Babesiosis Treatment....and success

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babs123
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/20/2009 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I am seven weeks into treatment for Babesiosis with mepron and zithromax.  I'm also fairly new to the discussion group.  I've had Lyme for 11 years.  I tried the mepron treatment with another antibiotic (can't remember name but I had to take it 3 times a day--clyndimiacin?) winter 2008.  I only lasted 10 weeks.   Even though I've been herxing most of the past 7 weeks, with the zithromax I'm tolerating it better.  I read several of your discussion links over the past couple of years and my herx symptoms sound like what many of you post--nausea, sweats, chills, temperature, aching all over, headaches, no energy, etc., etc.  Also my "hurting hair" is much worse on the treatment!  My doctor, a specialist in Kansas City, MO, wants me on the treatment 9-12 months. My questions:  
Has anyone completed that long of a treatment?
During treatment, at some point did you feel better?
Has anyone found that this treatment has helped them a great deal in the long run...was it a success?
Has anyone had shingles with the treatment?
Thanks....Barb in PA

ticker
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 5/20/2009 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Barb, welcome to the board!

I am sorry you have been sick for so long.  Do you have other co-infections?  What doses of Mepron and Zithromax are you taking?

Babesiosis can often be hard to eradicate, and it is not unusual to need repeated treatment.  I believe that four months is the minimum treatment time, but longer treatment is typically needed.  Some people feel bad during treatment, but once the infection is eradicated they feel much better.

I have heard of others with Lyme getting shingles.  I think it may be because the immune system is weak.

Good luck with your treatment!


babs123
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/23/2009 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Ticker...
I'm on 1 tsp. of mepron twice a day and 1-500 mg Zithromax.  I've had to really work at making sure I'm eating some fat with the mepron (we've become such a "fat-free" culture).  Then I saw on some of the older posts where a woman always used a spoonful of peanut butter when taking mepron....which was good idea for me as I like peanut butter:)  As for other co-infections, I've been treated for Bartonella and microplasm ______...can't remember that one.  The Bartonella was about a month treatment with a special antibiotic which I had a pretty severe reaction to.
 
I'm ready to start my 9th week...I thought it was about twice that till I count in on a calendar...sure seems like twice that!   I've begun to have a few days where I'm not completely wiped out with side-effect and herxes.  My doctor has found a lot of people at the 3-4 month line seem to show real improvement.  Does that prove out with any of you?
 
I'm still curious to know if there is anyone out there that found extensive Babesiosis treatment (after extensive Lyme treatment) made a significant difference in their health. 
 
I hope all of you have a restful healthy holiday.  Barb in PA

minerals
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 943
   Posted 5/23/2009 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I was on Mepron for a total of 2 years. After 1 year I thought I was better so stopped. However after only a few months the symptoms were back. Treated again for another year then stopped to treat bart for 6 months. Now guess what? I am back treating babs. I wish I had better news for you. I can say that it does get better but it is vvvvverrrrrrrrrry slow! Hang in there and keep at it. 3 years ago I was dragging my entire left side, had blinding headaches and a stiff neck that wouldn't quit---among many other symptoms. Now I am 75% better--some days I think 85%. When the symptoms come back you need to treat! Blessings
DX. LYME  7 /03 -I believe I 've had it since 1985- 
oral doxi, amoxi 6 months. Have been bitten 2x since                  
Developed many chemical & food sensitivities& Allergies to many Suppliments
Swollen Burning tongue/lips
Hashimotos Thyroiditis
DX. Babsiosis 4/07 -Malerone 2 wks, Mepron & Azithromax 6 mos. 
Armour Thyroid
Probiotics are a MUST   
Almost died from 3 doses of Plaquanil 12/07
IV Rocephin began 12/4/07
Bactrim began 1/22/07
Stopped Rocephin 3/04/08
DX Micoplasma
Mepron, Azithrommax, Rafampin 5/29/08
Stopped Rifampin began Bactrim and zithro 6/2/08
stopped Mepron 7 22/08
switched from bactrim to levaquin and had bad reaction to levaquin
began Mepron again till Nov, then began Malerone
began Rifampin and Minocycline 9/08
modified cowden protocol 3/09
Outstare The Darkness--The Light Will Come!


pcpc
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 5/24/2009 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Dr Zhang believes that Babesia is the most difficult to eradicate but believes that it  is posible.  I agree.
 
The minimum for using Mepron/Azithromycin (I think this is the best antibiotic combination) is 4 months- you need to give it through out the life of a red blood cell as the Babesia live inside red blood cells like Malaria.  If you give it shorter than this you will not kill Babs that are hanging out inside red blood cells.  Now, having said this,  there can be some drug resistance.  Using Artemesinin in addition to these antibiotics is necessary and not toxic.  When I treated my Babesia I used Mepron and Azithromycin with Artemesinin 300 mg 3x/day for 5 months.  I also used Cowden herb, Enula (10drops twice daily). (Starting slwoly with herbs as you will herx).
 
Babesia dieoff was horrible- vertigo, headaches from hell, sweats, nausea.  Mepron is toxic to the pancreas and gall bladder so be sure your doctor checks your liver function and amylase.  My liver function was fine throughout but my amylase rose  and this was associated by nausea and low grade pancreaitis.  Noone knows for sure how long you should stay on the Mepron/Azithromycin- I would guess 5-10 months? Eventually it canbecome too toxic (nausea/abn blood tests...)  I developed an aversion to it when it became too much for my body so I do believe in following your GUT, literally.
 
Eventually the headaches, dizziness, and vertigo improved....it took about 5 months.  I stilll had night sweats and mood problems (Bartonella).  After 5 months I was able to stop Mepron, but I stayed on Artemesinin, Enula, and Azithromycin.  (I am on Azithromycin for my Bartonella and Mycoplasma).  I plan to stay on herbal treatment of Babesiosis for 2 years at least.  This is a mistake that I think many people make- stopping a coinfection treatment too soon.  Once antibiotics have knocked it down I would urge people to continue on nontoxic herbal treatments (Artemesinin and Enula...).  I do not have any Babesial symptoms anymore.  I am making good progress now on Bartonella treatement.  It is hard (?impossible) to treat Bart or Lyme without getting Babesia under control. 
 
One thing I learned is that if you are unable to tolerate the Mepron/Azithromycin because of die-off consider switching to Bactrim for a couple of months as it will treat Bartonella and keep Babesia from growing.  Bartonella, if more dominant, can make Babeisa worse and vice versa.  Some people need Bart treatment (levaquin or rifampicin) before Babesia (though I would always treat Babs first).............I hope this is clear.  I absolutely believe this disease is CURABLE if done systematically with combined treatmetns.  The secret is not to give up or stay on treatments that are not working for too long and to continue nontoxic, herbal therapies once signs of active infection abate.

+Lyme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1304
   Posted 5/24/2009 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
ALL of you are so amazing!! Learning about this disease ALONE is absolutely overwhelming!! HOW in the world have you learned all of this??

tickbattler
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 5/29/2009 7:44 PM (GMT -6)   
pcpc - Thanks for the info. Just curious, are you taking Zhang's artemisia or another brand of artemisinin?

My 5 year old twin boys have been taking the Allergy Research Brand of artemisinin, but some people think that Zhang's is better. What one did you use to knock out your babs?

One of my boys recently stopped his babs treatment (Mepron, zith and artemisinin) after about 8 months of treatment. I wonder if I should give him some herbs still. I never tried Enula with him. Maybe I should. He is now still on azith and rifampin for bartonella. He still has night sweats so I do worry about babs, but I know that bart can cause them too.

tickbattler

babs123
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/30/2009 8:34 AM (GMT -6)   
tickbattler
I'm not taking artemisia with the mepron and Zithromax for my Babs.  My doctor currently doesn't use them together...so can't reall give you any feedback on that.  So sorry to hear your 5-year old twins are battling babs.

pcpc
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 5/30/2009 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I am taking both forms and did so while on Meprin and Zithromax. I currently take 6 Zhang Artemesiae and 3 (100 mg ) Allergy Research. I think Zhang's is better in that he uses the extract of the active component of the Artemesinin (Artesunate). But his is more expensive- so I compromise and use both-- when I was sick with Babesia I used 6 or 9 Allergy Research but reduced it when I added Zhang in. Zhang said it is fine to use his with the antibiotics. I have NO Babesial symptoms now but plan to stay on Artemesia for 1-2 years. It is a difficult protozoa to treat.

ticker
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 5/30/2009 8:10 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Barb.  I understand the feeling of being treated twice as long as you have! 

You may want to ask your doctor about adding Artemisinin to your protocol.  I have found it helpful.  If you feel like you are not making progress, you may want to talk to your doctor about possibly increasing the Mepron dose.  Some doctors are now prescribing two teaspoons twice a day.  Of course the protocol needs to be individualized.

When I treated Babesiosis in the past, when I was done with treatment I felt significantly better. 


babs123
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/31/2009 4:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for information and encouragment for the treatment of Babs. I know my doc plans to increase the dose when I begin handling the 1tsp/twice daily. I'm still herxing a lot. When I see him again I will visit with him about adding in Artemsia at some point, so I appreciate the information on brands, etc. :)

chief #7
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 5/31/2009 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
1.  Is the Igenex coinfection test for babs the best way to determine if you have babs?  If not, what is the best test?
 
2.  What are the specific symptoms for babs?  (or most common)
 
 
 
 
Thanks,
Chief

CajunGrl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4717
   Posted 5/31/2009 7:19 PM (GMT -6)   
The more specific symptoms of babesia are fever, night sweats, fatigue, myalgia(muscle pain), and a few others but those are the most common.
2003 symptoms started
2007 Diagnosed with Lyme. Didn't start treatment.
2008 symptoms came back with a vengence.
2009 Diagnosed with Lyme plus co-infections....Babesia and Bartonella.
Illnesses:-Chronic Lyme Disease,Hashimotos Thyroiditis, Ulcers, Hypoglycemia
Medications:-Biaxin 250mg to start,Mepron,Ultram,Thyro Complex 60mg,Probiotics and supplements


ticker
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 5/31/2009 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Barb, it is good you are asking questions.  I hope your appointment goes well.

ticker
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 5/31/2009 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Chief.  Although co-infection tests are also not 100% reliable, I think IgeneX is a good place to start.  I would recommend getting at least the antibody test and the FISH test.  Have you ever been tested for them?

Although many symptoms of Lyme and co-infections may overlap, some of the hallmark symptoms for Babesiosis are

Chills

Fatigue and often excessive sleepiness

High fever at onset of illness

Night sweats that are often drenching and profuse

Severe muscle pains, especially the large muscles of the legs (quads, buttocks, etc.)

Neurological symptoms often described as "dizzy, tipsy, and spaciness," similar to a sensation of "floating" or "walking off the top of a mountain onto a cloud"

Depression

Episodes of breathlessness, "air hunger", and/or cough

Decreased appetite and/or nausea

Spleen and/or liver enlargement

Abnormal labs (low white blood count, low platelet counts, mild elevation of liver enzymes, and elevated sed rate)

Headaches (migraine-like, persistent, and especially involving the back of the head and upper neck areas)

When I have Babesiosis, besides muscle pain I also have muscle weakness.


minerals
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 943
   Posted 6/1/2009 7:29 AM (GMT -6)   
PCPC May I ask where you got you Artemesinin from? I need to order it.How much should it normally cost? Thanks for all of your info on this and other issues. Blessings
DX. LYME  7 /03 -I believe I 've had it since 1985- 
oral doxi, amoxi 6 months. Have been bitten 2x since                  
Developed many chemical & food sensitivities& Allergies to many Suppliments
Swollen Burning tongue/lips
Hashimotos Thyroiditis
DX. Babsiosis 4/07 -Malerone 2 wks, Mepron & Azithromax 6 mos. 
Armour Thyroid
Probiotics are a MUST   
Almost died from 3 doses of Plaquanil 12/07
IV Rocephin began 12/4/07
Bactrim began 1/22/07
Stopped Rocephin 3/04/08
DX Micoplasma
Mepron, Azithrommax, Rafampin 5/29/08
Stopped Rifampin began Bactrim and zithro 6/2/08
stopped Mepron 7 22/08
switched from bactrim to levaquin and had bad reaction to levaquin
began Mepron again till Nov, then began Malerone
began Rifampin and Minocycline 9/08
modified cowden protocol 3/09
Outstare The Darkness--The Light Will Come!


chief #7
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 6/1/2009 7:56 AM (GMT -6)   

Huh, thanks for the responses.  The only hallmark symptom that fits for me is " Headaches (migraine-like, persistent, and especially involving the back of the head and upper neck areas)".  I only had the basic lyme test thru Igenex.  I had always attributed the headaches to my #1 lyme symptom.  And there is light sensitivity,  some joint pain, and I had a rash (not a bullseye). 

Been treated for about 1 year as of now.  Of course since I'm not better, I'm wondering if I need to be treating babs or something else (maybe candida).   I only had the infection for 6-9 months. 

Most of your advice here tells me I need to get after my LLMD on my next visit.  Any other advice??

  Thanks, Chief

 


babs123
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/3/2009 3:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Ticker-
Excellent list of symptoms....it sounds exactly like my life. Although lyme has many of the same and I've tested positive for it (and have been extensively treated for Lyme)...until a recent diagnose of Babesia, also, I never have gotten much better (over a decade). My lyme doctor said I had one of the "highest titers" he'd seen on my Babs test....so I'm praying I'll be able to keep up the treatment...insurance keeps praying and that I improve. Thanks for everyone's support.... I'll keep you posted...Barb

ticker
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 6/3/2009 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Chief.  What did your rash look like?

Sometimes when people do not progress with treatment, it is because of an untreated co-infection.  Definitely discuss this possibility with your doctor.


ticker
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 6/3/2009 3:50 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Barb.  When I have Babs, I have the symptoms on that list plus muscle weakness. 

You may not have gotten better because the Babesiosis has not been treated.  I think it will make a big difference once you get it under control.

 

pcpc
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 6/3/2009 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I so agree with Ticker...most tests are a waste of time too. Although the FISH test for Babesiosis is best. FYI Dr J (SC) is using IV Clindamycin for persistent Babseia infections. Dr S (Maryland) is using Levaquin or Rifampicin, but if not good enough progress he is using Bactrim and attaacking Bartonella. You can not recover from Lyme till these are treated.

Minerals, I get Atemesinin from Allergy Research and Artemesiae from Zhang. I use both. I have no Babesia symptoms and haven't for many months. Now am working on Bartonella which is challenging......on IV Claforan and had an amazing first 10 days, still doing well but need more rest - I sleep in late every morning and sleep an hour after every afternoon infusion- Claforan goes right into the brain so would recommend this to anyone struggling with a lot fo mood lability (up and down) , anxiety, depression, uncontollable crying jags and persistent sweats, Rifampicin only helped partially- this is hitting it.

minerals
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 943
   Posted 6/3/2009 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
PcPc, As always than you for your insightful information.
DX. LYME  7 /03 -I believe I 've had it since 1985- 
oral doxi, amoxi 6 months. Have been bitten 2x since                  
Developed many chemical & food sensitivities& Allergies to many Suppliments
Swollen Burning tongue/lips
Hashimotos Thyroiditis
DX. Babsiosis 4/07 -Malerone 2 wks, Mepron & Azithromax 6 mos. 
Armour Thyroid
Probiotics are a MUST   
Almost died from 3 doses of Plaquanil 12/07
IV Rocephin began 12/4/07
Bactrim began 1/22/07
Stopped Rocephin 3/04/08
DX Micoplasma
Mepron, Azithrommax, Rafampin 5/29/08
Stopped Rifampin began Bactrim and zithro 6/2/08
stopped Mepron 7 22/08
switched from bactrim to levaquin and had bad reaction to levaquin
began Mepron again till Nov, then began Malerone
began Rifampin and Minocycline 9/08
modified cowden protocol 3/09
Outstare The Darkness--The Light Will Come!


ticker
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 6/3/2009 4:40 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi minerals.  As I posted on another thread, I  believe Fern's Nutrition http://www.fernsvitamins.com/Digestive/artemisinin.html  has the best price for Allergy Research (which is also Nutricology) Artemisinin.   You may want to Google it to check prices elsewhere.


chief #7
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 6/3/2009 4:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Ticker,
 
My rash was a one time event before headaches and all the other symptoms I've had.  It was splotchy red and white and located on my hands.  It lasted 3 days.  It did not itch or hurt, therefore I never went to the doctor.  ~1-2months later, I get an onset of raging head pain, light sensitivity and debilatating pain.  31 year old male with no health problems.  Never saw or found a tick, but I hike and camp all the time, twice right before the rash. 
 
6-9 months approx (infection before diagnosis)
1 year of treatment (doxy, mino, biaxin, diflucan for yeast)
 
Here I am today.  I *think* I'm slowly getting better, but dangit, I eat right, exercise, and I'm well-off compared to the other support group members I know in SD.
 
My big questions right now are, AM I ON THE RIGHT TRACK?  DO I HAVE BABS or CANDIDA YEAST OR SOME OTHER COINFECTION THAT I NEED TO BE FIGHTING (more than the basic Lyme Disease)?
 
Thanks Ticker and all,
Chief

ticker
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 6/3/2009 5:07 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi chief.  I asked about the rash just to see if it sounded like a rash that may be have been caused from a co-infection. 

I recommend trying to determine if you have untreated co-infections.  Many Lyme doctors believe they need to be treated first for Lyme treatment to be effective.

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