Fluorine is the most reactive element in the periodic table. The reactive quality of elements can be useful for industrial and other purposes. An estimated one-third of all current pharmaceutical drugs are fluorinated. This practice makes use of the reactivity of the fluorine molecule in several ways. Fluorination enhances drugs and therefore enables pharmaceutical companies to use less of the other components of the drugs, apparently a cost-saving measure. Moreover, fluorination facilitates the passage of certain drugs through the blood-brain barrier, ostensibly allowing, for instance, psychotropic drugs to become more effective. Fluorination can also make possible the entry of certain drugs into otherwise impermeable cells including bacteria, sometimes deranging the DNA, making certain antibiotics extremely powerful, with lethal effects on a broad spectrum of bacteria (until they become resistant).
The level of toxicity of the F component of any fluorinated drug is thought to be related to the degree to which it is metabolized in the body, and possibly to other mechanisms. While most fluorinated drugs can be categorized as chemically organic (as opposed to compounds made from fluorides which are technically inorganic salts), observations are that:
a) a fluorinated drug can add to the F body burden (bioaccumulativity); and
b) that a fluorinated drug can have a similar toxic effect on the body as any other fluoride overexposure.
One class of fluorinated drugs that has been increasingly widely prescribed is that of the fluoroquinolone antibiotics. The generic names of all of these drugs end with the suffix “floxacin”. Some common names of these drugs still on the market are: Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, Factive, Noroxin, and Floxin. Several earlier versions of fluoroquinolone antibiotics have been removed from the market for causing lethal and other dangerous side effects.
In 2008, the FDA required manufacturers of fluoroquinolones, to carry black box warnings on their labels for the possibility of tendonitis and tendon rupture and, in 2013, for permanent peripheral neuropathy. It has been discovered that fluoroquinolones also cause damage to the DNA of mitochondria, which are “organelles” found in all cells of the human body, and are necessary for energy production and other ongoing cell functions that are vital to life.
People who have a prior body burden (accumulation) of fluoride seem to be more susceptible to poisoning by fluoroquinolones and other fluorinated drugs, which include most general anesthesias, many chemotherapy drugs, most antidepressants, and many other common prescription medications (see our Index of Fluorinated Pharmaceuticals). At some point of saturation, most likely dependent on many variables specific to each individual, a threshold is reached after which symptoms will start and often progress in type and severity. Symptoms most often seen as a constellation in fluoroquinolone victims include: nervous system disorders (including neuropathy, dizziness, other nerve pain); musculoskeletal issues (including tendon rupture and joint and bone pain); various gastrointestinal symptoms; sensory problems (including auditory, visual, and olfactory impairment); cardiovascular symptoms; skin rashes and other skin reactions; thyroid problems; autoimmune diseases; blood sugar problems; and emotional problems, sometimes severe, among many other symptoms.
Much is disturbing about these symptoms. They can be triggered by as few as one or 2 fluoroquinolone pills. Some effects can be permanent, especially if the victim does not carry out appropriate treatment. Since fluoroquinolone poisoning is a form of fluoride poisoning, it is essential to follow a detoxification program that is specific for fluoride poisoning. The most essential part of that is to put NO further fluoride/fluorine containing substances into or onto the body. The body will slowly detox itself, as long as no further F accumulation continues. Fast detoxes for fluoride, such as those for heavy metals, can cause considerable damage and it is strongly recommended to avoid them. For further suggestions on how to help the body to detoxify, please see our Symptoms page and scroll to the Immediate Response Protocol link.
People who are fluoride/fluoroquinolone poisoned become, almost by definition, hypersensitive to extremely small amounts, even trace exposures, of fluoride. In most cases, as long as these exposures continue, symptoms will continue. Further, people who are chemically sensitive as a result of exposure to other types of poisons will commonly become hypersensitive also to trace amounts of fluoride, a very effective poison.
Most medical doctors commonly prescribe Cipro and other fluoroquinolone drugs, even for relatively mild conditions, such as urinary tract or prostate infections. It is common for patients who have reactions to fluoroquinolones (which can start hours, days, weeks, or even months after taking the drugs) to be doubted by their doctors, who may minimize or completely disbelieve what their patients are reporting. When patients who have researched their own symptoms have made a connection with fluoride, they often have to face even further disbelief, if not derision, anger, or rejection on the part of the health professional. This lack of understanding, along with knee-jerk dismissal of any mention of “fluoride” is an unfortunate hindrance in a patient’s search for answers and help. We are working toward correcting that ignorance, with our forthcoming book, Fluoride Illness: A Guide to Identification and Treatment. This book is a medical text written primarily for health professionals.
Dr. Joseph Mercola (www.Mercola.com) has published several excellent articles and videos on the subject of fluoroquinolones and their symptoms. You can find one plus an additional related article at:
An excellent documentary film on the subject, Certain Adverse Effects, is also published by Mercola at:
“Dear Doctor” letter by FQ poisoned doctor, Todd R. Plumb, MD
Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Syndrome: A Letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education & Labor
by Jay S. Cohen, MD
Floxie Hope – excellent resource for many related scientific studies and much other information
YouTube video of and by Bob Grozier, FQ victim who passed away in 2014
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation
My Quin Story: Life After Levaquin, A Challenging Journey