Took the Levaquin. Major side effects. Anyone have success with it?

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 10/2/2008 11:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Ok, uncle!! I, very reluctantly, took the levaquin. So flippin' expensive!! And after researching a little online, know I know why. I'm sure it's to cover their asses on all the lawsuits they've gotten from this drug. I have had major D and my D was actually under control, I felt from probiotics and other supplements. I was up all night with insomnia and being a mom, I need my sleep. I might add, I am extremely sensitive to meds. I mean I feel dizzy taking 1 tylenol. This is one of the reasons I don't take anything, because I'm the one who gets all the side effects from drugs.
My question is, has anyone taken this drug with success? How long did you take it? Did you have any of the gnarly side effects? Is there a different antibiotic that works for crohn's infections?
Thanks for all of your reply's. Every one has been so helpful.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 10/2/2008 12:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I had the tendon issues that the FDA put a black box warning out on. I too seem to get every side effect that no one else does. That was my only side effect from it though.

Bad flare May '06 resulted in CD diagnosis-symptoms for 10 yrs prior.
Asacol: 2400 mg/day
6mp: 150mg/day
Entocort: 9mg/day

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 10/2/2008 1:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I never took it but someone else on here had tendon issues from it. Glad you are going to try and help get some help with your CD . I too am senitive to meds but with this disease I had to start somewhere. Keep your self aware of the tendon problems though .Hope you sleep better tonight I was on prednisone and that keep me awake until I tapered down on the mgs. Wish I could be more helpfull but I don't know much about that drug. lol gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,and still gail

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 10/2/2008 1:34 PM (GMT -7)   
sorry to hear that you had bad side effects to levaquin...I on the other hand will only take levaquin, I just got over a horrible sinus infection and the doctor I went to (not my regular dr) gave me biaxin and oh my did I get sick off that, I called them back and told them what happened and they again put me on another medication again no help and finaly I called them and demanded to have my regular doc perscribe me levaquin and now the infection is gone....from the first time I took this drug Ive always had great responce to it, actualy I cant think of any side effect that I had...
currently taking

pentasa, hyocosamine, zofran, acphix and started Remicade back in May

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 10/2/2008 1:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I am on it now and I have had no side effects-I usually have all the side effects. This is day 14 of 20 that I am supposed to be on it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 10/2/2008 2:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Make sure you keep taking your probiotics. Take them at least two hours after the levaquin so that some survive. The antibiotics really mess up the gut ecology and without probiotics you can get IBS and colitis. The drug-resistant bacteria in the gut that are likely to survive are not the beneficial variety. The study of the gut flora is still in its infancy - they can't grow 80% of the species there, so they really can't study them. They have come to the realization that a healthy gut flora is like another immune system. It prevents pathogens from taking hold and moderates the body's immune response and even kills undesirable bacteria directly. Now if only they could tell us how to regain a healthy gut population........

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 10/2/2008 2:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if Levaquin is available by pill--but I took it in the IV and oddly, got the tendonitis only in the arm where the IV was placed. It has since gone away, but it took months--and the inflammation was real.
24-year old Crohny, dx'd at 16.
Deferred medical school till January 09 because of most recent flare

Currently take:
Pred 60 mg

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 10/2/2008 3:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I just stopped Levaquin after taking 500/mg/day for 5 months. No side affects except being a little more spacey than usual. Just kinda felt like I was walking around in a dream but I got used to it. This is the third time I've been on the drug for many months. It saved my life two years ago when I had massive cellutis (nearly septic) from a huge peri-rectal abscess. I'm praying this drug remains available to me because it works so well and for me has so few side effects. I truly do feel for those who have tendon issues becasue of it and pray I don't get anything like that!
Diagnosed early 2007 with rectal Crohn's.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulas with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 10/2/2008 3:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Levaquin is in the same class as Cipro which is one of the most common antibiotics used for CD along with Flagyl. Unfortunately, I'm highly allergic to a lot of antibiotics and finding more everyday that I can't take. But, for those who can take it, it can literally save their lives. I'm currently suffering from a sinus infection and can't find an antibiotic that I can take for it, so it gets worse everyday.

Can you call your doctor for a different antibiotic? Maybe something that you won't have such a strong reaction to?

CD 19 years offically, 29 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Symptoms constantly but all tests show only minor ulcerations. Currently having multiple episodes of gastritis with no known cause.

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 10/2/2008 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
(((Lemon))) I'm sorry. How frustrating.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Shane Southwood
New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/23/2009 2:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry to dig this post up, but the side effects that you're reporting for Levaquin are very serious. I developed very agressive, active crohn's disease after a second exposure and subsequent adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone antimicrobial. The first time, it was Tequin the second time was Levaquin. Both times, it was for nothing more than a sinus infection.

Don't take my word for it, go to and check out what happens to thousands every year. If you read it, you'll think it is fantastic, but I assure you it is very real and has happened to me. There is generally a syndrome of predictably-evolving symptoms that occur. Insomnia, brain fog, peripheral neuropathy, shooting pains, elevated anxiety with depersonalization, tendinitis, tinnitus, dryness similar to Sjogren's without the antibodies, and everybody's favorite... drug-induced lupus.

The side effects generally go away, but for some of us they're semi permanent. In this case, "some" means about 5% (at last guess) of those who take the drugs. I suffered with tendinitis and plantar fascitis for three years, long-nerve neuropathies that faded over a period of 24 months, I have tinnitus (ringing of the ears), dryness of the eyes/ears/mouth/sinuses. The drugs are cleared from the body in a few days, but the fallout remains for years.

It took 24 months of complaining to a gastro ent. to get a scope and small bowel series done. It was discovered that I had a 14cm stricture in my terminal ileum, which nearly doubled in size over the following year while taking steroids and a 5-asa. I'm now taking Humira and am (fingers-crossed) fairly side-effect free.

The reaction to the fluoroquinolone destroyed my life to nearly 3 years. It is honestly no laughing matter.

Before the reaction, I was 200lbs, 30 years old, and in excellent health. I was a runner, and loved to be outdoors. The only health issue which plagued me were elevated trigs. and sinus infections (semi-annually); keflex took care of the sinuses very well... until the new wonder-drugs came along. I now weigh 280lbs, am 33, can finally run on the treadmill 3 times a week. I realize, it could have been much worse and am very thankful. It has become my life's mission to inform others about the dangers associated with fluoroquinolones.

The most insulting part of the whole experience is to have a physician disbelieve you when the entire syndrome is detailed in the physician's desk reference trailing all of the way back to the initial drug - naldixic acid. I have a medical background, a former/childhood physician who has reacted, and a brother who is a clinical pharmacist... and still, the GP whom I was seeing was in disbelief.

The reaction has nothing to do with dosage or duration, it's totally spontaneous. The only thing predictable is that re-exposure yields disastrous results.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 3/23/2009 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Shane,

I am so sorry you had such a horrible experience! Sounds like you are still suffering from it. I have taken it many times over the last several years and for long durations (many months). So far I am OK. The drug literally saved my life from the most horrible case of cellulits (which comes back occasionally). But I know what you mean that people respond differently to drugs. I really, really want to be on Remicade or Humira but I am very allergic to both. These drugs are the only thing I am allergic to -- nothing else. They are the best at healing fistulae and that is what I have. It is scary every time you take a medication. You just don't know if you are going to be part of the small minority who reacts poorly. We do the best we can.

I am happy that you are recovering and hope you will soon be whole again. Take care.
Diagnosed with rectal Crohn's in early 2007.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulae with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP, and vitamins D and B-12.

Shane Southwood
New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/23/2009 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks FallColors,

The fluoroqinolone class of drugs is supposed to be used just as it was on you... as a life-saving measure. The problem is that they're typically passed out like candy as samples, which have no drug inserts. This means that somebody potentially reacting to them isn't aware that they are until the symptoms have progressed to a level which is intolerable and affecting their ability to work or live.

I can't even claim that the drugs didn't get rid of the sinus infection, because they did. I was just left with some extras.

The whole point of this is that it isn't a drug allergy; it's a hypersensitivity reaction. The drugs quickly reach toxic levels in some people's bodies because the liver cannot clear them fast enough. An allergy is a straight-forward and usually instant indication. This takes days or weeks to develop, but can be instantaneous as it was with me.

My "You see, Timmy" point is just to caution others about fluoroquinolones. They are, in fact, dangerous. The side effects of hypersensitivity RARELY subside after stopping the drug, which defies common sense.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 3/23/2009 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree. I always read all the fine print. Although many of the risks are rather improbable, there are often very important things to do or not do that effect how well the drug works (e.g., some drugs are less effective or even more potent when you consume certain citrus, minerals, antacids, or have too much sun exposure. Also, some drugs cause a lot of heartburn if you lay down immediately after taking it). I ask the pharmacist too because their specialty is drugs.

I agree that we must not take these drugs lightly! People can make the mistake of stopping the antibiotic too soon, which can result in bacteria that are resistant to that antibiotic. I became sensitive to flagyl after taking it for 4 months (it and the Levaquin saved me from that cellulitis -- I must have been loaded with aerobic and anaerobic bacteria!). Hypersensitive and tingly toes means no more flagyl. Even touching my toes was agony! The good news is my nerves did regenerate after a year. Another very useful drug that is no longer available to me. It sure is nasty though. If someone could figure out how to isolate whatever it is in flagyl that completely kills your appetite, they would make a killing with a weight loss drug!

Take care.
Diagnosed with rectal Crohn's in early 2007.  Several peri-rectal abscesses and two fistulae with setons.  Allergic to Remicade and Humira.  Currently on 6MP, and vitamins D and B-12.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/2/2010 10:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I know this is an old thread but I've been searching for information on the side effects of Levaquin.  After taking it for less than 2 weeks,for a sinus infection,  I got horrible pains in my legs. I was literally, on the couch for a full week only getting up to use the bathroom.  I'm 44, active and have never had a single problem with my legs or knees. I've been off of it for a little over two weeks and still can't do the things I need to do because of the horrible pain! I tried to walk a block and half the other day and couldn't make it without stopping nad choking back tears.  It's like the worst charlie horse you've ever had when it's at it's worst and feels like a charlie horse that has just stopped but hurts like crazy the rest of the time. My knees feel like they are held together with really tight rubber bands and ache all the time. As a bonus I got Thrush from it. I have follow up appointments with both my primary care physician and orthopedist next week if the symptoms are still persistent. I sincerely don't know what I'll do if they can't find something to help me!
I'm certainly not telling people not to follow their doctor's orders but I wish I had known then what I know now! Please read up on the side effects of this medication before you take it or give it to a family member!
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