You know about the dangers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. You know that Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox and the other fluoroquinolones can cause central nervous system damage that can show up as anxiety, depression, memory loss, depersonalization, loss of intellect and social connectedness, suicidal ideation, etc. You know that fluoroquinolones can cause permanent destruction of all the connective tissue in a person’s body, their tendons, ligaments, fascia and cartilage. You know that adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones can be delayed and that stopping the medication will do nothing to stop its path of destruction. You know that fluoroquinolones are contraindicated with NSAIDs and steroids. You know that they should NEVER be prescribed or administered to anyone under the age of 18.
You are pharmacists. Your expertise is in pharmaceuticals. You have studied the chemical structure of fluoroquinolones and you know their effects, both good and bad. You know that they are dangerous drugs that should only be used in life-or-death situations. You know that they are over-prescribed. You know that they can have DEVASTATING adverse effects. YOU KNOW.
Yet you continue to hand them out. You continue to fill prescriptions with no more warning to the patient than a slip of paper in the bag that contains the poison that may shake their world. You tell them that their infection will go away when they take the Cipro, Levaquin or Avelox. The infection will go away but you FAIL to warn them that it may be replaced with chronic conditions that mirror autoimmune diseases, that their mental health may never be the same again, that they may never be the athletic, healthy person that they used to be.
You know that fluoroquinolones should NEVER be given to children. Yet you fill prescriptions for eye and ear drops containing fluoroquinolones for children, even BABIES. You hand poison over to a mother with a crying 11 month-old child with an ear infection, knowing that the Cipro ear drops will get rid of that child’s infection, but that it may fry their little brain. You know. And you don’t protect the children.
You say that it’s the doctor’s job to know what he or she is prescribing, but you know that they have no clue about the dangers of fluoroquinolones. They disregard the warnings of side-effects on the drug labels, thinking that all drugs have side-effects and that they all should be disregarded because the side-effects listed are arbitrary. There is nothing arbitrary about the litany of side-effects included with prescriptions of Cipro, Levaquin or Avelox. You know this to be true, but the doctors don’t. Their crime is one of willful ignorance and arrogance. They refuse to listen to anyone outside of their ranks, including you (and that’s another problem). They are ignorant, possibly through their own fault. But you are not ignorant. You know about the dangers of fluoroquinolones. You know.
Doctors may not listen to you, but you can still do something about this moral atrocity. Please, please, please STOP giving out these drugs. You are the gate-keepers. You can keep patients from poisoning themselves, or worse, poisoning their children. You can refuse to fill those prescriptions. You can tell doctors that they MUST follow their Hippocratic Oath and prescribe a safer antibiotic in non-life-threatening situations. You can ensure that all patients who walk away from your counter with a prescription for a fluoroquinolone have real INFORMED CONSENT. The Hippocratic Oath and Informed Consent are indescribably important. They are the moral bedrocks of the medical system, yet they are being disregarded. You can reinstate them in their appropriate place, at the top of the consciousness of every patient who deals with the medical system. You can and you should, yet you don’t.
You, as an individual, have the power to stop filling these prescriptions. You have the power to talk to the doctors that you work with, to inform them that fluoroquinolones are dangerous drugs. You have the power to talk to your patients and ensure that they have the information that they need to make a decision with true informed consent. You have that power. Please use it to make the world a better place.
You, as a group, have the power to change the way that all drugs are viewed. You can make sure that a protocol of careful examination and active warnings to patients for all drugs that are truly dangerous is followed when prescribing and filling prescriptions of drugs with serious side-effects. You can pressure the FDA into making sure that the side-effects listed on a drug insert are real and not arbitrary so that they are actually paid attention to.
Please be moral. Do the right thing. Please be ethical. Know that your actions have consequences. They matter. Your decision about whether or not to fill a prescription of Cipro, Levaquin or Avelox can make a difference in a person’s life.
I know that the tone of this letter is scolding. Please know that my intention is not to make you feel like a horrible person, my intention is to ask you to be a better, more empowered, more ethical person. If that is not possible, I ask you, I beg of you, please just STOP filling prescriptions of fluoroquinolones for children. They need your protection. They will thank you by living a full life without the chronic illness that plagues people who have been adversely effected by fluoroquinolones. Please, do what you can. Please do what’s right.
P.S. – If you’re pleading ignorance, let me ask you this question – Would you give your child a fluoroquinolone? If your answer is no, YOU KNOW.
Information about Fluoroquinolone Toxicity
Information about the author, and adverse reactions to fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Cipro/ciprofloxacin, Levaquin/levofloxacin, Avelox/moxifloxacin and Floxin/ofloxacin) can be found on Lisa Bloomquist’s site, www.floxiehope.com.