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Norwich man says commonly-prescribed antibiotic ruined his life - and is devastating many others

PUBLISHED: 08:49 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:55 11 December 2017

Richard Pyne
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017

Richard Pyne Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Archant 2017

A Norwich man has claimed his life has been ruined after he was prescribed a controversial antibiotic for what he says was a simple complaint.

Richard Pyne
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017Richard Pyne Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Richard Pyne, 42, was treated for prostatitis in January last year at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

But after taking a drug called ciprofloxacin - commonly known as cipro - for two weeks, he said he had been left practically housebound since with difficulties walking, sleeping and breathing.

The NNUH said it followed prescription guidelines set by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and has thoroughly investigated Mr Pyne’s formal complaint.

Mr Pyne said: “I came up here in March 2012 having done a few months travelling in the USA and Canada. I was physically active, I went walking into Norwich and back most days. Before I came back I worked in my local library and life was as good as it could be.”

Richard Pyne
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017Richard Pyne Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Mr Pyne said he has been affected so badly that when he visited his dying father Malcolm in hospital in November last year, he had to be pushed in a wheelchair to his room. He said: “When we got to the room I’d get out of the chair and hobble up, so he didn’t have to see me like this.”

The Yellow Card Scheme - where UK patients can report adverse drug reactions - has had 5,142 patients contact them about cipro since 1986. But campaigners argue there are many more sufferers.

The European Medicines Agency is currently reviewing the side effects of fluoroquinolones - the group of drugs cipro belongs to. And in America, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said fluoroquinolones should only be used as a last resort due to “disabling and potentially permanent side effects”.

Mr Pyne’s mother, 72-year-old Elizabeth, has since become her son’s carer. She said: “It’s heartbreaking. We’re not saying this drug should be banned across the board, but it should only be used against serious life-threatening infections. For Richard, it was like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”

A spokesman for the NNUH said: “We received a formal complaint from Mr Pyne which was thoroughly investigated. As part of this we met with Mr Pyne to fully understand his concerns and discuss his treatment. When prescribing medication our clinicians follow NICE guidelines, as was the case in this instance.”

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