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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » ketek - dangerous?

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Author Topic: ketek - dangerous?
jaykay
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I'm supposed to take Ketek, but just read some possible side effects - liver probs/failure...death.

Has anyone had a problem with Ketek?
Is it much more dangerous than any other antibiotic?

thanks

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kim812
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I was on Ketek for a year and had no problems with it.

I had my liver enzymes checked twice a month. I also had to sign a waiver stating I knew the risks of the drug.

I know alot of docs don't like to use it because of the possible liver problems. When I went to see a LLMD he took me right off it.

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imagine2
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I personally would opt for a different drug due to an Alert that came out last year. As I recall it also affects the heart...not positive though.
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imagine2
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I personally would opt for a different drug due to an Alert that came out last year. As I recall it also affects the heart...not positive though.
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jaykay
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Thanks.

I'm just so confused because some friends are just saying to take it...that all antibiotics have risk.

But is this drug more dangerous than other antibiotics?

I have a call into my doc.

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nenet
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All antibiotics are not of equal risk, by any means. I know someone who took Ketek and was ok with it (I believe - I don't know the full details), but that doesn't mean the risk isn't still there. It is VERY difficult to get alerts and warnings put out on pharmaceuticals - they have a strangle-hold on the FDA, so I would definitely pay heed to any warnings that do get out.

You are wise to read as much as you can about any drug you are considering, before you even fill the script (saves your money that way), and if you have questions always check with a good Pharmacist too - they know a bit to a lot more about these drugs than a Doctor generally does, sicne it is their job focus.

A great site to get some reviews on meds is www.askapatient.com - you will likely see mostly negative reviews, since that's generally what people want go through the trouble to post about and warn others. That can give a good idea of the other side of the coin than just reading the Pharmaceutical company's drug info.

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"Long-Term Antibiotic Therapy Improves Persistent Symptoms Associated with Lyme Disease"

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jaykay
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Thanks. I really want a different antibiotic.

But I'm on Mepron -- and I can't take Zithro or Biaxin because it causes tinnitus.

I can take Malarone, but hard to add in another drug for Bart. (Can't take Levaquin - heart palp. Can't take rifampin with malarone/mepron.

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soleil16
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I took Ketek for a month and a half, but my doctor pulled me off of it immediately after the warning came out. He probably would have made me stop anyway because it caused such terrible headaches. I herxed tremendously on it, but the risk of liver damage was not worth it to me.
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nenet
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quote:
Originally posted by jaykay:
Thanks. I really want a different antibiotic.

But I'm on Mepron -- and I can't take Zithro or Biaxin because it causes tinnitus.

I can take Malarone, but hard to add in another drug for Bart. (Can't take Levaquin - heart palp. Can't take rifampin with malarone/mepron.

You're welcome!

What about Ceftin? I love the stuff so far, but of course your mileage may vary. I also don't know if it's contraindicated with your other meds.

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tdtid
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I too had been put on Ketek awhile back and anytime my LLMD would give me a new med, I'd come here and research it.

I figure it will often give you worse case scenario's so you atleast know what to look for.

I have to admit that I too was a little scared to take it with all I had read.

In my particular case, I had no problems with it at all. This is not saying that no one would have problems and all of our bodies respond differently.

If your doctor checking your blood levels while you are on it? Mine was checking mine weekly but I was also on IV's at the same time so not sure which med had him wanting weekly lab work.

But in my case, my kidney's and livers stayed in normal range.

I hope it works out for you. Hang in there and keep fighting.

Cathy

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jaykay
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Thanks everyone!
I still haven't made a decision...

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'Kete-tracker
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It's a strong one, Jay, but it doesn't "agree" with many. [tsk] It can elevate your liver enzymes quickly, but by how Much is dependant on the individual.

I've personally known a Couple folks that made great strides on it. [Smile] As for myself, I couldn't get up to the ILADS dosing (800mg/day) w/o lying awake all night in a 'daze'. [dizzy] It also led to a fungal skin infection "down below" after a couple weeks... and it made me feel like a bit o' "rat poison" was flowing thru my veins after only a couple Days. [shake] Fun fun!!

I herxed like Crazy only 12 or 14 hrs after the 1st dose (though my LLMD questions this).
So it beats the critters up! [Wink] But, the question is, will it affect YOU to the point that you can stay on it?

I'D suggest: Do the heart rhythm tests to verify a "Qt" less than listed in Dr B's Guidelines (MANDATORY), get some baseline liver #s & try some Ketek samples that hopefully your LLMD can lay on you (it's $$) and see how you do! [Roll Eyes]

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jaykay
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my doc said i didn't have to do a Qt test for some reason..hmmmm...
Well, i made an appt. to discuss with doc tomorrow.
Maybe i'll try something else.
I will ask for IV again.

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tickbattler
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I was asking DR. J (pediatric LLMD) about it and he said he has used it in teens and it is fine so long as you get certain heart tests done.

I didn't get the details but the only risk he mentioned was the heart issue. He said as long as this test was done before taking it and then again after a few days on it, it is fine to take. Sorry I don't have the details but your LLMD perhaps may know which test to have done.

tickbattler

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jarjar
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I remember minimonkey that use to post here was taking it a couple of years ago and was taking liver test every month and was claiming liver damage. But then again you have some people say not problem with it.
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duke77
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I took ketek for 6 months years ago before the warnings came out. I was also taking the herb milk thistle at the time and my liver always checked out okay. Don't know if the risk is worth the reward though. I seemed to do better with mino, doxy, and biaxin.
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'Kete-tracker
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jay,
The only thing I can think of is he/ she had a recent EKG to refer to already & had done the legwork (calculted interval measurements).

But, NO, you Don't start on telithromycin unless your intervals are acceptable (Qt not too long).
After you start on it, your Qt often lengthens some. If it is too long you can have partial or even total "heart block", where the heart muscles beat out of sync, resulting in... well, you can surmise!

Still, there's the argument that "going IV" presents greater risks. A good point. So, there you go.

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jaykay
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geez, i can't figure this out.
i guess i'll find out at my appt. tomorrow.
maybe claforan IM???

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'Kete-tracker
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If yo're going to go intra-muscular, I'd just go w/ the Bicillun LA along with flucanazole in the background (every few days). MAYBE add oral zith.

Im not familiar w/cefotaxime (Claforan) other than IV. I know it can be done.
(Ya know, I always wondered why LLMDs up here in the northeast preferred Rocephin over Claforan, what with the gall bladder issues the former can cause.)

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jaykay
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OK, not doing the ketek.
going to try claforan IV.

Posts: 67 | From New York | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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