I had walking pneumonia at Thanksgiving and was prescribed levaquin. The next day I noticed soreness in calves. The soreness, in three days, developed into tendonitis in ankles and in shoulders. I had no idea that levaquin was causing this and took levaquin for the ten days prescribed. This has now caused me considerable pain and limited my mobility and activities for five months. It seems to be permanent and I am very angry.
I have levaquin-induced tendonitis. Is there anything that will help me?
Question posted by donpat123 on 24 April 2010
Last updated on 9 March 2020
This question has also been asked and answered here: How long does tendonitis last from taking Levaquin?
Came her for a somewhat positive story. 27 YO male took Levofloxacin for 2 days 500 MG. It destroyed my body. Joints and muscles aching and weak. Tingling down my arms. Right calf and achilles tenderness. Terrible headaches and brain fog. Insomnia, anxiety, everything. It's now been 8 days since I stopped and my body is mostly recovered. My muscles are still weak and my right achilles is going to require more rest, but overall much better. This drug is pure poison and should never be prescribed. Take a different antibiotic unless there's no other option for a serious infection.
In 2016 I was 22 and had pneumonia and I have asthma and my doctor prescribe cipro. On day 6 out of 10 I had Tendonitis in my ankles and wrist so bad I couldn’t move my joints. My doctor said she’s never herd of this and I stopped taking the antibiotics. It took 6-8 weeks to get my motion back with physical therapy. Also CBD oil was the only thing that really helped. But since 2016 I’ve had flare ups about every 6 months in my wrist or ankle. Then I just ware braces and take extra CBD oil. Now this flare up is in my ankle and had an MRI and now I need surgery. So from experience the more I work or exercise a lot it flares up. Also I have EDS which is a genetic cartilage/ collagen disorder. So if you want help with the inflammation and go through every day life without pain, I would suggest CBD oil, but make sure it’s Pure and not any added ingredients. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s going through this.
Has anyone who commented gotten better?
I am very angry at my very recent painful side effects from Levofloxacin/Levaquin too. Am freaking out about all my pain, and weird pains in strange places. I took a ten day dose beginning July 23, 2019. No doctor or pharmacist mentioned a word to me about how dangerous it could be. No one asked me my health history or even what drugs I was already taking. I am 67, and totally terrified. Someone mentioned a class action lawsuit. But, not who to contact. This drug should be banned!!!
I was given Levoflaxacin for pneumonia in February 2018. After taking seven doses, I literally could not move the following morning. Tendonitis hit every joint and muscle. Physician said I had tendonitis, apparently induced by Levoflaxacin. I was never warned about the side effects from physician or pharmacist. Physician gave several rounds of steroids, which helped. Still had terrific pain in left leg and right wrist. I have been taking CBD oil dailey since June 2018. Still have a little pain, but could not make it without the DBD oil (1/2 vial of 1500mg each morning). Truly, I believe I will have the tendonitis forever. I warn everyone I know a bout the Levaquin drugs. Personally, I think it should be taken off the market, but money talks; and supposedly it does help some people. Many of us are allergic though and are in pain from it.
I am allergic to almost every antibiotic there is ranging from anaphalactic shock to hives head to toe. Only a couple make me sick as a dog the minute it goes in I feel ill and within 15-20 minutes I am in the bathroom throwing up projectile style until everything that day is completely gone. I recently went to the ER and when they checked my blood work my potassium was 2.1 and my white cell count was 23. They admitted me and because my numbers refused to stay steady they kept me for 5 days. The diagnosis was Pneumonia. I was pumped full of Levaquin IV bags if I counted correctly there was 7 or 8 bags hung as well as potassium and something else. Because I have a tendency to fall they did not want me up walking around except bathroom runs. When I was released they gave me 3 - 750mg Levaquin pills and I noticed the back of one leg and both ankles hurt when I walked.
I had an appt with my Ortho doc and asked him why the back of my ankles and calf just below the knee were hurting so much. He asked what they gave me in the hospital and he said yep it was most likely the Levaquin. Yesterday I had to go to the ER because I went to step over something and fell on my right knee and hit my head. I now have 14 staples in the knee and my left ankle hurts so bad it makes me want to scream. I was told not to overuse. This med since the Dr did not want me becoming tolerant since I have so many antibiotic allergies. Now we have this problem. I am unsure what they can really do when I am sick.
I have Tendinitis from Levaquin. Have been doing PT after cortisone shots. PT seems to be agitating more than helping. Has it helped anyone else?
I suffered from this many years ago after being prescribed levaquin for a persistent case can of bronchitis.
My wife suggested I go to a homeopathic doctor. I was very much sceptical of homeopathic medicine, but felt I had nothing to lose. I was given a remedy and much to my surprise the tendonitis pain stopped within a few hours and never returned. I don't recall the name of the remedy but if anyone is suffering from it I would suggest giving it a try as you have very little to lose and much to gain.
It worries me all the comments about needing supplements and so on. Unless you have a very restricted diet, the average American diet is full of everything you need and more. No evidence that anybody’s deficit in anything, and not magnesium – unless you’re a chronic alcoholic who drinks instead of eats. Taking these mega-supplements of other stuff can be harmful. The body can take a lot, and will throw off any excess usually, but it’s a waste of money too. And herbalists and “naturopaths” are not Doctors. Nowhere remotely close to the training in medicine a doctor gets-though they don’t often listen, nor does everything have an answer-though “natural medicine” fans will say they do. Anti-inflammatories can be tried – they don’t make anything worse-it would just be for Pain, but the pain is likely more on a neurologic basis than inflammatory basis, So they’re not going to fix it.
First of all, I am so sorry to hear you are experiencing side effects of Levaquin. Like with all side effects, it affects people differently. I spent many months with knee and joint pain and lots of money on various supplements. There is a lot of support groups online and advice on what helps, what doesn’t. I am limited to what I can say or recommend on here so getting in touch with a group is what helped me. It is possible to recover and I have improved greatly if that is any encouragement to you. I found my help on social media (Facebook has many fluoroquinolone support groups which is the drug class of Levaquin)along with lots of research of my own. Just remember getting advice from support groups should also be combined with your own knowledge of your own health and research from reputable sites. I can honestly say any drugs I take now is researched on effects and I prefer vitamin/mineral/herbal supplimentation over any prescription drug. Good luck to you and hope you find relief soon from your tendinitis pain.
DHEA 50mg , turmeric 4 pills per day , magnesium 750mg , potassium chloride 1500mg (or isopure protein powder if you can't get potassium pills, it has a LOT) , choline 500mg , protein powder 60g , massage therapy once per month, ice ... Pray ..
No more Prednisone !!! Ever !!! It breaks down muscle ... Just ask your doctor ...
I took Levoflaxacin in January 2018. After seven days every joint and muscle ached; could not sleep. Now after two rounds of prednisone, I am better. However, I still have substantial pan in the left calf, right shoulder and right wrist. Three days ago I started cannibus oil. I will report the results in about two months.
I am so sorry to hear you have had this issue. I also had a reaction to Levaquin. Like you, started in my calves, but over several weeks, I was so swollen all over from the inflammation. At the worst, I couldn't fit in my shoes, wear my wedding rings, grasp anything (like pulling up covers in bed was not possible), and couldn't wash my hair by myself.
I can only tell you my journey, and what my Rheumatologist and I did to help me.
After attempting multiple different anti-inflammatories, and pills for rheumatoid arthritis, none of which worked, we made the leap to steroids. My dosing for effect was luckily small, usually 5-10 mg daily. Prior to my first pregnancy, I was started on Humira, and it was a MIRACLE!!! absolutely zero pain for the first time in months. I stayed on that for 6 months, but had to go off to get pregnant. Once that was out of my system, the pain and swelling returned with a vengeance.
So, I went back on steroids, and I was on this for 6 years (until done w kids). After kids, I went back on Humira, but it didn't work this time around. So, after several months of taking Humira and steroids, I switched to Enbrel, and it has been great for 2-3 years.
Hopefully you can meet with a good rheum that knows the literature, and is willing to help. The first doc I saw was extremely dismissive. I am a physician myself, and knew what I was talking about. I knew there was something wrong. Luckily, I found the right doc, and I have been extremely functional since. I have had several small tendon issues since, but nothing I have needed surgery for. Good luck. Hope this helps!
I just read the first question and response. In a way, the person who answered the question (with no heart, as described) is correct. At the time, there was NO RESEARCH to go by. No one could give you any answers. But, now , if you google your questions, you will have some good articles to read. How do I know? I've suffer from Nephropathy ( induced tendinitis) from the Drug, Levaquin. No pharmacist or Doctor is going to tell or warn you about this 6-14 years ago... because no one knew... at least most didn't. I had to go to a well know homeopathic doctor for help. Cost me 3K to find out information. First and foremost, get on a good probiotic... the more you help your immune system, the better you will feel. I also recommend a dietary enzyme to assist you in eliminating waste in the body ( the quicker you can do that, better you will fee). DO NOT EAT ARTIFICIAL ANYTHING. Those preservatives or NON FOOD fillers will cause you even more pain than you think.
Exercise. As painful as it sounds, daily stretching, yoga or Pilates helps over time ( 2 months to start feeling better). It really works, folks.
Take a B-complex... you energy is being depleted in many ways. MAGNESIUM; To help with leg cramps, bone health and muscles. Fish oil , Vitamin D, C and K. are taken daily as well.
I've had this happen to me and have been experiencing pain for 14 years! Imagine that! And NO DRUGS... imagine that even further. It's Awful, but there is no way in Hell that I will take ONE MORE "FDA APPROVED DRUG" ever again. So, I self manage my pain. Self medicating... Yes, I said it. Cannibas helps assist the pain management... lol, but don't be fooled. IT DOES NOT TAKE the pain away. IT just keeps you from complaining that much.
Eat Healthy. If you are over 50 ( mentalpause... lol) or if you don't own you're own hormones, you will need to get on a BIO IDENTICAL Hormone therapy. This means it is natural... but EXPENSIVE. It does help but it is just one of many combinations needed to be able to manage this pain. If you do this, I promise you , you could have up to 2 years FREE OF PAIN... like a remission of some sort. My pain free time lasted about 2 years and the pain came back. Why? like every other human, "I FELT BETTER SO I STOPPED". Yeah, don't do that. If and when you start feeling better, continue this method... because it WILL come back. Why? Because your cells are messed up now... and even the new cells that multiply are developed with the same molecular structure as the effected ones. They are all bad... so you are pretty much screwed.
Massages are great... just warn your masseur. AND , if you don't drink a lot of water afterwards, it will be like someone beat you up, later. I've spend everyday of my life, since this has happened to me, 14 years ago, researching, reading other peoples blogs and find those that have the same experiences as I do.
I just didn't come up with these things. Most came from my homeopathic doctor and others came from experienced Levaquin victims, like myself. What I'm most worried about is what will happen to me/us when I get older? I'm already 55. This is eating my muscles, pretty much and now, I have to go back into the gym to build them up. I've exercised my entire life... nothing new for me... but after my hysterectomy,I could swear I lost 35% of my strength/muscles. The pain got much worse without my ovaries. IT's been 6 years with no breaks from Pain. However, some months or weeks are better than others.
Finally, last food for thought: Do NOT GET STRESSED. This culprit will excellerate your pain. And that will take MONTHS to get over.
I hope this crazy rant finds someone to help. If anything, you are not the only person crying. I'm right there with ya!
Once you've discontinued the drug, start with gently getting back into your physical routine. Injured tendons need lots of time and slow introduction of load bearing activities to heal. Get a referral for physical therapy if you are seriously impaired or were not physically active before levaquin. You will need to do some light exercise to stimulate the regeneration of the tendon and a physical therapist with knowledge of the issue may be able to help you.
- Levaquin uses and safety info
- Levaquin information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side effects of Levaquin (detailed)
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