Strong reaction to minimal antiviral?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by confetti11, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. confetti11

    confetti11 Member

    Hello, long time sufferer here, first time poster. I suffer mostly from nausea, fatigue, malaise, the constant "uneasy" feeling, plus some other symptoms. I have been diagnosed with CFS, Adrenal Fatigue, etc. Lab tests have shown extremely low cortisol output (undetectable at midnight) and extremely high chronic Epstein Barr. That's a little history.

    The MD I see is one of the gurus of this stuff. So he's pretty good. I'm having a relapse (after getting much of my life back for almost 2 years) and so we're going at treatment full force again. This time around, I've been put on Lipoceutical Glutathione and Zovirax. (Along with lots of supplements including Transfer Factor.)

    Okay, here's my question. You all are so knowledgeable, I hope this makes sense to someone. I'm taking "baby" doses of both the Glutathione and the Zovirax because my body reacts very strongly to medicines/supplements sometimes. Twice now I feel like I have had a very strong reaction to both or either the Glutathione and Zovirax.

    A couple of weeks ago, I gradually built up the Glutathione to 3/4 teaspoon at day over about 10 days. Then one day my body freaked out, I got extreme flu-like malaise and had a more flu-like nausea where I could throw up at any moment all day. I stopped taking the Glutathione and talked to the doc about it. He said to take 1/4t or 1/2t instead. At that same appt he prescribed the Zovirax. He gave it to me in liquid form and said to take 2ml a day (a little less than half of what a normal person would take a day.) I was gradually building up to the 2ml (I was up to 1ml for about 3 days) and I was also taking the Glutathione again at 1/4t a day. Then about 4 days into this, my body freaked out again. This time worse. I had the most awful malaise and nausea, low-grade fever, etc. I went out of my mind, couldn't take it. I stopped taking everthing again.

    In addition to this, I'm taking adrenal cortex shots and the glandulars.

    I apologize that this is so long but does anyone have any idea what happened?? I was taking such a low dose that it's hard for me to believe it could be a die-off effect, and that quick-3 days, but the correlation is consistent with that. I'm at a loss! Thanks!
  2. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    Bumping for Confetti!
  3. pawprints

    pawprints New Member

    I am no expert and I am sure someone with more knowledge will answer.

    My only advice after years at anything is possible with this illness and adding a new thing to an already stressed body can be difficult.

    I would try one thing at a time and get stable at a reasonable dose. Then, I would add another thing and get up to the right dose. Keep track of all your symptoms with each new supplement or drug. Perhaps it is the combination that is causing your herx reaction.

    Good luck. I'm sure you will get some good responses.
  4. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Hi there, confetti!

    Well, your reaction doesn't seem that unusual to me. I think you just have to go with what your body is telling you.

    As a wise ND said "Some is better than none". So I personally take whatever dose my body can comfortably handle. I don't worry about what the "standard" dose is. Who cares.

    Although with a prescription anti-viral, I guess you'd better get your doctor's opinion. People talk about the issue of viruses becoming resistant to anti-virals, and I don't know much about that.

    But I can give you a couple examples of things I take. I take an anti-viral enzyme product called Virastop, and the recommended dose is 3-4 capsules a day. I take one capsule a week, because that's all I can handle (at the moment).

    I don't take any glutathione, because it makes me really really sick. Even a tiny speck of it, or in your case, a drop.

    I've been doing some of Rich Van K's suggested supplements for methylation support, and he recommends a dose of 1/4 of two of the pills. I crush them up into powder and take a speck of the powder. And they are helping me a lot! By taking what I can handle, I am getting the benefits of them without bad side effects.

    So that is one person's experience, anyway. I hope you figure out something that will help you feel better. Welcome to the board!

  5. kimberly236

    kimberly236 New Member

    Actually, Valtrex is used for EBV, and it is the same active ingredient as in Zovirax. The difference is that Valtrex has a higher bio-availability, I guess meaning the body can use it better. You need to take more of the Zovirax to be effective.

    My only advice is--don't start too many things at once. Not for the reason that you won't know what's making you better (that is a graet problem to have in my opinion--it means you ARE getting better!) but for the reason that you won't know what is giving you a bad reaction. Space stuff out 2 weeks.


    Best of luck,
  6. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Hi Confetti,

    Welcome to the board.

    If you have a big viral problem, it's possible to start getting major viral die-off within a couple of days even on a small dose. i definitely experienced that myself. Please see my bio (just click my name to the left of this post). If you want more detailed info, do a title search for


    and my famvir status report threads will pop up. conceivably it might be enlightening to read about my early days on the med.

    Using transfer factor at the same time as an antiviral seems to increase its effects, if it's a "targeted" transfer factor (e.g. for EBV, HHV6, etc.). if you're doing that, it would be another reason why you might be having big effects.

    Another issue is that you simply might not be able to tolerate glutathione. It sounds like you had a bad reaction to that before starting the antiviral.

    I would suggest figuring out what's going on with either the glutathione or the antiviral before adding the other. There's no reason they need to be started together. There's also no reason for you to rush into taking either one of them. getting well from CFS is a long-term undertaking, and so getting your ducks in a row before you start is important.

    Who is your doctor?

    Best, Lisa

    [This Message was Edited on 04/25/2007]
  7. confetti11

    confetti11 Member

    Thanks for your responses. I feel even worse today, like I have something acute. I'm not sure what's doing what anymore but the combo of glut and av seems to have reeked havoc.

    I see Dr. Guyer. I have for years. He helped me get back to functional years ago but apparently I have relapsed.

    I spoke to him this morning and we're backing off and going more slowly.

    Lisa, are you fairly functional? Is there a way I can pm you?
  8. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Hi Confetti,

    Interesting that Dr. Guyer would have chosen Zovirax for you. Was this because your insurance wouldn't pay for other drugs or for some other reason?

    What kind of transfer factor are you taking?

    It's hard to exchange personal information on the board since you're supposed to do it only in chat rooms. In the meantime, if you read my bio (click on my name to the left of this post), my health history is pretty complete.

    The best place to "reach" me here to make sure I don't miss a message is on my current Famvir thread (now week 23). I may not have much time for the board over the next couple of days though.

    Dr. Guyer never suggested to me that taking glutathione and antivirals together was important. Personally, I'd be inclined to settle into one and feel comfortable about what it's doing before moving to the other. Otherwise it's impossible to know what's causing what.

    BTW, Amghad (the other MD at Dr. Guyer's office) has been pretty good about answering AV questions for me. He's a lot more readily available than Dr. Guyer, obviously.

    It's nice to have another fellow patient on the board. Where do you live?

    Best, Lisa
  9. confetti11

    confetti11 Member

    My insurance situation is touchy so that is probably why he chose that av. Although now we're going back to the natural approach since I had so much trouble. He said my adrenals are in such bad shape that they just may not be able to take it. I'm taking the transfer factor from his office but I've also ordered a Prohealth one as well, one for EBV. I live in Indy fortunately. I think I read you travel several hours to see him?

    Let me know if you'd like to chat sometime. As most of us, I feel like I'm in this alone as although I'm surrounded by people who care, I can't talk with anyone who knows anything about this stuff. Since we see the same doctor even I thought it would be interesting to connect. Thanks.
  10. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Hi Confetti,

    My adrenals (which generally are in pretty good shape these days after years and years of work) did wear out after significant die-off. Dr. G told me at the beginning that I might want to support my adrenals, and that was a helpful tip. I don't think it affected the strength of my initial die-off reaction though.

    In any case, optimizing your adrenals before starting on any antiviral seems to me a good idea. This is a marathon, and getting ready in advance seems important. I know Dr. G believes that.

    Did you get an Immunosciences test done (or any other testing)? If so, what were the results?

    My understanding is that especially if your interferon alpha is high, you might expect a big die-off. Getting ready for it in advance is especially wise in that case, I would think.

    I have a whole lot of faith in Dr. G at this point though. i'm inclined to do exactly what he says at this point. However, I start his treatments one at a time, to see what effect each has on me.

    I'm not sure he even wants people to try everything at once, or at least he's never told me that. His treatment plans are supposed to tell you everything you're supposed to try by the next appointment, but I'm not sure that the intention is for them to all be used on the first day. Did he ever suggest to you anything on this topic?

    If there are things about your experiences with Dr. G that you want to keep confidential, let me know and we can try to exchange e-mail addresses. However, we're not allowed to give out e-mails on the board, and I can't access chat from my computer. That means that I would have to schedule with you a particular time to go to chat and then travel to Kinko's so that we can "meet." That takes a lot of energy, although it's certainly possible that it would be worth it at least at some point.

    I don't know how much time I'm going to have to write on the board over the next couple of days, and so don't be surprised if I don't answer any posts right away. Again, it's good to have you here!

    Best, Lisa
  11. confetti11

    confetti11 Member

    I had an Immunoscience test done in the past, we may repeat it. I started seeing Dr. G in 2000 and he has a 4" thick binder on me! I got back to decent health with his help at one point.

    With the gradual adding of treatments, I definitely do that. I learned that the first time around. My body can be so, so sensitive. I thought I was doing a small amount and taking it easy. Who knows.

    What do you think about doing a serum cortisol test? My homeopathic doctor is talking about it because he says some doctors don't give credence to the saliva test.

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