what is herx???

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease Archives' started by Kimba4318, May 31, 2006.

  1. Kimba4318

    Kimba4318 New Member

    I was on thje Fibro sitye and I think I have chronic lyme. I have every single sympton listed.... I have been infect twice in my life and have never been on an long term treatment. I am so miserable. Wow - maybe this is the answer to all of this. I keep hearing about HERX... what does that mean? May sound like a dumb questions. Thanks
  2. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I believe the herxheimer effect (Jarish-Herxheimer reaction) was first seen when penicillin was given to syphilis patients - syphilis is a spirochete as is Lyme, by the way.

    Here is a part of what the roadback foundation says - this was written specifically about treatment of rheumatoid arthritis/mycoplasma in particular but the same is true of treating other infections such as Lyme, co infections etc:
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    The Jarisch-Herxheimer, or Herxheimer reaction, (otherwise known as herxing or herx for short) was named for the German dermatologist, Karl Herxheimer (1844-1947).

    Dorlands Medical Dictionary refers to the Herxheimer reaction as a transient, short-term, immunological reaction commonly seen following antibiotic treatment of early and later stage [infectious] diseases which [may be] manifested by fever, chills, headache, myalgias (muscle pain), and exacerbations of cutaneous lesions.

    The reaction has been attributed to liberation of endotoxins-like substances or of antigens (a substance which causes an immune reaction) from the killed or dying microorganisms.

    A TRANSIENT SHORT-TERM, IMMUNOLOGICAL REACTION

    What does this mean in layman's terms? The Herxheimer flare reaction may be the first indication that the antibiotic is reaching its target and is therefore considered a good sign.

    In his original book, The Road Back, the late Thomas McPherson Brown, MD noted that the reaction caused a temporary worsening of symptoms.

    The amount of medication may be directly related to the intensity of the flare. Medications which have no effect on mycoplasma (or other microbes) do not provoke this reaction nor do these medications generally have a favorable long-term effect on the disease.

    Unlike the RA (or FM) flare, which can last for weeks or even months, the Herxheimer flare reaction is often of short duration.

    Large doses of antibiotics may initially caused a worsening or flare reaction in many of the ... diseases. According to Dr. Brown, when the resulting released toxins go to the joints, joint pain is the result; when they go to the brain, depression may result.

    Dr. Brown found the Herxheimer effect showed a number of important principles at work. It demonstrated that the disease was a hypersensitive reaction, not to the drug itself, but to the toxins that a microbe creates in response to the drug's presence. And, it opened the way to a chemical attack (with medications) ... "
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    In my experience and my son's, it feels like a giant case of the flu... ick!

    all the best,
    Victoria