Friday, April 6, 2012

Another Dangerous Side Effect Linked to Cipro and Other Floroquinolones

Thanks to a reader for sharing this information: This is yet another reason to avoid taking the antibiotics Cipro, Avelox and Levaquinn. These are very powerful antibiotics that are listed as a "not first drug or choice" yet are prescribed like candy for urinary tract infections, bladder infections, prostatitis and respiratory infections. They are very powerful and have extremely severe side effects associated with them. Often these side effects linger on for many years after ceasing to take the drugs. PLEASE be careful and request an alternative antibiotic if you are prescribed a floroquinolone.

A common class of antibiotics was linked to a higher risk of so-called retinal detachment -- when the light-sensitive tissue in the eye separates from gel that fills the eyeball, in a new Canadian study.

People treated by ophthalmologists for the emergency condition were five times more likely to be taking drugs known as fluoroquinolones, which include ciprofloxacin (marketed under names including Zoxan, Proquin and Cipro) and levofloxacin (Levaquin, Cravit), than those who didn't have retinal detachment.

"We know that these drugs are toxic to connective tissue and cartilage," said Mahyar Etminan, the study's lead author, noting past studies linking fluoroquinolones with damage to Achilles and shoulder tendons.

"We wanted to see whether this damage also may translate in the eye, because there's lots of connective tissue in the eye," Etminan, from the Child and Family Research Institute of British Columbia in Vancouver, told Reuters Health.
Retinal detachment, which starts as the appearance of lines, dots or "floaters" across the eye, can cause permanent blindness in some cases if it's not surgically treated within a few days.

Etminan and his colleagues used data from doctors' treatment records for everyone in British Columbia who saw an ophthalmologist between 2000 and 2007 -- almost one million patients. That included about 4,400 people diagnosed with retinal detachment when they were an average of 61 years old.

Prescription records showed that one out of every 30 patients with retinal detachment was taking a fluoroquinolone at the time, most commonly ciprofloxacin. Most antibiotic users were taking the drugs for respiratory or urinary tract infections.

Among a similar group of patients who visited an ophthalmologist but didn't have retinal detachment, just one in 167 had been recently prescribed the antibiotics.

The researchers couldn't be sure why the drugs were tied to an increased risk of retina problems, but said the most likely explanation is that they damage fibers and connective tissue attaching the retina to the eye's vitreous gel.
There have been "lingering concerns" about the possible effects of fluoroquinolones on the eye for a while, said Dr. Terrence O'Brien, from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
He told Reuters Health the new study suggests an association between fluoroquinolones and retinal detachment, but doesn't prove that everyone on the drugs will be at extra risk.

For example, it may be that people who are already prone to tendon problems -- such as older patients -- will be the ones who could be affected by certain drugs, said O'Brien, who wasn't involved in the new study.

The extra risk due to the antibiotics was small. Etminan and his colleagues calculated that 2,500 people would need to be taking fluoroquinolones for any reason for one to have retinal detachment.

Another class of antibiotics that includes penicillin wasn't tied to more retina problems, the researchers reported Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Non-drug risks for retinal detachment include a past cataract surgery, being nearsighted or having an eye infection.
Retinal detachment is rare, Etminan concluded, "but because the condition is quite serious, I don't think it would hurt to let someone know... if you notice these flashes of light or floaters, be sure you get it checked out."

O'Brien agreed. "This study should alert both patients and physicians to the possibility of retinal detachment, and any patient developing symptoms or signs of retinal detachment while taking a fluoroquinolone would be urged to seek immediate ophthalmic care," he said.

"It's not something where you'd want to wait or defer seeking attention."

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Amish Baby Cribs

I must admit that there are times that I really wish that I was still in child bearing years. They have the greatest gadgets and furniture for kids these days; so much cooler than when I was having babies! I recently was helping another “grandma” find a new crib for her first grandchild. I told her that I wasn’t sure what “style” her daughter would like, but I absolutely love Amish baby cribs. They are so classic and well-priced that she could easily afford to purchase not only an Amish baby crib, but a dresser, and highchair to boot.

I sent her to the Amish Retail website, and she agreed; now, will it be a boy or a girl? Her daughter is just going to wait and see; just like in the “olden” days. Maybe she WILL love an Amish crib; what do you think?

One Year Ago Floxed!

It has been one year and one month since I was poisoned by the drug named Ciprofloxacin. It is in a class of drugs known as floroquinolones and while it may be a miracle drug for some; it can be a devastating, debilitating drug for other. It is my continued belief that the side effects of these drugs are highly under reported thus allowing them to continue to be distributed freely.

Three days after taking my first dose of Cipro, I was crippled. I walked as if I was an 85 year old woman that had been hit by a train. My feet felt as though I was walking on razor blades or shards of glass; my toes would not bend. My knees were swollen and felt as though they would explode if I bent them. I could not bend at the hip without excruciating pain. Sitting down and getting back up was nearly impossible. Even just the plain air on my feet hurt. I have never experienced such pain before; or since. I also could not stand bright light; it hurt my eyes and it was often noon before I could open my drapes.

You can search my blog to follow my progress and all of the remedies that I experimented with.  I am elated with the progress that I have made with my physical issues. I can now dance with little pain, bend my toes, bend my knees and bend my hips. While my toes are much improved, they still do not bend like they used to, but I am actually able to send myself from one foot to another, instead of having to lift my leg and put it on the floor. I walk like a normal person again. I am able to bend my knees and squat down about half way to the floor. I still cannot put them completely under myself in order to stand from a sitting position; such as getting out of the bathtub but the overall improvement is grand.

My hips are pretty much back to normal. My ankles and Achilles still give me just a little trouble when I dance. Sometimes after dancing for an hour or so I will have to revert back to my ankle braces for some additional support, just to be on the safe side. The light sensitivity is 80% improved and the overall achiness, muscle joint and tendon pain is relatively gone.

The latest development in my health has been my diagnoses of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. I was diagnosed in February 2011. Seems as though someone thought that since I had survived my Cipro poisoning so well, that I needed another challenge! So forgive me for not keeping you all informed and updated on the poisoning from Cipro, but I have been busy fighting cancer; Go Figure!

Anyway, I know that we are all different and we all deal with pain and illness in different manners; but for me, I pushed myself every day since I was floxed.  After the first three to four weeks, when I literally was bound to my bed or sofa, I pushed myself more and more every day. I started dancing again; knees, ankles and feet braced and taped. I took too much Ibuprofen in order to be able to do what I loved; even if it was just one or two dances at a time. Dancing fed my soul and helped me climb the very large mountain of tackling a poisoning from a drug called Cipro. My best wishes to all of you out there suffering from the side effects of these drugs. I really never thought that the day would come that I would walk normally again and not be in constant pain. I wished the last year of my life away in hopes of feeling better a year down the road. Don’t give up; there is hope for you too.