Fluoroquinolones and Iron, A Serious Drug Interaction
There is quite a serious drug interaction between fluoroquinolones and iron. For those who are unaware of the dangers of the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics, such as Cipro, Levaquin, and Avelox, please read our Introduction to Fluoroquinolones for more information on why we believe this class of drugs has very serious implications for human health (and Pet Health Too!). This is one of the many, possibly dangerous Fluoroquinolone Drug Interactions that anyone who must take these drugs should be aware of.
Over at Anemia Central, they did an excellent piece on how iron can Decrease Absorption of Antibiotics, including not only the fluoroquinolone drugs, but also:
- Some penicillin derivatives
- as well as many other pharmaceuticals 1
We are not going to repeat that information here, but are going to add an additional aspect that is other side of the coin of the same problem. The same problem that causes antibiotics not to work, the chelation complex that is formed when iron and antibiotics are taken together, can also be one of the causes of fluoroquinolone toxicity. As Anemia Central pointed out, fluoroquinolones and iron form a complex that prevents the antibiotics from being absorbed, and the antibiotics get excreted rather than absorbed by the body.
How Fluoroquinolones and Iron Are a Two-Way Street
What is also true, but that is rarely mentioned in the studies, is that the opposite is true as well. Not only are the antibiotics bound by the iron, but the iron is bound by the antibiotics and excreted. While this seems obvious, the studies are mainly interested in the absorption of the antibiotics so they don’t even mention this critical piece of the puzzle. Additionally, while these studies mostly look at what occurs with iron supplementation, the same thing also occurs with iron that is in the bloodstream.
For the vast majority of people, this removal of iron from the bloodstream is not harmful, and can even be beneficial! Men, in particular, tend to have higher levels of iron than is optimal for health. In fact, several studies have shown that men who give blood on a regular basis tend to have less heart disease. So a small drop in iron levels is not going to be noticed by them, and might even lead to slight improvements in health.
However, premenopausal women, children, and men with certain health problems can have anemia or even just Iron Poor Blood that they do not know about. When they take these antibiotics, this small drop in iron levels can cause serious, and even devastating symptoms for certain people, such as profound fatigue or symptoms similar to Benign Fasciculations Syndrome, or at least be a contributing factor to this syndrome that has been labeled as FQAD or or Fluoroquinolone Associated Disability. 2. DNA damage from the fluoroquinolones is also a serious issue and, since iron is vital for the reproduction of cells, this iron depletion may contribute to the DNA Damage from Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics that is a very real issue when these drugs are taken. In fact, iron depletion may not even be a negative reaction from these drugs, but an integral part of how they work, since depleting iron deprives bacteria of their ability to reproduce.
This interaction between fluoroquinolones and iron may be one of the explanations as to why women tend to have negative symptoms more often than men do. One woman who experienced a devastating case of Fluoroquinolone Associated Disability, Lisa Bloomquist of FloxieHope.com, outlines her experiences with decreased blood iron levels due to the fluoroquinolone antibiotics, and how she feels that Iron Supplements improved her symptoms significantly. Anyone with fluoroquinolone toxicity who must take iron should only take Liposomal Iron Supplements, since they don’t cause the oxidative stress (cellular damage) that all other iron supplements do.
Should You Take Fluoroquinolones With Iron Supplements to Prevent These Problems?
However, we must caution those with Fluoroquinolone toxicity symptoms not to simply take iron without the advice of a doctor. We here at Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Research are huge proponents of being your own best advocate for your health, you must understand that taking iron supplements when they are unnecessary can be extremely dangerous to your health.
For these reasons, we can understand why excess iron levels contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, colon cancer, diabetes, and many other conditions. It’s simply not safe to take iron simply because you want to see if it will help. In most cases, it’s better to be slightly iron deficient than it is to have too much iron, so please do not experiment with this supplement. It’s something to take only if absolutely necessary and, for most people, that means getting the recommendation of a doctor before taking it. Anyone that does need to take iron supplements should make sure they take Liposomal Iron, since it doesn’t cause oxidative stress like other iron supplements do. This is important since Fluoroquinolone toxicity induces oxidative stress, and adding more oxidative stress through supplementation is something one should seek to avoid.
Even the small amount of iron in iron-containing multivitamin supplements should be avoided except in premenopausal woman. Iron supplements are really not something to experiment on yourself with. We hope you share this with others who might benefit from knowing more about fluoroquinolones and iron.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Fluoroquinolone Toxicity, we highly recommend following the protocol in the Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution book. With a money-back guarantee, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by the information you’ll learn.
Research Used in This Article