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I had taken about half of my levofloxacin when I developed…

I had taken about half...
I had taken about half of my levofloxacin when I developed extreme pain in my knees and shoulders. I also noticed pain in my wrists hands and elbows all joints really. I thought I remembered seeing it as a side effect of levofloxacin so I confirmed it by looking at it again. I called my doctor he told me to quit taking it and I asked what to do about the pain he said Tylenol. I already take meloxicam daily and Vicodin 10/325. He is aware of this but it was a Saturday so we didn't have my chart. It is almost a week later and I'm still having extreme pain as well as physical tiredness and sleepiness. How long can I expect the side effects to last?
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
3/9/2018
Shaun Dillavou
Shaun Dillavou, Pharmacist
Category: Pharmacy
Satisfied Customers: 150
Experience: Doctor of Pharmacy with 15 years experience in multiple settings.
Verified

Hello - This is Dr. Shaun and I am a pharmacist with over 15 years of experience. Thank you for the question and for using JustAnswer.

Tendonitis and tendon ruptures have both been reported when using this class of antibiotic. Stopping it is the first step, but it may or may not resolve on its own if that is what caused it. The Vicodin and Meloxicam will do more for the pain than anything over-the-counter, so I would not recommend taking any other pain relievers.

Of patients that have had tendon issues with these drugs, about half take up to a month to get better. Others have had issues longer than two months. Seeing your doctor may help determine if this is what happened, and how long you can expect to have problems with your joints.

It is important in the meantime to eliminate or decrease the stress put on those joints until you can be seen. Some patients are put on bed rest, others go through physical therapy. It all depends on the extent of the inflammation and/or rupture(s).

I hope this information helps you. If you need more or would like clarification, please do not hesitate to ask. Please also take a moment to rate your experience.

Shaun Dillavou
Shaun Dillavou, Pharmacist
Category: Pharmacy
Satisfied Customers: 150
Experience: Doctor of Pharmacy with 15 years experience in multiple settings.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I certainly feel like I need bed rest. I will be seeing my doctor on Monday. I have had physical therapy for both my knees and my shoulders and we'll see if resuming the exercises brings me any relief. Thank you for your answer.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Could this be also making me feel very physically tired and sleepy?

Yes - this kind of problem could manifest in a way that just makes you feel physically drained, not just joint pain.

Some of the physical therapy exercises may give you some relief, but do not overdo it. If the pain worsens at all stop and just rest, at least until you have had a chance to get your doctor.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
This seems like a very unusual side effect. What is it about this medication that would cause pain, inflammation, and strangest of all, tendon rupture? What about it does this to a person? Is this a rare side effect?

Yes - this is a very unusual side effect. The theory behind it is that this group of medications (which target a bacterial enzyme) happen to have an effect on a musculskeletal tissue enzyme also, which results in weakening of the tendons and predisposes one to tendon inflammation and possibly rupture. It is very rare, but has been reported by patients.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Would it make sense that I would be experiencing this side effect because I have weaknesses in this area to begin with? And what do you say that the bacterial enzymes are similar to The enzymes in the tendons?

Yes - having weakness in a tendon can make you more likely to have this issue, though it is still very rare.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Would it help to use heat or cold in the painful areas?

Heat or cold is good. Cold is better if there is any swelling.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thanks!
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Shaun Dillavou
Shaun Dillavou
Shaun Dillavou, Pharmacist
Category: Pharmacy
Satisfied Customers: 150
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Experience: Doctor of Pharmacy with 15 years experience in multiple settings.

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