Fluoroquinolone antibiotics

The fluoroquinolones are a family of synthetic broad-spectrum antibiotics, which eradicate bacteria by interfering with DNA replication. However, the fluoroquinolones are relatively ineffective against intracellular pathogens.

Fluoroquinolones can be used as an acute-phase antibiotic for patients on the Marshall Protocol because they produce little or no immunopathology.

Types of fluoroquinolones

  • ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • levofloxacin (Levaquin/Quixin)
  • gatifloxacin (Tequin)
  • moxifloxacin (Avelox)
  • ofloxacin (Ocuflox/Floxin/Floxacin)
  • norfloxacin (Noroxin)

All the fluoroquinolones are thought to act in a similar way.

Issues to consider before prescribing fluoroquinolones

The following issues should be addressed when a physician is deciding whether to use fluoroquinolone antibiotics:

  • Fluoroquinolones are used by hospitals as “first-line” antibiotics. If a patient becomes sick with an opportunistic infection, it is not good to have encouraged the persistent bacteria to have developed a resistance to fluoroquinolones (potentially due to previous over-use of the drugs)
  • Fluoroquinolones are only a fraction as effective as minocycline in killing intracellular bacteria. 1)
  • When used frequently, undesirable side effects have been well-documented. One of the risks of fluoroquinolone antibiotics is that of tendon damage, however, this risk is reportedly relatively small for patients who are not taking steroids.2)
  • Another researched issue is retinal detachment 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12)

Fluoroquinolones are okay under special circumstances

For reasons ranging from prophylaxis to acute infections, Marshall Protocol (MP) are sometimes advised to take an antibiotic different from the ones used on the MP.

===== Notes and comments =====

  • Legacy content

From Joyful 4/4/2012…

As a rule, we typically have 2-6 members a month asking about using a non-MP antibiotic for an acute infection. I've talked a couple times this year with Prof. Marshall about alternative antibiotics. He seems partial to Ceftin and Biaxin. He just posted this yesterday:

Flouroquinolones linked to Retinal Detachment Ceftin looks more attractive every month…

Reuters has a report on a new Canadian study:


Even though the risk of eye damage is still low, it seems that it might be prudent for physicians to try Ceftin for acute infections, before resorting to the flouroquinolones.


I can see that the the article you link to may need some updating re: this.

Also, where do you have info on benzos. I think it would be good to quote Dr. Ashton there.

Antibiotics for some reason, sometimes seem to aggravate withdrawal symptoms. However, one class of antibiotics, the quinolones, actually displace benzodiazepines from their binding sites on GABA-receptors. These can precipitate acute withdrawal in people taking or tapering from benzodiazepines. It may be necessary to take antibiotics during benzodiazepine withdrawal but if possible the quinolones should be avoided. (There are at least six different quinolones - ask your doctor if in doubt). From: https://www.benzo.org.uk/manual/bzcha00.htm

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