Friday, November 28, 2014

Surviving the Holidays with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity







Surviving the Holidays with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity


Holidays can be stressful for anyone, but when you live with a chronic illness like Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, it can be especially challenging. Even if we can participate in the festivities, there is likely to be setbacks and payback afterward. On the other hand, if we don't participate, we feel isolated and risk being alienated by family and friends.

Holidays were usually hosted at my house, and I loved it. The house would be decorated, I'd cook appetizers, dinner, and dessert, and socialize with the family. The family would bring their dogs and I'd have a whole house full.

Now that my health is in rapid decline, I've had to learn how to find a balance, and how to do what makes me happy within my own limitations.

Those who are reading this fall into one of two categories: those who suffer with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, and those who have a friend or loved one who is. With that in mind, I would like to try to address surviving the holidays from both perspectives.


From our perspective:

  • Consider shopping online. Going out to shop when you are chronically fatigued or in pain can make us more sick. Perhaps it costs more with shipping costs but the cost to your health would be even greater if you push yourself too hard. Luckily, many retailers offer free shipping during the holidays, and you can also have gifts sent directly to the recipient. If online shopping isn't your thing, consider picking up gifts in small intervals ahead of time, or bringing someone with you.

  • Gift bags are a great alternative to finding boxes, wrapping, cutting, and taping when your joints are hurting.
  • Let go of the guilt that you're not living up to your old life. Priorities can change after you get sick . It's okay to delegate and to take breaks when you need it, and it's okay to say NO when you're not up to something.


  • Let family and friends know ahead of time that you may need to cancel at the last minute depending on your health.

  • Plan months in advance. Holidays often include the stress of doing last minute things. Add brain fog into the mix and it can add even more stress. Make lists so it's easier to keep track of holiday planning. Allow extra time in your planning because bad days are bound to happen.

  • If your holiday plans require travel, pick a time to travel which suits your health. Some people tend to feel better in the morning, others in the afternoon or evening. Remember to take breaks. Be mindful of your destination, too, because climate can also negatively affect your health.

  • Check in with your doctor and see what their hours are during the holidays. Make sure you have enough medication to last through your holiday.



From friends and family perspective:


  • If your loved one has Fluoroquinolone Toxicity and they have to cancel at the last minute because they're not feeling well, it's not personal. Some days even existing is hard and they're just trying to survive.


  • Someone with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity is not anti-social because they need to rest at certain intervals. Sitting quietly in another room is them listening to their own bodies and knowing what will and will not make them sicker.

  • Those affected by Fluoroquinolone Toxicity can be food and chemically sensitive. The food served can cause someone to become very ill and can set back any recovery they have made by days, weeks, months, or longer. The same goes for smells from a fireplace, someone's perfume, Christmas tree, carpet, cleaning agents, air freshener, etc. If your loved one is able to come to your gathering, and they bring their own food, it's not a statement about your food. They could be very sensitive to what you are serving and have their own dietary requirements that they will need you to understand.

  • Travel can be very challenging to someone with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity whether it's by car, train, or airplane.

  • Fluoroquinolone Toxicity can cause anxiety. Being at a large social gathering can make someone with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity very uncomfortable.


  • If your loved one is hosting the holidays, ask how you can help or if you can bring something to make it easier for them. Holidays can be overwhelming for even the healthiest individuals; it's even more so when someone has Fluoroquinolone Toxicity.



Holidays can be stressful for everyone, but keeping your needs in mind, or that of your loved ones, it doesn't always have to be.

On behalf of Quinolone Vigilance Foundation, happy, healthy, and safe holiday season to all!


Rachel Brummert
President/Executive Director
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation

Monday, November 24, 2014

QVF Promotional Video #1







QVF meets with Gallagher & Kennedy Law Firm


Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's Public Relations Director and Arizona Ambassador Jenny Frank met with Lincoln Combs and Mark O'Connor from Gallagher & Kennedy Law Firm in Phoenix. QVF is honored to be working with Gallagher & Kennedy. They are investigating fluoroquinolone-induced peripheral neuropathy cases.



Gallagher & Kennedy is a full-service law firm with the top plaintiff’s practice group in the Southwest, specializing in catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation. Gallagher & Kennedy plaintiffs’

personal injury litigation team collectively have over 130 years of experience protecting the rights of those harmed by others and have obtained over $500 million dollars in verdicts, awards and settlements on behalf of their clients. Gallagher & Kennedy is based in Phoenix, Arizona and represents injured victims of wrongdoing all over the Southwest and the United States. Gallagher & Kennedy attorneys Lincoln Combs and Mark O’Connor are happy to speak with anyone suffering from peripheral neuropathy or similar neurological symptoms who believes that their problems may be related to their use of brand name Levaquin, Avelox, or Cipro.

For more information about Mark, Lincoln, or Gallagher & Kennedy, please contact them:
2575 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, Arizona, 85016
Telephone: 602-530-8000
http://www.gknet.com/departments/plaintiffs-personal-injury-wrongful-death-pi/

I'm Not Sorry

After I became disabled from Fluoroquinolone Toxicity in 2006, I found myself apologizing a lot. I apologized every time I felt crappy and couldn't follow through with commitments or keep plans I made with friends and family. I apologized for collapsing into tears when I was frustrated or hurting. I apologized for basically being me.

When I reflect on the last 8 years since this happened, I realize now that I'm not sorry for any of that.

I'm not sorry when I have to cancel when I have a flareup.

I'm not sorry that it's uncomfortable for you to be around me because I'm not the same anymore.

I'm not sorry that I speak out.

I'm not sorry when I have a bad day, because it's not my fault.

I'm not sorry that I have to lay on the couch when I am in pain.

I'm not sorry that you label me as a drug addict when I need pain medication.

I'm not sorry that you won't educate yourself about what is happening to me.

I'm not sorry that I don't look sick.

I'm not sorry that I lost you as a friend because you grew impatient.

I'm not sorry that I don't stay in touch when I am not feeling well.

I'm not sorry that I embarrass you when I educate people who cross my path.

I'm not sorry that I put my physical and emotional health first.

I'm not sorry that I forgot what you said 5 minutes ago.

I'm not sorry that I distanced myself from people and things that stress me out.

I'm not sorry when I can't snap out of it when I have a bad day.

I'm not sorry that I don't make excuses anymore.

I'm not sorry that I'm not independent anymore.

I'm not sorry that I gained weight.

I'm not sorry that I'm tired all the time.

I'm not sorry that I choose to defy the odds.

I'm not sorry that I take the high road.

I'm not sorry that I decide what is best for my health.

I'm not sorry when I am honest about how I am feeling.

I'm not sorry that I stood up and decided that I'm not taking this lying down.

I'm not sorry that I tell a doctor to piss up a rope when they don't believe me.

I'm not sorry that I am proud of my story and how far I have come.

I'm not sorry that I choose to stay positive.

I'm not sorry that I don't let this define me.

I'm not sorry when I ask for help.

I'm not sorry that it's hard for you to see me like this.

I'm not sorry that my scars tell a story of my journey.

I'm not sorry for being me.

I'm not sorry that I am surviving the only way I know how.

I'm not sorry for thriving.

I'm not sorry for what I've been through.

I'm not sorry for being strong.

I'm not sorry living one day at a time, sometimes even minute by minute.

I'm not sorry that I'm not the same anymore.

I'm not sorry that I have a voice.

I'm not sorry that I took my dignity back.

I'm not sorry that I put my needs first.

I'm not sorry for accepting the position of President/Executive Director of Quinolone Vigilance Foundation when I had no idea what I was doing because now I do, and I'm damn good at it.

I'm. Not. Sorry.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Guest Blogs and Articles written by Executive Director Rachel Brummert






March 27, 2014, Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote a guest blog for Baron & Budd Law Firm. http://baronandbudd.com/protecting-whats-right/2014/03/the-quinolone-vigilance-foundation/

June 3, 2014- Rachel Brummert wrote a guest blog for Clarkson Law Firm. http://clarksonlawfirm.com/blog/qvf-warns-users-of-cipro-levaquin-and-avelox-of-nerve-damage-risk/

June 16, 2014- Executive Director Rachel Brummert writes a guest blog for Clarkson Law Firm remembering Robert Grozier. http://clarksonlawfirm.com/blog/dead-from-cipro-at-55-quinolone-antibiotic-injury-victims-mourn-loss-of-activist-bob-grozier/

June 24, 2014 Executive Director wrote a guest blog for Clarkson Law Firm. http://clarksonlawfirm.com/blog/it-only-takes-one-how-levaquin-forever-damaged-my-life/

June 30, 2014, CareNovate Magazine published an article written by Executive Director Rachel Brummert. http://carenovatemag.com/personal-account-prescription-destruction-black-box-warning/

August 4. 2014, Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote a guest blog for Baron & Budd Law Firm regarding tips for when you see your doctor. http://baronandbudd.com/protecting-whats-right/2014/08/tips-for-those-doctor-visits-from-the-quinolone-vigilance-foundation/

August 13, 2014, Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's Executive Director Rachel Brummert writes of her experience for Clarkson Law Firm when she was in the hospital, with tips on how to talk to your doctor there about fluoroquinolones. http://clarksonlawfirm.com/general/avoiding-quinolone-antibiotics-during-surgery-one-womans-story/

August 14, 2014: Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote an article called Depression and Suicide: Tips and Warning Signs: https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/depression-and-suicide-tips-and-warning-signs/818814418137434

August 18, 2014, Executive Director Rachel Brummert was asked to write a guest blog for Progressive Medical Center. http://www.progressivemedicalcenter.com/progressive-medical-center-supports-the-quinolone-vigilance-foundation/

September 7, 2014- Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote an article called Explaining Fluoroquinolone Toxicity: https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/explaining-fluoroquinolone-toxicity/830255793659963

September 29, 2014- Quinolone Vigilance Foundation President/Executive Director Rachel Brummert writes a guest blog for Baron & Budd Law Firm about fluoroquinolone-induced brain fog. http://baronandbudd.com/protecting-whats-right/2014/09/levaquin-fluoroquinolones-affect-your-brain/


October 28, 2014- Executive Director Rachel Brummert writes a guest blog for Clarkson Law Firm entitled 'But.... Stupid Things People Say About Fluoroquinolone Toxicity': http://clarksonlawfirm.com/blog/but-stupid-things-people-say-about-fluoroquinolone-toxicity-guest-post-by-qvf-executive-director-rachel-brummert/

November 5, 2014- Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote an article called More Stupid Things People Say About Fluoroquinolone Toxocity: https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/more-stupid-things-people-say-about-fluoroquinolone-toxicity/860032547348954

November 6, 2014- Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's Executive Director wrote an article about Virus vs. Bacterial Infection: https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/viral-vs-bacterial-infections/860172097334999

November 6, 2014- Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote an article about Travel Tips for Those With Fluoroquinolone Toxicity: https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/travel-tips-for-those-with-fluoroquinolone-toxicity/860580987294110


November 8, 2014- Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote an article about Fluoroquinolones In Pets: https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/fluoroquinolones-in-pets/861353870550155?notif_t=like

November 22, 2014- Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote The Uglier Side of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity: https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/the-uglier-side-of-fluoroquinolone-toxicity-and-how-i-am-turning-it-around/868029949882547

November 24, 2014- Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote I'm Not Sorry: https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/im-not-sorry/869265403092335   

November 28, 2014- Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote Surviving the Holidays with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity. https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/surviving-the-holidays-with-fluoroquinolone-toxocity/871855786166630

December 9, 2014- Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote I'm Fine: https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/im-fine/877877305564478     

January 21, 2015- Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote Antibiotic Resistance: http://quinolonevigilancefoundation.blogspot.com/2015/01/antibiotic-resistant-infections.html 

January 27, 2015- Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote Invisible Illness: http://quinolonevigilancefoundation.blogspot.com/2015/01/invisible-illness.html  

February 16, 2015- Rachel Brummert wrote Fluoroquinolones and Neurodegenerative Disease: http://quinolonevigilancefoundation.blogspot.com/2015/02/fluoroquinolones-and-neurodegenerative.html 

April 12, 2015- Rachel Brummert wrote guest blog for the Mesh Warrior Foundation: http://themeshwarrior.com/2015/04/12/meet-rachel-of-the-quinolone-vigilance-foundation-qvf/ 

Meet the QVF Team







QVF Board:



Rachel Brummert, President/Executive Director

Ms. Brummert serves as Executive Director. A member of the Board of Directors since April 2012, Ms. Brummert guides strategic planning for the organization and acts as its spokesperson. She oversees the implementation and evaluation of the organization’s programs, and promotes collaboration with researchers, donors, politicians, community groups, and others to further the organization’s mission.Ms. Brummert holds a B.S. from Cabrini College in Special Education and Elementary Education, and an M.S. from Rutgers University in Substance Abuse Counseling. Ms. Brummert resides in New Jersey with her husband.




Matthew Arnold, Vice President

Mr. Arnold serves as Vice President of the Board. He works in international development and holds a B.A. in International
History from Hamilton College. Matt also has a background in education and teaching English as a secondary language. Mr. Arnold resides in Washington, DC.




Donna Schutz, Assistant Director

Ms. Schutz serves as Assistant Director, Coordinator of QVF’s Ambassador program, and is Ambassador for South Australia and Georgia State Ambassador in the United States. She runs a support group for victims in Australia and was directly affected by a fluoroquinolone, as was her American fiancee. Donna is very active in advocacy by educating patients, doctors and pharmacists in Australia and the United States. Ms. Schutz resides in South Australia with her two children.





Christina Manthos-Sorrell, Treasurer

Ms. Manthos-Sorrell has been a member of the Board of Directors since April 2011. As Treasurer, she oversees the foundation’s financial records, tracks fundraising activities, develops the annual operating budget, and manages the foundation’s expenses, with an emphasis on allocating funds for research projects.Ms. Manthos-Sorrell holds degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of Delaware (B.S.) and Manhattan College (M.S.). She has experience designing sewer systems and developing computer models to study wastewater
treatment plants. She has also served on the project management team for the construction of a $2 billion dollar water treatment plant in New York City. Ms. Manthos-Sorrell resides in New York with her husband.






Leslie Day, Secretary

Ms. Day was elected to the Board of Directors in August 2014. As Corporate Secretary, she is responsible for facilitating communication both within the QVF organization and with the public, maintaining the foundation’s documents and records, and recording minutes of all board meetings. Ms. Day has over 14 years of secretarial experience, and a degree in office administration from Ivy Tech State College in Indiana. Ms. Day resides in Indiana.




Dr. Deanna Minkler  D.C. C.C.S.P., C.H.T., General Board Member

Dr. Minkler has been a licensed chiropractor for more than 16 years and is also a certified chiropractic sports physician. Dr. Minkler specializes in
sports rehabilitation and pediatric chiropractic; her practice also includes prenatal and delivery care, hypnotherapy, and acupuncture.A Chicago resident for 18 years, Dr. Minkler received a D.C. and a B.S. in Human Biology from National College of Chiropractic in Lombard, IL, as well as a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Bradley University in Peoria, IL. Dr. Minkler resides in Chicago.




Dr. Joe Hudak ,D.C.

Dr. Joseph Hudak was elected to the Board of Directors in October 2014. He 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. Dr. Hudak resides in New Jersey with his wife and two children.






QVF Volunteer Staff:



Lori Caddick Boz RN, Consultant

Ms. Boz,  serves as a consultant and has worked in the medical community since 1992. Ms. Boz obtained her degree from Mount Carmel College of Nursing and has worked exclusively in the ICU and ER departments. Ms. Boz resides in Indiana with her husband and children.




Victoria Chiovare, Assistant Fundraising Director

Ms. Chiovare has worked as a fundraiser for the Honolulu Symphony and for the Historic Hawaii Theatre for over 5 years, and serves as Hawaii State Ambassador. Ms. Chiovare serves as Assistant Fundraising Director, assisting Michelle Fewer, and resides in Hawaii with her husband.




Jenny Frank, Public Relations Director

Ms. Frank serves as the Public Relations Director for QVF and Arizona State Ambassador. Ms. Frank is an educator and holds degrees in Theatre and Drama from Trinity University (B.A.) and the University of Michigan (M.F. A.), as well as a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix. In addition to volunteering for QVF, Ms. Frank serves on the Executive Board for her local teacher’s association and political action committee. She resides in Arizona with her husband.


 










The History of Quinolone Vigilance Foundation



A complete history of Quinolone Vigilance Foundation:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/the-history-of-qvf/787401714612038

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Uglier Side of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity... and how I am turning it around.






The Uglier Side of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity...
and how I am turning it around.

In 2006 I sat on the exam table at my primary care physician's office, feeling utterly miserable. My face felt like it was filled with concrete, I was congested, and my throat felt thick.

I left the office feeling hopeful because I'd be feeling better in a few days. With a prescription for Levaquin in hand, I went about the rest of my day by having it filled at the pharmacy, and came home to rest.

A few days later, I felt “off”. I don't know how else to describe it. I stopped the medication wondering if I was having a reaction to it. I thought I would be okay. After all, on the pharmacy inserts it says to discontinue if you have any issues with it.

A month later, I had my first of nine tendon ruptures. Shortly thereafter the brain fog, peripheral neuropathy, arrhythmia, tremors, vertigo, tinnitus, persistent gastric problems, and other adverse reactions started.

Fluoroquinolone Toxicity is ugly in and of itself. It is a difficult existence and it can rob you of so many things. I have come to find out that there is an even uglier side to Fluoroquinolone Toxicity: when it morphs into something even more life threatening.

In 2010, four years after I became disabled after taking Levaquin, I was diagnosed with Neurosarcoidosis, a neurodegenerative disorder. A time will come when I will no longer be able to take care of myself. The seizures will become more frequent and my cognitive function will decrease.

There is a direct link between fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Levaquin (levofloxacin), Cipro (ciprofloxacin), and Avelox (moxifloxacin) and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimers, ALS, Neurosarcoidosis, and MS, according to a document signed by a Division Director at the FDA obtained through a Freedom of Information request. The FDA never told doctors or patients of this link. Had I been warned of this, I would never have taken those fateful doses of Levaquin.

A few days ago, I was on an exam table at my Gastroenterologist's office, not unlike the one in my primary care physician's office in 2006. I received another life-threatening diagnosis after results came back from a recent biopsy that was done during an endoscopy.

If there is a silver lining to any of this, it's that following my Neurosarcoidosis diagnosis, I had to take a hard look at my life since I was facing my own mortality. Over the years, I've learned some coping strategies that have helped me weather these difficult diagnoses, and I bring these coping strategies to my new diagnosis and I am prepared to fight with everything I have.


  • I learned what I have room for in my life. I surrounded myself with positive people and I distanced myself from people and situations which added to my stress.

  • I learned how to relinquish control and delegate things I didn't need to do myself. Letting go of that control allowed me to focus on my health. I used to be someone who had to do it all, throwing myself into work and not taking care of myself. I thought if I threw myself into work, that I could avoid having to deal with it. It isn't selfish putting myself first and doing things that make me happy because in the end, focusing on what makes me happy adds some sugar to the lemons that were served to me.

  • I learned that I do have control over my illness and treatments. That control is asserted by the choices I make and the attitude I choose every day. That's a powerful thing.

  • I choose not to dwell on what I can't do anymore and who I used to be before I got sick. I would be cheating myself out of a good life if I dwelled on what can no longer be. It is a life changing event when you are dealing with life-threatening illnesses. My life is what I make of it, not what life throws at me and I am not defined by what is happening to me.

  • I choose to nurture my sense of humor. I love to laugh and I embrace my warped sense of humor. I watch shows and movies that make me laugh. I play with my silly dog who is a total goofball.

  • I'm not hard on myself anymore if I am having a bad day. I stopped apologizing for the days when I can hardly function. I learned it's okay to have a bad day but that I don't have to be stuck there.

I am often asked, “Don't you ever ask 'Why Me?' or 'Why Did This Happen?'”

Of course I do. And I know why. It happened because I took a medication that was supposed to help me feel better and it did horrific damage to my body. If I could do it all over again, I never would have taken Levaquin. Unfortunately, this did happen and I am doing my best to cope. I am also making it my personal and professional mission to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else.

For more information about Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, visit us at www.SaferPills.org

Rachel Brummert
President/Executive Director
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WCPO in Cincinnati picks up Dave Biscobing's news story





Thank you WCPO in Cincinnati for their news story featuring Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's Public Relations Director Jenny Frank. WCPO picked up Dave Biscobing's story, which originally aired on ABC15 in Phoenix.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New QVF wristbands





We have redesigned our (silicone) wristbands. One side says Say NO to FQs, the other says saferpills.org. To purchase a wristband via PayPal, our PayPal address is donations@saferpills.org. Make sure you let us know how many you want in the comments section. They are $5.00, which includes shipping within the US and Canada. For international shipping, it is $10.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Executive Director Rachel Brummert meets with Capital Health





Executive Director Rachel Brummert meets with administrators at Capital Health Medical Center to talk about safer prescribing practices for fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Law Firms Taking Fluoroquinolone Cases

Quinolone Vigilance Foundation (QVF) is proud to be working with the following law firms, which are reviewing cases of fluoroquinolone induced peripheral neuropathy. Before QVF refers potential clients, we fully vet the attorneys. They are interviewed extensively and measures are taken to make sure they are members in good standing with the Bar Association.

Baron & Budd Law Firm


Thomas Sims
Baron & Budd Law Firm is a national law firm investigating cases for clients who have been adversely affected by fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Levaquin,
Cipro, and Avelox. The first of many cases have been filed in State and Federal Court. There are many factors that determine whether a lawsuit can be filed including statute of limitations, access to medical and pharmacy records, when the drug was taken, etc. Baron & Budd can answer any questions or concerns you have regarding whether you case can go forward.
On August 15, 2013, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required a label change warning patients of the risk for peripheral neuropathy (permanent nerve damage) from fluoroquinolone antibiotics taken by mouth or injection.
If you have taken brand name Levaquin, Cipro, or Avelox and have developed peripheral neuropathy, the attorneys at Baron & Budd are experienced, knowledgeable, and they tenaciously fight for their clients.
For more information:
Levaquin- http://baronandbudd.com/areas-of-practice/pharmaceuticals/levaquin-lawsuit/
Avelox- http://baronandbudd.com/areas-of-practice/pharmaceuticals/avelox-lawyers/
Cipro- http://baronandbudd.com/areas-of-practice/pharmaceuticals/cipro-lawsuit/
Baron & Budd also has a great blog filled with helpful information. Quinolone Vigilance Foundation has written several guest blogs for it: http://baronandbudd.com/protecting-whats-right/
Baron & Budd Law Firm
1-866-844-4556
info@baronbudd.com


Clarkson Law Firm



Ryan Clarkson
Clarkson Law Firm is accepting clients who have suffered peripheral neuropathy as a result of taking Levaquin, Cipro, and Avelox. Ryan Clarkson has been carrying the flag forward on peripheral neuropathy claims since August 2013 when the FDA mandated peripheral neuropathy warning label changes on fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Mr. Clarkson is professional, ethical, and knowledgeable and he fights hard for his clients. For more information: www.ClarksonLawFirm.com.
Mr. Clarkson also has a blog for which Quinolone Vigilance Foundation has written: http://clarksonlawfirm.com/category/blog/


Clarkson Law Firm
310-917-1030
448 S. Hill St.
Suite 701
Los Angeles, CA 90013
rclarkson@clarksonlawfirm.com



Gallagher and Kennedy Law Firm













Lincoln Combs













Mark O'Connor


Gallagher & Kennedy is a full-service law firm with the top plaintiff’s practice group in the Southwest, specializing in catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation.  Gallagher & Kennedy plaintiffs’ personal injury litigation team collectively have over 130 years of experience protecting the rights of those harmed by others and have obtained over $500 million dollars in verdicts, awards and settlements on behalf of their clients.  Gallagher & Kennedy is based in Phoenix, Arizona and represents injured victims of wrongdoing all over the Southwest and the United States.
                    
Gallagher & Kennedy attorneys Lincoln Combs and Mark O’Connor are happy to speak with anyone suffering from peripheral neuropathy or similar neurological symptoms who believes that their problems may be related to their use of brand name Levaquin, Avelox, or Cipro.
For more information about Mark, Lincoln, or Gallagher & Kennedy, please contact them:

2575 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, Arizona, 85016
Telephone: 602-530-8000
602-530-8022.




Friday, November 7, 2014

Fluoroquinolones In Pets


If you're an animal lover like I am, you want the very best for your pets.

These are mine:




After I became involved with Quinolone Vigilance Foundation, I learned that pets are often prescribed fluoroquinolone antibiotics. As with people, these drugs should never be prescribed as a first line of defense. They cause serious adverse reactions in people and in pets. Common veterinary fluoroquinolones are:

  • Advocin, Advocid (danofloxacin)
  • Baytril (enrofloxacin)
  • Dicural, Vetequinon (difloxacin)
  • Floxasol, Saraflox, Sarafin (sarafloxacin)
  • Ibaflin (ibafloxacin)
  • Marbocy, Zeniquin (marbofloxacin)
  • Orbax, Victas (orbifloxacin)



They can cause retinal toxicity, Central Nervous System dysfunction which can lead to seizures, tendon problems, cartilage erosion, arthritis, loss of appetite, and gastric problems.



Our pets trust us to make the right decisions for them, and when they are hurting, they can't tell us. It is up to us to protect them. If your pet becomes sick and is in need of an antibiotic, always ask what class of antibiotic it is.



Fluoroquinolones are extremely powerful antibiotics meant for life threatening infections, never meant as a first line of defense. Some fluoroquinolones have been taken off the market due to the powerful side effects. Others come on the market under different names, so it is important that you ask your veterinarian exactly what your pet will be receiving.



Don't assume that your veterinarian is aware of how dangerous fluoroquinolones are. As with physicians for humans, it is up to us to educate them. Luckily, our veterinarian is very aware of how bad fluoroquinolones are. She said “Even I can't tolerate them. I would never prescribe it for an animal”.



Since I became disabled from Levaquin in 2006, my fur babies have helped me deal with the pain and frustration. It's my job to keep them healthy and safe so that what happened to me won't happen to them. Say NO to fluoroquinolones for yourself, and for your pets.


For more information about fluoroquinolones in pets, please visit Lisa Bloomquist's site called FloxiePets.com.


Rachel Brummert
President/Executive Director
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation
www.saferpills.org
rachel@saferpills.org

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Travel Tips For Those With Fluoroquinolone Toxicty


Travel Tips For Those With Fluoroquinolone Toxicity
  by: Rachel Brummert


With the holiday season fast approaching, many people will be making travel plans to be with family or friends. Travel can be difficult with chronic illness so it is important to plan ahead if you are able to travel. Quinolone Vigilance Foundation would like to share some traveling tips:


    1. Choose your destination carefully. Climate change can negatively affect someone with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity. The altitude in airplane travel can also negatively affect someone who is chronically ill so make sure you get medical clearance.

    2. When buying your tickets, make sure the dates are flexible. You never know how you will feel from day to day. Check the Terms and Conditions, and the fine print for travel insurance. Some pre-existing conditions may be excluded.

    3. Check with the airline, train station, or bus station to see if they have a Meet & Assist program. Here in New Jersey at Liberty International it is handled through the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). A representative of the airline , train station, or bus station will meet your flight, train, or bus, provide a wheelchair, and wheel you where you need to go. You will need to fill out a medical form called a Passenger Medical Information Form (MEDIF). These are available through travel agencies and through the medical department of airlines and transportation stations. Also have your doctor write up a letter for the airline if you require extra fluids and medications on board.

    4. Schedule days of rest into your trip. Overdoing it one day can mean feeling poorly the next day and longer.

    5. Take the original pill bottles with instructions with you. Airlines generally don't like when pills are in pill boxes. They need to be able to identify the medications or they will have to dispose of them.

    6. Keep a list of your medications and doctors, and inquire about what medical services are available at your destination.

    7. If you're traveling internationally, Google-translate a brief history of your medical issues into the language of your destination.

    8. Pack snacks or prepared meals that suit your dietary restrictions. Many people with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity have food sensitivities. When you are traveling, it can be challenging eating meals on time for your medications.

    9. If you require assistance with feeding, lifting, or medication administration, you will need an escort or travel companion. Airline hostesses cannot assist passengers in these matters.

    10. If you are visiting an attraction during your travels, check ahead of time to see what is handicapped accessible and whether canes with portable seating is permitted. Keep a copy of the letter from your doctor in case you run into a problem with an employee that may not understand.



Rachel Brummert
President/Executive Director
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation
www.saferpills.org

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Viral vs Bacterial Infections

It is the season for cold, flu, respiratory bugs and other ailments that may end up resulting in a trip to the doctor's office or emergency room. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are widely prescribed for a variety of infections. With that in mind, Quinolone Vigilance Foundation would like to take a few minutes to discuss the difference between viral and bacterial infections.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are meant to treat anthrax and the plague. Because of its potency, they cause severe adverse reactions such as tendinitis, tendon rupture, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, muscle wasting, peripheral neuropathy, tremors, insomnia, anxiety, memory loss, brain fog, visual and auditory impairment, persistent gastric problems, food and chemical sensitivities, tinnitus, arrhythmia, and dysautonomia. They also cause psychiatric issues, and Mitochondrial Toxicity which can lead to neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's, ALS, and Alzhemiers.

Viruses cause infections such as a cold, the flu, and also the Enterovirus which has been making headlines in recent weeks. In those cases, a prescription for an antibiotic would be inappropriate. It is not unheard of though. As a “just in case” treatment, doctors may prescribe a fluoroquinolone like Cipro, Levaquin, or Avelox because it's a broad spectrum antibiotic, and they don't realize that they are causing more harm by prescribing them.

Bacteria cause infections such as bronchitis, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, and strep throat. Antibiotics are an effective treatment for bacterial infections so always ask for your infection to be cultured before accepting an antibiotic. If one becomes necessary, ask for something safer as an alternative to a fluoroquinolone.

Viruses and bacterial infections can carry the same symptoms so it is important to know the difference between a viral and bacterial infection. Both are caused by microbes. Microbes can cause three kinds of infections:
  • Acute infections which are short-lived.
  • Chronic infections which can last days, weeks, months, or indefinitely.
  • Latent infections which may not cause symptoms in the beginning, but may reactivate later on.

Symptoms they have in common are coughing, sneezing, vomiting, fatigue; it's your body's way of trying to get rid of infectious organisms.

Where viruses and bacterial infections vary is in its structure and its response to medications.

Some illnesses can be caused by a virus or bacteria such as pneumonia and meningitis. Seek medical attention in either case, but insist on blood and urine cultures which will dictate proper and safe treatment. Non life-threatening viruses generally need to run its course without medication intervention. The overuse of antibiotics for infections that don't need it have been linked to antibiotic-resistant microbe strains, a real and dangerous problem world-wide.

Measures can be taken to keep from getting sick, but if you do, it's best to be vigilant about the course of treatment and keep yourself safe.

Rachel Brummert
President/Executive Director
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation
rachel@saferpills.org



More Stupid Things People Say About Fluoroquinolone Toxicity

More Stupid Things People Say About Fluoroquinolone Toxicity
by Rachel Brummert


On October 28, I wrote an article called Stupid Things People Say About Fluoroquinolone Toxicity. I'd like to delve a little deeper into that. While I understand that most people mean well and they are just trying to help, statements such as the ones below are very hurtful and damaging. Some are downright ignorant. These statements are centered around Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, but anyone with a chronic and/or invisible illness have heard these.


You need to get out more”

Fluoroquinolone Toxicity patients wish we could do that, but the reality of it is that we're in a lot of pain, we are chronically fatigued, our bodies feel like it's on fire and that's not even scratching the surface. Getting out and going to the mall isn't going to help us. We are in tune to our bodies and we know what makes us better and what makes us worse. We are just trying to survive. The fact that you are uncomfortable or feeling helpless when you see us in agony on the couch isn't going to make us any better.

Are you getting enough sleep?”

Fluoroquinolone Toxicity can cause insomnia. Even if we could sleep, sleep doesn't cure chronic illness.


You don't look sick”

Ninety-six percent of chronic illness is invisible. The pain is hidden under skin and that doesn't make it any less real. The pain is overwhelming and intense. To use that old adage: Don't judge a book by its cover.

Think positive”

Every Fluoroquinolone Toxicity patient wishes that this was enough, but it's not. It may sometimes help us try to fight this everyday but living with this is exhausting. Thinking positive doesn't take the pain away, it doesn't stop the ringing in our ears, it doesn't repair our tendons, and it doesn't clear away brain fog. Sometimes we need to break down, cry, curse the world, and that's okay. We don't need people telling us to “think positive”. What we need is support. What we need is to be believed.

My friend was cured by...”

This is a dangerous statement to make to someone with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity. Everyones' makeup is different and people with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity can develop severe food and chemical sensitivities. Not only that...There is no cure for Fluoroquinolone Toxicity. There are people who have recovered from this, but there is no blanket treatment, supplement, or medication that cures this. What helps one person could be dangerous to another.


Dr Oz says....”

I wasn't even going to dignify this with an answer but since I hear this a lot, I'm going to address it. First of all, you should never substitute medical advice from a television doctor who is more concerned about ratings and being a celebrity over consulting with a doctor who can actually examine you and look over test results. Second of all, Fluoroquinolone Toxicity is a poorly understood condition by both doctors and patients. Part of what we do at Quinolone Vigilance Foundation is educate the medical community. We rely on peer-reviewed, published, unbiased, scientific research, which prove that Fluoroquinolone Toxicity is a documented fact. Third of all, Dr. Oz is a controversial doctor who has been slammed for pushing products that have no basis in scientific fact.

I wish I didn't have to work”

Many of us, like myself, had careers before we got sick. The fact that we became sick, injured, and disabled is hard enough but the lost income and the medical bills incurred is enough to bankrupt anyone. Many of us can't play with our children, lost our homes and livelihood, can't make ends meet due to lost income. “YEAH, sign me up for THAT”, said no Fluoroquinolone Toxicity patient ever... Even if we could get disability, that's hardly enough to live on.

It could be worse”.

Of course it could but that shouldn't take away from the fact that this is a very serious illness which is painful, horrible, debilitating, and can kill.

Are you better yet?”

We'll let you know if or when that happens. We'd make that happen if that was within our power, but it's not. There is no set time that determines when or if someone feels better. Some do. Some live with this indefinitely. Don't let the myth that an antibiotic, which is supposed to help us feel better, can't disable people overpower reason. The fact is, fluoroquinolone antibiotcs like Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox-- brand name or generic, oral, IV, or topical in ear drops and eye drops-- can and do disable and kill every day.


You should try this diet”

While it is true that a clean, organic diet does help some people, suggesting a particular diet, fad, trend, etc can be very dangerous for people with Fluoroquinolone Toxicity who are chemical and food sensitive. The damage fluoroquinolones cause goes way down into cellular level. You could potentially harm someone even more by suggesting someone try some diet you heard about.

It's made up by Big Pharma”

Big Pharma is a billion dollar business concerned about profits. Fluoroquinolones were manufactured for life threatening infections such as anthrax and the plague. Yet these drugs are routinely prescribed off-label for minor infections such as UTIs and sinus infections in which less potent medications would work. Many times, fluoroquinolones are given when there is no infection. Always insist that an infection be cultured before accepting an antibiotic and always demand a safer alternative.

I haven't heard of that. Is it real?”

Yes, and it affects millions of people around the world. Most times, a patient doesn't even connect their symptoms to a fluoroquinolone because the symptoms can mimic other diseases. It can also affect any part of the body. Many doctors often treat patients symptomatically and don't get a complete picture of how wide-spread the damage is, or what the root cause is.


Now that we got this out in the open, what does help?

  1. One of the best, and most important, things you can do is-- and I can't stress this enough—BELIEVE THEM. Fluoroquinolone Toxicity is real. There is scientific research behind this, and through Freedom of Information requests, there is documentation from the FDA themselves that clearly state they are aware of how much damage these drugs cause. There are Black Box warnings on these drugs. A Black Box warning is the highest warnings that come from the FDA. Fluoroquinolone Toxicity is not rare by any means, can cause Mitochondrial Toxicity, which can lead to neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's, ALS, Alzheimers and more. With so much information and research, you're doing a disservice to your loved one by dismissing them.

    2. Ask them what you can do or how you can help. Don't assume that you know because unless you go through this, you can't understand what someone needs.

    3. Go to saferpills.org to educate yourself about Fluoroquinolone Toxicity.





Rachel Brummert
President/Executive Director
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation
rachel@saferpills.org

Monday, November 3, 2014

News story about fluoroquinolones and QVF on NBC12

Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's Arizona Ambassador Jenny Frank was interviewed by Joe Dana from NBC12 News for a news story about fluoroquinolones and their link to neurodegenerative diseases. Quinolone Vigilance Foundation is specifically mentioned in this story.

We thank Jenny and Chad for telling their stories, and Joe Dana and his team for doing this story.

News story- Experts: Top Antibiotic Carries Hidden Side Effects Not Listed On The Label

Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's Arizona Ambassador and Public Relations Director Jenny Frank was interviewed by ABC15's Dave Biscobing.

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are linked to Mitochondrial Toxicity.