Drugs that can increase your risk of ATR

Here’s some information regarding various antibiotics possibly increasing your chance of Achilles rupture.

29 Responses to “Drugs that can increase your risk of ATR”

  1. Nicotine?

  2. AchillesBlog.com T-shirts are finally available!

  3. Cortisone shots……http://www.prolotherapy.org/article.asp?prolotherapy=229

  4. I added the cortisone shots “link” to Dennis’ page on “Drugs That Can Increase Your Risk of ATR”….I thought the article was interesting…..

  5. marianne - thanks for the link! I’ve updated the page with a link to the article regarding cortisone shots. :)

  6. Dennis,
    Glad to have found something of interest for us ATR’s.
    I know cortisone shots are very common–I’ve had them in my ankle many, many years ago….but do not think I will ever try another shot for fear of weakening of the tendon/or eventual rupture.
    You’re welcome,

  7. I fully believe that my ATR is due to the use of Levaquin and Cipro. I used these meds for sinus and upper respiratory infections and after use, my achilles tendons popped followed by pain. At the time, I didn’t know what caused this. I suffered with the pain and inflammation for almost a year before having surgery. I’m scheduled for surgery on 9/3/08.
    My sister recently took Cipro for 2 weeks for a bladder infection and now both of her achilles tendons at heel insertion are hurting her. I told her to wear some shoes with high heels temporarily and take anti-inflammatory meds and STAY OFF the Cipro. The high heel shoes are helping for now. Hopefully she hasn’t gotten a tear.

  8. I ruptured my tendon a few years ago. A few months later, right after rehab ended, I went overseas– and my doctor once again prescribed Cipro for “travelors diarrhea” while in Asia — perhaps the 10th or 12th time I had taken Cipro. A few weeks after I returned, my recently repaired tendon re-tore about 50% in a different spot. The following year, I was prescribed Cipro again… and then a few weeks later, my OTHER tenton tore. At about that point, my surgeon told me of the connection to Cipro. This all REALLY annoys me! Now, 4 years after my first rupture, I remain in constant pain with almost continual swelling.

  9. Mine was from the use of one of the Fluoroquinolones as well. I was on it for a sinus infection in February for 10 days and had no symptoms following. In May I made cheerleading at Ohio State and went back to the gym to start gymnastics again and after a week mine popped during a pass. I went up to the Cleveland Clinic and they took really good care of me. After surgery they changed my cast once a week for about 2 and a half months. In between casts we would flex my foot up a little more and they would cast it that way to help with physical therapy. I was walking again by 2-3 months. It’s been a year and a half and it’s still not back to “normal” though…it’s deffinately a long road!

  10. Tore my AT after taking Bactrim for a sinus infection. Only took the drug for 10-12 days but I’m certain it’s related. I’m only 34.

  11. Statins used for lowering cholesterol have also been known to increase the likelihood of tendon rupture. There are many different varieties - simvastatin is one of the most common.

    I was put on simvastatin in April for moderately elevated cholesterol and a history of heart disease and early heart attacks in both my Mother’s and Father’s families.

    I’d already had an AT injury and one surgery by the time I was put on simvastatin, I’ve since stopped taking it and will reconsider whether or not I’ll take it again after I’m back on both feet.

    From what I’ve found on the internet so far… I think not.

  12. hours ago 10:42 remaining in 2ed Qtr fo highschol football gamr. I am football official(backjudge) moving backward, felt as someone hit me with axhandle on my achllies. I hit turf. Went to sports med. clinic. Surgery schedguled fot Tuesday,
    Im very good shape, had college game sat in Arkansas not able. I had just taken cipro last week for rerpitory infection. Doctor knew I was football official. Could have this been a prob. cause?

  13. In July of 2008, I was given 5 tabs of Levaquin (1 per day for 5 days) to prevent infection following an internal biopsy. Within hours of taking the 5th tab, my left Achilles tendon begin to swell and became very tender. An MRI confirmed major damage had been done - three-quarters of the tendon was destroyed. Ironically, this happened within days of the FDA ordering that a Black Box Warning be placed on this whole family of drugs for this very reason.

    An orthopedic surgeon recommended therapy as a first choice of treatment. So, I tried that for several months. It helped my ankle strength and range of motion, but my tendon was remained very sore and swolen and ached every night. My ortho doc said it might not ever get any better via therapy, so after more than a year of hoping it might heal on its own, I have now scheduled surgery. Guess I should have done it months ago, but I wanted to try everything else first.

    So, I’m scheduled to go under the knife on December 2, 2009. About a two-hour procedure they tell me. He plans to snip off my big toe tendon and graft it onto my Achilles tendon.

    Anyone else heard of this surgical approach? Any advice?



  14. I was in SE Asia and took Cipro for diarrhea. I stopped it on Dec 22 and ruptured my right Achilles tendon on Dec 29, 2009. I will never take that again, and if I do I will stay away from tennis for a while. I had very little pain and the rupture was about 80% and then delaminated up the tendon. Had surgery on Jan 6, NWB until Feb 2, in a boot until Mar 4 and started PT Mar 10. Still in PT and can walk w/o a limp on Mar 23.

  15. I am have not ruptured my Achilles but have insertional Achilles tendinitis with bone spurs that have caused a lot of damage to my tendons that i have to receive surgery anyway

    but i have gone through for specialist and the 2nd one gave me a cortisone shot (crosses finger still hasn’t torn)

    then my primary doctor gave my Cipro for a UTI so im nervousr to see how much damage i have from taking both of these

  16. thank you for all your information.
    I am now 4 weeks after operation and can fully stretch my ankle and walk without brace. PRP was used during my OP.
    One week before rupture, I followed the Dukan diet: only proteins. I lost 5 kg and played tennis… and POP.
    Could this diet be the reason of my rupture?

  17. Hey Pascal

    I’m not sure if the diet would have caused the rupture but I do want to weigh in (LOL no pun intended) on the diet. You need to have a balanced diet. Your brain needs carbs (there really are good carbs) and when working out or doing anything athletic you should have a complex carb and protein. Good fats are also really important for a well rounded diet and to keep you doing all the things you love to do.

    LOL..I am a fanatic about proper eating….just protein diets never work….eventually you have to add carbs back in. The idea is to eat healthy for life.

    my philosophy…food is fuel.

  18. This is both fascinating and depressing! I ruptured my left Achilles on May 31st/2011 and had surgery on 06/07/11.

    I had a bad bout with flu which morphed into pneumonia over the winter and took Bactrim as prescribed by my doctor. This was very unusual because I normally plough through flu season with the standard over the counter stuff. I have rarely taken antibiotics over the course of my life. So to have had a big course of antibiotics (finished the course in April) and then the rupture in May … I do think it’s connected. From now on — barring some life threatening issue — I am going to have a very hands off approach to certain drugs!

    All the very best to everybody here recovering from Achilles Tendon rupture and thanks to those who return — fully recovered — to give advice and cheer!

  19. Hi all, I’m AMAZED how many people relate achilles problems to food or medical products. As a triathlete suffering from sore achilles’ for over a year, I always linked it to either too much training or combination with heavy cycling … but looking back it all started in 2010 wher eI have at least 5 antibiotic treatments for sinus infections due to intense swimming, I’m amazed and will definitly look further into this … I had them treated once with TRAUMEEL injection, said to be a ‘natural’ cortisone (it’s homeopatic) and I was troublefree after 2 weeks, I will not get any new injection if not absolutely needed and now try the TRAUMEEL tablets, seem to have only positive results but no miracles either … so I’ll definitly look further into a link with food/diet and medicins.

  20. Glen

    I dont buy it….everything obviously effects us in one way or another. Looking back i had the warning signs & symptoms but never acted. I thought it would go away. I feel lucky I didnt snap both achilles.

    As for diet I can only speak for myself…i was eating 5-7 times a day, well-balanced (minus fruit) with a slight lean towards lean proteins. I did have extended period where I was basically inactive but feel it occured due to either wearing dress shoes or my steadfast Rainbow sandals for the past 10 years.

  21. Not sure yet if mine is a partial tear or rupture, I have my ortho surgeon appt in the morning.

    for those who says it’s not medicine related, figure this one out.

    I’m 13, was given prednisone, then Cipro for what may be whooping cough. 4 days into the Cipro, and last of a 10 day run of prednisone, I was walking to class and felt and heard a snap in the back of my calf. it felt like someone snapped me in the back of the leg with a HUGE rubber band. I could still walk, kinda, so I didn’t say anything to my mom til later that night. The next day she took me to the ER, where they said I may have ruptured my Achilles. That was 1/18, I see the Ortho Surgeon 1/23. Wish me luck in that it’s not too bad.

  22. chaz that’s crazy. sounds like you did indeed suffer a complete rupture of your achilles. definitely NOT trying to scare you, but i felt the same time of feeling in the back of my ankle when i ruptured mine on november 13 while playing football. i’m quite a bit older than you, but in the same sense medicine does have some of an effect. i had a sinus infection about 3 weeks previous to my injury. i was given a steroid pack to take to help w/my illness. little did i know that steroids could attribute to tears and ruptures. i had a calf strain about the same time as my sinus infection, then some 3 weeks later i ruptured my left achilles on a NON-contact play during a football game. go figure! i wish you the best at your appointment. God bless!

  23. Chaz,

    I do hope your appointment goes well, and that the damage done will not be too difficult or take too long to mend… I also hope you will let us know what the doc says, and what the plans are for your treatment/recovery…Good luck!

    Other family members have taken Cipro and Levaquin, but after my ATR, I have decided I never will–unless I have something that only a fluoroquinolone antibiotic will cure and then I’ll try to stay off my feet somehow for a month!!!

  24. I am a 68 yr old woman who has multiple ruptures from high to low. Surgeon and radiologist never saw such damage. To much to repair surgically. I had taken five days of levofloxicin just before tendon became irritated. Wore low boot for 4 weeks and then full blown rupture.
    Anyone have such severe damage? Very nervous about healing without surgical repair for support. Am a golfer , sailor and kayaker and want to get back to normal without fear of rein jury.

  25. m0ther - It seems likely these antibiotics are responsible in some way for your condition. They do carry a warning for AT injuries. I would say the extent of your injury is rare and don’t recall any one specifically in your situation. Very high ruptures are rarely treated with surgery because the tendon is changing to muscle fibre. If the tendon has degenerated so much it is likely you would have to had a graft if there was only one rupture. Multiple ruptures may mean very little good material in the tendon to suture and graft to. It is hard to say how things will go for you but I feel the non surgical route is probably the only answer. Your body will heal each rupture as if it were a single one and non surgical ruptures heal very well. I think the best bet is to talk to your doctor and let us know what he intends. Many new protocols have you weight bearing and walking quickly and re-rupture rates are low but it could be very different for you. You should ask your doc if there will be lasting affects from this drug and maybe have the other tendon looked at in depth. Please start a blog here as it could be most helpful to others behind you,

  26. m0ther, there’s lots of info here on the highly successful new non-op protocols — e.g., see ../Cecilia/protocols for a summary of the three best ones, and their great results.

    There’s also a page of this site that’s devoted to Cipro and related antibiotics that clearly increase the risk of AT damage and rupture.

  27. Oops! This IS the page!

  28. I was on Cipro of 6 days when I blew mine playing tennis. My surgeon said it was little to no factor. When I told my GP about my rupture and Cipro, I saw the look on her face (She prescribe it). I tend to believe it was a factor, but who knows. It would have been nice to know the risks. I wouldn’t have been playing tennis

  29. I ruptured my Achilles after finishing a two-week course of Levaquin. No doubt it played a role in my injury and the severity of the rupture.

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