20 Things Cipro's Warning Label WON'T Tell You:
1. As everyone knows, all drugs have potential side effects. In the vast majority of drugs on the market (over 95% of them), these side effects are transient--meaning they cease when the medication is discontinued. This is NOT the case with Cipro. Many of the side effects listed on Cipro's warning label (plus many others that are not) can actually be PERMANENT and result in lifelong disability! Bayer blatantly hides this fact, as the word "permanent" appears absolutely nowhere on the drug's warning label1.
2. Cipro is a purely synthetic chemotherapeutic antibiotic in the fluoroquinolone (also referred to as "quinolone", "quin" or "FQ") class of drugs. Well over HALF of all fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been pulled from the market over the years for their horrific safety records--and those remaining (Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox and a few others) are no safer! A study of ADRs in Italy, published in 2005, found that among more than 50 types of drugs, fluoroquinolones were involved in the largest number of serious problems and accounted for 11 percent of all adverse events.2 Every single drug in this class carries a black box warning--the equivalent of a skull & crossbones--for its nasty and long-lasting side effects. A black box warning is the last step before a drug is taken completely off the market. There is NO SUCH THING as a safe fluoroquinolone antibiotic! *Update: Cipro now carries TWO black box warnings!
3. The odds of experiencing an adverse reaction to Cipro (including, but certainly not limited to tendon rupture) are MUCH higher than the warning label would have you believe. These adverse reactions are also much more severe and long-lasting than Bayer will admit to.
4. Cipro's warning label makes it sound as if tendon rupture is the worst possible scenario. What it doesn't tell you is that the drug is actually capable of unleashing an entire SYNDROME of systemic toxicity upon the patient which is often referred to by victims as "floxing" or being "floxed." Others refer to the condition as "fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome." Regardless of what you want to call it, it is absolutely devastating and commonly includes 30-40 different adverse symptoms all being suffered simultaneously and often lasting for YEARS. Many of these symptoms are devastating in and of themselves. This Cipro-induced toxicity syndrome wreaks absolute havoc on every part of a person's body--every tendon and joint in the body can become affected, every organ (including the brain), peripheral nervous system (resulting in severe and potentially permanent pain conditions, dystonia, muscle weakness or autonomic dysfunction), vision damage up to and including temporary blindness, retinal tears and/or permanent double vision, permanent tinnitus (ringing in the ears), long lasting or permanent central nervous system damage (including relentless insomnia, memory problems, random panic, depersonalization, psychosis), chronic fatigue, multiple chemical sensitivities, severe muscle wasting, hair loss, skin changes, severe dryness issues (dry skin/eyes/mouth/nose), extensive dental damage, sudden development of new food allergies and on and on and ON. While many of these side effects are indeed listed on Cipro's warning label, many are not. And again, nowhere in the drug's literature does Bayer acknowledge the existence of this devastating syndrome--nor do they disclose that if you fall victim to it you'll be experiencing nearly ALL of the ADR's listed on the warning label simultaneously! More than a few victims, as you may imagine, have been driven to suicide as a result of being floxed by fluoroquinolone antibiotics including Cipro.
5. Cipro attacks much more than just your tendons--it is toxic to ALL connective tissues including muscle/bone/fascia/skin/nerves/even cartilage!3 A laboratory study done on puppies showed that Cipro actually melts the cartilage out of their joints. (In case you didn't already know--cartilage does not regenerate! Once it's gone, it's gone). Degeneration of the cartilage matrix in humans has been observed following as few as two oral doses of Ciprofloxacin.4 This information has been known by scientists for over a decade now, and yet the word "cartilage" still appears absolutely nowhere on Cipro's warning label! There's a huge difference between "joint pain" (what is described on the drug insert) and complete joint destruction requiring replacement! And yet numerous individuals--both young and old--have had to undergo full joint replacement surgeries shortly after taking Cipro. People have also suffered osteonecrosis (bone death) as a result of taking this drug.
6. Cipro does not cause "tendonitis" as Bayer describes it on the warning label. Tendonitis is an overuse injury. Fluoroquinolones--including Cipro--are directly toxic to tendon cells, chemically altering and destroying them both at the cellular and DNA level.5 Again--there's a big difference!
7. Cipro-induced injuries DO NOT HEAL NORMALLY, if at all. Floxed bodies lose their ability to heal. A small injury that would heal in a matter of days for a "normal" person often takes weeks or months to heal in a floxed person, or may not heal at all.
8. Cipro can and will attack your body regardless of your age or prior level of health. Do not think that because you are young, healthy or have never experienced any tendon or joint problems that you are safe taking this drug. It doesn't work that way! In fact Cipro is not even permitted for use in patients under the age of 18 because it can interfere with the development of a child's still-growing connective tissues. Cipro can render a top athlete of any age completely crippled and unable to walk, let alone workout or compete ever again.
9. Do not think because you've taken Cipro on previous occasions without any apparent problems that you're safe to take it again! Cipro's damage is cumulative, and the drug can turn on you at any time. This is not an allergic reaction we're talking about here. Everyone's threshold for the drug is different, but given enough of it, anyone can and will become floxed by Cipro. Once you have surpassed your threshold--that's it. There is no going back. Many disabled Cipro victims report having taken Cipro "successfully" a number of times before it finally turned on them.
10. Unlike most other drugs whose side effects surface while actually on the medication, Cipro is capable of causing severe delayed reactions that don't even manifest until long after you've finished taking the drug. This is unbelievably dangerous. What it means is that you could be experiencing a potentially permanent, crippling reaction to the drug but have NO IDEA until it's too late! Victims often report finishing their entire course of Cipro before "the bomb" finally goes off inside their body. It is not uncommon for a week or two to pass between the ingestion of Cipro and the onset of its toxicity. Once floxed, your risk of tearing or rupturing a tendon continues indefinitely--there are people still experiencing tendon tears & ruptures many years after ingesting this drug. Those who suffer delayed reactions often never make the connection between their sudden 'mysterious' health problems and the antibiotic they took days, weeks or even months prior, so these reactions go largely unreported. Worse, these victims often end up taking more FQ antibiotics at some point, which then cripples them even further.
11. People have wound up on crutches or in wheelchairs for the rest of their lives from as little as a few pills. As stated earlier, it is not uncommon for every tendon and joint in a person's body to become affected including shoulders, arms and hands, so often standard wheelchairs are not an option and an electric wheelchair or motorized scooter must be used instead.
12. In addition to being highly toxic to connective tissue, Cipro is also a neurotoxin capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and causing severe long-term neuropsychiatric side effects. These include random episodes of panic and anxiety, relentless insomnia, seizures, confusion, depersonalization, psychosis, memory loss, paranoia and hallucinations. These side effects can result from as little as ONE pill and persist for years or in some instances even be permanent! People have ended up in psychiatric wards or worse--killed themselves--as a result of some of these psychiatric side effects. Imagine for a moment being unable to sleep more than 1-2 hours a night, every night, for YEARS. link1 link2
13. There are entire online communities and support groups consisting of thousands of fluoroquinolone antibiotic (Cipro) victims, with new members unfortunately joining nearly every single day.
14. Dental damage! Cipro can calcify all of the nerves in your teeth as well as permanently dry out your mouth, promoting extensive tooth decay and/or tooth loss. There are people in their thirties who now wear dentures as a direct result of Cipro destroying all of their teeth from the inside out. Others have had teeth literally break off at the gum line after becoming floxed. Again--NO mention of this anywhere on the warning label!
15. As stated previously, Cipro is a 100% synthetic chemotherapeutic drug. It works by interfering with bacterial DNA, preventing it from replicating. The problem is, how can a synthetic chemical differentiate between bacterial DNA and your DNA!? As it turns out, it can't. Hint: If your cells cannot replicate, your body literally begins to fall apart! Which--coincidentally--is exactly what happens when a person becomes floxed. Muscles rapidly waste away, tendons tear and rupture (sometimes even in one's sleep), retinas spontaneously tear, cartilage erodes from the joints.
16. The vast majority of doctors are completely ignorant about Cipro and its horrific and long-lasting side effects. Most won't believe you when you tell them a prescription antibiotic has caused your slew of sudden disabling health problems--even if your symptoms match the ones listed right on the drug's warning label! They'll insist that the drug can't possibly still be harming you days/weeks/months/years after you've ingested it. They'll try and tell you you're just getting old or they'll subject you to a myriad of expensive testing in hopes of finding an auto-immune disorder or some other explanation for your problems. Inevitably the tests all come back negative. There is no auto-immune disorder…you were poisoned by an FDA-approved antibiotic. Sadly, even if you do manage to find a doctor who is familiar with fluoroquinolone toxicity, there is absolutely nothing they or anyone else can do to reverse the damage once it has occurred. There is quite simply NO treatment for floxing--no remedy, no tonic, no antidote. Once the damage is done, it's DONE. And yet Cipro's warning label instructs you to call your doctor immediately if you begin showing signs of an adverse reaction! What's the point?!
17. Doctors often try to misdiagnose flox victims as having auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, since many Cipro-induced ADR's mimic those of auto-immune disorders. Other favorite misdiagnosises include reflex sympathetic dystrophy (also called chronic regional pain syndrome or CRPS), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, scleroderma, Raynauld's syndrome, and Sjogren's. Very few doctors--outside of alternative practitioners--will ever attribute your slew of sudden health problems to your having been poisoned by a prescription antibiotic.
18. Bayer does not know the mechanism behind how or why Cipro cripples people (at least that's what they claim). They also do not care, and are not interested in finding out. Bayer does NOT like to hear from their victims and does everything in their power to silence them. Many websites set up in order to spread information and awareness about floxing have been threatened with legal action and shut down. Others have 'mysteriously' disappeared from the web over the years without explanation. We'll see how long this one lasts!
19. If you become crippled by Cipro, don't expect any lawyers to take your case. They will claim you were warned. Of course, as I have just outlined, you were not at all warned adequately or truthfully about the scope, likelihood, severity or duration (aka permanence) of Cipro's nasty and life-altering side effects. Then there's the issue of proving cause and effect and statute of limitations with a drug whose side effects sometimes don't even fully surface until years after being ingested! Talk about the perfect crime!
20. SSDI does not recognize fluoroquinolone toxicity as a diagnosis, so you will have to fight tooth and nail to obtain any disability benefits once you've been poisoned. The very government that allows this drug to be handed out like candy then turns around and tries to prevent you from collecting disability benefits once you've fallen victim to it!
In short, a prescription for Cipro could end up being the most expensive prescription you EVER fill. My life ended on October 25th, 2009 thanks to just (12) 500mg Cipro pills I'd taken over the course of six days. Other than a suspected urinary infection, I had been an incredibly healthy and active 30-year-old prior to ingesting those six grams worth of poison. SIX GRAMS was all it took to completely and utterly end my life. I met NONE of the "risk factors" listed on Cipro's warning label, and yet here I am years later housebound and essentially bedridden and with devastating injuries to my musculoskeletal and nervous system. Think for a moment of all the things that make your life worth living. Now imagine suddenly being unable to do any of those things. That is my reality now thanks to Bayer "Heathcare", an inept FDA and my doctor who I trusted to 'do no harm.' Those 12 pills cost me absolutely EVERYTHING. No more work. No more traveling. No more gym. No more living on my own. No more walks around the neighborhood. No more trips to the mall. No more grocery shopping. No more swimming. No more tennis. No more bowling. No more dating. No more sex life. No more dreams of buying my own home or opening my own business. Hell, I can barely walk to the mailbox! My car is gone, credit is destroyed, quality of life demolished. EVERYTHING IS GONE!!!
This site is my way of screaming from the mountaintops since the FDA is obviously NOT doing their job!!! This website is the warning I wish I had been given. Bayer may have crippled me, but as long as I'm still breathing they will NEVER shut me up about this! I will do my best to spread this website to the far reaches of the internet in an effort to try and reach as many people as possible before they too become unsuspecting victims of this horrific drug. This NEVER should have happened to me--not when there are a plethora of other, safer antibiotics on the market that are just as effective at killing bacteria WITHOUT the risk of permanently maiming the patient! The fact that both Bayer and the FDA know about Cipro's horrific safety profile and not only look the other way but actively COVER UP these facts and keep them hidden from the public and the medical community is downright criminal! Do you know that I've filed adverse reaction reports with the FDA every six months since this happened to me and not ONCE has anyone from the agency bothered to contact me for any further information? As it turns out, the FDA's main interest is NOT assuring public safety but rather maximizing drug company profits.
Please read my story, visit the external links I have compiled and warn everyone you know about what is happening. I do not want one more person to fall victim to Bayer's limitless greed and the FDA's utter ineptitude and corruption!
CIPRO IS POISON!!!
1. As of August 2013, the FDA finally added the word "permanent" to fluoroquinolone warning labels, but only in regards to nerve damage: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm365050.htm
2. Galatti et al., Neuropsychiatric reactions to drugs: an analysis of spontaneous reports from general practitioners in Italy. Pharmacological Research 3: 211 (2005)
*Please note that EVERYTHING stated on this webpage is also true for Levaquin, Avelox and ALL other fluoroquinolone antibiotics--there is NO such thing as a safe fluoroquinolone antibiotic!