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I V Antibiotics at home - bad after effects

Morrison10 profile image
20 Replies

First day after finished 15 day course I felt ok, drove myself to friends funeral. Next morning when physio had finished her work on my lungs, sat up to get off her table, and suddenly felt really giddy. Fortunately my daughter was here, and they helped me to chair, room was spinning around and I was sick. This continued for several hours. They eventually were able to contact GP who prescribed tablets. Rest of day difficult, but managed get to bed. Next morning when woke and tried sit up, was like merry go round! Managed to take tablets and gradually was able to move. This difficulty has continued, although I’m slowly getting better. Was puzzled why had it, rummaged through rubbish bag of wipes etc left by nurses, and found leaflet that had come with COLOMYCIN. Possible side effects include dizziness and loss of balance. I regret that the nurses had not given me the leaflets, and I had not asked for them. Not sure how long will be before I’m ok, and eventually feel safe to drive. I’m certainly going to ask to see all medication leaflets in future!

20 Replies
Greenthorn profile image

Jean, that's scary and sounds awful. I have known dizziness when lying down but it is only a momentary thing. (I have had ear operations and mastoid operations in the past.) I think now I 'll always ask "What is the worst consequence of taking this medication and please supply me with the written warnings and risk factors". It would be my worst nightmare to be as dizzy as you describe.

CDPO16 profile image

Vertigo is awful Jean, I hope that it soon clears. Fortunate that your daughter was with you initially and that you found that information leaflet. Wishing you well Carole xx

happytulip profile image

If the side effects have started after 15 days of treatment that is unusual, side effects from IV antibiotics present themselves sooner as they go directly into the bloodstream.

Could it be that the infection hasn't fully cleared up and you are showing signs of a low grade infection or have you developed some for of vertigo or labrynthitis? It sound like your dizziness and vomitting is related to movement which is a key indicator.

My point is that just because you were on the IVabx might not necessarily make them the cause? Most medications list dizziness as a side effect. Just trying to think outside the box.

Hope you get better soon.

sassy59 profile image

Oh dear Jean, how horrible for you. I have a friend who suffers from very severe vertigo sometimes and she’s discombobulated by it all. Hoping you feel better soon. Xx👍🥰

Alberta56 profile image

So sorry to hear this, Jean, just when things seemed to be going so well for you. I hope it soon clears up. 💐💐💐 xxx

HollyBoyd profile image

You could have done without that Jean, after 2 weeks of IV's. Do hope you are feeling better and the dizziness is passing. Take care and sending lots of good wishes xxx

Lapis5 profile image

Were u on it to cure Pseudomonas? IF so, did it?

Charlie_G profile image

With the caveat that I’m not remotely medically qualified. I have to agree with a previous reply that it would be very unusual to have these kinds of side effects commence two days after withdrawing antibiotics, particularly with IV abs. Purely from my personal understanding, it’s much more likely to be an unrelated issue that coincidentally kicked in with proximity to stopping the colomycin than a side effect of the drug itself. This would also be supported by the information aimed at medical professionals on the medicines.org.uk site which states that any unwanted effects such as vertigo usually disappear with a dose reduction or on cessation of treatment.

With regards to reading up on side effects going forward, the nocebo effect has been increasingly studied, and it’s been shown that prevalence of side effects is higher when that information is fully read by patients. Anecdotally for myself, and having read a few interesting papers on the nocebo effect at work, I was curious as to why the child only rarely ever experiences side effects when she’s routinely on 15 meds a day and has frequent IV treatment, sometimes comprising of 3 different antibiotics and an antifungal at the same time, but I would experience side effects regularly. I did a little experiment and began to only read the ‘act now’ side effect warnings, rather than the full list as I routinely had been, and found that I experienced massively reduced incidence of side effects in spite of being put on drugs like methotrexate, which has a lengthy and unpleasant list of problems associated with it. Knowing what constitutes a serious problem and when to seek help is obviously very important, but I only ever look at the other side effects now to check if I experience something out of the ordinary, and have a much better experience with medication for it. That’s without even getting in to the fact that the patient info leaflet lists every side effect ever reported by anyone taking the drug, not just the things definitely caused by the drug. At best the list is correlative, not causative, and we know the human mind is an incredibly powerful thing.

All that said, regardless of the actual cause, I hope you feel better soon.

LissacFrance profile image


Not a pleasant experience but I`m quite sure that a lot of us only ever read the patient leaflets after having possible side effects. Dizziness is not funny when it is a repeated episode. Take care, Chris.

Littlepom profile image

Benign positional vertigo has been, and still can be the bane of my life. As you have PCD I am surprised that you haven’t had it before. It occurs when an infection (often unknown to the sufferer) passes through the ear and dislodges small crystals of carbon. They jiggle the three small bones in the ear which control balance and hence the spinning. I keep stugeron at home which I take as soon as this happens and your doc can give you stemetil to keep at home which stops the sickness and also helps with dizziness. You also need to do epleys manoevre which is a series of head pisitions designed to put the crystals back in place. This should settle down in about ten days.It does come back and it is best to keep the medication at home and be ready to start doing the epley’s which can be quite a challenge when the dizzies are at their worst.

My latest bout was about a month ago when I found myself ambulanced to hospital at 2am because 111 thought I had had a stroke. A nurse took one look at me, jabbed me with stemetil and I was on my feet in an hour.

A reaction to the colomycin is highly unlikely as it happened too long after you stopped the drug.

Do call your GP to see if you can get the stemetil and a drug similar to stugeron.

Morrison10 profile image

Hi, and many thanks to everyone who have replied. Yes because was born with Kartegeners, part of PCD have had previous balance issues, but thankfully not usually as violent as this outburst! I take 6 betahistine very day, and they usually mean don’t have any balance problems I’ve had stemetil many times and usually helps, but not this time. It’s very difficult speaking to my own GP, or indeed any in practice, takes lot of time and patience. Best source of help is my consultant Dr Sullivan, who is knowledgeable about PCD. I’m hoping to see her soon. Because my breathing is better and mucus better colour, my physio thinks that have got rid of all nasties, inc pseudomonas. Best regards to all, Jean

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to Morrison10

We have the same consultant. 👍

Izb1 profile image

Thats not good Jean and really hope that you are feeling better now. I had a bad attack of labrynthitis and it lasted for almost 4 years, the doctors at the ent were baffled. I still cant walk in a straight line or balance on one leg. I keep betahistine and stemetil with me just in case. The epley manouvre didnt work for me, but still do it if I feel anything coming on. Its so debilitating and hope it has now passed and you are at least on the road to recovery x

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to Izb1

Oh how I empathise! I don't think that epley's works for labarynthitis which as far as I know is inflammation of the lining of the ear rather than crystals disturbing the balance bones. Either way it's a b....y nuisance!

Izb1 profile image
Izb1 in reply to Littlepom

The ent guy told me it was labrynthitis and was due to the tiny crystals not draining from my inner ear. Somehow this damaged my right side eyesight and hearing and told will never get better, but for me it was the balance issue, apart from having my head in a toilet bowl so often as it caused so much sickness which I think was due to my eyes bouncing alot. Thank goodness it finally left me , i must admit to panicking if I feel the slightest dizziness and even have travel sickness pills in my bag as they help as well. What a lot we have to contend with, bad enough having a lung disease. Thanks for the sympathy I dont think people understand unless you have been through it x

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to Izb1

As the ENT said labrynthitis and the crystal problem is the same thing I guess that is what has plagued me for over 30 yrs. My left eye also 'jiggles' when I get an attack. Like you I keep travel tablets (stugeron) in my handbag. At present I am stuck at home because since my latest 'do' I have had a couple of good days and then a rotten day with it and as it comes on suddenly I am scared to drive the car in case it happens. What a bummer!

Izb1 profile image
Izb1 in reply to Littlepom

Isnt it awful and the thing is it can come on immediately with no warning. I am sorry to hear you are having rotten days as well and dont suppose the heat is helping. I havent been out much only to appointments and to shop, gawd feel like a wrinkly ha! I am sure things will get better soon and hope they do for you too, you have had alot to cope with recently x

cofdrop-UK profile image

I too wouldn’t have thought your present problem was related to the ending of IVs, but I guess there are exceptions to every rule. Wonder did your doc see you face to face, I’m guessing not. Having had vertigo and all that goes with it I empathise with you. Personally I now have positional hypotention, due to autonomic disfunction (Low blood pressure which drops dramatically from supine to standing). This causes lightheadedness and staggering and just recently had my first fall. It’s worse in the recent heat and I just wondered if your bp has been checked.

Hope this troublesome dizziness disappears soon for you.

Good luck Jean xxxx

watergazer profile image

Oh dear. That’s not good. Hope you adjust to the meds soon x

Zero02 profile image

That’s so naughty of them not to give you the instructions etc. I think this sort of ‘neglect’ is getting more and more common from some, not all, medical staff. I’m realising that we have to look after ourselves more and more and I make sure to research everything myself. Most NHS staff are amazing but I guess they’re so busy….

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