COPD exacerbation

Hello everyone - like Elaine I am also new and about to try e-sticks to help me stop smoking. Have had COPD for a while but following loss of my sister in July I've now developed a really frightening chest infection. Doctor changed my meds last week to Levafloxacin for the infection plus Spiriva and Fostair inhalers (previously on Salbutamol and Symbicort). Thing is I had expected chest to get better but 5 days later I feel same or even worse and have had hallucinations. Does anyone out there have any experience of the above new drugs? And when I might start to feel better? Just wonder if I need to go back to doc? Thank you for any advice. Pauline

22 Replies

  • Hi and welcome. I have had Spiriva which made me very dizzy, Currently using Fostair with no ill effect. Listed side effects for both do not mention hallucinations. Have not had your particular antibiotic, but I think you should see your GP again. Severe infections can sometimes be the cause of hallucinations. Drink plenty of fluids too if you aren't already, in case you are dehydrated.

  • Thanks very much CDP016 am trying to get another doc's appointment ... not easy. Thanks for the tips though, I hadn't realised severe infection and hallucination could go together.

  • Hi again,

    Given the other replies you got regarding the antibiotic, it could just as easily be that causing the hallucinations. Either way we all seemed to agree that you needed to see your GP again so I hope you have managed to get an appointment.

    I get lots of side effects from my meds but have never had hallucinations - must be very frightening, when you already had a lot to cope with. I hope you get to the bottom of it soon and start to feel better.

    Best wishes


  • polj Levofloxacin is in the same family of antibiotics as Ciprofloxacin, that is it is one of the fluoroquinolones. One of the side effects of Cipro, listed under rare (1 in 1,000 people) is hallucinations and I imagine it is listed for Levofloxacin too. It is suggested if you get any side effects you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist and report them directly via the Yellow Card Scheme (in the UK).

    I have just finished two x 14 day courses of Cipro (more or less back to back as only 10 days in between) and didn't realise what I was experiencing during the second course was side effects of the Cipro so carried on with it. I now know I am experiencing rib cartilage damage due to the Cipro after speaking to my GP. He told me to stop taking it before realising I was on the last day of the second 14 day course.

    If I was you I would speak to your doctor ASAP.

  • Hi SeasideSusie, how unfair! All that battling and phoning to get your Ciprofloxacin and then it goes and gives you side effects. Doesn't sound pleasant either. And the antibiotics for Pseudomonas are limited!

    Hope you feel better soon. Sue x

  • Very many thanks for this Seaside Susie - wow that's quite scary news of the Cipro hallucinations - will take this up with doc when I can get an appointment .... !.

  • polj I've just looked at the Patient Information Leaflet PDF for Levofloxacin online and it says:

    "Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects gets serious

    Or lasts longer than a few days:





    • Bruising .........


    • Seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations, paranoia),

    change in your opinion and thoughts (psychotic reactions) with a risk of

    having suicidal thoughts or actions


    So hallucinations are down as a side effect.

  • Hello Elaine and welcome!

    Sorry you've got a nasty chest infection and some weird side effects from your meds. You've had very good advice and need to speak to your GP.

    Feel better soon, Sue x

  • Welcome Elaine!

    Don't want to scare you but I've had horrendous experience with Levofloxacin and now steer well clear of any fluoroquinolone antibiotics (and all antibiotics with flox in the name). And I'm not alone in this.

    Take a look here where the US and Canada warn about side effects. Really don't understand why the UK and Europe aren't highlighting the problem with the drugs and still prescribing .. particularly for those suffering breathing problems, over 60, and taking steroids.

    I have severe COPD (Emphysema and asthma) and a couple of Christmases ago was put on Levofloxacin for a bad chest infection. Within 3 days I was crippled with tendonitis which kept me off my feet for almost 3 months and I can still suffer flare ups of the tendon damage the drug caused.

    On a lighter note .. I stopped smoking using e-cigs ... brilliant!

    Good luck. Mx

  • Sorry to call you Elaine polj :-)

  • No worries Michelle and thanks a mil for the info - will look this up now so I'm armed for talking to the doc hopefully later today.

  • I always used salbutamol and symbicort and had steroids when I had an infection. 5 days seems a long while with no relief. SueE.

  • Sound advice is stop smoking asp then go and see the doctor. You have got to remember there's no cure for COPD it's down hill all the way. So you need to see a respiratory nurse for advice and slow it down. I have had it now for 16 years ups and downs this is the best help I can give you

  • Many thanks dava - I'd already been given an appointment for spirometry once I'm feeling better but it's a long wait!

  • All along the way it is waiting to see someone it gets you down at times when your not feeling to good the best person for help and advice is your respiratory nurse mine has been a rock,

  • Thanks again dava - I'm now waiting for spirometry tests but surgery tells me I can't have those until I'm fully recovered. So next step is a CXR and some Prednisolone once my antibiotic is finished (tomorrow).

  • Thank you to all of you who replied with all bits of information - I think every little helps. I've taken note of all you say and will call doc again tomorrow as these hallucinations are far from enjoyable. A million thank yous to you all too for welcoming me and helping to calm my considerable anxiety. My very best wishes to you all and thank you for taking the time to help a fellow sufferer. xxxxx Pauline

  • Hi I thought Levafloxacin was to break and thin out the mucus in your chest. You can look all these up on google and get good information on them plus the side affects.

  • Thanks Shaurene - I guess it may be doing that but it's taking a lot longer than I'd hoped. Will do a bit more research now thanks to your tip.

  • Hi pauline, my wife has copd , while we were in bulgaria in july my wife got a chest infection & spent 11 days in intensive care .one of the antibiotics they pumped into her has a side effect of paranoia. Please pester your doctor if you are unsure anything.

  • Again, many thanks for the info scunny - mmm, all these tips are making me think Levafloxacin is maybe not the best drug in the world!

  • Hi Polj. I just looked at that link on the Canadian medical about Levafloxacin and quite concerning. Most of my antibiotics contain Flox in their name. So I will make sure I do not take any with the word Lox in them. I have been having side effects. My leg mussels got very tied and painfull. Had the runs any times, I will go back on Aubmentum which did me good. This is what my doctor gave me in New Zealand.

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