My presenting symptom of chronic Lyme was shoulder pain. I spontaneously awoke one morning feeling as if my shoulder had fallen out of its socket. This symptoms has persisted for the past 18 months despite PT, MRI's, orthopedic and rheumatology consults. Levaquin was never used in my Bartonella therapies because of this shoulder problem.
Levaquin is given a bad wrap on many Lyme forums. People are all about worry and fear of its tendon rupture potential. Yes, this is a known (serious) side effect from all Quniolones, (Cipropfloxacin or Levofloxacin). But it has an important place in the treatment of Bartonella.
When Dr J mentioned using Levaquin I was frightened. I want give you the highlights that Dr J recently gave me. His Levaquin talk went something like this: "Bartonella infects bone- particularly the periosteum (outer covering of bone). I suspect that Bart is causing your arm pain, which may be impossible to differentiate from tendonitis. Levaquin is the drug of choice for Bartonella and giving it IV is the only way to get high enough doses to penetrate bone. If you need shoulder reconstruction after your Lyme is in remission we will do it, then and only then. Until that time, no steroids or surgery, and we treat your infection."
He adressed my fear head on. He warned me that my shoulder pain would probably get worse on the Levaquin, temporarily. So my week 7 of his protocol began with intravenous Levaquin and intravenous Azithromycin (in addition to Mepro/ Artemesinin)- all M,W, F.