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Comment from: Charm1994, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: January 14

I had a 7 day regimen of this drug. After I finished my last dose on 1-2-15 I started with elbow pain (tendonitis), shoulder pain and horrible pain in both knees. I'm very active (I do an hour at the gym every day, walk/run 3+ miles and attend fitness class 2x a week) and I could barely walk. Twelve days out and I am still having elbow pain and shoulder pain. I had no idea about the side effects and I was not given an info sheet at the pharmacy. I was also given Prednisone at the same time. I'm very scared that these issues will do permanent damage. My doctor now wants me to take a 3 day regimen of Prednisone. I'm scared to do so. Anyone have any advice? I can just pray that this doesn't ruin my running season this year but I should already be training and can't because of my knee pain. BEWARE of this drug. Do not take it and please ask for something different. I'm praying I won't end up disabled because I wasn't informed and given a chance to make a better choice.

Related Reading: elbow pain | fitness | prednisone

Comment from: 25-34 Female on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: November 04

This drug destroyed my life. Full body tendon/muscle damage; neuropathy in lower legs and back; severe fatigue; short term memory loss; neurological and central nervous system effects, including severe anxiety attacks. I could go on. It's been nearly three years since I was given this drug for a simple case of sinusitis - which could have been treated with any of dozens of safer antibiotics - and I still suffer from all of those adverse effects and more. Prior to being given the drug, I was a healthy 23 year old guy just trying to live his life. Now I live trapped in a waking nightmare of pain and disability. There are multiple web sites devoted to the dangers and victims of the class of drugs to which Levaquin belongs: fluoroquinolone antibiotics. These sites include,, and Tens of thousands of people have shared their horrific tales on these sites. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are one of the most dangerous classes of drugs on the market and should be reserved for multiple-antibiotic-resistant infections which threaten the life of the patient. Their approval for anything other than this constitutes a grave injustice on the parts of the FDA and the manufacturers. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics commonly cause delayed reactions (side effects can appear for months after the patient has discontinued treatment), which can result in patients being unaware of the cause of their ailments. This facet of their toxicity profile exceeds commonly held safety standards for pharmaceuticals. Prescribing them for simple infections which have been shown to have a high probability for clearing up on their own should not be tolerated. Thank you for reading this; I can only hope that you will listen to me (and so many others who will gladly share their stories) and prevent yourself from ending up where I am now. I would give almost anything to be able to go back and not take this drug.

Related Reading: fatigue | anxiety | levaquin

Comment from: 55-64 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: January 15

Started taking med in August of 2014. Stopped after 2 weeks. Pain in upper arms was unbearable. Pain is still there. Find it hard to sleep and do normal everyday chores. When will the pain go away ?????

Comment from: 45-54 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: April 18

This crap is poison. If you like walking and take it for granted, don't take this stuff!!!! It ruined the cartilage in both of my knees. I took one 500 mg. pill for 10 days for a respiratory condition. No positive evidence of a bacterial infection was even present. A chest xray was done to prove I did not have any kind of pneumonia. Three days after I finished the prescription, I could barely walk. I was in pain, it felt as if my knees were being cooked on the inside. I couldn't bend them. I took Advil and was given a prescription anti-inflammatory which probably made things worse. Walking and being on my feet, all day, everyday, was everything to me. My career required me to be on my feet many hours a day sometimes for 12 hours. Can no longer do that. I would walk for hours and loved to hike. Can no longer do that. It is no less criminal to me what happened than if someone attacked me with a crobar to both knees. Except, I'd probably recover and might have someone to prosecute. What fluoroquinolone manufacturers are getting away with, and Levaquin's the worst, is criminal. But, I'll never have due process. My life is changed forever. If I knew then what I know now, I would never, ever, ever have taken Levaquin. Don't take it! That's my advice to anyone reading this posting. It's not worth it. I never suspected an antibiotic could do something like this. I thought antibiotics caused transient side effects like nausea. This was totally mind blowing. I was beyond flabbergasted that my life could be turned upside down by a drug like Levaquin. It is truly poison. Truly, truly poison. I have done absolutely everything I can to warn everyone I know about this horrible drug. I had an MRI to prove what this drug did to my left knee. The orthopedic doctor wouldn't OK the MRI for the right knee. This happened in February of 2008 and this past year has been a nightmare. I cannot stress enough, if you are ambulatory, do not take Levaquin!!!!!!!!

Related Reading: pneumonia | stress

Comment from: Sandso, 45-54 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: December 29

After taking one dose of this medication I felt like every tendon in my body was going to rupture. I was unable to walk. It was very frightening. Thankfully I only took one dose. If I had taken more I suspect I could have been permanently damaged. I was told that my reaction was extremely rare but that is apparently not the case. Do not take this drug!!

Comment from: nanasnow, 45-54 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: January 10

April 2009 I went to dr with a bad cough. Had had it for weeks. He diagnosed bronchitis, but did not do a chest xray. Put me on the devil pill. Within days, I had sever pain in knees, ankles and calves. Got to where I could hardly walk. After five days, no respite. He put me on another antibiotic with great results. Fast forward to today. Legs, knees, feet, shoulders, mid back lots of pain. Hands and elbows, too. Somedays it is all I can do to get up and walk. I have always had some sort of tinnitus but after taking this drug, it is overwhelming!! It can drive me crazy some days! We look to our physicians and pharmacists for guidance and this time I was let down badly!! I am glad I found this forum. Now I know I am not losing my mind! I kept telling my husband that all my "aches and pains" started after this medication and he did not believe me, perhaps he will now.

Related Reading: cough | bronchitis | tinnitus

Comment from: angry user, 55-64 on Treatment for 1-6 months (Patient) Published: January 16

I was prescribed Levaquine for middle ear infection and sinusitis. No culture made! I took 6 days of 2 times 500 mg of Levaquine a day. Day 7 I threw last pill away. Three days into my treatment I had horrifying pain in my Achilles tendons. I was on a holiday, had to ask for a wheelchair to even go from room to restaurant. 14 days out, my Achilles tendons felt like rupturing. I wasn't able to walk anymore. 3 weeks out my knees started hurting even more than my Achilles tendons. MRI showed both Achilles and knees severely affected. Thickening of Achilles. And cartilage defects and Meniscus tear in both knees. Orthopedic surgeon recommended emergency knee surgery. I am too afraid, as literally all tendons in my body started hurting at 4 weeks out. I fear any operation. As I can feel my body connective tissues are severely weakened and damaged. Knee surgery would fail because of that imo. Knee tendons and surrounding tissues are also weakened. I also experience peripheral neuropathy: severe pins and needles, burning sensations, knife like shooting pain in limbs, weakness of muscles, twitching of limbs, fingers, trembling inside and muscles cramp in calves and upper legs. I hate the day I took this medicine. I am now 3.5 months out and totally disabled and housebound. Wish I could reverse things. Please visit for more information. For me no more hope: cartilage and menisci will never heal again by itself. Operation will leave me damaged too due. This stuff is poison!!!

Comment from: carroll, 45-54 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: January 02

Took one dose of Levaquin TAB(500mg) for diangnosis of Bronchitis. Woke up in middle of night with severe pain in right calf. Called PCP the next morning and was issued a different antibiotic. Ended up at PCP on 10/23/12 because of continued pain in calf. Had MRI on leg and was found that had a muscle strain and sent me to Orthopedic specialist. Gave me 6 weeks of PT and ask that I return after that if not completely cleared up. Since October things have only gotten worse. Muscle aches in feet, legs and arms. All previous activies have been effected. Cannot drive or walk anything but short distances. Was previously healthy, active and had no health issues. Now trying to do everyday chores, etc take three times as long and are painful. At first Advil or Aleve seemed to help dull the aches and pain and have tried heat therapy as well. It is near impossible to sleep at night...cannot get comfortable to rest and fall asleep and now I wake up every night and takes me an hour to an hour and a half to fall back asleep. This medication is EVIL and should be taken off the market. I have told everyone I know to NEVER take this or any form of this mediacation. Always wondering if the damage caused by Leviquin is permament. My quality of like is gone! Always tired and in pain. Always wondering if one of my tendons is going to pop. My husband and I used to walk, garden,do yard work, bike ride, and I used to use my treadmill. I can no longer to these activities. NEVER NEVER take this medication!

Related Reading: levaquin | bronchitis

Comment from: Soooo Sad, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: June 18

All I can say is if I had known what Levaquin can do to people, I never would've taken it! After about the 2nd day, I was in so much pain in my feet, ankles and legs that I could hardly get up and down my stairs. It has been about a month since I had started taking it, and I'm still in a ton of pain! My lower back is in severe pain too! This medicine has definitely done something to my muscles/tendons! It should be taken off the market for sure! I'm scared this is going to affect me for the rest of my life! I'm 35 years old and I was in great shape but now feel like I'm in my 80's! Once I've been sitting down for a little while, I can hardly walk when I go to get up. I've never had any problems like this before with any antibiotics! This is insane!!!


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Comment from: [email protected], 45-54 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: April 28

I was given the RX for Levaquin 750 mg (5) tablets on 4/23 for a sinus infection. After taking 3 of these pills; I discontinued the RX. I have the worse muscle & joint pain in my upper arms, shoulders & neck. I have tingling/stiffness in my hands & have had very bad dreams, fatigue & loss of sleep. I hurt constantly & after reading some of the reviews last night, it leads me to believe that Levaquin is the reason. I strongly agree with others that this is the worst antibiotic I have ever taken & I will never ever take this drug again. I am warning others about the side effects of Levaquin. I am appalled that this drug is being prescribed given all of the bad effects added to this site. I will be reporting my side effects to the FDA & I sincerely hope that others that have reviewed Levaquin will do likewise. This is an awful & painful outcome of what should have been a way of improving the sinus symptoms I was experiencing. Please pass the word about the horrible effects of taking Levaquin to any/every one you know. It is unforgiveable that this drug is still approved by FDA & permitted to be prescribed with such negative side effects. I am actually afraid of how this joint/muscle pain will progress, but pray that the drug will gradually be purged from my system & that I may gain some sense of normalcy. This should never have happened to me or the other reviewers of Levaquin.

Related Reading: levaquin | sinus infection | fatigue

Comment from: MichelleC, 25-34 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: July 07

I was prescribed this medication for a mild sinus infection in December 2011. My prescription was for 500 mg once daily for 7 days. I was not able to finish the prescription beyond 3 days because I developed peripheral neuropathy. This was just the tip of the iceburg as I went on to develop approximately 30 adverse drug effects and ended up in the emergency room. I can assure you that the "rare" adverse drug effects are not that raren, in fact they have just been under reported. I developed tendonitis, peripheral neuropathy, floaters, dry eyes, dry mouth, tinnitus, brain fog, dizziness, pounding heart, etc. It has been over 6 months and I have not made a full recovery yet. Do not take this drug. I was 31 and in excellent health when I reacted to this drug.

Comment from: K.W.K., 45-54 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: May 17

Took 10 days of 500mg tablets for severe sinus infection (horrible swelling of my face around brow bones, under eyes), my worst infection of my sinus area in a very long time. I get an average of 2 sinus infections a year, due to malformation of the sinus glands. I have taken Levaquin before and never had a problem, so when I began to get these wierd side effects I looked for causes all over the place, but never thought the problems where because of Levaquin. After 10 days of 500mg pills, my Doc gave me a new prescription for the 750mg to take for 7 more days (due to severity of original infection, I still had symptoms), and yikes!! I have never taken a drug that has caused such wild and nasty side effects. Upset stomach, severe diarrhea,non-sinus caused headache, SUNBURN, muscle aches (like a really heavy workout),anxiety, and wild dreams and sleep disturbance. Will call my Doctor today and stop taking this stuff before I go completely crazy. SO, Levaquin very effective, easy to use, but HORRIBLE to live with! I pray these side effects clear up faster than my sinus infection did.

Related Reading: diarrhea | headache | sunburn

Comment from: hh, 75 or over on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: August 12

I take warfarin because of mechanical valves and combined with this drug, I could have died. A week in the hospital because my INR was so high after my legs gave out and I landed on the floor (called 911). Four months later I am still dealing with the after effects.All this having taken only TWO pills. This drug should not be on the market.

Related Reading: warfarin

Comment from: Deep South, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: November 23

I read all of the reviews after my doctor prscribed this medication for. Needless to say I was scared out of my wits. I called my cousin who is a nurse at the cancer center. She assured me that the medicine was not as bad as I had believed and she was right. No aches and pains of any kind. Make sure that you eat a full meal when taking and you should be fine. I am on day 4 and no problems yet.

Related Reading: cancer

Comment from: BBBJMK, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: May 30

I am 40, married, with 3 kids (10, 7, 4), & work full-time (same job 19 yrs). I don't exercise, but I've always worked, cared for my family, and kept my house clean without difficulty. In March, I took Levaquin 500mg/7days for a suspected UTI. My PCP added methelprednisone to my treatment. 2 weeks later, I went to the ER with excruciating pain in BOTH feet/ankles. The Dr. suspected Levaquin and said it is known to cause tendon issues. BTW, I was told the UTI was negative. My PCP and 2 specialist act as though they never heard of Levaquin causing tendon damage. An MRI of 1 foot showed "a split of the peroneus brevis, tendinitis, synovitis, tenosynovitis, achilles tendinosis," and many more medical terms. I have never had any problems with my feet. I thought this would pass in a few weeks. It has been over 2 months. Every day - every step - is a struggle. Walking into another room is a battle. Showering is an agonizing task. My children notice that I am no longer active in their lives. "Fun Mommy" went away. I am depressed. My husband and children are suffering. Will I ever again function normally? I go to work (desk job), provide minimal care to my children, then go to bed to start all over again. Weekends are spent on the recliner with ice. Levaquin should be used for serious, life-threatening conditions, not simple infections that can be treated with safer antibiotics. I think these effects are well-known & significantly under-reported. Patients trust that doctors are doing what is best for them. I shouldn't have to research every decision made by my doctor to make sure he/she is doing what is best for ME!!! Can anyone tell me the average length of recovery from this disease? Are there any vitamins or treatments that make activities easier? I don't want to run a marathon, only have the ability to take care of my family without being in so much pain.

Related Reading: levaquin | vitamins

Comment from: 25-34 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: April 10

I was very ill with a fever of 105. I had an infection that became septic and infected my blood and I almost died.I was hospitalized for a few days and was treated with Levaquin. It is a very strong medication and without it I would not have gotten better. I had no side effects whatsoever from this drug and would use it again. Everyone is saying how awful it is and what it did to them and I'm sorry that stuff happened but it actually saved my life.

Related Reading: fever

Comment from: 55-64 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: March 04

After being diagnosed with cellulitis due to a bacterial infection in the nasal area, was prescribed Levaquin 750 MG for a 10 day treatment. During the 10 days, had absolutely no problems and infection cleared. Two days after completing last dosage began experiencing muscle pain in one thigh. Muscle pain spread over the next two weeks to literally evey muscle in my body. Was painful to walk or move and even just clothes on body was painful. Was put on daily dosages of Advil and Tylenol which worked fine, but it took about a month and a half for all pain to disappear. After seeing lots of reviews stating muscle and tendon pain, I am sure that it was the Levaquin since the manufacturer even states that these are "rare" side effects that can occur during treatment or any time after treatment. But, based on reviews, I don't believe they are "rare". Will not take Levaquin ever again.

Related Reading: cellulitis | tylenol

Comment from: BlondieBlueEyes, 45-54 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: September 27

Using Levaquin is VERY effective for me because I cannot take Penicillin. My stomach is sensitive-and I take Leviquin with 'some' food to avoid an upset stomach. I've used this product 3 times in the last several years because of severe sinus issues; whether it was severe allergies- (lasted over 2 months-OTC products didn't help), or a 'slight' to painful sinus infection. Outrageous mucous production in my throat and sinus' prevented me from going anywhere-and using Levaquin eased my 'symptoms' in 2 days!! 10 tablets, 500mg for 10 days left me with MY life back to normal. I'm aware of the 'tendon' warnings, but I have no issues with this...and I take many Rx medications for my stomach and other health problems; so no interactions. I DO highly recommend this drug, Levaquin, when needed for dibilitating sinus problems-whether allergies that won't clear with OTC drugs (3 months? That's a LONG time!), or outrageous mucous production (clear, slightly colored, AND temporary-parts of the day-deep colored, and thick mucous. Talk always to your doctor first, but this drug saved me in TWO days after MONTHS of torture!

Related Reading: sinus infection

Comment from: WishIWouldn'tHave, 45-54 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: April 10

About an hour after taking each pill, I would get totally dehydrated, as if my mouth were full of salt. Several days after starting, my knees started bothering me. Then my legs ached with pain. Walking was painful, especially bending the knees, as in going up or down stairs, putting on socks and pants, etc. I was waiting for the pain to go down, thinking it would be just a day or two. I didn't finish out the perscription of 7 days. Now, 2 weeks later, I need to go see my Dr. I am concerned and hope there is no major damage; nothing that is permanent. I do not understand with all the complaints, how this drug can still be in use. It was given to me for bronchitis, and I questioned how the Dr. would know it was bacterial, rather than viral. No cultures were taken. I tried submitting with no stars, it wouldn't accept it. I know I didn't research the drug until after problems. I would imagine most people reading this are in the same situation. It has me thinking I should research all medicines before taking anything. If you haven't already, seriously research whether you need this medication, and are willing to gamble you don't sacrifice your health.

Related Reading: bronchitis


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Comment from: HurtByLevaquin, 45-54 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: June 08

This drug gave me extreme anxiety, insomnia, tendon and muscle pain, heart problems and breathing problems. It has been many months since taking this drug and I am still suffering in daily pain.

Related Reading: anxiety | insomnia

Comment from: 55-64 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: August 19

DON'T DO IT! After 2 week treatment, I couldn't walk because of severe tendonitis. Six months later, retinal detachment ! Go blind because of an infection? Seriously? This is a dangerous drug! Do NOT take it!

Related Reading: retinal detachment

Comment from: sejinpain, 45-54 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: July 31

I Am Into My 4th Month Of Suffering It started off with one sinus surgery which led to another. After 7 different anitbiotics and 2 surgeons I received Levaquin. Never again, two days into a 14 day treatment I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I kept taking it since it did appear to be helping the infection which I had suffered from since Nov 09. I took 7 days worth before I saw my ENT and he said to stop taking it. I was referred to an Arthritis Dr and am now on antinflamitories and narcodics for the pain. They help about 50% of the pain. My life has been changed forever. I wake up and am so sore and stiff for the first 4 to 5 hours I can't even walk normal. My big toes are numb, my ankles, knees and hips ache. The muscles in my legs are continually sore. My low back and neck hurt constantly. My shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers are killing me. I have a constant ringing in my ears. I used to read books in bed and now I can hardly hold them. I used to twirl my hair for hours on end and can now only do it for 10 to 20 seconds. The most painful thing I can do is drive, which used to be my freedom for escape. I have a standing desk at work and even with all the drugs it is all I can do to make it through the day. I am getting in trouble at work because sometimes I am "crabby". I miss way more work that I used to so that is not making anyone happy. I can't lose my job since I am the sole support for my family (my disabled sister & I). I have been on my own since I was 17 and now I feel like I am going to lose my life. Does anyone know of any help available out there? Any cures? Any hope?

Related Reading: levaquin | arthritis

Comment from: GLEOM, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: June 26

I am a 36 year-old woman who was prescribed a relatively low dose of Levaquin four years ago due to a MRSA infection and didn't suffer many side effects. However, recently I was given a 750 mg. dose to be taken over five days post gall bladder surgery to clear up a possible infection. On the first day, I had severe nausea and insomnia. By the second day, I had excrutiating pain in my left knee (not realizing that could be related) and by the third day had weakness in my limbs and felt disoriented. The day after my last dose, I ended up being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, as I woke from a sound sleep feeling as if an elephant was sitting on my chest. I had cold sweats, couldn't breath and was in excrutiating pain. After cardiac and pulmonary diagnostics were done, nothing was found. I asked both the EMTs and the ER physician if they thought it might be the Levaquin to which they replied "no". The physician sent me home stating that it was likely that I had a severe muscle spasm or reflux attack. I've never had a reflux problem and wasn't happy with this diagnosis. In my heart, I felt like it was the drug. When I researched Levaquin further, I realized that in fact it definitely was the culprit. It's been four days since I took my last dose and I still have awful pain in my left knee, severe anxiety that has made handling my small children very difficult, overall feelings of disorientation, fatigue and headaches. I am embarking on a detox to try and get this out of my system and would NEVER recommend anyone take this drug. What pharmaceutical companies get away with is criminal.

Related Reading: mrsa | fatigue

Comment from: JenniferParks1978, 25-34 on Treatment for less than 1 month Published: June 07

Do some EXTENSIVE research on this medication. Go to and type in "Levaquin lawsuit" -- this medicine is HORRIBLE. It can lead to peripheral neuropathy, tendonitis and ruptured tendons. This medicine is NOT to be prescribed to anyone with a brain tumor or any central nervous system disorder. Physicians and pharmacists are not aware (or do not care... you know... those oh so important pharmaceutical reps pawning their dangerous drugs off on everyone as long as they make a buck) because I am in SHOCK that my Mother's IDIOT doctor prescribed this to her, as he knows she already HAS neuropathy and an arachnoid cyst in her brain. She now has tendonitis so bad she can not walk. Some of these effects are irreversible. Speak with your doctor after doing your research and PLEASE for your sake, ask him/her to switch you to another family of antibiotics. (Cipro is also in this same family of antibiotics.) I'm very serious. PLEASE PLEASE do your research before continuing this drug. I am disgusted by the lack of knowledge that doctors / pharmacists have of this family of antibiotics. Now I'm watching my Mom go down hill, after a one week course of this evil medication, and it kills me.

Comment from: Foxyroxy, 35-44 on Treatment for less than 1 month (Patient) Published: March 14

While this product worked for my bacterial infection I have been left with swelling in my right knee for a week after taking the medication for 12 days and a constant pain and relative swelling after completing the 14 days requirement my doctor prescribed. I am unable to stand or walk for long periods of time without my knee swelling and having stiffness and pain. I also received another medication flagyl to offset any yeast that the levaquin would have created.

Related Reading: flagyl | levaquin


Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

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