Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by cher4, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. cher4

    cher4 New Member

    I have been on various antibiotics over the past few months. Clindamyacin for a abcess tooth. Amoxcillan for sinus. Diflucan for yeast. My fibro has been flaring badly. Muscle aches, ibs, night sweats, nervousness. I am starting to think it is the antibiotics causing me all this discomfort especially after reading the posts on herxing. Any comments?
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    But you may be right about the reactions being Herxing to your medications. Many medications which cause dieoff of pathogens can make us feel much worse before feeling better.

    Are you taking a good probiotic to replace the "good" bacteria you have lost through taking antibiotics? If not, it is possible the yeast infection was caused by the antibiotics' killing all the bacteria in the gut, both good and bad.

    I love the Jarro-Dophilus sold here. Others have mentioned Primal Defense as a good probiotic. Even if one is not on antibiotics, it is good for the entire body to take probiotics because they dwindle as we age. Lack of good bacteria in the gut can lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome, a serious condition.

    Hope this helps. Good luck to you.

    Love, Mikie
  3. cbs1234

    cbs1234 New Member

    All of the talk about herxing while on antibiotics is dangerous talk in my opinion. The thought that everyone feeling poorly while on antibiotics and spreading that message is overlooking the fact that antibiotics can cause serious adverse effects. This is not herxing. Adverse reactions can cause serious, long term damage to the body. Telling someone to continue taking and antibiotic while suffering problems on the drug is irresponsible.

    I have been suffering for 4 years from an adverse reaction to levaquin. If I had continued taking the drug thinking I was herxing, I would likely be dead.

    Be careful with the herxing discussions. You could be driving someone down a path toward permanent disability.
  4. cbs1234

    cbs1234 New Member

  5. cher4

    cher4 New Member

    I refuse to take any more antibiotics. I have been off them for a couple of weeks and only starting to feel a bit better. What did you go through with your drug reaction and what do you think the long term effects have been.
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Is telling anyone to continue taking ABX when feeling bad on them. If a person is having problems with ABX, antivirals, antifungals, or any other medication, he or she should discuss this with the doc.

    Anything which causes a large dieoff of pathogens can, and usually does, cause Herxing. These meds can also cause an immune reaction which can make one feel as though one has the flu. This is very common but docs usually do not tell patients that it may get worse before it gets better.

    These reactions usually do not signal an allergic reaction, but all drugs have side effects and if there is ever a question, one should contact the doc and/or the pharmacist. This is just good common sense. I had an allergic reaction to Cipro and discontinued it immediately and called my doc.

    Talking about Herxing is not dangerous. It is informative for people killing off pathogens in their system. Info is never dangerous. It can be dangerous to take any meds and we need to be aware of that too. It can be dangerous to ignore side effects. No one is saying to ignore anything. It is better to err on the side of safety.

    That said, however, Herxing is very real and if one has ever gone through it, one knows what it feels like. Severe Herxing can be dangerous if it gets to the level of a toxic shock-like reaction because too many pathogens have been killed off at once.


    Love, Mikie
  7. cbs1234

    cbs1234 New Member

    The long term effects of this class of antibiotics are well documented in the medical literature. They include--

    Permanent peripheral neuropathy
    permanent joint and tendon damage
    Vision damage
    Permanent tinnitus
    Thyroid damage

    Because the adverse reactions to this class of drugs and many others can be permanent, assuming you are having a herx issue (which is transient) and continuing with the drug, can result in permanent problems. On the other hand, if you discontinue the drug as soon as these problems pop up, you can avoid long term problems in most cases.

    While I believe the herxheimer phenomena is real, there are many docs (especially those treating lyme) that refuse to believe that any problems while taking these antibiotics are herx reactions rather than actual reactions to the drug. Way too many posts on this website talk about herxing on antibiotics without discussing the possibility of adverse reactions to the drug. Antibiotics are "poisons" meant to kill bacteria. They are also poisons to our own body.

    Just be careful and consider all sides of the issue when discussing problems encountered while taking an antibiotic.
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    It isn't information which is dangerous; it is lack of information. When dealing with drugs, one can never assume anything. As I said, it is always better to err on the side of safety. Always call the doc when in doubt.

    My reaction was to Cipro and it caused extremely labored breathing. This is a symptom of an allergic reaction and not Herxing. I recognized it immediately and had my doc change the medication. I am allergic to certain forms of fluoride and was not aware that these drugs are fluoroquinolones with a fluoride molecule to which I am allergic. My doc even knew I was allergic to Fluoride and still, he prescribed it. He called it a quinolone and was unaware of the fluoride in it.

    Rashes are not symptoms of Herxing and are reason to call the doc. Changes in vision, numbness, dizzyness, stroke-like symptoms, and heart attack-like symptoms are all reasons to call the doc. Even if you think it may just be Herxing, call the doc if you are concerned. Carefully read the info which is included with the drug.

    There is a problem with just discontinuing ABX prematurely. It can cause drug-resistant strains of bacteria. In fact, so many people stop taking their ABX when they start to feel better that it is one of the main reasons that drug-resistant strains develop. This means that even more drugs must be developed to kill the resistant strains.

    ABX have been grossly overused for years and years by docs who should have known better. They used to cave in to people, especially parents, who insisted on ABX for viral infections. It's easier to write an Rx than argue with an upset parent. Now, finally, docs are refusing to do this.

    Another problem is that docs want to write Rx's for the latest and greatest ABX on the market instead of the old tried and true drugs. Cipro, and many other ABX, were developed to be used as a last resort when other ABX failed. Instead, docs started prescribing them as the first line of defense. The pharmaceutical reps come in and leave samples and all kinds of promotional material in docs' offices and when the doc reaches for his Rx pad, he writes it for the latest drug he has heard about.

    Obviously, not all docs do this, but enough do that we are going to be in trouble in years to come because of the rise of drug-resistant strains of bacteria.

    There are other treatments for bacterial infections and if a person cannot tolerate ABX, he or she should seek a different road to recovery. Pat Palmer has posted often here about Olive Leaf Oil. There are other herbal antibiotics, antivirals, and antifunglas.

    Had I known there was a transfer factor for mycoplasmas, I probably would have taken it instead of the Doxycycline for two and one-half years. That said, however, the Doxy worked well and I tolerated it well and it did the job.

    I don't think we can throw the baby out with the bath water. All drugs have side effects, including ABX. We have to perform due diligence to weigh the potential risks versus the potential benefits.

    I welcome all info here because it helps us to make more informed decisions. I also believe the fluoroquinolones are dangerous and should only be considered as a last resort or for very dangerous infections like the anthrax which killed several and threatened others from the terrorist letters sent through the mail. I would imagine that those exposed were very grateful for the Cipro. It's all a matter of degree and balance.

    I think SSRI's are dangerous, but many here believe they have been helped immensely by them. SSRI's, in my opinion, are not warranted for treating FMS/CFIDS, but they may well be a God send for someone suffering from severe clinical depression. One should, at least, have info, both pro and con, and make the best decision possible under the circumstances.

    Love, Mikie

  9. wildwoodlane

    wildwoodlane Member

    I'm new enough here and don't understand some of the lingo. Can someone explain herxing? Also ABx. I got leg pains from taking Levaquin but my doc looked at me funny when I told him that -- really think he didn't believe me. Thanks, everyone.
  10. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member


    The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (referred to as "Herx" often) is believed to be a reaction caused by organisms (bacteria) dying off and releasing toxins into the body faster than the body may comfortably handle it. It was originally observed in patients with syphilis who received mercury treatment [*]. 93% of patients with syphilis has Hughes Syndrome, it is estimated that 92% of CFS patients has Hughes Syndrome.

    Most CFIDSers will have moderate to severe herx effects from antibiotics that will usually have no effects on normal healthy individuals[83% in one R.A. study, 51.4% in Lyme Disease, 89% with B. recurrentis infection]. The reason for this may be the diminished blood flow system caused by the thickening of the blood commonly found with CFIDS patients. Alternatively, "it seemed to occur when injured or dead bacteria released their products into blood and tissues, provoking a sudden and exaggerated inflammatory response"[*] - thus the response may be connected to the specific organism being killed off. Many non-antibiotic treatments (Hale's breathing, glutathione - whey products ) are reported to also produce a herx effect -- whether it is bacteria die off or simply toxin release, the effect is the same: misery!

    * What is a Herxheimer Reaction?
    * The Herxheimer Reaction History [History and current theories (technical)]
    * The New England Journal of Medicine -- August 1, 1996 -- Vol. 335, No. 5

    Intensifiers if on Antibiotics

    * Bromelain
    * Serrapeptase

    Onset of Reaction

    Depending on illness and antibiotic: from 1-2 hrs to 10 days after antibiotics started

    The most common ones include:

    * increased joint or muscle pain
    * headaches
    * chills
    * Heavy perspiration and night sweats
    * Nausea
    * Burning micturition
    * Bone pain
    * swollen glands
    * bloating
    * constipation or diarrhea
    * fever (usually low grade)
    * hypotension (low blood pressure)
    * Itching, hives and rash (sometimes mistaken for an allergic reaction - this must be an MD's call)
    * heart palpitations, elevated heart rate, orthostatic

    Tachycardia are reported on
    Treatment (reduction)

    Treatment consists of two approaches: improving the blood flow to clear the toxins faster (see vascular constriction), or, neutralizing the toxins (or both)

    * Probenecid (Dr. Jadin [*])
    * Benadryl (antihistamine)
    * Therma-Flu or equivalent
    * Aspirin (Bromelain may increase it!)
    * Meptazinol [*, *]
    * Increase in blood thinning supplements
    * Lemon/Olive Oil drink (may be done with water or Grape Juice)
    * 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (Organic) or 1/2 lemon rind)
    * 1 Tbsp cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil Water or juice ... stir
    * Concord Grape Juice with flavoids (widens blood vessels)
    * NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs),
    * pain medication (see ibuprofen risks..)
    * muscle relaxers,
    * hot baths / hot tub
    * steam (dry or hot) sauna
    * a saltz bath: add 1 cup salt, 1 cup soda, 1 cup epsom salts, 1 cup aloe vera, to a
    * hot bath, remain in and keep hot for about 1-1/2 hours all the while consuming
    * about 2 quarts of warm water.
    * Hale's breathing
    * Control panic attacks, anxiety and worry (they constrict the blood vessels, worsening the effect).

    Differentiating between a Herxheimer, a flare and an allergic reaction to the drug

    "Laboratory tests can help differentiate between a worsening of disease (RA flare), a Herxheimer reaction to microbial toxins, and an allergic reaction to medication.

    1. WBC will elevate in a Herxheimer and lower in a flare.
    2. A Herxheimer will also exhibit a coincidental elevation of SED rate, gamma globulin and total globulin ,and a fall in serum albumin and hematocrit. Patients who exhibit this flare reaction accompanied by anemia, depression of serum albumin, elevated total globulin and gamma globulin are probably reflecting a more intense reaction pattern to anti-L substances than in hematologically mild cases.

    3. A marked increase in eosinophils (for instance about 30%) is an indication of an allergic reaction to the drug."

    from --> a man whose whole family came down w/ CFS/FM/MCS in various combos, he shares his story, treatment protocol, research on other protocols and supplement anticoagulating treatments
  11. wildwoodlane

    wildwoodlane Member

    Thank you for the extensive answer to my question. It sounds pretty technical. Where in the world would you find a doctor willing to do all the testing that seems to be indicated? And how to differentiate between FM symptoms and an adverse reaction to an antibiotic? But some of the remedies sound simple enough.
  12. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    I din't mean to give you an over technical answer to a simple question, but this has been the best info. I've found on it. I actually posted this more in response to the debate about how harmful a herx can be, and the poster who thought it was dangerous to assume when it could be a serious allergic reaction.

    YOu know your own fibro symptoms best. Any antimicrobrial med you take that causes a die off of microbes that make you sick as this happens will usually cause an exaggeration of the symptoms you already get. So if new, sometimes bizarre symptoms start it might be an allergy. Usually allergies are rashes, hives, breathing difficulties and the dreaded anaphalaxis.

    The report just states that there are measurable differences that have been proven between herx and allergy. I doubt you'd ever find a doc to do them. Why would he, or you want to take the chance if allergy is suspected, discontinuation is best.

  13. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Jeanne's advice is good. If it's a new reaction, discontinue the med and call the doc. Sometimes the allergic reaction is barely noticible but gets worse with each exposure to the allergen. There are cases of people who have taken Penicillin before and suddenly, they have a severe allergic reaction.

    Because I have become intimately familiar with Herxing, I know when a symptom is from the Herx and from something else. My Herxes for bacteria differ from those due to virus dieoff. The first two Herxes on the TF's were different still. Something was killed off which had not been killed before.

    Love, Mikie
  14. wildwoodlane

    wildwoodlane Member

    for the good info on Herxing. Just learning here . . .

    I took Levaquin about eight years ago with no apparent side effects, then recently I took it again and developed severe leg pains. Potential side effects of meds scares me since I seem to have reactions to many of them.

    While I have your ear, Mikie, why do I always have the Edit - Delete message in the column to the left of my post?

    Garland (wildwoodlane)
  15. wildwoodlane

    wildwoodlane Member

    Wow, I just read you had adverse effects from Levaquin for four years! What were they? I have been having weird things going on after taking Levaquin several weeks ago, but don't know whether they are related.
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    They are there so you can delete or edit your own posts. You will not see them on anyone else's post. Each of us sees these tools when we pull up our own posts.

    Love, Mikie
  17. TrustingJesus

    TrustingJesus New Member

    CALLED INTESTINAL CANDIDA. Antibotics kill the bad bacteria but they also kill the good intestinal bacteria that is very important for digestion and immunity. Without the good bacteria in your gut you can get an overgrowth of yeast growing in the gut which can cause all sorts of serious problems especially digestive problems like bloating and indigestion and food allergies.

    I am not trying to scare you but to WARN you about the possible bad side effects of antibiotics that the doctors never tell you about. I know all about this because I really screwed my health up with antibiotics. This does not happen to everyone but especially if you have a low immune system. Only take antibiotics if absolutely necessary. There are safer natural antibiotics like collidal silver, goldenseal (herbal), ect. If you do take antibiotics you have to possibly take antifungals and probiotics to replace the good bacteria you kill. I wish I would have taken antifungals at the same time i took the antibiotics to prevent the huge yeast infection i got now.
  18. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    This is why it is crucial to take probiotics whenever taking antibiotics. Probiotics help recolonize the good bacteria which the ABX destroy.

    In fact, after the age of about 35, our bodies slow down production of good bacteria. Taking probiotics is necessary to prevent Leaky Gut Syndrom.

    Doctors should tell patients this, but they don't. Chances are that no one ever told them this in medical school.

    I took Doxycycline for 2 1/2 years for a mycoplasma infection with no adverse side effects at all. In fact, it cleared up my IBS, a bonus I had not expected.

    Love, Mikie
  19. wildwoodlane

    wildwoodlane Member

    A light dawned on me after I posted that question about Edit and Delete . . . and you confirmed what I was thinking. Thanks.

    What "probiotics" do you all use? Is this the yogurt and acidophilus type of treatment for yeast overgrowth? I have had such bloating the last few months, especially after gallbladder surgery in February, but now I am wondering whether the continuing problem is from the Levaquin I took in March and April for a sinus infection. I have other dilemmas, namely, hiatal hernia, "lazy stomach" where your stomach is slow to empty, spastic colon, and general abdominal discomfort. Some of the herbal supplements and remedies give me heartburn and stomach distress, so I am always looking for a solution. Or could it just be the infernal FMS with no really good answers?

    Garland (wildwoodlane)
  20. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    There are several brands of good probiotics sold OTC. I prefer the Jarro-Dophilus sold here. It comes in two forms, one has to be kept refrigerated after opening and the other does not. The one which has to be kept in the fridge is less expensive.

    Yogurt and acidophilus aren't really enough to do the job. If you look at the ingredients of a good probiotic, you will find it has several strains of good bacteria and is guaranteed not to break down in the stomach but rather it makes it all the way to the intestines.

    Love, Mikie

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