Fluoroquinolone Side Effects Fluoroquinolones are used to treat infections caused by bacteria and some types of viruses. Fluoroquinolones are considered broad-spectrum antibiotics, meaning they tend to kill most types of bacteria. This may not be good for people with certain medical conditions or who have been around an infection resistant to other forms of medicine.

Nerve Pain

Quinolones are very effective against bacteria, but they also have a substantial side effect of causing nerve pain in the arms and legs. This is because the quinolones bind to receptors on nerves, sending signals to the brain that cause pain in the arms and legs. The side effects can be severe enough to stop taking your medication.


Another Fluoroquinolone side effect is sweating, which can be highly uncomfortable for patients who have just started taking them. Sweating occurs when the body releases more water through its sweat glands during exercise, heat, or other conditions that increase perspiration. Sweating may occur in response to stress or anxiety or during periods of fever or infection. While sweating while taking these medications isn’t harmful, it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for patients who are sweating profusely during classroom lectures or talks with their superiors at work.

Digestive Issues

The fluoroquinolones work by inhibiting DNA-dependent RNA polymerase, which is responsible for making new messenger RNA (mRNA). This process is required for cells to produce proteins. Therefore, fluoroquinolones can cause digestive issues by interfering with the production of new proteins in the body. Some people experience nausea, stomach pain, diarrhoea and vomiting when taking the drug.


Fluoroquinolones are known to cause chills in some people. This side effect is caused when these drugs block an enzyme called catecholamine-O-methyltransferase (COMT). This enzyme is responsible for breaking down catecholamines — hormones that are released by the adrenal glands during stress or illness. When your body cannot break down these hormones properly, you may feel a chill when you take fluoroquinolones.

Muscle Aches

Musculoskeletal side effects are the most common side effects reported with fluoroquinolones. The most common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, and fever. In addition to these non-serious side effects, other reported fluoroquinolone-associated side effects include skin rashes, muscle aches and weakness. In rare cases, fluoroquinolones can cause tendon ruptures and arthritis in joints. A tendon rupture usually occurs when someone takes a high dosage of a fluoroquinolone antibiotic for a long time without taking steps to reduce damage to tendons. The risk of tendon rupture is highest when you take antibiotics for a prolonged period (more than three months). The trouble is also more significant for people with underlying conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure that affect their ability to handle stress on their tendons.

Wrapping Up

Patients are not uncommon to be prescribed fluoroquinolone antibiotics due to their wide range of appropriate uses. However, many people do not realize that these antibiotics also contain many side effects that can go unnoticed during the initial stages of treatment. If you are taking a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, you must consult your doctor and read the list of potential side effects and your prescription information before beginning treatment.