Friday, October 31, 2014

Quinolone Vigilance Foundation welcomes new Board Member Dr. Joseph Hudak

Quinolone Vigilance Foundation welcomes Dr. Joseph Hudak who was elected to the Board of Directors.

Dr. Joseph Hudak, D.C
General Board Member

Dr. Joseph Hudak  received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from New York Chiropractic College after completing his undergraduate studies at Middlesex County College. To further his education, he completed an intensive residency program at Levittown Health Center in Long Island, New York. He then went on to work as a Senior Associate at Park Avenue Chiropractic in Manhattan before returning to the Edison Area to open his state of the art office facility where he currently practices.

Dr. Hudak is a member of the International Chiropractors Association, New Jersey Council of Chiropractors, the International Chiropractic Pediatric and the Friends and Alumni Network of NY Chiropractic College. He is co-chair of the Edison/Clara Barton Heights Neighborhood Preservation Committee. He is a member of the Edison Chamber of Commerce and volunteers his services by performing spinal/scoliosis screenings for many health fairs in the community.

Monday, October 27, 2014

But....: Stupid Things People Say About Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

*Originally posted on QVF's Facebook page and Rachel Brummert's LinkedIn. It was also published on Clarkson Law Firm's website

But you don't look sick”

I stopped counting a long time ago how many times in a day I hear this.

I'm not entirely sure what sick is supposed to look like. That's the thing: Fluoroquinolone Toxicity is a chronic invisible illness. Ninety-six percent of chronic illnesses are invisible.

All I know is that on any given day, I could be out educating doctors or I could be in agony on the couch. I never know from day to day which one I can manage. Even if I could make it out of the house, you could pass me on the street and never know that I am on the verge on tears because my tendons are flaring, my joints hurt and each step I take is difficult. You wouldn't know that I forgot what you might have said to me 5 minutes ago because my brain is foggy. You wouldn't know that I sat in my car for 20 minutes trying to calm my heart rate because the arrhythmia reared its ugly head today. Or that I stepped on a rouge staple and it embedded in my foot. Only I didn't feel it because half of my left foot is numb; I only noticed it when the sock I put on snagged on it. You wouldn't know that my other foot feels like red-hot pins and needles stinging me.

But you don't look sick”

That's because my skin and my smile hides how terrible I'm feeling. And I'm not alone. I am just one of millions of people around the world who took an antibiotic, hoping to feel better, and instead have a life of pain, suffering, long term adverse reactions, and disability. We took an antibiotic like Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox, and Floxin- orally or topically, brand name or generic- because we trusted our doctors and we were never told of the risks. By then, the damage is done and it can affect any part of your body. Sometimes, all it takes is a single pill. Reactions can happen immediately, or even days, weeks, or months later.

But the FDA says it's safe”

That's just as ridiculous as “But you don't look sick.” There are just as many law firms advertising case reviews for patients who were injured from medications and medical devices as there are advertisements from the pharmaceutical industry about their medications. Those medications and devices were once deemed safe by the FDA too. Did you know that pharmaceutical companies are allowed to pay extra to have their products fast-tracked through the review process? This means that proper safety protocols are ignored and clinical trials are flawed.

But a doctor prescribed it”

Maybe so, but doctors often rely on information from the pharmaceutical reps, who downplay the side effects.

But every medication carries risk”

That's not the point. The fact is this: patients are not properly warned. While cautionary information does now exist, it's not enough. The warnings are either incomplete or hidden in other language that does not properly or sufficiently warn.

Would you take an antibiotic if you knew you could develop tendinitis, tendon ruptures, tinnitus, vertigo, muscle weakness or muscle wasting, insomnia, food and chemical sensitivities, retinal tears, seizures, chronic pain, permanent nerve damage, spinal disk degeneration, chronic fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, hallucinations, depression, anxiety, persistent gastric problems, trouble swallowing, dysautonomia, and arrhythmia?

How about Parkinson's, ALS, Alzheimers, Neurosarcoidosis, or MS? According to a report from the FDA themselves, obtained through a Freedom of Information Request, fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox, and Floxin can cause these neurodegenerative disorders but they never told patients or doctors.

But the side effects are rare”

Not so much. There are over 20 Million prescriptions written for fluoroquinolones every year. Preliminary data shows that approximately 55% of patients who take a fluoroquinolone will suffer adverse reactions. This means that 11 Million people are adversely affected. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't call that rare. Often, patients and doctors don't make the connection between symptoms and having taken a fluoroquinolone and adverse reactions are very under-reported. There is such a need for answers and a serious change in the way these are prescribed that an international non-profit called Quinolone Vigilance Foundation ( was formed to foster, initiate, and fund vital research to better understand how much damage these powerful drugs cause, why it happens, and how the damage can be reversed, or even cured. In addition, they advocate for victims so their voices can be heard. There are also over 60 online groups for support and “calls to action”, where effective and strong advocacy lives and breathes. We all came together to support one another, to share information. We have to, because no one else will. With so many people pushing for long overdue awareness and so many people suffering needlessly, how anyone can say that these side effects are “rare” is baffling.

It's scary enough when adults suffer adverse reactions but consider this: There are over 45,000 prescriptions for fluoroquinolones prescribed to children each year. Children.

But antibiotics kill infections”

Fair enough. But they also kill healthy cells. It's like detonating an atomic bomb to kill a mosquito. There are far safer alternatives to fluoroquinolones. Fluoroquinolones were manufactured for life threatening infections like anthrax or the plague. They were never meant as a first line of defense. And they certainly shouldn't be given when there is no infection. Often, these drugs are given out as a “just in case” measure. Always have your infection cultured before accepting any antibiotic. Always say no to a fluoroquinolone.


But nothing. These are the facts.

For more information, please visit Quinolone Vigilance Foundation at

Rachel Brummert
President/Executive Director

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Official Statement From QVF about Dr Angela Stanton

Yesterday afternoon, it was called to our attention that Dr. Angela Stanton submitted a Citizens Petition to the FDA on our behalf without our knowledge or consent. While we acknowledge that Dr. Stanton's heart was in the right place and we appreciate that she took action on behalf of quinolone victims, what she did was, in fact, illegal. Dr. Stanton has no affiliation with us whatsoever and she misrepresented herself and QVF with her actions.

What is the big deal?

It's many things. We are a legally registered non-profit corporation, subject to Federal regulation, as well as our own regulations and protocols for our actions, publications, and support of projects. No individual, whether affiliated with QVF or not (and Dr. Stanton admits she has NO affiliation with us) may speak for or submit anything in our name or on our behalf without first contacting us and seeking approval.

Dr Stanton has chosen to continue posting -on her blog site and her Facebook page- false information regarding her relationship to QVF, the function and projects supported by QVF even after being advised that her comments and actions were fraudulent, illegal, negligent and irresponsible. While she states she was “forced” to retract her submission of the petition to the FDA, she did so of her own accord upon advisement of the fraudulent nature of that submission.

We apologize for the drama that her postings have caused. We are working hard to rectify this tragic and unsettling sequence of events.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The QVF Team

At Quinolone Vigilance Foundation, we all work very hard, mostly behind the scenes, and we work well as a team.

We work nights, weekends, and holidays and we receive no compensation for what we do. We do this because we are passionate about this and in everything we do, we keep it forefront in our minds that we are your voice. We do not take that responsibility lightly.

With that said, I would like to take a few minutes to acknowledge and thank everyone who works so hard:


Matt Arnold, Vice President: My right hand man and a brave soul who works with all women. LOL. One of the nicest, most levelheaded guys I know and a constant voice of reason. It is an honor to serve on the Board with him.

Donna Schutz, Assistant Director: My right hand woman. Levelheaded and a problem solver, Donna is incredibly dedicated and hardworking, often going above and beyond. Not much would get done around here without her. Donna rose quickly through the ranks because of her dedication and hard work.

Leslie Day, Secretary: Leslie, without hesitation, is there for everyone. Her dedication and organizational skills make her a great fit for this organization.

Christina Manthos-Sorrell, Treasurer: Christina has been on the Board of Directors the longest. She expertly handles our finances, writes budgets, makes sure we stay within those budgets, reports to the IRS, assists in the Grant Application process, and participates in our research calls. This is a high stress position and she handles it beautifully.

Dr. Deanna Minkler, General Board Member: Deanna always finds time out of her busy schedule to help us out. We have to make tough decisions sometimes and Deanna carefully weighs these decisions in helping guide QVF.

Michelle Fewer, Fundraising Director: Michelle brings a lot of expertise and professionalism to her position. Fundraising is not easy for a non-profit. Her creativity and experience is a great asset to this organization.


Lori Boz, RN, Consultant: Lori is a loyal staff member and her experience as a Registered Nurse helps guide the foundation.

Victoria Chiovare, Assistant Fundraising Director: Victoria works closely with Michelle Fewer, Donna Schutz and I on fundraisers. She brings a wealth of fundraising experience to her position. In addition to fundraising duties, Victoria often steps up to help me and Donna Schutz in day-to-day operations. She also happens to be our resident graphics designer.

Jenny Frank, Public Relations Director: Jenny writes press releases, serves as a spokesperson, and as a liaison between QVF and the media. She also serves as an editor for materials written by QVF.

We have many Ambassadors all over the nation and around the world. Too many to list here but they are listed on our website. They all do a fantastic job representing QVF in their home state and countries. They are just as important in the fabric of QVF as our board members and volunteer staff. We are very proud of the work they do on behalf of QVF in their communities.

We all make a great team and I speak for all of us when I say that it is an honor to serve the community. Thank you for supporting us and helping us achieve the success that we have.

-Rachel Brummert, President/Executive Director

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Finding And Working With An Attorney: Guest Blog written for Clarkson Law Firm

*Written by Quinolone Vigilance Foundation Executive Director Rachel Brummert for Clarkson Law Firm.

Finding and Working With A Levaquin, Cipro, or Avelox Nerve Damage Attorney (Guest Blog by QVF Executive Director Rachel Brummert)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated a stricter peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) warning on fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Levaquin, Cipro, and Avelox on August 14, 2013.  This additional warning opened the door for lawsuits against the makers of these drugs for product liability, failure to warn, negligence, and other causes of action.


In March 2014, Quinolone Vigilance Foundation (QVF) connected with Clarkson Law Firm, where owner Ryan Clarkson had been preparing lawsuits on behalf of patients who developed peripheral neuropathy after taking a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.  Mr. Clarkson had realized the injustice and agreed to take on cases referred by QVF.  In August 2014, the first round of lawsuits was filed on behalf of fluoroquinolone nerve damage victims.

For those who have developed nerve damage from taking Levaquin, Cipro, or Avelox, we have some tips when considering retaining an attorney.

Finding An Attorney:

1. Personal referrals: Referrals are a great resource in finding an attorney.

2. Business referrals: Consider contacting a non-profit organization for a referral. Non-profits often work with a variety of professionals within their field of expertise.

3. Interview the attorney you are considering representing you.  Many factors go into the decision to retain an attorney such as personality, how long it takes them to return calls, and their willingness to work with you and include you. You want a lawyer who will work hard on your behalf and follow through. Ask about their background and experience in handling cases like yours, and ask how you could reach them after hours if the need arises. Be sure that you are comfortable with the lawyer that you choose because you will be working closely together until your case resolves.

4. If an attorney cannot take your case, it is not personal. There are many criteria that factor into whether a case can go forward or not.

5. Contact the American Bar Association. The ABA can help you find an attorney and also provide information about whether the lawyer you choose is a member in good standing.

Working With An Attorney:
1. Be sure that the lawyer you work with has the same goals and that expectations are realistic.

2. Working with an attorney is a two-way street; it is important to work together on your case.

3. Be sure that you provide the lawyer with all the information and documents necessary to understand and properly prepare your case.

4. Be sure you provide information about any new developments that take place on your case, even if you think it could be harmful or you think it’s unimportant. It could be important to your lawyer.
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation has referred many clients to Mr. Clarkson. He was interviewed extensively and he makes himself available to answer questions and concerns.  He has the knowledge and experience to continue carrying the flag forward on peripheral neuropathy cases.

For more information on fluoroquinolone-induced peripheral neuropathy, please visit our website at

Rachel Brummert
President/Executive Director
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Article:Those Amazing Antibiotics: How One Class Hurts You

Thank you Dr. Angela Stanton for writing this informative article about fluoroquinolones and for referencing Quinolone Vigilance Foundation.