Common Concerns





drugs & MED SUPPLIES  -   Side effects  and reactions


Antibiotics & Precautions

Side effects to drugs is a personal thing. Just because one person has this side effect doesn’t mean someone else will get it. It’s important to know side effects and consulting your doctor is the most important part of the process if you have side effects or concerns.



Some of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for bacterial infections are in the Flouroquinolone Group. These are also called "Floxies" by the medical providers. This term includes: Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox and others. The name to be aware of is an antibiotic whose last syllable ends in floxacin. This is the tip off to the fact that they are in the class of Flouroquinolones.

Black Box: is a term used to describe the fact that a drug has been put on a precaution list by the FDA, without being taken off the market. Many of the quinolones have been Black Boxed, so to speak . Always investigate your drugs with your pharmacist and MD.

Flouroquinolones are especially dangerous in people under the age of 18, over the age of 60, in diabetics, those with liver disease. They are especially problematic when used with prednisone and other corticosteroids and should only be used in the event of life threatening bacterial infections.

Symptoms of problems with these drugs includes the following:
1. Pain and tenderness, and sometimes swelling around the joints and tendons which may or may not lead to tendon rupture. Pain may be located in the calfs of the legs , shoulders and hands and might be confused with generalized arthritis flareup.

2. Diarrhea which is persistent and weakening, may even occur several weeks after taking the drug.

3. Loss of hearing, ringing in the ears as well as dizziness.

In any event, any problems you may have should be reported to your MD and pharmacist as well. A reaction to one drug in the quinolone family usually means that you cannot tolerate any drug in the same family. Do not try to "tough it out" , since it may not be in your best interest to do so. I for one , am proof of the above since I had two tendon ruptures in the shoulders as well as recurrent tendinitis that continues , despite not taking these drugs again. In other words, the results can be long lasting on into the future.

Madlyn Walton Lary 1999



Help from our members




I recently had a bad bout of severe tendinitis using Levaquin. This is one of the flouroquinalones in a family including Cipro, etc.

These drugs have been "black boxed" by the drug companies. This means that they have strong warnings in use, but were never taken off the market. In a percentage of users, like myself , they cause severe tendinitis, including tendon rupture. I had one year of this dreaded pain in the major muscles of my body. With biceps tendon rupture on the right arm and partial tear on the left. It was a long miserable road and you should be careful to not overwork the muscles. They also call this reaction, a Cipro tendinitis, even though you were taking a different drug in the same family.

These drugs , in some of the population, especially over 60, can cause a reaction in this way. I cannot ever have any more drugs in this family.

Madlyn Walton



Levofloxacin (generic of above)

Was in hospital for several days from vertigo and dehydration said to be caused by an infection.  Was on this drug for several days via IV before release and sent home with prescription for 7 more days in pill form. Normally, antibiotics give me diarrhea and in this case, it was the opposite.  You should be warned that some reaction will likely take place and be given something to help or instructions on what to do after you are home.  That is likely true with any antibiotic.

Pat Sanders

WebMD on this drug gives Side Effects as Nausea, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, or trouble sleeping. A common problem in addition: Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new yeast infection.



Under RX List of Drugs A-Z

A comprehensive list of side effects on many drugs.  Here is the one on Levofloxacin.



A drug watch group provides information on drug side effects and medical issues. They have a section to search drug side effects and even look to see if there are any laws suite pending involving drugs. The site is:



Some members have reported that drinking a little Club soda can help easy stomach discomfort and nausea due to taking medications.


Ideas for drug Meds & Helpful Hints



Ginny’s List of Hints

Our member, Ginny Huffman, had enough new people ask about products to use for various problems that she made a list that she hands out to them early on, even in the hospital.  Each patient will not necessarily need everything on the list but they might find an answer for a particular problem with Ginny's shared experiences.


Post Surgery For Pain

Prescription pain medications, RX needed
Stop Pain roll- on and Salon Pas gel for neck discomfort. OTC
I have a monthly massage. I began massage every two weeks. Tried acupuncture but this works as well for me. My massage therapist is an RN but you need a specialist if you have lymphoma.
For edema and the fibrous tissue in my neck and shoulder, I am having lymphatic massage with laser therapy administered by a certified therapist. I have had softer neck tissue and greater neck mobility. It is important to clear this with your Doctor.
I took prescription medicationl for depression, RX needed. Depression is common with larys. I didn’t realize I was depressed but felt much better after using the med. I had no difficulty weaning off it.
Saline Bullets, RX needed Pharmacy name is Sodium Chloride Inhalation Solution 0.9% Saline comes in other forms.
Synthroid Rx needed Used for thyroid complications. It increased my energy level. Thyroid deficiency is determined by a blood test.

For Showers

I have mounted to my shower wall an adjustable slide bar with a shower faucet that can be set at any height. It has three spray settings and detaches as a hand held faucet also. I stand with my back to the spray and put my head back like a salon shampoo. Delta makes my faucet but there are others. I don’t cover my stoma but you can use a foam filter or wash cloth until you’re comfortable with it.
There are many ideas and shower caps for showering on under the Library section/ Everyday Living.


I prefer Medactive oral relief spray and oral relief gel
Sugarless gum is helpful.

For Teeth

Colgate Prevident 5000 plus 1.1%floride
Biotene Dry Mouth Wash

For Foam filters and Stoma covers

Lauder Enterprises: 1-800-388-8642

For Weight Gain

Scandi Shake Google scandishake for various prices.
I add beneprotein to the Scandi powder. I tried Ensure, Boost, etc. This has 600 calories per serving and you can add ice cream, fruit, etc. Tastes much better. I mix with whole milk. It comes lactose free also and in several flavors. You can google ScandiShake or the internet store Foundcare.
Larys also can order it through their pharmacy and avoid shipping charges.

For Yeast Problems

I began with Nystatin, RX needed. It works well for most larys.
Mycelex tablets, RX needed are another option if the problem is severe.
There is also a seven day regimen of fluconasole. RX needed.
I also use Acidophalus,a probiotic, available at the drugstore. I chew two daily but it comes in a non chewable tablet. Two billion organisms is recommended. It would not hurt to remember your mother’s advice: “drink a glass of prune juice daily!!”

For Vendors

I urge all larys to use Web Whispers. It is free to access the web site. The best information about our condition and issues is found there. I have used many of the vendors listed on this site over the years and have had no significant problems. Just go to Vendors
I use a Personal Security Alarm. It fits in the Palm of your hand and when you pull the pin, it makes a really loud noise for help! Manufactured by GE model # GESECPA1


I use a neck pillow for sleeping. It’s a memory foam pillow with a ridge dividing the pillow horizontally. I use the one for side sleepers rather than back sleepers. Google” neck pillows” or” memory foam pillows” for many different ones from pricey temperpedic to less expensive ones at Target. The pillow helps relieve my neck stiffness.

A Personal Note

I hope that any lary with suggestions for other products will let me know. This list answers some of the immediate concerns of the new larys I visit in the hospital as well as problems that develop later.
Stay well,

Ginny Huffman

Atlantic Beach, FL



MoneyGeek Prescription Drug Guide

MoneyGeek website has a guide with hints, to lower your prescription drug costs. It has a lot of good information with strategies for Seniors, Families and Individuals with High Health Costs.



Brand Name List - All drugs and dosages available through Patient Assistance Programs are listed below, sorted alphabetically by brand name. The generic name is in parenthesis. If a drug is listed more than once, it's available on more than one program.

The NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card



The Medicine Program

Can't Afford Your Prescription Medication?
FREE prescription medication is available to those who qualify



Astra Zeneca program - Free Meds

There is a program from Astra Zeneca that provides free medications.

Their website explains all the details and has downloadable forms for application.

I take a very expensive asthma medication called Pulmicort in respules so that I can use it in my nebulizer. It has been costing me about $120 month out of pocket even with insurance. I just received three months free delivered to my house via Fed Ex with 3 refills, also free. The kicker? I just faxed my application along with supporting documents out on Monday!!! And they tried to deliver the meds yesterday but I wasn't home to sign for them. Amazing.
When we hear so much bad news about large companies, especially pharmaceuticals, taking advantage of consumers, I have to say this is truly refreshing.

The prescription savings program is called Astra Zeneca and Me and the website is It is very clear and lists all qualifying medications as well as qualifications for income and out of pocket med costs. It takes into consideration what you pay for ALL your prescriptions not just the ones from them.

I have Medicare A & B, prescription coverage under Part D, so having prescription coverage does NOT preclude you from getting free medications from Astra Zeneca. The criteria for that is having already spent, out of pocket, at least 3% of your annual income on all prescriptions. I knew Astra Zeneca had a program, but assumed that since I had some coverage, I would be ineligible. I could have been getting these free meds for several months. If you use
anyof their meds, I strongly suggest you check out the website and review their complete list of covered medications and complete eligibility requirements. And just for the record, I am not in any way affiliated with Astra Zeneca.

Donna McGary - Permanent Trach 2001



drug rehab


Alcohol and Drug Rehab for Women
An alcohol and drug rehab for women offers gender-specific treatment for females struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, dual diagnosis, and relationship difficulties.

Senior Citizen Alcohol and Drug Rehab
The need for senior citizen drug rehabs is great. A growing number of senior citizens are struggling with various addictions including alcohol and drug addiction. Geriatric alcohol and drug rehab programs are tailored to specifically treat this population. Senior citizen alcohol and drug rehabs and geriatric drug alcohol and drug rehab programs should also include good case management services, as this population may lack social supports and be in need of home services after discharge.

You can also search WebMD or the National Institute of Health  for more information on drugs.


For suggestions, contributions, corrections or questions about this section, please contact:

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