In CALL 6: Mother blames antibiotic for son’s death – Purdue University student took Levaquin, a news piece aired on WRTV 6 out of Indianapolis, Heather McCarthy tells the story of the tragic death of her son, Shea McCarthy, who lost his life after experiencing severe psychiatric adverse effects of Levaquin, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.
Heather McCarthy notes that when Shea jumped out of a second story window, got in his car, and crashed into a cement embankment, “’It was a moment, I believe, of sheer agitation and anxiety and I believe it overcame him.’”
Anxiety can truly make people want out of their own skin. Levaquin, and related drugs, can cause horrible psychiatric problems, including psychosis and suicidal thoughts and acts.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, Floxin, and their generic counterparts) can cause severe psychiatric adverse effects. In fact, the drug warning label notes that toxic psychosis, and other serious psychiatric symptoms, can result from taking Levaquin and other fluoroquinolones:
Fluoroquinolones may also cause central nervous system stimulation which may lead to tremors, restlessness, anxiety, lightheadedness, confusion, hallucinations, paranoia, depression,nightmares, insomnia, and, rarely, suicidal thoughts or acts.
I encourage everyone who has experienced an adverse reaction to a drug or suffered from psychiatric illness, or who has a loved one who has suffered from an adverse drug reaction or psychiatric illness, to read this article and watch the associated video:
No one Listened
Heather McCarthy states that she spoke out to the media in order to give a voice to her son. “’The hardest thing about this is my son knew what was wrong with him, and no one listened to him,’ McCarthy said. ‘It breaks my heart. We put faith in a system that failed us horribly.’”
Too many people with psychiatric illnesses are being ignored.
Too many people suffering from iatrogenic illnesses and adverse drug reactions are being ignored.
The people suffering from psychiatric symptoms as a result of adverse drug reactions, are most definitely being ignored.
As Heather McCarthy said, “’People don’t make this stuff up.’” No one wants to experience psychosis, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, confusion, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, or any psychiatric illness symptom. No one wants to experience an adverse drug reaction. People certainly don’t want to experience psychiatric illness as a result of an adverse drug reaction.
So, when a person claims that a drug made them feel psychotic, or depressed, or anxious, or that they experienced horrible insomnia, or if they blame an adverse drug reaction for a psychiatric illness diagnosis, please, please, BELIEVE THEM.
There is no benefit in having a mental illness diagnosis. People don’t make these things up.
Lack of Adequate Help
Unfortunately, what to do about psychiatric illnesses, adverse drug reactions, and psychiatric symptoms caused by adverse drug reactions, is not fully known.
Shea McCarthy got worse after he began treatment for bipolar disorder. The drugs he took for it may have had suicidal thoughts and actions as a potential effect—many drugs that treat psychiatric illnesses do.
There is some interesting, and promising, research being done into probiotics as treatments for depression and other psychiatric illnesses. I am hopeful that probiotics will be helpful in treating both mental illness and adverse drug reactions in the future, and that the role of gut destruction (from antibiotics and many other environmental stressors) in mental illness is soon elucidated.
While microbiome and probiotic research is being done, please BELIEVE the victims who are providing testimony about how antibiotics caused them to have psychiatric problems. They’re telling the truth, and they deserve to be heard.
My heart aches for Heather and all those who loved Shea McCarthy. I hope that Shea’s tragic story will help people to see that psychiatric adverse reactions to drugs, especially to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, should be taken seriously.
Antibiotic Induced Psychiatric Reactions
The testimony of Heather McCarthy, and many other people who have been hurt by fluoroquinolone antibiotics, as presented to the FDA in November of 2015, can be found in this transcript.
More information about the psychiatric adverse effects of fluoroquinolones can be found in Can Antibiotics Induce Psychiatric Reactions?, and Psychiatric Side Effects of Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics. The article, “Fluoroquinolone-related neuropsychiatric and mitochondrial toxicity: a collaborative investigation by scientists and members of a social network” published in the Journal of Community and Supportive Oncology also goes over the psychiatric effects of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Additionally, articles like Combinations of Gut Bacteria Affects Myelin Content and Brain Function and The Gut-Brain Connection, Mental Illness, and Disease go over the connections between gut/microbiome health and mental health.
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.
Participate in Research
Hormones MatterTM is conducting research on the side effects and adverse events associated with the fluoroquinolone antibiotics, Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox and others: The Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Side Effects Study. The study is anonymous, takes 20-30 minutes to complete and is open to anyone who has used a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. Please complete the study and help us understand the scope of fluoroquinolone reactions.
Hormones MatterTM conducts other crowdsourced surveys on medication reactions. To take one of our other surveys, click here.
To sign up for our newsletter and receive weekly updates on the latest research news, click here.
What Else Can I Do To Help?
Hormones MatterTM is completely unfunded at this juncture and we rely entirely on crowdsourcing and volunteers to conduct the research and produce quality health education materials for the public. If you’d like help us improve healthcare with better data, get involved. Become an advocate, spread the word about our site, our research and our mission. Suggest a study. Share a study. Join our team. Write for us. Partner with us. Help us grow. For more information contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To support Hormones Matter and our research projects – Crowdfund Us.