Biology Forum Human Biology Poisoned by antibiotics…can anyone help?

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    • #12073

      I am suffering from my second case of acute progressive Central Nervous System Toxicity (poisoning) caused by what I now know to be either:

      (a) an adverse reaction to Amoxcillin possibly combined with Metriniadazole, or
      (b) too high dosage of Amoxcillin on it’s own or possibly combined with Metriniadazole.

      I have never had this diagnosis confirmed by any doctor, cardiologist or neurologist, and have come to this conclusion from searching the internet for information.

      I appreciate that patients who are too clever….who self diagnose from the internet or other resources can be a problem for the medical profession; but in this case I genuinely know I have discovered what happened to cause my illness. But no one will take me seriously.

      It seems they firmly believe that a ‘simple’ antibiotic cannot cause these long lasting arrythmias, insomnia, parasthesias, neuropathies, altered brain chemistry, and all the other severe mental and health problems that I have experienced. Perhaps I am just someone who is a ‘poor metabolizer’…i.e, my liver cannot break down the drug properly so it builds up into toxic concentrations. Perhaps my alcohol consumption in the past has something do do with this. Perhaps this antibiotic was prescribed by my dentist without taking taking into account the prior ingestion of antibiotics and its cumulative effects on me. Whatever the reason, I know my own body, and know I have been poisioned. Anti-biotics ‘kill life’…that is what the two words mean. They kill organisms, and the human body is just one huge organism. I have had too much of a toxic substance and I need help to get rid of it.

      My story starts in June 2000 when I was on a long course of 1500mg daily Amoxicillin after two bad dental abcesses. Approximately three weeks after finishing the course I presented at my Health Centre with numbness and tingling in the hands, forearms and backs of shoulders. I actually thought I had had some sort of stroke. I had tingling skin – a creeping feeling on the skin like the start of flu – muscle twitching, extreme muscle weakness, sudden parathesias (areas of skin suddenly falling asleep for no reason) numb hands upon waking, insomnia, cardiospasm, gastrointestinal disturbance, ‘waves’ of chest stomach pain, chest/sternum pain, severe panic attacks and palpitations. I would wake in the middle of the night with an odd and very frightening ‘wave’ in my chest. I don’t know how else to describe it. Like an electrical ‘hiccup’. Apparently, I know know it is extreme irritation or ‘exitability’ of the vagus nerve. I also would be on the point of sleep…just as you move from consiousness into sleep, and would suddenly be jolted violently awake by what felt like an electric shock in the centre of my brain. Like a cattle prod. I would hear a loud zzzzzzap or an explosion. I also had hallucinations on the point of sleep.. it was like being in the movies. I would ‘see’ sudden pictures in my head….an angry face, or people whispering, a dog with it’s legs crossed. Tall ships in a harbour, men rushing at each other with spears. I know this sounds totally mad, but it is true. I was told these were all symptoms of anxiety and was given an anti anxiety pill – Zisprin. Over the next four months my heart symptoms got worse, and I would feel flutterings and palpitations. I repeatedly asked that my chest pain and heart symptoms be taken seriously but my heart was never listened to, nor was I given an ECG. After a few weeks I began having what I presume to be mild seizures (awareness of eyes being drawn upward in head and biting tongue but being unable to control it) and acute psychotic episodes (chemical imbalance in brain causing a series of crippling ‘panic’ attacks and feelings of impending doom lasting two hours each. These were no ordinary panic attacks. I would pace the room paranoid, convinced I was going to die and had a feeing of horror and impending doom like i have never experienced before or since. ) I was told my tingling limbs and hands were due to simple anxiety.

      Finally in August 2000 after a month of severe palpitations and chest pain I had a terrible episode of arrythmia in the middle of the night – my heart rate was over 200 bpm. I was admitted to the Coronary Care Unit where I was told I had had a recent heart attack. I was also told that I had an abnormal ECG, and there had been a major and unexplained electrical disturbance in my heart causing this long term cardiac arrythmia and prolongation of the QT wave. I was told I may need a pacemaker and given Propranolol. After one week of treatment I was sent home. I was also diagnosed with a bruit, and a heart murmer and told to take an anitibiotic prophylactic before any any invasive or deep dental procedure in the future. I had various tests including echocardiogram and regular holter monitor testing at home. In October 2000 my symptoms subsided and I gradually stopped taking the propranolol. Life got back to normal.

      I never ever made the connection between the Amoxicillin and my problems.

      Starting in June 2009 I had at least three very long courses of 500mg Amoxicillin for dental abcess, followed by another long course of Metrinidazole (Flagyl) after three dental implants, and three seperate occasions of 3mg Amoxil as prophylactic before hygienist visit for deep cleaning. Approximately two weeks after cessation of these antibiotics in August I began having the exact symptoms as in 2000 starting with numbness and tingling. I then made the definite connection between my symptoms and both long courses of strong antibiotic nine years apart.

      I researched the internet, and discovered that strong courses of antibiotics (quinolones) can cause exactly the progressive symptoms I had had in 2000, and am having now. Although I had never ingested a quinolone, I had been on an extremely strong course of Amoxicillin coupled with Flagyl, which amounts to the same thing. Toxic poison. These concerns have not been taken seriously by my GP.

      I now know some classes of antibiotics affect bacterial cell physiology. Their mechanism of action at the cellular level is to selectively bind certain ions creating intra- and extracellular biochemical disturbances. The ions bound vary with different members of this class of drug, with salinomycin preferentially binding potassium. This interferes with potassium transport across mitchondrial membranes, resulting in low intracellular energy production. The Na+/Ca2+ exchange mechanism may also be disrupted allowing a fatal accumulation of intracellular calcium.1 This mechanism particularly affects skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle. This can affect the function of acetylcholine , a neurostransmitter which has actions on CNS (nerve) and heart tissue.

      Acetylcholine has functions both in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and in the central nervous system (CNS) as a neuromodulator.

      In the PNS, acetylcholine activates muscles, and is a major neurotransmitter in the autonomic nervous system.

      In the CNS, acetylcholine and the associated neurons form a neurotransmitter system, the cholinergic system, which tends to cause excitatory actions.

    • #93993

      Well, unless you do not have cell wall, amoxicillin should not affect you.
      With the second antibiotics, I guess you mean
      as nothing like you wrote has been found by Google 😉 which is used to treat anaerobes 🙂

    • #94017

      It is interesting that you focused on the amoxicillin, and not on why you have had so many dental surgeries. I would wonder why I have so many problems with my teeth and mouth. Usually teeth/mouth problems can be a symptom to something more elusive in the body. Something possibly made even more problematic when antibiotics are used.

    • #95960

      i have had the same problems does anyone have any info on brain toxcemia?????????

    • #95965

      You can’t have the same problems, the two posts above you already state it’s quite unlikely for the antibiotics to be responsible.

    • #96004

      I dont realy care what the post above say i know that i have had the same symptoms as lesley !!! from takeing sulfa for a uti i have had these symptoms for 2 months and slowly have gotten better !!!!! i was told by my dr it was brain toxcemia. Does anyone have any info on brain toxcemia???

    • #96011

      If you’re sick, we should find you help. But let’s get you the right kind of help. How is the wrong diagnosis going to help you? There’s no point in blaming antibiotics if they’re not responsible.

    • #96018

      Well the drs have tested everything you can test pretty much !!! i have been fuzzy headed slow thinking!!! and very weak and tired!!! feelings of doom nite sweats chest has been feeling tight !!!just dont feel myself .. these symptoms are the ones that im still having i have alot of symptoms of thyroid i was tested and it was ok!!!i need ansers but am not gettting any????????

    • #97448

      I am not a doctor but you present exactly like having late stage Lyme Disease with possible co-infections. By taking antibiotics for short periods of time for unrelated reasons, you may be undertreating a lyme infection which just makes it worse. With that many symptoms in so many different areas of the body, I would think that any doctor with a clue would test for tick borne illness as it presents as an imitator of many other illnesses all at the same time. You may want to get tested for tick borne illness by a good lab as it is a very serious condition that you don’t want to just let get worse as the human immune system doesn’t seem to be able to fight it off very well. If you have a TBI and take occasional rounds of antibiotics, I can see how it would seem that the antibiotics are the cause of your misery, but that may not be the case. Unfortunately most doctors don’t know anything about zoonotic illness so they tend to be hopeless with patients having zoonotic vector-borne diseases that can imitate many other more pedestrian illnesses.
      Good luck!

    • #100246
      quote kolean:

      It is interesting that you focused on the amoxicillin, and not on why you have had so many dental surgeries. I would wonder why I have so many problems with my teeth and mouth. Usually teeth/mouth problems can be a symptom to something more elusive in the body. Something possibly made even more problematic when antibiotics are used.

      I agree. While it has been proven that oral health problems can lead to something more, this can work the other way as well: many diseases have symptoms that manifest as oral health problems.

    • #100250

      I’m not a doctor either, but it sounds like you have: *duh duh duh dummmm…* anxiety. Seriously, the way you have stated it = anxiety. The biting tongue problem? I have it all the time. Zap is tinnitus i.e. ringing in the ears. Heart defects are as such, heart defects. Nothing to do with amoxicillin. Amoxicillin is very commonly used, and considerably safe. Stop stressing, ‘cos there is absolutely no way amo can be responsible for you condition. You should take anxiety as a proper disease and get it treated. Relax. Stop worrying. And trust me, everything would be better once you continue and forget about it. And there is a reason why the GP doesn’t take you seriously. If you really want to "prove", test yourself, and have yourself monitored for several weeks after taking Amo, and then see.

    • #100797

      Dear Lesley,

      I just stumbled upon your post. I haven’t been on this site in quite awhile so I’m sorry that I was not able to get to you sooner. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE AN AXIETY DISORDER AND I BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE HAVING SEVERE MEDICAL PROBLEMS .

      I believe there is a very good chance that you are experiencing the after effects of a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotics you were prescribed. I am not a doctor, but I have consulted with a close friend of mine who is a pharmacy tech and he is quite worried about your symptoms as well. He advised me to tell you that if you still have any antibiotics left over that you did not finish to have someone else dispose of them for you immediately. Any tablets that may have been broken or crushed will generate a dust. Simply inhaling or experiencing contact with your eyes, skin, or clothing could trigger a reaction if you are very allergic.

      Individuals who are sensitive to beta lactam antibiotics, both penicillins and cephalosporins can experience anaphylaxis, heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure, and adrenal failure, all of which can be potentially life threatening. Ever year around 300 people die from these reactions.

      Some brand names that you should avoid include: methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall), probenecid (Benemid), a sulfa drug (such as Bactrim or Septra), an antibiotic such as azithromycin (Zithromax), clarithromycin (Biaxin), erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin), or telithromycin (Ketek); or a tetracycline antibiotic such as demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Adoxa, Doryx, Oracea, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn, Vectrin), or tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin, Tetracap), ampicillin (Omnipen, Principen), dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen), oxacillin (Bactocill), penicillin (Beepen-VK, Ledercillin VK, Pen-V, Pen-Vee K, Pfizerpen, V-Cillin K, Veetids), and any drug that contains cephalosporins such as Ceclor, Ceftin, Duricef, Keflex, and many other antibiotics beginning with “cef-“ or “ceph-“. Imipenem may also cause allergic reactions in people with penicillin allergy and should be avoided.

      You did not specify whether or not you may have consumed any alcohol while taking these antibiotics, but Metronidazole in particular when combined with alcohol can cause tachycardia and shortness of breath–similar to the heart attack/panic attack feelings you may have experienced. Metronidazole also has a nasty reaction to SSRI/SNRI drugs such as Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Zoloft, Effexor, Cymbalta, etc.

      High doses of Metronidazole also can cause peripheral neuropathy which could be the cause of the weakness and sensory changes you described such as the muscle weakness, tingling/spasms, loss of sensation in your extremities, and the intense nerve pain that you describe as feeling like you were jolted awake by an "electrical shock". It can also cause paraesthesia, which can also cause limbs to fall asleep or for you to experience a "pins and needles" feeling on your skin.

      Overdoses of amoxicillin can cause strong behavior changes, confusion, dizziness, black outs, seizures, agitation, ususual thoughts or hallucinations–(suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, lightheadedness, sensitivity to light & sound) stomach pain, fever, rashes, body aches/flu symptoms, nausea/vomiting, difficulty breathing, hepatitis, and death.

      The best initial fix is to stop taking any of these medications, never take them ever again, and remove all remnants of them from your home and sanitize your household. For yourself, the best recommendation I can give is total body detoxification. There are many different ways to detox the body, but in a case as severe as yours I would suggest consulting with a doctor and possibly getting a hair sample test to determine if intravenous chelation may be appropriate.

      I don’t know if any of this helps, but my best friend’s brother was in immense pain and felt like he was dying for two years before he was diagnosed with having a heart murmur. He had been to countless hospitals in various states and had seen over 20 different doctors who all told him that nothing was wrong with him. Finally, he luckily found a cardiologist who knew exactly what was wrong with him, immediately scheduled him for surgery, and installed a pacemaker. Before that most of the doctors told him that he had an anxiety disorder, that it was "all in his head" and one doctor flat out told him that he was crazy.

      Only you know your own body and you know if something is wrong with it. If one doctor doesn’t have the answer, don’t give up. Someone eventually will.


    • #103031

      Hey everyone just thought i would tell everyone how i am feeling now ! Its been a year and Two mounths since i first got sick!! As i stated before all of my symptoms and honestly now i cant rember all the ones i had but there was alot!! I was tested for everything you can think of and yes i was tested for lymes 3 times it was false!! i have no idea what happened to me. and have seen every dr in my home town for ansers !! All they could tell me is that i had a sickness or disease of some kind and that my body fought it off over time! heres side effects that you could physically see i lost a small amout of my eye pigment in one eye that happened when i first got sick!! And now my toe nails have started to look very bad. well two of them, and are falling off! the dr said it was from being sick and that im healthly now and all blood work has been good ! also still have had lose of hair not bad but more then i did befor i got sick!! i still get weak and tired and have pain in joints in fingers I have been tring to fight through these symptoms cause i know i have anxiety and know it could be from that! I do know that i cant take alot of meds since then i get sick i dont know if thats anxiety are if i just cant!! I Can tell you that this has been the worse thing ive ever been through in my life and my husband works out of town and i have 2 kids and i had to go through this alone!! At times i felt like i was going crazy i thought maybe i was deppressed but didnt know I had cring spells often that i couldnt control and one time i thought if i had to live that way life wasnt worth living!! Do you know how bad it is to know how it feels to think and be normal and to know that your not!! I can rember being scared to go to the Doctor i was scared he would think I was crazy but i went any way searching for ansers fighting for my life!!!!! I dont know if im cured of this death are if it will return But what i do know is that im felling much better and i can deal with it maybe if i knew the unknown of what happened i would feel better and then get on with my life!!!BY the way my doctor told me he new i was sick the whole time but he couldnt put his finger on it!!! And life is worth lliving thats why i fought so hard to find a anser!! Was it antibiotics (sulfa)??? A few drs said it was at first but said it wouldnt effect me that long!!! I wonder sulfa reaction and lots of anxiety??Maybe!! But drs said i was sick again with something!!! Well thanks to everyone that has tried to help me!!!!GOD BLESS YOU ALL and Leslie you will be still be in my prayers………………… 😀

    • #103181

      Hi there…

      I just wanted to chime in here. I’m surprised by many of the uneducated and downright mean comments on this board. It is so sad to see people respond to a cry for help like that. I would like to share my story.

      I don’t have a history of anxiety disorder or depression. Last fall, I took penicillin for a sinus infection. I was feeling SO rotten – just stuffed up, major headaches, you know – misery! Day one on the drug was fine, day two, I felt a little odd and anxious and by day three I was hallucinating, my heart was racing, I felt like I was dying (severe anxiety attacks can make you think you are dying – isn’t that fun?), I felt confused, and when I turned my head, I was so dizzy it felt like the room was spinning. I looked at the side effects and the only one listed was dizziness, so I called my doctor. I was informed that these psychological effects can indeed happen (straight from the Dr.’s mouth, folks) and to immediately stop taking the penicillin and NEVER take "cillin" drugs again because they will all have the same effect on me. That’s right, I lucked out and got an INFORMED doctor. If I had taken it one more day, I would have likely suffered some of the more severe effects of the drug – numbness, tingling, etc. He had seen this happen before and advised me that it would be better to ride out the sinus stuff or I could try a different antibiotic. I opted to "ride it out" and only suffered two more days of sinus "stuff" without the antibiotic. In essence, I survived quite well without it and was glad to have my sanity back, which returned not the next day (the effects are long lasting, my friends), but the one after that. I can easily see how being on a high dose of amoxicillin for a long duration could really mess a person up if they have a sensitivity to the drug.

      The bottom line is that I have a neurological sensitivity to "cillin" drugs. Some people react differently to different meds. Google "anxiety and penicillin" or any other "cillin" and you will find countless posts by people experiencing the SAME exact symptoms!

      So, yesterday, I was at the dr. for what I thought might be strep throat. I was given a Z-pack because of my penicilln reaction (Z pack is azithromycin). I was told to take TWO pills at first and then one for each subsequent day for a total of 5 days. Well, the last experience was traumatic enough for me to proceed with caution. Better safe than sorry, and better to have a little bit of antibiotic in me than none at all. I decided to take one half the first day (yesterday) and see how I felt. I felt fine! Today, I still felt fine! So, I took another half at the same time of day and decided that if all went well today, I would take a full dose tomorrow. Well, around 4pm, I started feeling dizzy. No big deal, that’s a common side effect. Then I started feeling really agitated and just cranky and edgy. About an hour after that, totally anxious. I was just cooking dinner, totally relaxed and feeling pure panic over nothing. Of course this time I knew what it was, so I just kept on cooking. When my daughter asked me to help her with a giant puzzle she was doing on the floor (she is 3), I got down and helped her and stood up and almost passed out completely. Then my heart started beating irregularly for about a minute. This is all on half a dose and hours after I took it. I decided not to lean over again! LOL!

      So, after eating dinner, I’m feeling much better, but this is a clear reaction to a medication, people. It’s real, it happens. Just because it doesn’t happen to you or 90% of the rest of the population doesn’t mean it can’t happen at all. And yes, I called the Dr. and he once again said this is in fact a side effect which can become quite serious, long lasting and detrimental to your overall health as our initial "poster" that started this thread experienced. Verification for all of us, just tonight from an MD himself! I was instructed again to stop taking this medication immediately.

      So, I’m taking the list from the above post (thank you VERY much for that) to the doctor next time and hoping there is something on this planet that I can take in case I get a really serious/scary infection someday.

      Good luck to the rest of you suffering from this type of reaction. It is miserable to feel anxiety, etc. from a drug. I’ve never had any kind of problems like that outside of these two drugs and hope to never feel that way again! I now know what people with anxiety feel and I can not even imagine having to cope with that on a daily basis.

    • #103317

      Same thing happened to me, took high doses of flagyl and keflex a few years back, suffered a six month reaction from it. Scared to death. Anxiety and panic attacks from hell. Among lots af other symptoms. Spent a couple of years all well and good then fast forward till now and I have a dental infection. Take amoxicillian and presto with 5 doses over a couple of days everything kicks off again. Insomnia panic attacks, headaches, spaciness, the works. Just wondered to the previous person that posted how long did your reaction last?? I finished my last dose 4 hours ago and feeling far from right. Worst thing is I may have to take another antibiotic for the infection. Any words of wisdom on this matter would be appreciated. Is there anything I can take??

    • #103561

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    • #110951

      I will be quick all the symptoms line up with emphasis on the teeth. I took 1000mg of Amoxicillin for a 7 days and it removed the pain in the heart and almost removed all tingling. The ringing in my ears has been for a long time and it was reduced. I have teeth problems. To just pull them without sticking something in there place is an awful thought, just waiting for a plane ticket to get somewhere reasonable. If there is any psychology to the issue it is the lessening of depression (must fix a chemical imbalance also). Certainly if it wasn’t for the outrageous costs in medical I would have a blood test and a cat scan. If there is anything that should be provided it is diagnostics so you can make your own corrections (without drugs). Yes if you are stupid you should pay the price. One free scan and one free blood work up per year would save tons in Medicare and Medicaid. Technology seems to be a rich thing only these days. What the hell happened to America!

    • #111031

      Although many a year late, I’d like to add a small logical analysis:

      quote mith:

      You can’t have the same problems, the two posts above you already state it’s quite unlikely for the antibiotics to be responsible.

      ‘Quite unlikely’, does not equate to ‘not possible’. There is still room for the probability of it occurring and one has to factor that in. Being struck by a meteor is ‘quite unlikely’ but it has happened to people before.

      quote mith:

      If you’re sick, we should find you help. But let’s get you the right kind of help. How is the wrong diagnosis going to help you? There’s no point in blaming antibiotics if they’re not responsible.

      This is fallacious reasoning. You dismiss the diagnosis as ‘wrong’ but do not offer any counter proof (the rebuttal it is ‘unlikely’ does not stand, improbable events do occur to people), and this would be a highly dangerous thing to do.

      The best course of action, instead, would be to attempt to determine whether or not the antibiotics are causing the reaction so you can properly determine (rather than guessing) if it is the cause. Antibiotics do indeed cause adverse reactions in certain individuals (in the same way other drugs, foods, pollen etc do to specific people). You’d have to speak with your doctor, perhaps testing it by utilising a different class of antibiotics and seeing if the symptoms go away (stopping the antibiotics may leave you vulnerable so it’s down to the doctor’s assessment if it’s valid).

      One should never assume; they should always test.

    • #111902

      My sister recently went to the hospital for spinal surgery and was given many drugs, and now she is back in the hospital but now shes in the psyche ward, she is suffering from a severe psychotic episode and the doctors think she may have overdosed on her meds due to the fact she was being dosed for her previous weight of 437 but now she is down to 377, she has dropped this weight within two weeks. since she is currently not on her meds will she get better once they fade from her system? i want my sister back.

    • #111903

      She lost about 10% of her weight and she was overdosed so much she got psychic problems? Overdosed probably with some antibiotics? Are you serious?

    • #111905

      In surgery you can receive more than just antibiotics. And a 50 lbs error is quite large (20 kg is a huge difference). I am quite surprise though that she was not weighed before the surgery. But hopefully the excess of those drugs will be metabolized. But the docs are probably the one to ask for details. The one in the psych ward, are more likely to know what they are talking about. And they know her history and the medications that she was given. Ask them, not random strangers on the internet.

    • #111918

      antibiotics induced psychosis, is this the topic now? Interesting how the op didnt have liver and kidney damage, or seizures.

      Is there more to the story?

    • #112033

      I agree with Kat wholeheartedly. Too many rare conditions are dismissed as being "impossible" or "highly improbable." I just read a story about a post-surgery patient presenting with shooting pain at the surgery site and it took his doctor 6 MONTHS to realize that he had sewn a 12" long stainless steel spreader into him!

    • #114030

      Dear lesley,

      Your post is quite old now but I thought it would be useful for others to read that I also am suffering similar side effects to Metronidizol.
      I stopped taking them last week when I had a really weird reaction – yes waking up suddenly in the night to strange sound in the head exactly as you wrote. I felt like I was going to have a stroke – numbness in limbs, disorinetation. I drank lots of water and quickly took myself off them. On Sunday evening this week I awoke with a feeling that my system was totally disorientated, numbness in limbs, right hand difficulty co-ordinating. Partner took me to casualty and doctors took me through all tests. Thankfully all were normal BUT my symptoms are still strange. Head pressure, weakness in limbs, numbness, metal taste in mouth and today reduced appetite and nausea. It seems that I took less of the Flagyl than you did and I am hoping that it will clear out of my system soon with a detox. If you are still on this website somewhere it would be good to know how long it took you to clear all symptoms. Its been a real rollercoaster and reading your post was a shock.

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