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“A few popular antibiotics affect DNA, similar to some chemotherapy agents.  If you’re sensitive to them, you could pay a neurological price that causes sudden and serious neuropathy and degrees of brain damage.  The Food and Drug Administration is concerned about drugs in the fluoroquinolone class, and these already have a black box warning for an increased risk of tendon ruptures.  But I’m telling you that more reports have come in with accusations of neurological damage.  Personally, I would only use these for life-threatening infections that were unresponsive to older, regular antibiotics.”  –Suzy Cohen, RPh 

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It is not appropriate to give people cell-destroying chemotherapy drugs when they don’t have cancer. That should be obvious. It shouldn’t even need to be said. But it’s happening every day when people are prescribed fluoroquinolone antibiotics – Cipro/ciprofloxacin, Levaquin/levofloxacin, Floxin/ofloxacin and Avelox/moxifloxacin – to treat ear, bladder, prostate, sinus and other infections. Fluoroquinolones are chemotherapy drugs. They have just been mass marketed as antibiotics by the FDA.

You may be thinking something along the lines of, “WHAT? Cipro isn’t a chemo drug, it’s an antibiotic. Everyone knows that.”

Here are several reasons why Cipro, Levaquin, Floxin, Avelox and all other fluoroquinolones should be recognized as cell-destroying chemotherapy drugs:

  1. In an article published in the journal Urology, it was noted that, “Ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin exhibit significant time and dose-dependent cytotoxicity against transitional carcinoma cells.” That’s great – excellent, actually – if you happen to have carcinoma cells in your bladder. But if you just happen to have a bladder infection, chemo drugs that exhibit toxicity toward human cells – cancer or otherwise – are inappropriate for use (1).
  2. The mechanism for action for fluoroquinolones is that they are topoisomerase interrupters (2). Topoisomerases are enzymes that are necessary for DNA replication and reproduction. All of the other drugs that are topoisomerase interrupters are approved only for use as chemotherapeutic agents. It is only appropriate to use drugs that disrupt the process of DNA replication and reproduction when someone’s cells are already so messed up that they have cancer.
  3. Fluoroquinolones have been found to interfere with the DNA replication process for human mitochondria (3, 4, 5). Mitochondria are vital parts of our cells, (cellular energy is produced in our mitochondria), and disrupting the process through which mitochondrial DNA replicates causes cellular destruction, oxidative stress and disease.
  4. Fluoroquinolones have been shown to be genotoxic and to lead to chromosomal abnormalities in immune system cells (6). Hmmm… perhaps the uptick in autoimmune diseases can be explained by the destruction of immune system cells by fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Even if not, destruction of immune system cells is not an appropriate response to an ear infection.
  5. Fluoroquinolones disrupt cellular tubulin assembly (7). All of the other drugs that disrupt tubulin assembly are chemotherapeutic drugs. Again, it is only appropriate to use drugs that profoundly damage cells in extreme cases, and it’s never appropriate to use them on healthy people.
  6. Drugs that are derived from fluoroquinolones are chemotherapeutic drugs. Qinprezo/vosaroxin is an anti-cancer drug that is derived from quinolones (fluoroquinolones without the added fluorine atom).

I could go on. There are many, probably hundreds, of journal articles noting the deleterious effects of fluoroquinolones on human cells. The biochem in them is daunting though, so rather than going further with a list with terms such as “topoisomerase interrupter” and “tubulin assembly,” I’ll point you toward this video that describes how fluoroquinolones work –

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Fluoroquinolones do the same thing to human mitochondria that they do to bacteria. Mitochondria are structurally very similar to bacteria and it is generally accepted that mitochondria are ancient bacteria that adapted to live symbiotically within eukaryotic cells a few billion years ago. Mitochondrial destruction leads to oxidative stress which leads to all sorts of chronic diseases – including the diseases of modernity such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome / M.E., autism, Gulf War Syndrome, Alzheimer’s Disease,Parkinson’s, diabetes, cancer and others.

THE FDA KNOWS HOW DANGEROUS THESE DRUGS ARE

The FDA knows that fluoroquinolones are dangerous drugs that cause mitochondrial dysfunction and cellular destruction, but they turn the other cheek and do NOTHING to curb the use of these dangerous drugs.

In their April 27, 2013 Pharmacovigilance Review, “Disabling Peripheral Neuropathy Associated with Systemic Fluoroquinolone Exposure,” (8) the FDA notes that the mechanism for action through which fluoroquinolones induce peripheral neuropathy is mitochondrial toxicity. The report states:

“Ciprofloxacin has been found to affect mammalian topoisomerase II, especially in mitochondria. In vitro studies in drug-treated mammalian cells found that nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin cause a loss of motichondrial DNA (mtDNA), resulting in a decrease of mitochondrial respiration and an arrest in cell growth. Further analysis found protein-linked double-stranded DNA breaks in the mtDNA from ciprofloxacin-treated cells, suggesting that ciprofloxacin was targeting topoisomerase II activity in the mitochondria.

The FDA approved the clinical trial for Qinprezo/vosaroxin, so THEY KNOW that quinolone derivative drugs are chemotherapeutic agents.

DISREGARD OF THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH

But the FDA won’t change their prescribing guidelines based on the large amount of evidence that fluoroquinolones are cell-destroying chemo drugs. Instead, they let doctors prescribe these dangerous drugs to people who are healthy other than an infection. Cancer drugs – drugs that hurt people – are being given to formerly healthy people to get rid of prostate and sinus infections.

It’s a ridiculous and obscene violation of the Hippocratic Oath.

Because both doctors and the FDA refuse to acknowledge that fluoroquinolones are chemo drugs, not “just” antibiotics, the adverse effects of these dangerous drugs aren’t recognized. Like all cell-destroying chemo drugs, fluoroquinolone induced cellular destruction leads to increased oxidative stress which causes multi-symptom, often chronic, illnesses. Fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome looks and feels a lot like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome / M.E., etc. The damage done to a person’s cardiovascular system (9) by fluoroquinolones can lead to heart attacks long after exposure to the drug has stopped. The depletion of magnesium from cells by fluoroquinolones can lead to type-2 diabetes (10). Most ironically, drug induced cellular destruction can cause cancer.

IGNORANCE ISN’T BLISS

Cellular destruction by drugs leads to illness. When it’s recognized that fluoroquinolones destroy cells, the connection between them and the multi-symptom, chronic illnesses that fluoroquinolone toxicity mimics, isn’t that hard to recognize.

But rather than recognizing how fluoroquinolones work (it says right on the label that their mechanism for action is interruption of topoisomerases), they are thought of as “just” antibiotics and thus the only adverse reactions that are recognized as connected with them are allergic reactions that send people to the emergency room.

Chemo drugs have long-lasting adverse effects. Often, adverse reactions to chemo drugs are delayed. There is a tolerance threshold for chemo drugs. Adverse reactions to chemo drugs are systemic. All of these things are true for fluoroquinolones (11).

If you suffer from disabling peripheral neuropathy, or brain fog, or destroyed cartilage, or any of the other adverse effects of fluoroquinolones that can be explained by the fact that they are chemo drugs, you may think that justice and retribution for your pain and suffering may be gained through suing the doctor that inappropriately gave you a chemotherapeutic drug when you didn’t have cancer. Unfortunately, success with a lawsuit is unlikely because doctors are prescribing dangerous chemo drugs to generally healthy people who have infections (and even prophylactically for traveler’s diarrhea) because fluoroquinolones are approved for those uses. The FDA negligently allows cell-destroying drugs to be given to people to treat simple infections and traveler’s diarrhea. The FDA allows fluoroquinolone chemo drugs to be given to KIDS (ciprodex ear drops are approved for children as young as 6 months old).

THE FDA ISN’T PROTECTING YOU FROM CELL-DESTROYING DRUGS

Do you want to take a cell destroying chemo drug when a relatively benign antibiotic in the cephalosporin or penicillin class could get rid of your infection? Do you want to give your child a chemo drug? Of course not – that’s ridiculous.

But the FDA isn’t keeping it from happening. They are looking the other way while more than 20 million prescriptions for fluoroquinolones are written each year. They aren’t making the connection between cell-destroying drugs (fluoroquinolones are a big culprit, but they’re not the only dangerous, cell-destroying drug) and the chronic diseases that plague us. They are not protecting the people from the pharmaceutical companies that want REO for their investors, not health for the world’s citizens. They are allowing the absurd situation of an acute problem – an infection – being converted into a chronic illness (fluoroquinolone toxicity syndrome and all the other diseases related to cellular destruction) by a chemo drug masquerading as an antibiotic.

More Information:

  1. CIPRO, LEVAQUIN AND AVELOX ARE CHEMO DRUGS
  2. FLUOROQUINOLONE ANTIBIOTICS DAMAGE MITOCHONDRIA – FDA DOES LITTLE
  3. http://floxiehope.com – The author’s web site

Sources:

  1. Urology, “Quinolone antibiotics: a potential adjunct to intravesical chemotherapy for bladder cancer.”
  2. FDA Warning Label for Cipro/Ciprofloxacin
  3. Science Translational Medicine, “Bactericidal Antibiotics Induce Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidative Damage in Mammalian Cells
  4. Mutation Research, “Ciprofloxacin: mammalian DNA topoisomerase type II poison in vivo
  5. Molecular Pharmacology, “Delayed cytotoxicity and cleavage of mitochondrial DNA in ciprofloxacin-treated mammalian cells
  6. Nepal Medical College Journal, “Genotoxic and cytotoxic effects of antibacterial drug, ciprofloxacin, on human lymphocytes in vitro
  7. Current Medicinal Chemistry, “Recent Advances in the Discovery and Development of Quinolones and Analogs as Antitumor Agents.”
  8. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, Pharmacovigilance Review, April 17, 2013, “Disabling Peripheral Neuropathy Associated with Systemic Fluoroquinolone Exposure
  9. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, “Quinolone-induced QT interval prolongation: a not-so-unexpected class effect
  10. Medical Hypotheses, “Fluoroquinolone antibiotics and type 2 diabetes mellitus
  11. Journal of Investigative Medicine HIGH IMPACT CASE REPORTS, “Permanent Peripheral Neuropathy: A Case Report on a Rare but Serious Debilitating Side-Effect of Fluoroquinolone Administration


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