Guaifenesin treatment? how and where do I get it?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lynnmom2, Oct 30, 2002.

  1. lynnmom2

    lynnmom2 New Member

    Mikie, metioned Guaifenesin treatment as being helpful. Where do you get it and how does it help? thanks, Lynn
  2. lynnmom2

    lynnmom2 New Member

    Mikie, metioned Guaifenesin treatment as being helpful. Where do you get it and how does it help? thanks, Lynn
  3. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    This is Shirl, not Mike. She is here mostly in the mornings. I am the Nighthawk!

    The book that is very good on the Guri treatment is; 'What your Doctor may NOT tell you about Fibromyalgia' by; 'Paul St. Amand, M.D. and Claudia Craig Marek. It is available at most bookstores.

    There are a few others on the board that are on the Guri treatment including MIkie.

    Hope this helps you get started on an education on Guaifenesin, below is an article by Dr. St. Amand from the 'Home' page on this board, there are several other articles by different doctors if you would like to read them too.

    Shalom, Shirl

    _____________________________________________________________

    Treating Fibromyalgia with Guaifenesin
    by R. Paul St. Amand, M.D.
    ImmuneSupport.com

    10-04-2001


    Paul St. Amand M.D., is a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine. He has been on the teaching staff at the Los Angeles Harbor/UCLA Hospital, Department of Endocrinology for over forty-three years. He is currently an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. St. Amand discovered Guaifenesin’s use as a treatment for Fibromyalgia, and his work is cited wherever the substance is mentioned.

    Fibromyalgia—(once called “Fibrositis”) was first described in 1843 as a type of rheumatism “with painful hard places.” Today, Fibromyalgia is accepted as a distinct illness. Patients present with fatigue, insomnia, non-restorative sleep and generalized pain.

    Over thirty-seven years ago, a patient taking gout medication found he could easily break tartar off his teeth with his fingernail. Dental calculus is a calcium phosphate deposit in the form we recognize as “apatite.” It seemed probable a serum derived abnormality existed in saliva that allowed such deposition. Total body calcium and phosphate might attain excessive, critical levels. Cellular accumulation would interfere with energy formation and cause malfunction of susceptible systems. This would explain not only tenderness, palpable swelling and spasm but also the generalized complaints. We began using “gout drugs” for patients with the above symptoms and findings. We stress, uric acid and gout have no relationship to Fibromyalgia. To be effective, a medication must act on nearly the same area of the kidney that malfunctions in most cases of gout. Allopurinol, which blocks formation of uric acid does not affect renal excretion and is useless for Fibromyalgia. We feel an inherited defect permits some type of excessive, kidney retention that leads to an abnormality in the metabolism of phosphate and calcium.

    We now rarely use the two gout medications, probenecid (BenemidTM) and sulfinpyrazone (AnturaneTM) for Fibromyalgia. Another medication, Guaifenesin, is normally prescribed to loosen mucus (mucolytic effect) in patients with chronic sinusitis, bronchitis and various lung diseases. It has proven the most effective drug for Fibromyalgia to date. Unlike the previous drugs, it only weakly increases excretion of uric acid and would be useless for gout. It has no listed side-effects though we have learned of nausea, heartburn, itching or rash in rare instances. We usually begin with one half tablet (300 mg.) twice a day for one week, an adequate dosage for twenty percent of individuals. If needed, we increase to 600 mg. (full tablet) twice daily according to changes we and patients note. For about 70 percent, one of these two dosages suffices. Obviously, 30 percent will need larger amounts. Adjustment is made as suggested by our subsequent mapping.

    Observations suggest a primary defect in phosphate, not calcium metabolism. Calcium with or without magnesium tablets taken with meals have allowed lower dosages of medication possibly because they bind phosphates from food, increase fecal excretion and thereby lessen absorption. Some patients have fingernail changes that suggest an abnormal calcium phosphate deposition at the root. Similar to concentric tree rings, they grow and eventually break or peel at the tip. Primarily phosphate, some calcium and oxalate, increased in the urine as we initiated treatment in the few patients we tested. Our hypothesis is that an inherited, abnormal renal retention of phosphate and secondarily, calcium, leads to an intracellular excess of both. Cells and their power stations, the mitochondria, malfunction and produce inadequate ATP, the currency of energy. An energy deprivation syndrome develops and affects susceptible, widespread, bodily functions. We realize this is simplistic and the chemistry far more involved.

    Treatment with Guaifenesin requires more than a mere prescription. A detailed history is necessary to ascertain the duration of the illness and to permit prognostication regarding speed of reversal. Simple palpation finds most of the lesions. They should be recorded on body maps for location, hardness, shape, and size. Patients are asked to keep at least a mental note of their symptoms with attention to pain and emotional swings. Mappings are repeated as treatment progresses and are used to monitor affected regions for change and ultimate disappearance. Our mutual input readily identifies the dosage and discerns improvement. Guaifenesin can be taken at any age and has been in use for many years for its previous indications. Treatment reverses Fibromyalgia in less time than it took to develop. This accelerated process reproduces previous pain and emotional symptoms, sometimes intensely. Some time after proper, individual dosage has been attained “good days” appear and eventually cluster. Similar to a bouncing ball, symptoms gradually lessen, lesions soften, break-up and clear. Two months of adequate treatment reverses at least one year of accumulated disease. Thus, the longer the duration of illness, the longer to total clearing. Tissue damage from scarring or X-ray abnormalities are permanent and will not reverse. However, pain even in the same locations, may not be due to such changes.

    Aspirin completely blocks the benefit of all medications we have used, including Guaifenesin. The greatest source of patient error comes from taking aspirin-related agents, salicylate or salicylic acid, which interfere with Guaifenesin at the kidney level. Skin readily absorbs these compounds. Almost all plants manufacture salicylates, often in large quantities. Parts from leaves, roots and seeds concentrate salicylate in herbal medicines. Patients can neither take these nor use any skin creams that contain plant products. This includes products such as nasal sprays or suppositories. Our warnings do not apply to foods, cooking herbs and spices though they do harbor salicylates. The content is insufficient to block benefits if cumulative, extraneous sources are not added.

    This is deliberately repetitious because it is important. We cannot detect how easily or completely one's genetic make-up allows blocking. Assume you are very sensitive. Be meticulous in conducting your search of current or replacement products. Manufacturers make sudden changes and often list only “active” ingredients. If you must use the product contact the manufacturer to learn of “inactive” ones, which might include aloe, mentholatum etc.

    Many pain medications contain aspirin or have “salicylate” or “salicylic acid” as part of their contents. You cannot use these. Tylenol, Advil, Darvocet-N and anti-inflammatory drugs are acceptable. Heed the warning: all plants make salicylates. “Natural” refers to something made in nature. Poison ivy, oleander and hemlock are all natural but that does not make them safe. You must avoid products with that word including such things as aloe, ginseng, menthol, mentholatum, almond, grape seed oils etc. in creams, lotions and herbal medications. Castor oil and camphor have recently appeared in many lotions, lipsticks and underarm deodorants–they are high in salicylates.

    Ingredients with plant names butchers' broom, rosemary, geranium, St. John's Wort must be avoided. Oils made from plant parts must not be applied to the skin.

    Avoid Vitamin E derived from Rose Hips and vitamins from “natural” sources such as vitamin C with bioflavinoids, which may contain quercetin, a source of salicylates.

    Avoid all lip balms with the exception of plain Vaseline. Tubes of this product are available. All creams and lotions for muscle and rheumatic pains such as Ben Gay contain salicylates and cannot be used. All sunscreens or sunless tanning products with plant derivatives, including oxylsalicylate readily block. Cleansing lotions, astringents, exfoliants, lotions for oily skin and acne compounds, such as Stridex, often contain salicylates. It is best to avoid herbal shampoos and hair conditioners though they are not on the scalp long. Herbal hair sprays will land on the skin and deliver salicylates. Avoid shaving creams or soaps with menthol or aloe; microscopic cuts produced by razors with aloe-coated, white or colored strips provide direct access into the bloodstream.

    Use no herbal bubble baths. Wart and callus removal products almost all contain salicylates. Peptobismol is bismuth subsalicylate. Certain mouthwashes such as Listerine, contain salicylate as do toothpaste's with “gum care ingredients.” These offending substances will be absorbed and partially or totally block the effect of Guaifenesin. No adverse reaction ensues but no benefit is attained. Be aware, a few pharmacies have made serious errors. Patients should obtain plain “Guaifenesin,” not a tablet containing decongestants or anti-cough preparations.

    Our therapeutic approach is not for the weak of courage. As we warned above, reversal of the disease often produces many symptoms causing some patients to doubt their progress during the initial two to four months. It takes confidence and strength to get through this early phase. Cyclic appearance of good days and improvement on mapping provides the needed encouragement to go on. HW







    [This Message was Edited on 10/30/2002]
  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Lynn,

    This is the only treatment which offers the possibility of reversing FMS symptoms. It is a long-term treatment and one must completely understand the protocol, eliminate all sources of salicylates in supplements, medication, and personal-care items, and learn how to adjust the dosage. The Guai treatment can produce flares in the beginning as it pulls the phosphate debris from the muscle tissues when the body has deposited it (tender points).

    I read the book through three times and eliminated all sals before starting the treatment. I have been on it for 1 1/2 years and it has helped with my pain to the point that I seldom have to take Morphine anymore.

    I use the Guaifenex LA twice a day. It is a very old, cheap, and safe medication.

    Love, Mikie
  5. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    I found this article fascinating, and I have ordered the book off of amazon.com. I was wondering if anyone else has had any experience with guaifenisin. I have been sick for almost 20 years and rarely try new treatments anymore, because nothing seems to work. This treatment, however, is intriguing and seems to make sense. Does anyone else have any experience with this? Thank you.

    Hippo
  6. Roxi

    Roxi New Member

    I took Guaifenisin for over a year with no relief. I eliminated all salicilates. Didn't even use toothpaste! Baking soda. Don't know why it didn't work. Was a real letdown! I'm beginning to think this DD is viral in origin and that our cure is yet to be developed. Hang in there! Roxi
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Did you increase your dose of the Guai when it wasn't working? A lot of people need a lot more than the typical 600 mgs. when you start. In fact, you increase until it produces a flare. I realize everyone is different but, other than eliminating all sals, getting the dose right is one of the most challenging things in using this treatment.

    Love, Mikie
  8. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    I have pretty much decided I'm going to try this treatment; anyone else have any experience with it? Thanks.

    Hippo
  9. allhart

    allhart New Member

    thanks both i was looking for this info
  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    The hospital's support group is having a doc speak on this treatment. Now, I don't know whether or not this guy will know what he's talking about or not, but I'll let y'all know after the meeting. It's not til later this month.

    Love, Mikie
  11. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    I look forward to hearing more.

    Hippo
  12. sofy

    sofy New Member

    Is this something you have to have an md prescription for and can you get it at a regular pharmacy? I'm thinking insurance.
  13. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    it is a prescription, but there are web sites where you can buy it over the Internet without a prescription. I am going to try the prescription first, I would assume that that would be cheaper with the insurance. But I am investigating, and will post when I know more.

    Hippo
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    The OTC Guai comes in 200 mg tablets. The Rx is 300 mg. It is a very cheap old drug. It's cheaper than my co-pay. Even without insurance, it won't break the bank. My daughter is having a hard time taking 600 mgs per day, so I told her to buy the 200 mg OTC and take 400 mgs a day. The Guai flares are affecting her. The nice thing about the Guai is that you start out slowly and increase til you get a Guai flare; that is your dose. If the flare is too much, you can cut down. I have worked up to 1800 mgs a day. I used to cut them in half and take 900 mgs morn and eve. I now take 1200 mgs in the morning and 600 before bed. I figure my kidneys work harder during the day so I would take the higher dose then. It did produce a Guai flare, so I know it's working faster. The rate of reversal is up to the individual. I'm impatient.

    Every time you increase after you have reached your dose, you will flare. The initial Guai flare is the worst one.

    Love, Mikie
  15. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    About how much does the Guai cost at the pharmacy?

    Hippo
  16. Hippo

    Hippo New Member

    I have ordered the Dr. St. Amand book from amazon.com. I have a doctor friend who will write me the scrip, but knows very little about this protocol. Is it possible to handle this treatment by yourself, with just the information from the book and the Guai? Or do you have to have a doctor monitoring your progress all the time? My doctor friend is cooperative but clueless, and I doubt that my PCP will be of any help. I have heard of a doctor in Mission Viejo, CA, near me, who specializes in the Guai treatment, but I doubt that she is covered by my ins., and I was just wondering how important it is to be constantly monitored by an MD. Thanks.

    Hippo
  17. allhart

    allhart New Member

    i just started taking it 3 days ago for a infection im taking 300 mg 2 times a day and its making my flare seem worse is that normal? its not helping my cold at all should i just try 1 a day?
  18. Jude

    Jude New Member

    I am not here on a regular basis but I am a long-time member. I am one of the people using the guaifenisen protocol and I believe that it is helping. More than anything else has. You can do the protocol by yourself if you have a good understanding of the book and a physician who is willing to work with you. I've been on the treatment plan for the last six months and when I started, I knew more about it than my physician. Now, I'm the test case for three of them who are following my journey. Dr. St. Amand's web site is also very helpful about specific questions.
  19. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    First, absolutely do not use cough syrup as your source of Guai. It is not a time release formula and does contain other ingredients even though they are not active ingredients. These can make a person sleepy, especially if the syrup contains alcohol. Most contain some form of sugar and artifical coloring which is not good for us.

    I pay $8.65 for 90 Guaifenex LA tablets, which is a month's supply for me. BTW this is one exception where a time release medication can be cut in half without danger.

    I gave a copy of the book to my doc, but I am the one who administers the treatment. It is so benign that regardless of what I do, it's not going to hurt me, so the doc is content to just let me do my thing. When I am ready to increase the dose, I just ask and he writes a new Rx. This is a treatment for which the patient should be the one making the calls.

    I'm sure my doc is waiting to see whether it finally does reverse my FMS. I think it's close to doing that, but I also have CFS and won't be well until the antibiotics kill the mycoplasma bacteria which chronically infects my body. Therefore it is a little difficult to judge the effectiveness of the treatment; however since fatigue is my main complain, along with cognitive problems, I assume the Guai has pretty much reversed my FMS. Right now, I am on a skin-care treatment which is making the Guai ineffective. I have another month I have to use the skin-care products, so I'm just biting the bullet til then. I have noticed a little more pain since the Guai quit working. I used to have to take Morphine for my pain; now, I rarely take anything.

    I doubt that taking Guai for a cold would have an effect on flaring. It is most likely the cold which is contributing to the flare. However, we are all different and it is possible. Usually, one must eliminate all sources of salicylates before the Guai will cause a flare.

    Hope this helps all y'all (Southern plural of the term, "y'all").

    Love, Mikie
  20. allhart

    allhart New Member

    thaks i do have the tablets ,i lljust keep taking them the wayi have been and wait to talk to the dr in 2 weeks