The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E.

The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E. (HFME) is fighting for the recognition of M.E.,
and for patients to be accorded the same basic human rights as those with similar
disabling and potentially fatal neurological diseases such as M.S.

The Fluoroquinolone antibiotic drugs

The Fluoroquinolone antibiotic drugs (Cipro, Levaquin, Floxin, Tequin and others) ‘are the most toxic and dangerous antibiotic in clinical practice today’ according to the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Research Foundation. They go on to say, ‘We cannot even begin to count the number of lives these drugs have destroyed rather then saved in the past forty years.’ This antibiotic can destroy lives, according to many patients. The adverse drug reactions (ADRS) associated with the Fluoroquinolones include:  tendon and muscle pain, insomnia, burning pain, digestion disorders, anxiety, heart problems (including heart failure), vision disorders, ringing in the ears, rashes, blood sugar problems, depersonalization, toxic psychosis, mental disorders, seizures, pain, liver failure, kidney failure, irreversible peripheral neuropathy and other adverse reactions. The Fluoroquinolone drugs are anything BUT a safe and effective antibiotic and are clearly not worth the risk. The problems caused by the drug do NOT always resolve once the drug is stopped; the drug can cause permanent and irreversible additional health problems (both physical and mental).

Several drugs within this class have been removed from clinical practice.  Their use has been severely restricted, they have been banned by foreign governments, are currently under FDA scrutiny or have been withdrawn by their manufacturers due to severe toxicity issues.  Numerous fatal adverse reactions as well as permanent injury to the patient have been reported. For more information please see the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Research Foundation website or The Flox Report by Teo Boomer.


The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Research Foundation says ‘This article consists of the descriptions of the adverse toxic effects caused by the quinolone and fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics, suffered by previously healthy patients. Many of these injuries are irreversible and permanent in nature. In addition, this article contains data obtained from many individual "first person" reports, as well as information that comes from reputed mainstream medical sources which are readily available to the public.’ See also The White Paper by David T. Fuller. The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Research Foundation says, ‘More than fifty percent of the fluoroquinolones have been removed from clinical practice, or their use severely restricted, due to such inherent toxicity.  This White Paper details the case against the manufacturers of the drugs found within this class who have put profit and greed ahead of patient safety. The serious nature of these adverse reactions are well known by the various manufacturers who have gone to great lengths to both minimize and trivialize these reactions.’


I am including this information after being contacted by a (lovely) very severely ill M.E. patient named Kate who has tragically had her life utterly destroyed by this drug. Despite finding typing very difficult, Kate was determined to try and get the word out to fellow patients so that nobody else would have to suffer the same terrible fate.


She would also like readers to know:

1. All the terrible side-effects are known by the drug companies and the FDA and are publsihed and, in

the USA, nearly all are in the information that doctors and patients should (but don't) receive and read and take seriously. However, the way it's written makes it sound rare, minor, receversible and treatable – it isn't; if you're hit mildly, you'll probably recover, in a year or two, but if badly, then it's a gateway drug and you'll be a remunerative client for the Sickness Industry until you die.

2. These drugs are so powerful and so dangerous that they should either be withdrawn or only used when all else has failed and you'll die anyway. Yet they're being prescribed willy-nilly, in vast quantities, for SUSPECTED UTIs, SUSPECTED bronchial infections – and usually, it wasn't a bacterial infection in the first place. If prescribed one of these drugs, ask for something else. Doctors, most doctors, DO NOT KNOW how unsafe this drug is. Some do, but most don't, incredible as it may seem (but not incredible if you have M.E!) Many doctors are being damaged themselves. The few who have tried to speak up have been ostracised by colleagues, have lost their jobs, have been put under immense pressure by the drug companies.

3. In many countries, FQs are given routinely to farm animals, so you can be eating them anyway; also in farmed fish and in some sea fish. The stuff is everywhere. (As are other toxins such as mercury, anti-depressants and benzo drugs. Bloody humans!)

4. They are not supposed to be safe for under 18s, but are now being given to children in eye-drops and ear-drops. They destroy the CNS and PNS and can cause memory loss, dementia, permanent tremor and many other effects.

5. Even if you've taken these drugs before, that doesn't mean it's safe to take them again. Many people have done that and been wrecked. The effects, or at least the symptoms, can be delayed for weeks, months or even as much as 2 or 3 years.



Kate’s Quinolone story

I was 61 years old, nearly 62. I had smooth, healthy skin, not very difefrent from when I was 40 (and it was young-looking then.) My face was wrinkled, but not my body at all. I didn't have those floppy bits on my upper arms or anything. My muscles were hard, my skin was taut, I ran and danced and rdoe my bike and swam and dived; I drove all over France and Spain. My eyesight was good, just a little long-sighted form ageing. I was always laughing and smiling and sweet.-natured. I had no arthritis or anything. I ahd always eaten naturally, lived naturally, never took meds except penicillin for very severe infections.


I had no infection, so did not need an antibiotic. That was in late July 2009.


It started with just slight cramps in my calves, then a twitch in one eyelid. Then I fet drunk and euohoric for five days. On the sixth day, the euphoria had gone, I started to feel miserable and cross and very tired and ill, searched and searched on the internet, and by 27th. I had started to discover what was the matter. It was devastating and i was terrified, but the reality is even worse than feared.


During the firts two months, I was obssessed by the longing to commit suicide. I thought about it all the time. This is partly a natural, unsuroprising reaction to the horror of discovering what has happened to you and that nothing can be done about it and partlñy a known chemical effect of these “harmless antibiotics that should be used as a precautionary measure.”


Almost a year later, look:


Hair falling out in showers, have lost about 80% it's still coming out.


Skin quite suddenly, in a period of a few weeks, aged by about 25-30 years on the left side of my face, about 15 years on my lower jaw, about 5 years on right cheek, about 30 years on left arm and 15 on right. The arms are so hideous that they really should be hidden all the time, but it's hot, so i have to expsoe them sometimes. They look like old dead chickens. Skin on legs is similar and often looks as though I'm wearing wrinkled lisle stockings.


My muscles suddenly “melted” after about 7 months, at the same time as the skin collapsed. The arms om ny muscles are are just floppy, soft stuff. No, I mean the muscles of my upper arms are. That's better. My thighs are the same, only worse.


Legs especially, but also chest and other places, are covered with tiny broken and unbroken capillaries, red, blue, purple and even nearly black.


Huge veins everywhere, whereas before my veins weer deep and hidden and nurses had trouble finding them. I look like an anatomical diagram. Sometimes they disappear again. Can't have a blood test or any injection in veins, as it produces a terrifying neuropathic reaction, with paralysis, excruciating pain amnd vast armies of guiant fire-ants racing uop and down inside my arm, so that i get hsytericala nd scream for my mummy and beg them to amputate arm.


Constant neuropathic sensations of pain and parathesia, veyr bad undeed. Pain everywhere, except my tomngue, so far. Pain in eyeballs, in face, in bones (?Impossible) and evrywhere.


All tendons are being destroyed; they are tight, rigid, painful and could snap at any moment. This includes face, fingers, everything. At other times, they are loose and floppy.


The fascia under my feet were horrendously painful for the first months, but now they're not bad, only the fascia all over my pelvic area is terribly tender and painful – at least, i think it's the fascia that's hurting. Tendons in feet very painful. Swelling of and around left Achilles tendon. Fascial pain and soreness everywhere. All joints are agony as with arthriotis, but of course nthing would be vsisble of na x-ray, because it's the FQ taht is destroying them inside. This includes hiips, vertebrae, pelvis, knees, hands, everything, face, fingers, everything. Even my jawbones and cheekbones are being destroyed – i can feel it and I know it is so, because other paeople have it and they've had holes found in their jaws and cheekbones.  (they're American, so they can have all these

tests and so on, not taht it helps them at all.)


I will obviously have to have hip and knee replacements soon, which I'n suer i'd b¡never have be¡needed, but of course I can't have injectuions or blood tests.


I have torn or crushed or damaged a rotor cuff in wrist (by picking up a tangerine!) and anothe rin shoulder, but refise operation as it'd kill me.


The most common causes of death from fluoroquinolone toxicity is hospital infections - 20,000 a yera from FQtox C,Difficil in Franec alone.


Another is rhabdomiliosis (?) from wasted muscles getting into bloodstream.


Another is breathing difficulties.


One or other of those will probably get me and I don't want the operatiom-C-diff one. It's all so extrelmely YUCKY and so depressing.


Lungs very painful and am always, always out of breath to some extent, often so much that can't speak, breathe as though had just run a marathon, or had emphysema.


Hands swell, don't know why.


Have lost a lot of eyesight and now have to wear x3 specs to see any detail, even for cooking or cleaning. It's all blurred and unfocussed. Getting worse – must buy x4 sopecs soon, if they exist, as even x3 aren't powerful enough now.




Can't go in sunshine, as even half an hour produced a large crop of very unhealthy-looking moles. Also burning sensation after a short time. Before, I could spend alld ay in the hot sun.


Strange and nasty-looking white lumops unders kin. Old-people's skin – papery, freckley, discoloured.


A tiny bump produces a massive bruise that lasts for months. One is still there after nine months. Tiny sct¡ratches take wweeks to close and leave huge scars with a discoloured area around them. Dizzy, disoriented, fall over, walk like a dri¡unk, waeving., (this is much better, in fact nearly gone.) reverse letters and words. Everything I write is corrected and recorrected, but still contains errors.


Heart is very stressed. Will it stop? Dunno..


Fingernails and toenails were smooth, but now have deep furrows and ridges.


If I kneel on a fold in the sheet, or if I lean my elbow on my leg and am wearing a jumoper, the pattern of the sheet or the knitting will still be deeply impressed on my leg at least half an hour later. I carried the opattern of a lace curtain for an hour or so. If I press my fingertip into my arm or leg for 1-2 seconds, the deep mark of nail lasts for 10-15 minutes and the dent around it 2 minutes. (No collagen.)


A few minutes after I wake up, whetehr in the night or the morning, my jaw starts to shake, violently and visibly. Ir does stop aftera while, so it's not too abd now I'm used to it.


Very violent tremor in arms and hands, so that i spill tea, can't feed myself with a spoon, etc. really bad. Sometimes can't even just pick something up.


Uncontrolled movements – reach out for a box of matches, send it flying across van; collect it, open it, send all matches flying.


Hallucinations – not too bad, but do gets cared sometimes, as some peolle have a helluva time.  A few seizures, but only petit mal and I think taht's stopped. It was during the first or second month, after I had a vitamin supplement containing soy.


Violent allergy to soy, even a tracem, even soy lecithin in a vitamin tablet.

Extreme pain, everywhere.

Difficulty in walking; often can't walk more than a efw hobbley steps. Haven't walked freely since last juily.

Agarophobia – but taht's mainly beccause I don't want people to see me like this,

tics and fasciculatiosn, amnywhere and everywhere

Foul taste in mouth

Extremne weakness, often can't sit up, can't lift a bottle of water

Swollen ankles

Depersonalisation, derealisation


Loss of affect and concern

Urinary problems.

Ancient wounds reappear and re-open. Even the tear from when my children were born reappeared and swelled to huge and tender lump, although originally it was nothing, hardly even knew it was there and had completely forgotten it. Took months to go. Away again. Otehr old wounds also reappear.

Earache, sore throat

Floaters and falsghers flashers in vision

Extreme short-term memory loss

do stupid things such as trying to put on a pair of glasses – on top of the pair I'm already wearing. Takes me several minutes to work out why they won't go on.

A sort of over-stimulation, speediness, but with no energy or diorection, just nervy


A horribel, horrible sensation that all parts of me have been oput together wrongly or are somehow just Wrong – I have to keep opsuhing and adjusting them, as they drive me mad. Feel as though toenails , fingernaisl, mouth are fitted wrionhgly and need to be readjusted – it's hard not to get obssessive, pushing at them.

can't swallow (sometimes)

pain – incredible

Peripheral neuropathy is spreading to right arm and to all of my back

Terrible weakness, trembling all through

Dying feeeling, in fact it feels as though I'm nearly dead

Purple legs and feet. Often blue toes. Fingers go white or sometimes dark blue, almost black.

Compleet inability to feel pleasure or interest in anything or anyone. No sense of joy, eevn in birdsong or flowers.

Crying fits.


Lots more horrible effects – those are just a efw. It's really total destruction of CNS, PNS and all collagen. Collagen is what holds your body together, makes it tough yet elastic, it's in everything. I'm like a garden that's been sprayed wuith glyphosate.


I have the hospital abd clinic reports, saying that theer is nothing wrong with me, that it is impossible for an antibiotic to do this and that i am just puitting it on (for the fun of riding in a filthy ambulance?) or am a hypochondriac.





After 11 months, I did feel abit better, in fact quite a lot better. I could walk well, drive a bit, started to live again, sstopped thinking at all about suicide. Then I started to get earache. It got worse and worse; after ten days, my left ear was swollen shut and hurt a lot and my right ear just slightly. I gave in and went to a doctor, who, without looking at my ear, in fact without taking any notice of anything except my nationality, prscribed Augmentin. At the pharancy, I saw that it wasn't plain penicillin, returned and got it changed. I took the penicillin for 6 days, but the left ear cintinued to worsen. Returned to Health cebtre, different doctor, better – said I should have got an abogado about the FQ damage, referred me to ENT specialist at hospital. I said was wary of the clavulananic acid in Augmentin, showed him my withered arems and balding pate; he assured me that the worst possible effect would be “a bit of diarrhoea” (which I can't spell) but, after 3 days, my ear was in a horrible state, all the bones or cartilage or something on that side of my face were hurting asw ell – and nearly every one of the FQ effects had come back, many as bad as at the beginning. The joint pain was horrendous. But I was also affected in other ways – terrible nausea, seeing yellow, dizziness, pouring with sweat all the time... I stopped the Augmentin, of course; it took 3 minths to stop swweating and so on, but I never recovered as I had the first time and most things are worsening. And I realised, too late, that the earache was from the ototoxic fluoroquinolone that had made me ill to with.


After 17 months, the hair loss has slowed almost to normal, but I can't see any new, little hairs sprouting.


I stull think about suicide for hours ech day.


Every time I wake up, in the morning or if i sleep during the day, I have to realise that it's all true, that this isn't a nigytmare – it really is happeneing, and I cry and cry for hours, but I still can't quite believe it.


I can write better, don't reverse or cofuse letters or words much.


Eyesight bad and worsening. Apparently, i need glasses for cose-up and a different pair for further away, but the optician was very ignorant, so I'm waiting to see an opthalmologist.


Left wrist is terrible. I broke ro crushed or tore something in it duting the first month or two, picking up a clementine, and it's never mended.


Right wrist getting bad now.


Ankles, knees, hips, all of pelvis (e.g.sacro-iliacs) hands, shoulders, elbows... every joint is stiff and very painful. When i have walked or used them, my ankle or knee sometimes swell.


My lower back is so weak that it can hardly hold me up and so stiff that I can hardly bend to pick things up. Before Norfloxasesino, I was as supple as when I was 40, I could still do backbends!


All or nearly all the tendons in my body hurt a lot.


The fascia all through my body are affected, as far as I can tell. The worst is over my pelvis, hips and sacro-iliac joints. It feels raw. I think that the degradation and (probably) even necrosis of my fascia and connective tissue is the worst, or one of the worst, effects.


I'm almost constantly our of breath. Often, just sitting up makes me grunt with effort and pant for ages.


I suddenly got fat, after about 13 months. I gained 14% of my previous weight in ony 6 weeks, without eating more or doing less. (Can't do anything, anyway.)


My skin is still sagging nore and more. I'm planning to open a dolls' lampshade factory with the spare stuff. I'll exploit little children from whichever ethnic minority is currently exploitable and soon be rivalling Pepe Morín.


Importatnt: patients and doctors always talk about tendinitis, because that's what's written in the warnings, but most of us have very little -itis. It's -osis that we have and that's much worse. I think I have a little fascitis, but I'm sure it's fasciosis that's the big problem. It's the same with tendons and joints – they're disintegrating and becoming degraded, but they're rarely swollen, so it's not -ITIS.


Transdermal magnesium helped a tiny bit with the pain and dperession, but i had to stop because of terrible pruritis.


I wish i knew how it manages to travel around the body, finding new parts to destroy. It wouldn't help; I'd just like to know.


I feel and look about 93 and would be better off dead. Only the cat benefits by my miserable existence.


It's a rotten swizz.