My grandpa took Cipro. This is the absolute worst.

The other day, I paid a visit to my grandparents (who are both in their mid-80s) to find that my grandfather was holding his ear in pain.

“What happened, Grandpa?” I asked. This is the same grandfather who keeps bees and has the same name as me – the male version of Michelle.

“I have an ear infection,” he said.

He continued to complain that it impacted his hearing. He is already horribly hearing impaired.

“That’s awful,” I said… then thought of something. “What antibiotic are you taking?”

“It’s in the bedroom on the end table. Go check,” he said.

I was hoping and praying for amoxicillin or some other antibiotic. Am I just paranoid? Let’s hope so.

I walked down the windowless hallway, guided only by light coming in from the now unnecessary 4 bedrooms with open doors. I finally reach their room at the end of the hallway and I see it. Ciprodex.

It’s the fluoroquinolone ear drops I’ve heard so much about. The drops tend to cause full or partial permanent facial numbness along with every symptom I had from the oral version. FUCK.

I ran back into the living room where they usually hang out and just started yelling. You’re taking Cipro? Are you kidding me?”

In no uncertain terms, I freaked out. It was horrifying to have every little thing that happened to me flash into my mind and project onto my own grandfather. As someone in his 80s, there’s no way he would survive the same reaction I had… or even something close to it. After I was floxed, I knew that my grandparents were at severe risk for a fluoroquinolone prescription even though it is completely against prescribing protocol by the FDA to give someone over 65 fluoroquinolone antibiotics. I gave them a list of the most common fluoroquinolones and asked them to tell their doctors that they were allergic. Easy peasy. This was 2016.

Well, it’s 2018 now. They said they didn’t even remember and I just started crying. NO. This will not happen to a loved one. NO. I wrote a succinct letter to my grandmother’s doctor and my grandfather’s doctor on the paper they had nearby, telling them that this prescription was extremely inappropriate.

…but my grandfather didn’t want to stop taking it. “It’s making me feel better,” he said.

Through tears, I wrote on a piece of paper (he couldn’t hear me at all), “Don’t you know that this is the drug that almost killed me? I don’t want it to hurt you, too.”

My PTSD was so bad that night that I couldn’t sleep at all. I don’t remember what I did other than cry and stare at a wall. Yes, this, from just having my grandpa take an antibiotic. It seems insane to react so harshly to something, but that’s PTSD for ya.

I contacted my floxie groups and asked how I could go about convincing him not to take it. Stephanie, one of my most loyal documentary supporters, sent me a private message suggesting I give him these garlic ear drops she’s taken before. It’s an herbal tincture including a mix of garlic, mullein, and I believe St. John’s Wort. *checks* It also has Calendula. Okay, it’s worth a shot.

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I purchased the ear drops, rounded up my remaining magnesium, specifically L-Threonate (for neurotoxicity) and L-Citrate (for tendon health), ALA, and CoQ10 before I stormed back to their house with my arsenal. I dropped the supplements on their ottoman and wrote down instructions, “one pill 2x a day with food.”

Maybe this will work.

My grandpa told me he would try the garlic ear drops and I begged him to throw the Ciprodex in the garbage. “Burn it, even,” I said.


A few days later, it was my baby cousin-niece’s 1st birthday. There, I saw my grandparents and I asked them about the ear drops. My grandpa told me that they worked great and that two days later, he didn’t have any ear pain. His hearing is coming back (what little he had left, anyway). Awesome. AND he threw the Cipro in the garbage. Extra awesome.

My grandfather was so upset with his doctor because he didn’t realize that an ear drop could hurt him. He gave my letter to his doctor and said that he would be finding a new one.

I don’t want to sound completely bonkers for freaking out about this, but if you have an ear infection, especially if you’re older or chronically ill, please avoid taking Ciprodex. These ear drops worked perfectly well for my grandfather and they could also likely work for you. Or, idk, literally any other antibiotic. Colloidal silver could also work. Fluoroquinolones are NO JOKE.

I’ve considered making the garlic-mullein ear drops myself because many of these things grow naturally in my area. It would take awhile, but if anyone’s interested, let me know. I currently make wild chaga and wild wooly lamb’s ear tinctures.

Have garlic ear drops worked for you? Find out more about the antibacterial/antifungal/antiviral properties of allicin, a byproduct of garlic, in Garlic: The Real Superfood. I’m a big garlic fan.


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