oxidative stress was correlated with Glutathione depletion after 72 hours of exposure to Fluoroquinolones. The hypothesis is that Glutathione falls so rapidly that any other intracellular antioxidant loses their ability to control the overproduction of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which are chemically reactive and cause damage to the cells. This damaging effect is greatest 5 days after exposure to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin therapy, both are Fluoroquinolones.

A study conducted in 2011 by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Hyderabad, India confirmed that Fluoroquinolones caused enormous oxidative stress and a subsequent depletion of Glutathione, the body’s master antioxidant.

Additionally, Flouroquinolones, like all antibiotics, will destroy the normal intestinal flora and can lead to decreased production of B vitamins and Vitamin K. Therefore it is essential to replenish the healthy gut bacteria with probiotics.*

For help with Fluoroquinolone reactions call toll free 866.605.2333 or send us a inquiry .

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Ciprofloxacin-induced glutathione redox status alterations in rat tissues
Sublethal ciprofloxacin treatment leads to resistance via antioxidant systems in Proteus mirabilis
Effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics

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