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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Bartonella treatment survey please

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Author Topic: Bartonella treatment survey please
Junior Member
Member # 9896

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Hi all. Thanks for being here. I went through somewhat intense treatment for what had been undiagnosed chronic Lyme for years, with the now retired LLMD D. Metz___ in Bay Area. Finished in Nov 2013. Felt better, felt right. So grateful (but do still worry the little buggers are just dormant).

Now, have just been diagnosed (at Kaiser HMO) with Cat Scratch Disease (Bartonella Hensae). My doc wasn't going to prescribe anything, but I told her I wanted to discuss antibiotic treatment. She ordered a 5-day course of Azithromycin. A friend of mine who has gone through years and years of Lyme treatments said I'd want Cipro. Net research comes up in favor or Azith, not Cipro.

So survey question #1: type of antibiotic for Bartonella

Survey question #2: I just made an appt with a Lyme literate NP, but it's not for another week. Should I wait? Or should I start the 5-day Azithromycin?

I don't know if the timing of infection is pertinent, but for those who like the details, here's a descrip I just wrote to my recent ex who went thru the Lyme wringer with me:

Hey Eric. I don’t know if you remember, I think you were here about a month or so ago and one of the cats, Buddie I think, just in play, accidentally put a single claw right exactly where my old ear piercing is on my left earlobe. I think I said something about it, cuz the location was so precise. Well.... I probably put something on it and forgot about it.

About 3-4 weeks ago I got some crusty itchies, put some stuff on it, forgot about it—it was right when I was installing the show. About 2 weeks ago I started feeling really tired a lot, swollen glands, headachey. A week ago went to my doc cuz I was so tired and had this weird swelling on my OTHER ear (not the lobe), which she said was lymph nodes, no big deal maybe fighting a flu.

Then 3 days ago I discover my previously punctured ear lobe was swollen and itchy and I prodded and squeezed and a bunch of pus came out. So I took really really good care of it for a couple of days, the wound seemed better, but I was still feeling awful, including feeling permanently like my brain was swollen constantly. Called advice nurse. He asked if I’d had any injury to the lobe. I said no. He said I should see my doc, cuz the infection could be making me feel bad. After the call I remembered the cat claw incident. And I then remembered that Renee had Cat Scratch Fever (which is Bartonella) a couple of years ago.

So I told my doc these things at our 2nd appt. She wasn’t sure what was up, thought I’d just get better, ordered some basic bloodwork (mostly so I’d feel better, I think). But later that evening she sent an email—she’d looked up CatScratch and realized everything I’d told her and the timing completely fit. She added to the blood test, but the test is unreliable. But she says no treatment necessary. I wrote back and said I wanted antibiotics and to discuss what kind. She ordered a 5-day course of prolly-not-the-right-kind. I’m doing research before I get back to her. Plus I just made an appt with a specialist for next Wednesday. I don’t know zackly why I’m telling you in so much detail, except we’re family, and you went through all that Lyme craziness with me. Ok, so I do know zackly why I’m telling you. :-)


Posts: 7 | From SF Bay Area | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Frequent Contributor (5K+ posts)
Member # 6416

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5 days of Zithromax will do very little for bart. Just like babs, it infects red blood cells so generally treatment is a minimum of 4 months.

First line treatment is generally one of the fluroquinolones - cipro, levaquin or factive etc plus rifampin.

It took hubby 1.5 years of continuous bart treatment, but the combo that worked for him was factive plus high dose rifampin plus the amino acid l-arginine. Blood smears went from many coccobacilli to several to a few to none and symptoms of seizure-like episodes decreased in frequency and intensity in line with test results.

Actually hubby was also on low dose Zithromax the entire time for lyme at the same time he treated bart.

If you want to go the natural route then see the Buhner book published in 2014 although I am not really convinced that that alone will be enough.

A blood smear from Clongen or Fry Labs can show the bacteria as coccobacilli and will show all strains and not just bart h.

This is not medical advice, just my opinion based on hubby's experiences.

Bea Seibert

Posts: 7306 | From Martinsville,VA,USA | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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The good news is it is still early.

Having been thru what I've been thru w/ Bart,
I'd take the 5 day Azith. Z-pack (my guess is you'll get a killer headache day 2-3, maybe feel worse, remember herx/ detox)

and keep the appt. with Lyme literate NP coming up!

No more cat interaction for me. I'm glad you know what's going on- can try and get it early!

Lyme positive PCR blood, and
positive Bartonella henselae Igenex, 2011.
low positive Fry biofilm test, 2012.
Update 7/16- After extensive treatments,
doing okay!

Posts: 2518 | From USA | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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From what I understand, people are having very good results with longer term, VERY high dose Rifampin.

I recall one or two anecdotes on these threads that may have said this cured them, along with some complimentary things. I do not remeber all the details on that so forgive me if I got it wrong. But I think this has cured a few tough cases.

I have been chasing Bart for 5 years. It won't go down. Floroquin's knocked it back a lot, particularly Avelox. But In my experience and according to multiple studies, None of these drugs will finish the job. Bart can easily develop resistance to this class. Floroquin's are notorious also for having MAJOR side effects that can be life threatening. Tendon issues and peripheral neuropathy to name a couple. MUCH CARE must be taken when considering and taking tyhese drugs. There is a wealth of info on here about how to take a Quin. drug properly. You need Magnesium. This class of drugs is actually considered chemo, so tread very lightly.

Myself, I took Floroquin's with no problem. But MANY of us here have had issues with them. Some irreversible. I did develop tendon pain but immediately stopped and doubled my magnesium. No more quin.'s for me.

Be very careful and keep asking questions. Hope this helps. Bart can be managed with A-Bart for some. I'm using it now. But when I get the money I think I'm gonna go for the high dose rifampin. Sounds promising.

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I treated bart with rifampin/mino and then rifampin/zyth combos. After a few months I switched to A-bart due to high liver enzymes. I'm in a much better place! Good luck
Posts: 238 | From new england | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I got rid of bartonella by taking Levaquin for 30 days followed by Bactrim DS for about 11 months. (The Bactrim was for babesiosis, but it also hits bartonella.)

That was 10 years ago and I am still free of all of these diseases! Praise God!

Here is a website that tells meds for bart:

And, see the Burrascano Guidelines pages 24-25:

Posts: 9931 | From Maryland | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Buhner has a great book about bartonella called Lyme Coinfections: Mycoplasma and Bartonella.

In it he has assembled the majority of research on bartonella.

He is a herbalist, but does talk about antibiotics in one section.

Bartonella can be transmitted by fleas, sandflies, ticks and other biting insects.

5 days of zith is a start, but it ain't gonna do it.

A minimum of two intracellular antibiotics are needed, and one of them needs to be bacteriocidal towards bartonella. The one in the studies is rifampin.

I treated bartonella for 6-8 months the first time with rifampin plus two other intracellulars, and herbals.

Relapsed within one month after stopping rifampin.

Treated again for 9 months with four intracellulars, including high dose rifampin and herbals.

Has been OK so far, thank goodness.

It is important to treat bartonella for the duration of the life cycle of red blood cells and endothelial cells.

The book really is worth the money as it explains what bartonella does to our bodies.

It can also be super super tough to get rid of.

All the info from other posters above is great and based in fact.

Your doc/practitioner will help find the right treatment regimen that works for you. You'll know you have a good one, when after a week on the treatments, when you first step out of bed in the morning, your feet will feel like the soles are splitting open and you're stepping on Lego.
Your head will hurt like the dickens too, and you may have insomnia, anxiety and a quick temper.

Bartonella is a real devil. Glad you are treating it.

Posts: 4358 | From British Columbia, Canada | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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