April 5, 2021
Like the vast majority of people, you have probably taken an antibiotic at some point in your life. And it probably helped you. However, a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones can cause permanent and severe damage -- this is known as fluoroquinolone toxicity, or, in the US, fluoroquinolone induced disability - FQID. This is a global health care problem that few know about -- or are warned about by their doctor. Why is that?
In this episode, I chat with someone who has insight not only into the dynamics that keep this medical harm mostly hidden from the public, but has also been profoundly impacted by fluoroquinolones.
Marc from Germany is just one of 10s of 1000s of people around the planet who have been injured by these antibiotics. Marc shares how he finally connected the dots between his declining health and repeated use of fluoroquinolones, and what he does to help alleviate the toxicity symptoms so that he has an improved quality of life.
The statistics of harm from fluoroquinolone toxicity are vastly under reported because the toxicity symptoms may not noticeably manifest until days, weeks or months after the antibiotic use. This makes it difficult for those affected to identify the cause of their symptoms, and a challenge for physicians to tease out….or even acknowledge.
Symptoms include tendon rupture, aortic rupture, hypoglycemia, nerve damage, mental health issues and -- surprisingly to me -- a dysfunctional response to exercise known as post exertional malaise, the hallmark symptom of the neurological disease ME, or myalgic encephalomyelitis. As you will hear, Marc postulates that some people diagnosed with ME may have fluoroquinolone toxicity. Is he connecting more dots, that the medical system is missing?
Connect with Marc:
Marc’s Doctor is Dr. Stefan Pieper
Dr Pieper released a "Springer essential" at scientific publisher Springer in German with basic facts about diagnosis and possible treatment regarding FQID (Fluoroquinolone Induced Disability) https://springer.com
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I am always looking for guests to share their medical error experiences so we help bring awareness and make patients safer.
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Counsellor + Patient Advocate + (former) Triathlete
I am a counsellor, patient advocate, and - before I became sick and disabled - a passionate triathlete. Work hard. Train hard. Rest hard.
I have been living with HIV since 1998. I was the first person living with HIV to compete at the triathlon world championships.
Thanks to research and access to medications, HIV is not a problem in my life.
I have been living with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) since 2012, and thanks in part to medical error, it is a big problem in my life.
Counseling / Research
I first became aware of the ubiquitousness of medical error during a decade of community based research working with the HIV Prevention Lab at Ryerson University, where I co-authored two research papers on a counseling intervention for people living with HIV, here and here.
Patient participants would often report varying degrees of medical neglect, error and harms as part of their counseling sessions.
I am co-founder of the ME patient advocacy non-profit Millions Missing Canada, and on the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary Canadian Collaborative Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Research Network.
I am also a patient advisor for Health Quality Ontario’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada.
Medical Error Interviews podcast and vidcast emerged to give voice to victims, witnesses and participants in this hidden epidemic so we can create change toward a safer health care system.
My golden retriever Gladys is a constant source of love and joy. I hope to be well enough again one day to race triathlons again. Or even shovel the snow off the sidewalk.