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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Please help. Is this a zithro herx so soon or awful side effect?

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Author Topic: Please help. Is this a zithro herx so soon or awful side effect?
eloise
LymeNet Contributor
Member # 128

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Hi everyone. My doctor thinks I may have untreated Bartonella or a return of Lyme symptoms. I was very wary of taking Levaquin and I had a strange reaction to Rifampin.

So I started Zithromax on Friday (today is Sunday). I took 250 mg in the morning on Friday and then 250 in the evening. Same for Saturday. I took Zithro for a long time in the past with no negative effects.

After my 4th dose--I took it around 6 pm--and around midnight I started having anxiety/racing heart symptoms along with a lot of burning and tingling everywhere and also pretty intense pain that moved (bottom of my foot then my hip then my hand etc).

I could not fall asleep and kept trying to slow down my racing heart which was moderately unsuccessful. After 3 or 4 hours of this, it mostly passed and I was able to sleep. This morning the anxiety feeling is gone and most of the other symptoms have much subsided.

My question is--does this sound like a herx to people? Can you herx after 2 full days? My sense is it could be. These symptoms Are exacerbations of symptoms I've already had. But can a herx last just a few hours and then subside?

Needless to say I am wary of taking another dose just now and am thinking of either skipping today or only taking 250 mg. I can call my LLMD tomorrow and see what he thinks but I've read here about pulsing.

If anyone has any experiences with this, it would be great to hear.

Thanks very much.

Eloise

[ 01-03-2010, 03:04 PM: Message edited by: eloise ]

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Stacyb
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Sounds like a herx to me.
That was my very first abx and it cause
the same symptoms with me too. It took
a while to get over it and I did take a 2 day
break when it got bad. I would think you would
need something with it to target Bart though.
Rifampin took awhile to work for me but it
was a great abx. I took it with Zith.

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eloise
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Thank you for your response. It is good to know you got over it! I did not take the zith today. That was really difficult and I have to keep working. I will ask my doctor if I can start slower or pulse it or something.

When I took one pill of the Rifampin, I had this reaction only much worse. I was very afraid to take it again and my doctor advised against it. But it is interesting to me that the reactions were somewhat similar, though different in degree. Starting slow might be the way I have to go.

Thanks for your input--I really appreciate it.

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Stacyb
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Eloise,

We are all so different so take your Dr's.
advice. I have had to take a day or so break
or start slow if an abx was making me so ill.
Make sure to detox daily. It was the key for
me to be able to tollerate taking so many abx at once. It really makes a huge difference.

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nefferdun
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It is so hard to figure out what is a herx and what is a reaction to meds or just the disease. But whenever I have started to treat bart with a new medication I get extremely anxious, do not sleep well and my symptoms get worse. After two months of Rifampin and zithro I still have hot flashes, my eyes are sore and my shins hurt. I am also depressed much of the time without much motivation to do anything. It seems to attack the emotions and mind more than anything which is why the herx's can be so emotionally overwhelming. But I am slowly getting better.

--------------------
old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

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eloise
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Hi StacyB,

Thanks again. I spoke with my doctor and he thought it sounded like a herx. So he cut me way back on the Zithro to 125 mg/day. I will do that for 4 days, then 250 mg etc. up to the full 500 mg. I am on day 4 of the 125 mg and so far, so good.

I am quite heartened about the whole thing really because a herx is such a good sign. I just couldn't live like that. So I will pay attention and ramp up slowly and hopefully this is the start of actually getting better.

What do you do to detox exactly?

Thanks,
Eloise

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LizaLu
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That'a a herx i'm sure of it. I couldnt tolerate Zith after a few weeks... I have heard if you back off the antibiotic for a few days (making sure you've taken it for at least 10-12 days to dissuade antibiotic resistance), that people somehow have an easier go after a mini-holiday from it.
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nefferdun
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You need to check out all the side affects online. This comes from drugs.com

Cardiovascular
Cardiovascular side effects have rarely included arrhythmias (including ventricular tachycardia), prolongation of the QT interval, torsades de pointes, palpitations, hypotension, and chest pain in postmarketing experience. A causal relationship has not been established.
Nervous system
Nervous system side effects have included headache, somnolence, vertigo, and dizziness in approximately 1% of patients. Hearing disturbances including hearing loss, deafness, and/or tinnitus have been reported rarely. Paresthesia, convulsions, hyperactivity, nervousness, agitation, and syncope have been reported during postmarketing experience.
Psychiatric
Psychiatric side effects have included aggressive reaction and anxiety during postmarketing experience.

--------------------
old joke: idiopathic means the patient is pathological and the the doctor is an idiot

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eloise
LymeNet Contributor
Member # 128

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I did read those possible side effects. It was just uncanny that these symptoms were just about the same as the ones I had when I took the Rifampin.

Also, now I've ramped way down and I am not experiencing any herx or side effects at all at this point.

My doctor thought it sounded like a herx.

I took Zithromax for a long time and had zero problem with it. I didn't experience this "herx" until I had taken the fourth dose.

All of these things suggest to me that it was a herx. Of course it is possible that I am wrong. But if it is a herx, you are supposed to feel better after, which I do to some extent. Also, I think I would have the side effect even at a lower dose and I am not.

Anyway, I appreciate your caution but I feel I am proceeding slowly and with caution myself. Given what my doctor has said and my history, I am going to keep trying at least for now. But will play it all by ear.

Thanks for your reply.

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