What To Do When you Get Floxed


Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Symptoms from a Functional Medicine Perspective

You’re either here because you have been floxed, have a friend or family member who has been floxed and/or maybe, you’re researching the topic for school. As one of the first practitioners to treat floxies (aka those who have symptoms of cipro toxicity) in the NY area, I’ve seen it all – regardless of where you fall in your search – you’re in the right place. 

Fluoroquinolone Toxicity is something not a lot of doctors are familiar with. I became of it a year after graduating & entering into Osteopathic medicine – and worked at a family practice. We had a girl come in who was experiencing blurry vision, cognitive impairment & depression. Her mom commented that the girl before us was a shell of her normally cheerful, athletic, studious and  smart as a whip daughter from last week. We put our heads together, looked at her newly run labs & comprehensive history to finally pinpoint the problem: she had been prescribed and taken Levofloxacin weeks before for a bacterial infection. Cross correlating that her symptoms showed up shortly after she finished the bottle and several lab markers (that we’ll address below) we decided to explore if Levofloxacin played a role in the girl we had before us days prior. 

The symptoms of fluoroquinolone toxicity she was experiencing sent my co-workers and I down a rabbit hole of of emergent thinking. What if antibiotics may not just harm our microbiome, but they severely damage human cells? 

– Dr. Paulvin

Now onto the research + support as adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones have received considerable attention over the years. Out of every 10,000 prescriptions given, an average of 9.2 are reported to result in emergency room visits. The most widely-used fluoroquinolones being: Ciprofloxacin, Levofloxacin, and Moxifloxacin

What is fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome?

Signs + Symptoms

Fluoroquinolone drugs have been linked to some potentially serious, long-term, and permanently disabling side effects, including toxicity to the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and musculoskeletal system. Other Cipro toxicity symptoms include:

  • Mitochondrial dysfunction and DNA damage
  • Brain Fog
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Blurry Vision 
  • DNA Damage
  • Anxiety/Depression due to the effect and Gaba and Gut Damage
  • Tendonitis
  • Muscle Atrophy
  • Increased reflexes

Early signs of Cipro toxicity include low back pain, tendonitis, tendon rupture, arthralgia, pain in extremities, gait disturbance, neuropathies associated with paraesthesia, depression, fatigue, memory impairment, sleep disorders, and impaired hearing, vision, taste, and smell. Long term, fluoroquinolones may increase the risk of peripheral neuropathy by 47%. Ciprofloxacin is shown to inhibit normal maintenance and transcription of mitochondrial DNA by changing mtDNA topology. Mitochondrial damage to tenocytes during fluoroquinolone treatment may be involved in tendinitis and tendon rupture. It can also lead to fatigue, and inflammation,

Warning: If you have been exposed to quinolones, it is advisable to not use Ibuprofen, Steroids, or Fluorinated compounds that include PPI’s. Asthma inhalers and some SSRI’s fall into this camp. 

How to treat Cipro toxicity

Many people want to know if (and how) they can detox from Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, and other fluoroquinolone drug reactions. The reaction can be treated if diagnosed early. Functional medicine may be a viable fluoroquinolone toxicity solution. 

Functional medicine seeks to identify and address the root cause of disease, rather than treating the symptoms. Comprehensive health treatments are used to support the patient’s overall health and longevity.

There is hope! Your symptoms can be managed if we focus on healing across the mind & body.

Reducing the Toxicity of Fluoroquinolone

Detox Detox Detox

Immediate ingestion of antacids or magnesium supplements (in appropriate amounts) can prevent some of the quinolones from entering the bloodstream. Quinolone absorption is markedly reduced with antacids containing aluminium, magnesium and/or calcium. Other metallic ion-containing drugs such as sucralfate, iron salts, and zinc salts, can also reduce absorption. However, this may also result in therapeutic failure. Treatment with NAC has been shown to reduce intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the SOS response caused by ciprofloxacin without affecting its antibacterial potential. 

Recovery from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

Although not comprehensive, here are a few treatments that may be beneficial. Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Paulvin for a bio-individual & comprehensive treatment plan.

Mitochondrial support & healing modalities & treatments. 

  • Oxidative stress can be reduced by increasing levels of endogenous and exogenous antioxidants and by stabilising mitochondrial energy production with α-lipoic acid and ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10). 
  • Cells treated with mitoquinol mesylate showed less oxidative stress and maintained more mitochondrial membrane potential. 

Cipro Neuropathy Treatment

Neuropathy can be treated with medications, technology and supplements.  medications used to treat and manage associated neuropathy include gabapentin, lidocaine, imipramine, carbamazepine, and nutritional support.   Supplements such as carnosine and alpha lipoic acid plus red light therapy and hyperbaric can help.

Peptide Therapy

Alternatives to fluoroquinolones are now being sought. Antimicrobial peptides are rapidly gaining attention for their clinical potential as an alternative to antibiotics. Chemical modifications to the peptide backbone can be used to improve biological activity and stability and reduce toxicity. Zinc carnosine has been shown to improve the eradication of Helicobacter pylori

Gut Health Restoration

Restoring the gut microbiome and intestinal lining after antibiotics is crucial. You should work directly with your practitioner to understand which strains of probiotic therapies would best for your individuality – but a few things that I have seen work include Colostrum, IonBiome and/or BPC 157 tablets.

Cipro Toxicity Testing & Treatment in NYC

Have you already had your labs done, suspect you may have Cipro Toxicity & don’t know what to look for? 

Schedule a 10 minute complimentary consultation with me and we can review them.


  1. https://cdn.mdedge.com/files/s3fs-public/Document/September-2017/6204JFP_Article3.pdf
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  4. https://neurosciencenews.com/antibiotics-nerve-damage-13083/#:~:text=Common%20antibiotic%20may%20increase%20nerve%20damage%20and%20peripheral%20neuropathy%20risk,-FeaturedNeurologyNeuroscience&text=Summary%3A%20Fluoroquinolone%20antibiotics%2C%20such%20as,neuropathy%20associated%20with%20amoxicillin%20use
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  6. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10715760902736275
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  12. https://juniperpublishers.com/argh/ARGH.MS.ID.555665.php

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