Achilles tendonitis caused by Levaquin

by Therese Fuller
(Bethesda, MD)

My pain started early november 08 -- I didn't know why I had it. Then I saw in late November when the doctor recomended Levaquin (again)that levaquin had a black (WARNING may cause tendonitis).

Well, it took me until March of 09 to see a foot doctor who said "You really took a while to get here" and recommended 2 months 3 times a week of Physical therapy and exercises for stretching which took me 2 times a day for over an hour each time.

My therapy was over a few weeks ago and the doctor said I looked better and should continue the exercises but not as aggressively and that it might take several months for the pain to go away. I also notice my knees less sturdy going down stairs.

This week I took several nice walks on a beach and the achilles are throbbing.

Is there any hope? Should I join a law suit?

I am 75 years old -- have taught ice skating for years and recently over the past few years have taken fitness classes for seniors and sometimes substituted for them.

I do heavy garden work.

Your ideas, please.

Thank you so much.


Joshua Answers:

Hello Therese. I'm happy to share my ideas. A few questions first for clarification.

1. Were you fine, and then took Levaquin and now have Achilles Tendonitis type pain? I'm not clear from your description, though I'm guessing the answer is yes.

2. If so, how soon after taking Levaquin did you start experiencing Achilles pain?

3. Rock on on being 72 and so active!

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Aug 30, 2009
PART 2 - Achilles tendonitis caused by Levaquin
by: Terry

My achilles tendonitis became obvious about 2 months after taking levaquin -- I didn't realize the problem until the pain was too severe to ignore (I have a huge tolerance for pain).

I am not 72, but 75.

I am icing up the tendon that screamed and made by foot swell up after long walks in the sand along the water's edge.

I have hope that things will gradually improve as I continue the stretches and I have ordered a foot thing so I can keep the feet flexed while sleeping.

I didn't realize the icing was so important so I shall do more of that.

Thank you for responding to my first email.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Terry.

Yes, I hope it improves too. People seem to fall into one of two categories: Gets better and doesn't get better.

I'm currently making a page dedicated to explanations and suggestions for people suffering from Levaquin Tendonitis, but in short:

1. Ice. Ice Dipping and Ice Massage. Swelling, and much of the pain, is a function of Process of Inflammation.

Get the inflammation out, and pain will be less.

Then it's a matter of seeing how much actual damage is in there, and how much damage stays in there.

2. Increase your magnesium intake as described on Magnesium Dosage.

3. Make sure your Vitamin D levels are on the high side of the range.

Also, are you on any Statins? Statins and Muscle Pain

Mar 02, 2010
achilles tendonitis from levaquin
by: Anonymous


I am 33 yrs old and on day 8 of 10 of taking levaquin for a sinus infection, I went for a run ( I run 5 out of 7 days a week). I had sudden severe pain in my calves.

After my doctors diagnosis of achilles tendonitis, I went to therapy for 6 week, I now swim and bike 5 out of 7 days a week. I do jumping and heel-raise exercises.

After walking 1 mile my achilles hurts. I really want to run again.

I was wondering when is it safe to run? And for how long am I at risk for re-injury?



Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

You are at risk for injury possibly for years or decades.

Hopefully you just have PAIN from this. Hopefully the levaquin didn't damage the dna in your tendons such that they're at risk for actual rip and tear.

The short answer is, I would take a year off from running and stick with swimming and biking since that doesn't cause you pain.

Then I would -slowly- get back into it. Get into walking shape, then short jogs, then slowly increase it. If you have pain when you do that a year from now, that's an important clue.

You could push it now and test it, but I wouldn't if it were me. I'm in the 'better safe than sorry' crowd. If you're hurting from walking a mile, I wouldn't push it.

-IF- you have tendon degradation, depending on how much degradation you have, then you may or may not be at anything more than just pain.

Levaquin can cause rupture -without- running, just from laying in bed and then walking to the bathroom. Hopefully you don't have that dynamic.

From what I've seen, levaquin damage is either A. you hurt for a short term of weeks/months/a yearish, or B. You have seemingly permanent, long term pain/problem due to the cytotoxicity of the drug.

Jul 22, 2010
36 yr, physician just discharged from hospital for levaquin induced achilles tendinopathy both sides and paresthesias and muscle twitchings all over the body
by: Anonymous

36 yr, physician just discharged from hospital for levaquin induced achilles tendinopathy both sides and paresthesias and muscle twitchings all over the body


Joshua Comments:

Magnesium, Magnesium, Magnesium!

Jul 29, 2010
Tendonitis after accident and Levaquin
by: John Harlow

3 months ago I fell off of a scaffolding and broke the tibia and fibula. These were compound fractures which really tore up my ankle and the fibula ended up sticking in the ground for several inches where I landed.

I had one emergency surgery that day to clean out the wounds and another surgery a few days later to install screws, plates, etc... A few weeks after surgery I started developing really bad wound issues and was referred to a wound specialist who is still working on my wounds.

For 6 weeks of this period I was on Levaquin (along with several other antibiotics.) That dosage ended about 2 weeks ago.

I've graduated to walking with a cane (and a little without a cane) using an inflatable boot on my injured leg. I don't walk a lot. I still have to keep my leg elevated most of the time. I went to bed Sunday night feeling fine. When I woke up Monday morning the back side of my ankle and foot was swollen and tender. By lunchtime Monday I was back on crutches and off the cane. By Tues morning the pain ran up the back of my leg and my whole foot was more swollen (than normal.) My Surgeon told me to try some heel stretching exercises and that made my whole hamstring hurt.

By Tues evening I was back on painkillers for the first time in 6 weeks.

I went to the surgeon's office and they told me to start PT. My wound doctor doesn't want me to start because the most difficult wound (2" about ankle right on my shin) will be stressed.

I am confused and in pain at this point. Are there some exercises I could/should be doing. What about icing and heat. How will that impact healing wounds in the same area?



Jul 29, 2010
RE: John's Achilles injury, broken bone, and levaquin
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments

Hi John.

I have to say, I shivered when I read that. OUCH!

Normally I'm not a fan of inactivity, but in this case, I think you should take it easy if you can. That was a HUGE amount of trauma. Some movement is good, do keep it moving, but I wouldn't push a stretch AT ALL.

1. Ice Dip Ice Dip Ice Dip! As often as you can all day long, intensively for at least a week. You may or may not even feel benefit from it, but do it anyway. I promise it will reduce your healing times.

(Having said that, you took a lot of Levaquin and that's an ENTIRELY different story (but the below suggestions still apply).

I prefer self massage to stretching. It's just as effective and more gently on your structure. Just squeeze your leg/muscles/structures like a sponge, and press in different directions to create a manual stretch. I HIGHLY suggest that you keep yourself as mobile as you can, but do go easy on your leg (and I don't often say that).

2. As much Vitamin C as you can get in you. If you can find a doctor that will give you a Vitamin C IV (intravenous), I'd do that. It has been proven to GREATLY reduce healing times. It also reduces oxidative stress, and that's a GOOD thing. Your body is highly stressed right now.

3. Read my Magnesium for Tendonitis page and my Kerri's Magnesium Dosage page. Do what it says.

4. Colloidal Silver (HAS to be the kind of stuff found on Kerri's site as they're not all the same). When taken internally, it essentially acts an antibiotic, and will help clean up your wound.

More questions, more answers!

Aug 01, 2010
More on Achilles injury, broken bone, and levaquin
by: John Harlow

Thanks for the advice.

I ended up having to pretty much sit perfectly still for about 4 hours last Thursday and at the end it was like my leg had completely seized up. I found some massage videos on youtube and since then I've been doing massage on that area and light stretching hourly. That helps with the stiffness, but my foot is staying very swollen. It is back to the size it was 6 weeks ago.

I've been using a magnesium supplement at night for about 8 weeks now to aid in sleeping. Its called natural calm and uses magnesium citrate. I take 2 heaping teaspoons with water a little before bedtime. I also take supplemental Vitamin D (I had a deficiency) and a multi-vitamin with zinc each day. I don't know if this is enough to help with the tendonitis this amount seems to make me very regular but not in a problematic way. Right now, I'm not taking any of this as a result of the tendonitis, so I don't know if I should adjust the dosage.

My wound regimen has involved silver based anti-bacterial cremes/gels in the wounds. I change the dressings daily and treat the one remaining stubborn wound where the tibia broke thru the skin on the front of my shin.

All of this has helped manage my pain from the tendonitis, but the swelling and tenderness from it has spread into the incision area where the bulk of the hardware was added to my ankle. That area is now incredibly tender to the touch. Icing seems to help that.

Aug 10, 2010
screwed after taking Levaquin 3 separate t imes
by: joe

in 2009 i was on levaquin on 3 separate occasions.i actually started taking it in was a horrible decade with all the joint and muscle problems,which i never had before.

im 55 yo, muscular and used to be active until 3 years ago when things got really bad.

no doctor could ever diagnose me and my pain. well anyway the last time i took levaquin was in nov 2009 i was in hospital for 8 days for stomach pain. they never found out what was wrong with me. i did, ciliak.

any way pumped me full of levaquin in 09 for an infection i never had. got out of hospital 2 weeks later my left hip popped, mri shows lapro tear. a little while my left thumb, left big toe followed suit.

last week had mri on right shoulder,tear in bicep. but the big one,4/23/10 standing outside my house ruptured achilles tendon on left foot,complete. i've owned my own construction co for 37 years, because of the last 9 years especially the last 3 years, i'm broke.

cashed in life ins, used up all my credit, and i had a lot, now i somehow have to pay it all back. talked to 4 lawyers i don't have a case!

reason, there is no scientific proof that 5 months after taking levaquin THAT IT WILL CAUSE ANY DAMAGE! it has to happen in 90 days or less.

i'd like to know who made these guidelines? J&J?

levaquin screwed me for the rest of my pathetic life. by the way, just started walking this week for short distance without crutches, bad pain. oh yeah, after surgery to repair achilles developed blood clots in lungs. still on blood thinners.

yours truly Joseph Van Valkenburg.

can you give me any advice ?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Joe.

Yes, actually, the medical law around Levaquin, and a whole host of other harmful pharmaceuticals, is HEAVILY influenced by the pharmaceutical industry.

Doctors don't believe you, aren't particularly willing to believe that the drugs they give out on a daily basis may be harmful, the medical and legal systems are designed to protect the hospitals and companies, not the patients.

1. Did you mean Celiac disease? If you are gluten intolerant, regardless of having a diagnosis of Celiac Disease, STOP ALL INTAKE OF GLUTEN. For at least 2 months, ZERO gluten.

2. Magnesium. As much as you can get in you. FInd your tolerance level for oral intake, and get some Transdermal Magnesium Gel. Plus Epsom Salt baths, as there's good magnesium in the salt.

More info on the Magnesium Dosage page.

3. Bone Broth as the best Tendon Supplements

I don't know how you eat now, but you need nutrition. And lots of it. Make bone broth a daily part of your diet.

Cutting out all gluten, and adding bone broth and magnesium are three VERY necessary options are pretty cheap.

That's a start.

May 16, 2012
Severe Pain in Achilles after Levaquin
by: Anonymous

I am a 41 year old that took Levaquin for a kidney & lung infection. After 1 month I can hardly walk. I was previously very active & worked out 6 hours a week. I ran & was very physical. I tried to run & made it one mile & then ankle & tendon gave out.

Even walking slow for 1/2 hr around the neighborhood on flat ground is a lot. I am paranoid it is going to give out as my girl friend is on a year recovery from her achilles rupture surgery. I have 3 little kids and this is all I need.

This drug needs to be pulled off the market.


Joshua Comments:

I agree, very much so.

Jan 27, 2015
3 broken ankles in the same hour
by: Anonymous

My sister told me her levaquin story. All the nurses on her floor Had to take levaquin because there was an outbreak of whooping cough.

They took the full regimen And 1 months later on the exact same day in the exact same hour three of these nurses broke their ankle,my sister included. This was in Florida in the year 2000.

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