In 1997 I became paralyzed, apparently due to Lyme, co-infections and jaw infections.
My HMO neurologist diagnosed Guillain Barre Syndrome and ordered GBS therapy. He didn't consider Lyme, and in 1999 when I told him I had a LD diagnosis, he ridiculed me and told me to see a psychiatrist.
In June 1997 he ordered 11 plasmapheresis sessions and in July 1997 he ordered 3 IV catabolic steroid doses and in August 1997 when I was bedridden and too weak to use a bed pain he ordered IVIG.
From 9/97 through 5/99 I had 11 IG's, 1 gram per kilo body weight. Which was ~ 90 g IG per dose. My hmo paid 100% at (I'm told) $200 a gram.
After IG I experienced immediate benefit, with slow energy and strength gains for up to three months. No negative side effects, although I did feel a bit queazy, and the illness made me feel like death warmed over.
But despite their temporary/partial strength benfits, they could not keep me from full blown relapses.
Once I began IV antibiotics (paying out of pocket) my HMO didn't need to offer me IG.
I came close at times, and had I strayed from IV and oral antibiotics, I could have gone back on IG. But IV antibiotics worked so much better, I didn't want to go back on IVIg.
Ironically, the HMO paid BTM (big time $) for IV IG but not for IV antibiotics.
Then a Univ of Pitt study posted here told of a man whose Lyme was allegedly cured by 5 days on IVIG. I emailed the article's author but got no reply. (Does anyone know what ILADS says about IG?)
So I don't know if IG + antibiotics is better than IG alone, or if "enough" IG will send a Lymite "over the top".
IG boosts the immune system, which might help root out and kill the bugs. The dose I received kept me from being put on a vent machine, but was not sufficient to cure me.
OMT (one more thing): IG is a human blood product so there is a slight possibility of blood borne viruses such as Hep B, C or HIV. Is not to be taken lightly. But I don't know of a single instance where anyone traced a virus to an IG infusion. It seems a small window of opportunity for a nasty virus.
Then again, maybe the bad viruses and the bad tick borne bugs would duke it out, and kill off each other.
A pharmacy here offers oral IG, which I took for a while, and which offered a lessor but noticable strength gain. But those pills were AWFULLY expensive, and their benefit was short lived.
Please keep us posted.
[This message has been edited by Neil M Martin (edited 10 August 2004).]