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Thyroid UK
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Hypothyroidism and ciprofluoxcilin

I'm spiralling so hoping for specialist recommendation. A month ago I was prescribed ciprofluoxcilin for a UTI. I took the antibiotic for 5 days. At the same time I was sent for blood tests due to signs of infertility. My GP called to say I have TSH 18 indicating underactive thyroid. I started on 50mg of levothyroxine and took a second blood test that showed extremely high antibodies suggesting hashimoto disease. My issue is I had no real symptoms of the thyroid issue other than the infertility. I have a stressful job and was tired but that's all. However, since taking the antibiotics I've been extremely unwell. Not able to work. I have fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, debilitating headaches, which is causing me to also feel very depressed. My gp just says it's the thyroid and all my other results of the blood tests are normal (liver, kidneys, anemia) but it doesn't make sense for me to be so ill with no previous physical symptoms like this. There does seem to be other thyroid patients who have had issues with ciprofluoxcilin however which is worrying. I would like to speak to a specialist to try and get some answers and not be fobbed off with just rest and wait 6 weeks for your next blood test. Anyone else had similar experience? Got advice? Or could recommend specialist in the Kent or London area? Would really appreciate it!

18 Replies

Gemgems77 I take it you mean Ciprofloxacin?

It is a particularly nasty antibiotic and best avoided if there is an alternative. I have to take it occasionally because of a colonised bacteria in my lungs which apparently is only sensitive to this one antibiotic.

We all have to make up our own minds if we are happy to accept any risks that come with a particular medication. Up to now I have not had any bad reaction that I know of but I am still unhappy when I have to take it.

It is important to ensure you take Levo well away from any antibiotic, Cipro especially, as the antibiotic can alter the effectiveness of the Levo.

You may want to read more about how some people (not everyone) have been affected by Cipro



You could Google Ciprofloxacin side effects, Cipro poisoning, etc. Don't expect your GP to agree with your findings however reliable the source or convincing the evidence.

As for your Hashimoto's you need to reduce the antibody attacks in an attempt to slow down the destruction of your thyroid gland. The best way is to go completely gluten free. Gluten contains gliadin which is a protein which triggers the antibody attacks. Many members have had great success with a gluten free diet, some people also need to be dairy free. Supplementing with selenium and keeping TSH low also help reduce the attacks. Most doctors don't seem to know this.


Thank you! Yes my phone autocorrected the spelling! I have cut out gluten in the last couple of days and soy products too. But I guess the effects will take a little while to have impact. We've been reading up on the "floxed" stories but there's not many positive stories out there unfortunately hence my concern. I'll mention to the doctor about selenium then as I've been reading a lot about this too. Thank you!


I took Cipro and had no problems at all, your symptoms could well be your body adjusting to the Levo.


As I've reacted to antibiotics in the past - bad headaches or upset stomach this side effect made more sense to how I'm feeling at the moment. I'm on 50mg of levothyroxine and considering I had very mild signs of the underactive thyroid prior to taking the medicine I'm struggling to understand why I feel so utterly wiped out now. There are lots of recommendations out there for diet changes so I'm trying what I can to hopefully see some normality soon. Thanks for the response.


What do you do then when it's the only one that will kill that particular bacteria ?


More likely your body adjusting to Levo, but stick with it, and get thyroid levels checked after 6 weeks on starter dose.

Usual advice for thyroid blood test, (home one or on NHS) is to do early in morning, ideally before 9am. No food or drink beforehand (other than water) don't take Levo in 24 hours before (take straight after).

This way your tests are always consistent, and it will show highest TSH, and as this is mainly all the medics decide dose on, best idea is to keep TSH result as high as possible.

Suggest you ask GP to check levels of vitamin d, b12, folate and ferratin. These all need to at good (not just average) levels for thyroid hormones (our own or replacement ones) to work in our cells.

Make sure you get the actual figures from tests (including ranges - figures in brackets). You are entitled to copies of your own results. Some surgeries make nominal charge for printing out.

Alternatively you can now ask for online access to your own medical records. Though not all surgeries can do this yet, or may not have blood test results available yet online.

When you get results suggest you make a new post on here and members can offer advice on any vitamin supplements needed

If you can not get GP to do these tests, then like many of us, you can get them done privately


Blue Horizon - Thyroid plus eleven tests all these.

This is an easy to do fingerprick test you do at home, post back and they email results to you couple of days later.

Assume you know that Levo should be taken on empty stomach and no food or drink for at least hour after. Many take on waking, some prefer bedtime, either as more convenient or perhaps more effective. No other medications at same time, especially iron or magnesium, these must be at least 4 hours away

I see you are being checked for infertility issues. There's lots of info on here about that - use the search tool.

Vitamin and minerals levels are very important, but standard NHS thinking, doesn't at the moment seem to recognise this. You will see, time and time again on here lots of information and advice about importance of good levels of B12, folate, ferritin and vitamin D and gluten connection to autoimmune Hashimoto's too.


This is really useful - I didn't know they can test me for the vitamin levels?! I already take a fertility multi-vitamin and have added omega3 now too. I started taking the Levo in the morning then switched to before bed. I take the vitamins with my lunch so I leave a gap. That's helpful advice about the blood tests though - thank you so much.


You might want to double check what is in the multi-vitamin. Hashimoto's patients are NOT recommended to take iodine - it can make Hashi worse. We are recommended to take selenium, helps lower antibodies.

Websites worth reading

Thyroid Uk

Isabella Wentz - the thyroid pharmacist

Amy Myers

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:0(. It does contain iodine. Ok - I need to rethink my vitamin intake. I knew it had mostly the vitamins I needed - including selenium - didn't think to check the iodine content. THANK YOU!


Your not supposed to take iodine and thyroid replacements as I've been told. Its either one or the other not both. I thought iodine was a precursor of thyroxine?


You keep saying don't take it so what is the alternative ? When I had a pseudomonas infection I had no choice. If you are going to make such statements please follow up with alternatives.


I am now worried: I have been taking it for over a week and need 2 weeks to completely clear my UTI and severe gut infection. I feel much better and my symptoms are settling. I considered all the evidence and opted for the antibiotic. We must all make our own choices. having had recurrent problems for years i felt that enough was enough.


I asked my sister about this, she is a senior hospital pharmacist, she said obviously some people have problems with Cipro but all medications have side effects, it does not mean everyone will get them. She said Cipro has saved many lives in circumstances where no other antibiotic would work. I am very sensitive to antibiotics but actually found Cipro to be the only one that hasn't caused me any side effects.

Faced with serious infection and a sensitivity test shows Cipro to be the cure then we have no choice.

The posts from hippocampal are not helpful especially when he/she cannot provide alternative information, mainly because there is no alternative.

I wish you a speedy recovery cwill.

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Thank you bantam12 good to have a balanced viewpoint. I do not intend to overuse antibiotics and always consider the alternaticve. But my system has really needed some help and so far no ill effects. Hope that your issues settle down speedily.


Thanks for the advice and I've fortunately read most of the websites regarding floxie effects. I've logged with my doctor not to prescribe this form of antibiotic.


You have to get your body right before even thinking of pregnancy. I've had 7 miscarriages and that was down to being hypo. I was told I wasnt at the time so thought it must just be bad luck or something else going on in the body. Symptoms can be slow or fast. Mine declined slowly over years. Vitamins are really important. If the antibiotic is making you feel ill, return to the doctors and cease taking it. There are plenty of others. Hope you get better soon.


Sorry to hear of your losses Hidden i hope that you get a full term pregnancy and baby soon. It's a heartbreaking process.

I don't know what to do about vitamins. I'm thinking of getting blood tests first to check what I need rather than taking a whole host of pills. The multivitamin I've been taking contained iodine so I've stopped that now. If the gp doesn't refer me next week I'm seeking a private specialist out. I've also changed my diet removing gluten, soy and reducing my dairy intake right down.


Thank you. I do luckily have children. I had them before my thyroid got really bad. The obvious folic acid is important, vit c, ferritin, basically everything on the pregnancy vitamins list apart from iodine. It will happen for you just get your body well first. When your body and levels are correct, thats the less risky time to be pregnant anyhow. At least its been identified now. So get all the help you can medical wise. One thing that is really good is smoothies packed with loadsa fresh fruits and iron. It was never the getting pregnant for me it was just the staying pregnant but if your body isn't well enough sometimes your body won't even let that happen. Good luck you are doing everything right and you will get there x


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