Purpose of this Blog.

Why am I doing this blog?  After suffering through approximately three years of daily mental and physical damage from an antibiotic called Levaquin I decided to begin documenting my life in an effort to help educate the public. This is my story for as long as I can continue writing it. It is a very difficult journey.  Every single day I have burning nerve pain and tendon issues. In addition, I have a constellation of neurological symptoms. Severe insomnia, tremors, chemical sensitivities, food intolerances, head pressure, vision damage, ataxia, floaters,   body shaking, and equilibrium problems.  

Prior to taking Levaquin I was in great health. I used to play basketball and racquetball. I was very athletic and rarely ever got sick. I led a very clean life. I didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, didn’t do anything illegal. I earned my master’s degree as well. I was simply given a legal drug and now my life has been ruined like thousands of others.

Levaquin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic. Cipro and Avelox are other fluoroquinolone antibiotics that cause similar damage to the brain and body. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are one of the most commonly prescribed classes of antibiotics in clinical practice today. Many victims of this class of antibiotics have committed suicide rather than face the unending  pain and severe neurological damage. I came very close to suicide myself during the first couple years of my Levaquin poisoning. I have great parents and sisters and it wasn’t for them I think I would have blown my head off. If this toxicity can happen to a young and healthy person like me it can happen to anyone.

Approximately half of the fluoroquinolone antibiotics that have been on the market have now been removed from clinical practice due to their severe toxicity. Examples include Trovan, Tequin, Zagam, and Omniflox. The delay in time between ingestion of fluoroquinolone antibiotics and having adverse reactions present themselves is often many weeks or even months later. This is what has helped conceal the high number of injured people. The true number of people adversely affected by these antibiotics each year is astounding. Doctors rarely report these adverse events to the FDA. Why is that?  Because it is not mandatory to do so and it takes up much time from their already busy schedule. Most doctors don’t like to mention that this can happen because they don’t like to admit that what they prescribe can cause long term damage. They also do not like to get involved in any type of legal situation.  Many physicians are woefully undereducated about the dangers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Pharmaceutical sales reps that market fluoroquinolone antibiotics skillfully downplay and minimize these severe adverse reactions. Drug reps do not provide a balanced viewpoint on the risk/benefit ratio regarding these antibiotics.  Most doctors  know about the tendon issues with fluoroquinolones but not the severe and devastating central nervous system damage. Unfortunately physicians only receive a few hours of pharmacology in medical school. It is important for doctors to take a more active role in educating themselves about the toxic nature of this class of antibiotics.  Even the FDA admits that less than 10 % of all drug side effects ever get reported to their agency under the medwatch program.

Many people that are suffering from fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, joint and tendon pain, depression, and anxiety may actually be suffering from fluoroquinolone toxicity. It is estimated that roughly one in every ten people will take a fluoroquinolone antibiotic during the course of their lifetime. If you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned above check your medical records to see if you were ever given a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.  Please visit the movie documentary on Levaquin at  www.Certainadverseevents.com.  The documentary is available on Youtube under the same name.

The FDA gets approximately 50% of their funding for the review of drugs directly from the pharmaceutical industry in what is called prescription drug user fees. I feel this is a conflict of interest that needs to be addressed. 

Many of the United States congressmen that obtain considerable sums from the drug lobby enact laws that protect the drug companies at the expense of the american people. Big business always seems to take precedence over the individual. 

If I can save just one person from having their life ruined as a result of Levaquin or any other fluoroquinolone then this blog will have served its purpose. My sister told me to make my mess my message and that’s what I intend to do for as long as I can continue to tell my story.  Please help to warn others by forwarding this blog to all of your email contacts and ask them to do the same. That will help to promote advocacy on this important health issue. Additionally, please forward this site to your friends via Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. 

If there is anyone in the media that would like to help our collective advocacy efforts by doing a story on this toxicity please email me in the comments/feedback section or at jfratti@comcast.net.  Any type of media exposure or documentary film on this antibiotic toxicity would greatly benefit society. I can’t change what happened to me but I can help try and change what happens to unsuspecting people in the future.

Fluoroquinolones have harmed thousands of individuals physically and financially. It creates a terrible burden on family members that have to care for their loved ones that have been injured by these antibiotics. It is also costing taxpayers in the form of increased medical care costs and social security disability payments to those that are unable to work. There are other much safer classes of antibiotics that should be used before a fluoroquinolone is prescribed. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are meant to be reserved for life-threatening infections. They are not meant to be prescribed indiscriminantly and without warning to patients. In addition, the overuse of fluoroquinolone antibiotics leads to increased bacterial resistance.

Please help spread the word on the dangers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics.  The next victim may be you or one of your family members. Thank you for your time and help. It is very much appreciated.   

Sincerely, John

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