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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Can't Get the Guts to Take Larium for Babs

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Author Topic: Can't Get the Guts to Take Larium for Babs
seekhelp
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My LLMD wants me on this next along with a bunch of other stuff to hit Babesia. Of all the anti-malarials, this one frightens me the most. I most likely have Babesia WA-1 with my high IgG tiers (1:2,048).

My recommended dosage is 1 tablet every 5 days. This along with all kinds of other anti-malarials (Plaquenil, Malarone, herbals, etc).

From day one of my illness, anxiety has been a major symptom. I feel I'm prone to having difficulties with psych effects. Am I wrong? Are the risks worth it? How many said no way I'll try something else?

I'm afraid of my treatment killing me first. [Frown] Then again, my life is pretty crappy now and I can't function well at all. Hmmmm...

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KaitlinB
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Hi seek,

I can understand your apprehension about trying Larium.

I took one pill daily, but only lasted four days on it.

I had insomnia, a horrible migraine and my personality changed (lots of anger, irrational...maybe that's a psych symptom?).

I threw in the towel pretty quickly, primarily because of the insomnia...sleep meds didn't even help.

Having said that, I think it was effective because the herx was so strong.

Maybe you could start out at 1/4 pill and see how you react?

--------------------
Kaitlin

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seekhelp
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This language from Wikipedia's site scares me so much:

Mefloquine may have severe and permanent adverse side effects. It is known to cause severe depression, anxiety, paranoia, aggression, nightmares, insomnia, seizures, birth defects[citation needed], peripheral motor-sensory neuropathy,[4] vestibular (balance) damage and central nervous system problems.[5]

Central nervous system events occur in up to 25% of people taking Lariam, such as dizziness, headache, insomnia, and vivid dreams.[6] A This American Life broadcast entitled "Contents Unknown" tells the story of an American who lost his memory while working in India as a result of mefloquine prophylaxis.[7]


I feel like I need to try all other options and exhaust them fully including A-Babs herbal, Art, Enula, and more before trying this. The risks are big.

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blinkie
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I've been taking it for a month now with no problems. In fact, I'm having slow but steady improvement.

I was able to stop my t-3 because I was having heart palpitations and my light sensativity is getting much better. I was able to drive today without my sunglasses. In fact, I kept taking them off and on just to make sure it was real!!

I say, give it a try. If you have psych issues then stop it.

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blinkie
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I forgot to add that my sleep is getting better as well as other hormones. Eye floaters were better today too, but that is always different day to day.
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kday
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After side effects from fluoroquinolones there is no way in hell I would risk taking a drug like Lariam.

There is artesunate. It's a chinese antimalarial. It is a derivative of artemisinin, but is about 5 times stronger.

The brand name for it is Falcigo. You can get them as injection as well. You must take it with another anti-malarial to avoid development of resistance.

I have no clue on where the best place to obtain it is, but it can be found on some online pharmacies.

Perhaps it's worth a try? It may be the strongest anti-malarial, but I don't hear about it here.

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kday
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Forgot to add, it is used for inhibit XMRV as well by Dr. Cheney. So, if you have an underlying XMRV infection, you could kill two birds with one stone.

I honestly don't put too much weight into what Schaller says, but he does claim that artemisinin usually fails to cure babesia and recommends artesunate instead.

[ 12-13-2010, 01:17 AM: Message edited by: kday ]

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baileypup
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I was also very hesitant to take Lariam. My llmd said that they have had good success with Lariam, and if you have a good detox in place, that you should do well.

I am two months into Lariam, and have had marked improvement. I started out with the one-pill-every-day loading dose, followed by one pill every five days. Some of my symptoms returned on day four, so now I take it every four days. I'm supposed to take it at night, and it says to take with milk.

I've had some minor herxing, with achy body, which is cured with an aleve. I'm never anxious, but have experienced more "butterflies in my stomach" since upping my dosage. I haven't experienced any insomnia at all. Other than that, it hasn't been tough, and I wish I had started sooner.

I took one half pill the first night. You could start out with a fourth or half, and see how you do. Without a loading dose, you may do just fine.

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seibertneurolyme
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kday,

Artemesia has many deriviatives. Artemesinin is the most commonly used for babs followed by artemeter (found in Coartem/Riamet). Artesunate is not available by prescription in the U.S. I am pretty sure that it is included in Dr Zhang's formulas. But IV artesunate is only available in very special circumstances. See link below.

http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/diagnosis_treatment/artesunate.html

Seek,

Hubby took Larium back in 2003 after his allergic reaction to Mepron. At that time Dr B did not use a loading dose -- he just had hubby take 1 pill every 5 days. I think hubby ended up taking 5 or 6 pills before stopping.

At that time he had some issues with depression and stopped it for that reason. Hubby had some symptoms of encephalopathy also and he said the larium made him "goofy headed".

He thinks he had mild herx reactions but nothing severe.

For financial reasons we switched LLMD's and the new one put him on quinine/clindamycin instead of the larium.

Since you had such a strong reaction to the Daraprim and Coartem then I would probably just add in the other things one at a time -- something new every 3 or 4 days -- and you could save the larium til the last.

Personally I think if you are taking multiple things there is not much danger of resistance even if you build up the dose slowly. Don't know what your doc told you, but I would not be comfortable treating babs for less than 4 months and preferably 6 months in total if you are trying to totally eradicate it.

Bea Seibert

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sutherngrl
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I agree with Blinkie......try it and if you have problems stop it.

If you read about any medication you will find horrible side effects.

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seekhelp
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Yeah, but those are the worst side effects I've ever read SG! I'll give it some consideration. Thanks everyone for the feedback/suggestions. This is a toughie.

I REALLY, REALLY need a blood smear from Clongen to continue indefinitely on this silent war against Babesia. Something needs to show to make me know I'm fighting the right stuff.

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hadlyme
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I took Larium and don't remember really any side effects.

Mepron worked better than larium, and now I'm on Malerone which I'm feeling good on.

Find one that works with your body to fight the disease and not fight your views and body side effects.

We all react differently to things.

--------------------
Lyme, Babs, Fry Bug..... Whatever it is, may a treatment be discovered to make us all whole again!

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Tammy N.
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I understand your concerns Seek. I think you should listen to your gut. Maybe hold off for now.

Some suggestions:

- Try taking artemisinin. If you herx, you know you have babs. (I think most people generally herx on this.)

- Get tested energetically to see if the Larium is agreeable (synergistic) with you.

Good luck with your decision. Don't rush it. (For what it's worth, I don't think I would take it.)

Best to you,
Tammy

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onbam
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google lariam brain damage. I'd only take it, I think, if I had no psych history, and even then only as an absolute last resort.

Have you tried things like Mepron/Zith yet? I took those two alone and had great results, though I'm not sure babs was what was being hit.

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LymeAware
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I really understand, and I don't have any easy answer for you, as I think everyone will be different. But, I will share that despite my many concerns about taking it (and vowing I never would at one point) I haven't had any problems, and I've been on it a month now.

As a teenager I had psychotic episodes and was suicidal. Now I struggle with depression and anxiety a fair bit. For these reasons I was steering clear. I still feel weird about being on it, but haven't had problems.

I should say though too that I rarely have reactions (positive or negative) to most medications -- so, this may just be me.

One other thing I will say is that I have heard that there are 2 ways lariam can be prescribed.

1) You are prescribed a "loading dose" where you take a dose every day for 4-5 days, and then from there once a week, or every 5 days or so.

2) You just start taking it once a week or every 5 or so days.

I was prescribed the second option (I take mine once a week), and from what I hear, the first option has many more bad side effects. Most people who have the terrible reactions from taking it for malaria are prescribed the first option.

But, with all that said, I truly don't know the right answer for you, and I really do think you should trust yourself on whatever your gut says. Good luck.

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Ann in CA
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This week I am supposed to start lariam & doxy, and the lariam part really has me hesitant. My LLMD and my PCP (who was on it for 1 1/2 years while doing malaria research in the tropics) both say I should be fine, just have my family watch for any personality changes.

It is the initial loading dose which most concerns me, because by the time it shows a negative effect, I've already taken a heavy dose. It took 10 days for me to have a big allergic reaction to mepron (101 temp and pink itchy spots all over) and I wouldn't want the same thing to happen with psych problems!!

Have taken just about every oral combo for lyme, but the babesia just showed positive last year, and after all that am still IGenIX positive for lyme. Don't seem to have much in the way of typical babesia symptoms though.

It is encouraging to hear that lariam has helped some of you, after reading some of the internet reports of severe problems, it was a bit frightening. Haven't had problems with any other meds (except the mepron) so will probably go ahead and start on Monday.

Seekhelp, Good luck if you start. Please post to let us know how you are doing!

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Sammi
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seekhelp, I was also afraid to take Larium and refused to take it for some time. I have now been on it for a few months, and I have had no psych side effects at all.

I have never taken a loading dose. I initially started it as one pill every five days. I was having worsening fatigue, so now I take it once every seven to ten days.

Since this post is from last month, I am wondering if you started it?

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Abxnomore
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I took it many years back. I had problems on the loading dose and stopped. Waited two weeks to get it out of my system and started again and took 500mg weekly for many months with no problems.

I credit Larium for really getting my babs under control, almost gone, after trying mepron many times.

I think if you try it, you will know very shortly if its not going to react well with you and if it does not you can stop.

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