Severe Joint pain after 4 days of Levaquin 500 mg. for bronchitis

by Susan
(Chapel Hill, NC, USA)

I am a 56 yr. healthy white female and in April, 2011, was prescribed Levaquin for bronchitis. After 4 days of taking it, I had SEVERE joint pain in my wrists, ankles/heel, knees, and shoulders. I stopped taking the Levaquin.

My wrist and achilles tendons in both feet had "knots" on them and I ached so badly I could hardly walk or use my left wrist. Over the past 5 months, the knots subsided, and my wrists, knees and shoulder pain improved but did not go away completely; however, my achilles tendon mostly in my left foot, has been extremely tender.

I have since July, 2011, developed Plantar fascitiis and still suffer from this. I NEVER had any joint pain like this in my life and have suffered no injuries in my lifetime to cause these joints to hurt. I have NEVER had foot pain of any kind until now.

I truly believe that Levaquin caused all of these physical problems I am experiencing. I was not told by the doctor who prescribed it, nor the pharmacist who filled the Rx that this was a common reaction to this dangerous medication.

Only after talking with two other people who took Levaquin under similiar circumstances, and had similar painful reactions, did I do some research on the internet about Levaquin and realized the source of my problems. I only hope I can get some relief for my foot/heel pain at this point.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Susan.

Let's hope that your bronchitis was bacterial in nature.....if not, you were given dangerous Levaquin for no reason.


Magnesium, magnesium, magnesium.

As much as you can get into and onto you.

If you can find a doctor that will give you a Magnesium IV (10,000mg), do it.

Levaquin Tendonitis is primarily caused (basically) by
massive magnesium depletion caused by the fluroquinolone family of antibiotics like Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox, Floxacin, etc.

There's a reason that 7+ other variants have been outlawed.

If you're lucky your symptoms will partly or mostly go away within a year. If it doesn't, it won't, and will continue to be bad and quickly or progressively get worse.

Levaquin depletes your body of Magnesium, kills the powerplants of your connective tissue cells, and triggers a whole host of negative reactions in the body.

Magnesium. Orally, topically (including epsom salt hot baths with about half a pound of epsom salts), and by intravenous (IV) if you possibly can.

I highly recommend that you get The Levaquin Tendonitis Solution ebook.

It'll explain everything, and give you a concrete plan for what to do about bolstering your body so it can have everything it needs to be able to heal itself/recover from the cytotoxicity caused by the Levaquin.

Good luck, and keep us updated.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

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

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Comments for Severe Joint pain after 4 days of Levaquin 500 mg. for bronchitis

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Apr 04, 2013
What happened to my knees after Levaquin?
by: NC

I went to the doctor and found out I had bronchitis that was quickly becoming pneumonia and was started on Levaquin.

Everything was fine until the second day on the medication. I woke up that night with right sided weakness. At first I thought my arm was asleep, but it didn't go away for several hours. Eventually it disappeared, but my shoulder was stiff for days.

The next day I started having knee pain, bilaterally. I could hardly walk.

After a few days, it got better and I went back to work, I am a nurse who worked 12 hour shifts. I hardly made it through the day, my knees and legs hurt so badly. One of the docs I work with ask me, "what is wrong with your legs." I jokingly told him, "I had bronchitis and if I didn't know better, I would think it damaged my knees".

He asked what antibiotic I was on and I told him Levaquin and he said quit taking it, you are having a reaction to it. He went on to say, it used to be believed that it could only happen if you took the IV form, but more and more people are having tendonitis even with the pill form. I went home and threw the remainder of my medication away.

That has been over a year ago. I have left bedside nursing and took a job where I am not on my feet very much, because when I am up walking I have continous knee pain. Some days are worse than others, but nothing seems to help long term.

Apr 21, 2014
The ghost of Levaquin from years ago
by: Diane

I have been on Levaquin type medications twice. Both times for upper respiratory infections.

The first time was about 2007. I was given a steroid with it. After taking only one dose, I couldn't feel my legs or walk on my feet.

I lost feeling completely in part of my leg for months...the feeling did come back in my feet...pain. It took about two years to feel normal again.

I spent about six weeks off work completely, and several weeks at half days. The doctors had all sorts of reasons for my situation, from stress to a virus. Even though I said I thought it was a reaction to the medication, they said no medication would have those side effects.

Then in the fall of 2013, I was put on Levaquin. After the first dose, I couldn't put my hair in a ponytail because my shoulders hurt so bad. Or raise my leg over the seat of my Harley because my hips hurt so badly. I didn't feel right. After three days, I researched the internet and found out the drug I was taking to make me feel better was hurting me.

I had flashbacks to my "episode" from 6 years prior. I finally understood what did that to me then and what was doing it to me now.

I stopped taking the drug. But not soon enough. My knee kept giving out on me. I ended up wearing a knee brace for a month...which is better than falling on top of the children in the classroom like I almost did.

It seems since having the first drug reaction, the chemical make up of my body is different. I am allergic to so much more than I ever was...even basic penicillin.

It seems that if I get an infection of any sort, the ghost of Levaquin comes back to haunt me. My joints hurt like they did before. It's almost as if I relapse into the drug reactions. As I sit here, my joints hurt.

I wonder if this is permanent. I wonder if this is life changing. I wonder what else we are doing that we think is okay, supposed to make us better, but in reality, is killing us.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Diane.

1. Hopefully not permanent, but it's entirely likely if you don't do anything to effectively counter the downsides/causes of the side effects.

2. Were you given Levaquin for bacterial or viral infection? Antibiotics are only good vs. bacterial infections.

3. When you get stressed or sick, that eats up magnesium, thus increases in symptoms. Levquin drastically depletes the body of magnesium, you're still low.

4. What's up with your immune system that you get infections (it sounds like that's halfway often?)

5. How much gluten do you eat? I get bronchitis from eating gluten. It's very likely that gluten is playing a role in your health issues too. Gluten is one of those things that 'we eat that we think is safe but is in reality killing us'.

Apr 21, 2014
Renewed hope
by: Diane

I am so looking forward to reading the Levoquin Solution.

I work with preschoolers so therefore my immune system is constantly barraged by unhealthy environmental stimuli. I do not get bronchitis often....however, my sinuses and ears have earned me 2 surgeries and lots of infections and those are the source of most of my antibiotic use.

I was very active and healthy before the first dose of Avalox years ago. I hope it's not too late and that I can reverse some of these effects.

Josh and Kerri, thank you for renewing my hope.


Joshua Comments:

I hope so too! And I predict that it's totally doable, but depending on what's going on in your body, it may or may not require some patience as you do all the right things.

If it's just magnesium depletion, no problem. If there's mitochondrial population loss, that takes time to build back up. If there's DNA damage, that's a 'let's try our best to heal it' which definitely takes time.

THe upside is, doing 'the right things' will also make your body healthier so your propensity for sinus infection will drop too.

Apr 21, 2014
Help with download
by: Anonymousdiane

I have ordered thee book but am having trouble opening it. Is there another way to access it?
Will the book direct me in finding out the level of severity? Is there a way to confirm that the antibiotic did this damage?

You are the first person who is actually medically helping me they this. I have suffered for so long. To even think there may be hope to get some relief brings tears to my eyes.

Thank you


Joshua Comments:

Hi Diane.

1. Use the contact form (navigation bar button on the left side of the site) and let's chat about opening the files.

2. There's no easy way to see how 'extensive' the damage is. You could go see a doctor for testing etc, and MAYBE they could confirm DNA damage or not, there are tests for mitochondrial test (can get those through Kerri), etc, but...

But it doesn't change what you need to to to get better. The mitochondrial test might actually be helpful to know whether or not you must take CoQ10 etc, you still need to do all the right things to A. get your body working better and B. create a healthy environment for your mitochondrial population so it can repopulate itself it is was harmed.

Personally, I don't think it's worth the cost/effort at this point. If you do the protocol a while and we determine you're not getting the results you should be, then we can investigate further.

3. The only way to confirm that the fluoroquinolone antibiotic caused the side effects is to have a doctor say 'yes, it's from the Levaqin'.

There's no test that I know of that gives a proof positive diagnosis. Diagnoses are made off of your symptoms, and the timing of the onset of your symptoms and the taking of the drug.

Also, yes. Hope is eternal. Let's run with that!

Apr 23, 2014
Levoquin cure might kill you, worse than the bronchitis
by: Nancy

I went to the E/R for bronchitis and came out with Levoquin 750mg.

I wish I'd known, why didn't I know. Why is this poison available?

Total doses I took before stopping 4.

I was so sick then it started I couldn't sleep for 3 days. I read side effects and I was filled with dread. My body started to ache , painful muscle cramps and burning sensations.

Then it started in joints I was in so much pain all I could do was sob. Headaches, my stomach was so upset I thought I would vomit. My hands started curling like a 90 yr old. Felt like someone gave me an IV injection of arthritis.

When I finally feel asleep had horrible nightmares. Vision blurred and doubled.I couldn't raise my arms they hurt so much. My mind was numb couldn't comprehend what was happening.

I called my Dr. and told him what was happening . He had me come in asap. Sent me to get some blood drawn. Blood work okay except CPK. That was elevated like 5 times. Muscles secrete this when extremely damaged. So far it's been 7 days . I'm going to eye doctor tomorrow something is wrong with my eyes.

I still have muscle pain, headaches and stomach problems and nightmares even with sleeping pills. I have read how this drug gets into your cells. I can get more side effects for months even though I stopped taking it.

How can this be on the market and innocent people , their lives are being ruined. Shame on the big pharmaceutical companies!!!!

We will perservere.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Nancy.

You didn't leave your email or check the notifications box, I REALLY hope you find this.

Levoquin is bad news, and can be REALLY bad news. It sounds like you're in that category, but maybe not. Only time and effective self care will tell.

You need to get Magnesium into you and onto you, as much as possible, ASAP. Fluoroquinolones like Levoquin, Levaquin, Levofloxacin, Avelox, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, etc, depelete the body of magnesium, which is a lot of your symptoms.

Probably not all, but first things first. Magnesium!

RELATED: Levaquin Is Worse Than My Pneumonia And Bronchitis

RELATED: Cipro A Cure Worse Than The Ailment

May 28, 2014
Damage from ciprofloxacin, healthy 21 year old runner, nausea then tendon pain
by: Alex

1- I took ciprofloxacin 500 for a simple infection

2- 500mg 2x a day for two days and didn't take anymore than that due to the nausea it gave me

3-nausea and vomiting hours after the first dosages... After I quit the meds it took two days for me to start feeling aches from the hips down. Left side worse than my right.

4- my right side seems to be getting better left side slowly too. The pain localized to my hips left inner knee and left Achilles. Right ankle hurts every so often. joints however feel lose and muscles just seem very tight and weak. Now having swelling and pain in lower abdominal region not sure if that is related. It has been about a week since a stopped the medication.

5- My doctor apt is tomorrow morning so that should be interesting to see what they have to say about my symptoms, hopefully some answers hopefully some solutions.

6- I have only tried 750mg of magnesium oxide in tablet form daily in addition to a multivitamin and 1000mg of vitamin C to help with the reversal. I am also taking vitamin E 800iu and drinking protein shakes with vitamin D.

This is all included with a clean eating lifestyle that i already live. I try to do some light stretching but only if it doesn't hurt and I ice my areas along with heat after any type of movement or activity I feel has been an exhaust to those areas. (Even just walking around the house)

7- Things seem to be improving VERY SLOWLY every day so assuming what I'm doing is helping & i am headed in the right direction but I am not a doctor, nor am I an expert.

8-side effect have persisted about 6 days now.
9- What am I doing wrong, what else can I do to help myself progress, what can I do to get my legs back to a normal state so I can resume my normal lifestyle ( running 3 miles a day working out with weights ect) being a 21 year old female , what are my chances of a full recovery and can I expect to make one ?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Alex.

1. How are you doing now? Give us an update.

2. Pro-tip: Switch to anything other than magnesium oxide. It's by far the worst of the bunch, not particularly absorbable at all. I'd shoot for magnesium malate.

3. I don't know enough yet to give any kind of estimate for recovery. Give us an update, lets see what results you've been getting with what self care you've been doing.

See Related: Chance Of Recovering From Ciprofloxacin Side Effect

See Related: Is My Tendon Damage Pain Caused From Cipro?

Mar 24, 2015
Can you have side effect two weeks after taking Levofloxacin & MethylPREDNISonlone?
by: Melissa

On January 19th, went to Dr. A for cough that would not go away. Also, pulled muscle from coughing. It was from back to underarm to chest (right side) and hurt when coughing. He gave me a cortisone shot and Cefprozil. On 2nd to last dose, broke out in hives from cefprozil.

On Feb 5th, back to dr and saw Dr B (dr. a was out. Upper respiratory with fever. Had z-pack; no problems.

Feb 20th ~ back to Dr. A again for severe bronchitis. He prescribed levofloxacin (500 mg for 7 days) and methylPredisolone. I did not realize until last week you are not supposed to take the two together because of problems with tendonitis.

No warnings from dr or pharmacy. Took it with no problems except for a day of diarrhea. Took probiotics and it helped.

March 2nd ~ Stomach virus that lasted about 14-18 hours (vomiting, diarrhea, and fever). Pretty sure virus.

While on the levofloxacin no problems except the back of left knee was a little sore. After virus, I noticed knees both making popping sounds which they have not done previously.

On the 3rd, a friend in Monroe shared on FB a news clip about the dangers of Levofloxacin and how taking it with cortisones makes it worse.

Of course, I made the mistake of reading all about it on the internet, googling it, and reading the horror stories. For the last 2-4 days, both of my knees (mostly the backs) and upper calves (like I want to get a Charlie horse) have been sore.

My wrists a little sore (I have been typing more than usual). Not sure I am being a hypochondriac or just the way I have been sitting or not exercising.

Tried to eat foods today with magnesium like bananna, potato, etc.

My questions: Can you have side effects of the medicine 7-14 days after taking it? It seems like most of the stories I have read are while on it.

Do I need to be concerned or see my doctor? Is there anything to take or eat to help this?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Melissa.

Should you be concerned? Yes.

Maybe symptoms will go away within a year if you don't do anything in particular.

But you already have health issues and your immune system is low and/or challenged, which points to lack of nutrition, so personally I wouldn't wait around a year hoping for the best.

What's your vitamin d level?

Was it viral bronchitis, or bacterial?

Yes, it's a known phenomenon that fluoroquinolones and corticosteroids should not be mixed. Unfortunately, most doctors don't know this common knowledge.

"My questions: Can you have side effects of the medicine 7-14 days after taking it? "

Absolutely. Same days, or weeks down the line.

Mar 24, 2015
Pain after just 12 hours, now am on FMLA for a week.
by: Jennifer

1. I had bronchitis for the second time in three months. So my doctor decided I needed a really strong antibiotic and gave me Levaquin.

2. I took 500mg for seven days.

3. I first got some pain in my left calf about 12 hours after my first pill.

4. My left calf got to where I could hardly walk on it. Then my right calf started hurting. By day six my shoulders, elbows, neck, and when bending my buttocks would hurt. Every morning it is like waking up after being hit by a car.

5. My doctor said to take a week off work so I wouldn't aggravate it more and take Aleeve or ibuprofen.

6. I haven't tried anything yet, I just finished it. It's only been a week since I took my first dose.

7. -----

8. I've had them for a week. Just finished my dosage.

9. Is there anything I can do before it gets to where I can't walk?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Jennifer.

I'm sorry to hear that.

1. Did your doctor do any testing to determine whether the bronchitis was viral, bacterial, or otherwise?

When I was 27 I started getting bad bronchitis several times a year. For 10+ years I dealt with this. Then long story short I found out that the bronchitis was an result of inflammation from gluten.

I've stopped/dropped my gluten intake, and I haven't had a hint of bronchitis in 3 years.

5. Taking a week off isn't going to help anything. The cytotoxicity from fluoroquinolones isn't like stepping on a nail, where you stay off your foot for a week and it gets all better.

For one thing, Levaquin depletes the body of magnesium (and thus pain and muscle dysfunction).

Clearly your doctor has no experience with Levaquin side effects.

Hopefully you just need magnesium to replace what's been depleted.

I'd get on that ASAP. See: Magnesium For Tendonitis and then follow the Magnesium Dosage link on that page.

Were I you I would treat this as a high risk situation. People can/do get MESSED UP from Levaquin. Some call it 'permanent' damage (though for the most part I believe that to be the result of a lack of any effective countermeasures).

Hopefully you're not in that category, but you have significant symptoms right now, and there's reason for that, and were I you I'd make it my full time priority to try to reverse that dynamic.

Thus I suggest getting The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution program and getting on the forum we run for that.

This is serious business. A tip or a trick isn't likely going to provide you what you need, you need a complete plan of attack, and thus I suggest the program.

Aug 24, 2016
Severe pain
by: Brenda

I went to my PC Doc and was given The anabiotic Levofloxacin 500 mg with in 5 days every joint and tendon in my body was hurting so bad I didn't know what to do I have had neck and back surgery and a knee replacement it's like it has attacked these areas both of my Keeley's tendon have not saw him both of my wrist hurt and I have severe shoulder pain what should I do?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Brenda.

Sorry to hear that!

1. Contact your doctor and inform them.

2. Report the adverse reaction to the FDA Medwatch Adverse Side Effects Reporting

3. Start on the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Soloution ASAP(see link in this thread).

4. Presumably you've stopped taking the Levofloxacin? If not, do so (your doctor should/will tell you to do the same).

Jul 25, 2017
Severe joint pain.
by: Britta

I was on Cipro for two months and Levaquin for the past 21 days. My shoulder and hip joint are hurting so bad.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Britta.

What are you doing to help that/to turn that around?

(And why were you on fluoroquinolones for so long?)

Nov 26, 2017
Sevear pain
by: Adrian

Hi i was diagnosed with bacterial Pneumonia I was there at the ER and they gave me Levaquin through my IV and gave me a 5-day treatment for the home.

I came home and the third day I return to the ER because levaquin was making me worse severe headache and was making me feel bad.

I'm a 29 year old male that's been healthy my whole life so when I went back to the ER they kept me for 5 days and switched my antibiotic because I told them all the headache no pain yet so they transfer me to another hospital and the first dose of IV that they gave me of antibiotics was Levaquin again and I did not know so they switched it for an antibiotic Doxie something so I finished all my treatment.

I was there for 5 days and I came home with a 10-day treatment of that doxy antibiotic I finished my treatment and I was feeling alright about two weeks later one day I woke up with my left wrist hurting and I thought I slept on top of it or something then couple of hours after my right wrist starts hurting and couple of days my ankles and bottom of my feet then my knees and its history from there pain all over.

I went to the ER and they referred me to rheumatologist I'm still waiting on that but they believe that was Levaquin tendonitis and now that I've been reading that's probably what it is the pain is so bad that I can't even pick up my two year old son nor play with my 6 and 8 year old daughters it's sad what this pill make.

Nov 28, 2017
Severe pain everywhere from Levaquin
by: Adrian

Hi I was destroyed by Levaquin.

I'm a 29 year old male healthy overall I played basketball and enjoyed going hiking I was diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia about 4 weeks ago in the emergency room they gave me a bag of IV of levaquin and a 5-day treatment for home.

I totally got worse and went back to the ER and they kept me for 5 days with another antibiotic because lavaquin was giving me a headache and was making me worse.

I had no pain then about 3 weeks ago after the Levaquin I started noticing a little pain on my left wrist then it transferred to my right then my knees then under my heel then my ankle then my elbows and all over I feel like I'm 90 and

I'm only 29 I have three kids a two year old boy a 6 year old girl and a 9 year old girl. I can't function I am stressed depressed and scared. I can't even lift up my two year old boy I can supply for my family I feel worthless I also been noticing that when my flare-ups come I even get hot. I drink pain medication and my symptoms of hot feel better is that normal when my pain comes hard I get hot and I drink medication and it mellows?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Adrian.

I point you to the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution

You're in a bad state. I don't know that I'd go with 'destroyed', but I'd definitely go with 'my body is not able to work very well right now'. Don't leave it to time or hope.

Jul 12, 2018
by: Anonymous

Whoa nellie,I'm sitting here with an ice pack on my left ankle after a mild sprang yestetday.trouble is I can't walk now without crutches,and hope its not a continuation of the levaquin prescribed two years ago for a cough.haf your lady above exact symptoms. Been fine up till this setback......

Jul 12, 2018
by: Anonymous

Whoa nellie, I'm sitting here with an ice pack on my left ankle after a mild sprang yestetday.

Trouble is I can't walk now without crutches, and hope its not a continuation of the levaquin prescribed two years ago for a cough.haf your lady above exact symptoms. Been fine up till this setback......

Feb 25, 2019
Levaquin 500mg pain
by: Anonymous

3 days of Levaquin 500mg caused severe knee pain. I stopped taking it, but on 4th day my whole body hurt. 5th day just back to knee pain. I was taking it for lung infection, but now I'm worried about knee tendonitis for ever. Taking magnesium.

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