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About a week ago I felt run down and tired and suddenly woke…

About a week ago I...
About a week ago I felt run down and tired and suddenly woke up shaking uncontrollably. I had bouts of diarrhea for the prior 2 days and surmised that I might be severely dehydrated. I went to the ER and was hydrated with 2 saline drips and told after my blood came back that I had gastroenteritis. I was prescribed Cipro and Flagyl which seriously made me feel ill. I read some bad things about Cipro towards the end of my course set off some anxiety in me. It's been 5 days since my last of the antibiotics but I still have diarrhea. Not much since I haven't had an appetite to eat much which is also making me feel very weak. Now my left ear feels plugged up and there is a high pitched sound, combined with my throat glands swelling a bit near the evening. All this is furthering my anxiety and I've been quiet depressed. Trying to find the strength to eat something. I still haven't eaten well in days and can't sleep at night since my throat and ear feels swollen and stuffed. I know this is a lot to read but I would like to hear a professionals point of view. I really don't want to have to take another antibiotic since I heard so many bad things about cipro and flagyl.
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
7/10/2013
Ken
Ken, Postgraduate doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 6,559
Experience: Working as a Doctor who Cares since 2001.
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Hello,
I am Dr Ken and I will be helping you today.
Do you have cough or difficulty in breathing? Are you passing blood in stool? I assume your diarrhea has reduced in severity. What investigations weer done to make the diagnosis?
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Dr. Cameron
Dr. Cameron, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 12,910
Experience: American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Ivy League trained. Medical Review Officer trained in Drug Testing
Verified

hi
I am an ER doctor.
I was following your question.
It sounds like you may have had two things and they are not related.
There is nothing in cipro and flagyl which may have caused your sore throat and plugged ears. Usually they do not give these meds unless you are having bloody diarrhea or recent travel to the third world or abdominal pain- so it is good that you are not on them anymore- otherwise I would tell you to stop them
These symptoms you are now having are likely related to an upper respiratory infection. A virus can cause plugged ears, swollen glands, sore throat, etc. The noise you are hearing is from your ears being plugs plus some inflammation of the 8th cranial nerve. This will resolve over time.
THe treatment for this is symptomatic- including taking a decongestant like sudafed or phenylephrine. You can also take medication for sore throat like cephacol.
As well, staying hydrated is key for you, particularly since you had some diarrhea.
Drinking gatorate or pedialyte will replenish fluids and electrolytes.
And get some rest!

You need to force your self to eat more- eating a simple bland diet is best- bread, bananas, rice, applesauce and toast (the BRAT diet) is best for diarrhea.

I hope that this helps.

Please leave positive feedback if it did :-)

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Thank you Dr. Ken and Cameron

"There is nothing in cipro and flagyl which may have caused your sore throat and plugged ears. Usually they do not give these meds unless you are having bloody diarrhea or recent travel to the third world or abdominal pain- so it is good that you are not on them anymore- otherwise I would tell you to stop them"

They did not take a stool sample from me, I haven't traveled and I had no abdominal pain.... why would I be given those meds then?

I would like to add that I had a bout of sinus infection and sleep problems that led me down a similar path about 2 years ago. Ended up worn out with anxiety and mild to moderate depression which is unlike me. I ended up with what they called Acute Labyrinthitis which they said could not be easily cured by draining or anything of that nature. The difference is that I had dizziness and fogginess back then and this time all I have is the plugged ear, high pitched noise ans swollen glands. Thoughts? And one more question... how long does it take for antibiotics to be flushed from the system and while they are in your system can they still wreak havoc?

I honestly don't know why they gave them to you.
I am an ER doctor with specialty training in wilderness and expedition medicine. Unless you come to the ER with bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain AND fever, recent travel, they are not given. At the very least a stool sample was needed.

This sounds like a viral infection- which can cause labyrinthitis (another type of 8th nerve involvement)- but it also can cause an 'upper respiratory illness'- meaning swollen glands, sore throat, plugged ears, cough, runny nose, sinus pain, etc. You may have some or all of the symptoms.
That being said, plugged ears suggests that there is some fluid trapped in the eustachian tubes- which is common in a viral illness. Taking a decongestant like sudafed or phenylephrine is very relevant for these symptoms. And you can hear weird noises when your ears have fluid because sound is not being conducted well. Clearing it up with a decongestant can be very helpful.
Antibiotics like cipro and flagyl are flushed out within about 3-5 half lives- in this particular case- within 3 days.

Hang in there. Focus on fluids, over the counter medication, eating and rest.

I hope that this helps.

Please leave positive feedback if it did :-)
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Thank you for your information and I will rate you highly for answering my questions but I have one more to add and I'll follow up with the rest at my GP visit tomorrow. I know that one should not take any antibiotics unless it can be determined that what you have is bacterial related. So when the ER doc came in and said I'd be taking antibiotics I mentioned this to him. Could he have determined the gastroenteritis from the blood work? Or would a stool sample have been needed. I ask this because this was his response "Well, typically when it's viral the white blood cell count is lower but it is higher so I'm giving you a broad spectrum antibiotic that will cover what could be happening." Does this sound right to you?

No, gastroenteritis is a diagnosis made by history and physical. There is nothing in the blood work which diagnoses it.
It is inflammation of the gut. It can be bacterial or viral. You can have elevated white count in either infection. But antibiotics are reserved for diarrhea with the other symptom mentioned above.
He was jumping the gun with the antibiotics....
I don't think that he meant to cause you any problems- I am just very well trained with diarrhea because of my wilderness and expedition training- and I have treated a lot of infections in the developing world.
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Geez I wish I had seen you instead. This has gotten me very down. People keep talking about how Cipro shouldn't be taken and that they have ended up with tendon problems... I have been feeling a bit of a dull pain in my pelvis where my leg bone meets the sockets on both sides. I'm so young with a young wife and two boys and I don't want to be permanently affected by this.

The tendon thing is very very rare.
And it would not happen so quickly. It happens months out.
You can always post here and ask for Dr. Cameron ONLY :-)
Dr. Cameron
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