Head about to EXPLODE on Antibiotic, can someone tell me if this is Normal and what to do about it ?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 12/5/2008 10:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Just started Amoxacillin 1500mg three times per day. Had some kind of chemical relief after the first dose whith many CNS symptoms abated, but today, OMG... My head has been hurting more today after the 2nd dose than it has all along. My Eyes feel like there gonna pop out of my head. I have this weird sensation in the front part of my brain, I can't explain it, but it is very uncomfortable and almost gives me the feeling like I want to cry, but at the same time my head hurts about a 20 over 10 on a 1-10 scale. I'm scared to take a Percocet because I tend to narcotic headaches and I can't make this any worse. In fact, if it gets any worse, I'm sure I'll wind up in the ER. I just took my 3rd dose tonight and skipped the 2nd dose due to the symptoms.

I'm reading about the toxin build up you get with the antibiotics and I'm wondering if this is whats happening so soon. I can't believe how things let up yesterday after the first dose and how terrible things have gotten today after the 2nd dose. I'm going to bed and will see how bad the 3rd dose attacks me. How do you deal with this pain. I'm a stoic guy, which means I can tolerate higher levels of pain than most people, but this is ridiculous.

Thanks in advance...

Gary E. BSN, RN

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 1161
   Posted 12/6/2008 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
That is a nice dose of amoxicillin. I used to do about 6000mg about 2 years ago. I did the 6000mg for about a year and it was a great drug for lyme in combo with biaxin. So many people on here preach toxin build up this and toxic build up that. I don't think people realize how natural many of these antibiotics really are. Most of them are actually produced from bacteria. If you had been doing it for a year or two straight then maybe i'd think of toxin build up. Die off toxins are of a concern but this is just the beginning for you. Cutting your dose in half or less for a few weeks is a good idea if the herx becomes intolerable. Try 1500mg per day for the first week or two and increase to 3000mg etc as the weeks go by.
This is most likely a herx. An allergic reaction is of concern but that almost always comes in the form of skin rashes/swelling and throat issues. You are or were a nurse, i think you know what i'm talking about. Most lyme dr's start people on low doses of weaker antibiotics because to be honest, they don't want to be bugged in the middle of the night with a phone call when people call them thinking they are being poisoned or dying but it is actually a herx. If you ever wondered what we were talking about when we speak of a herx, you should most likely know now. If you wonder if you are even infected with something, i think this should put that speculation to rest. Hang in there it will get better as each week or month goes by. You have to walk through hell to make it to the other side when it comes to the infamous lyme and co-infection treatment.  

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/6/2008 11:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gary,

I had insane headaches like this too when I first started treatment. Actually, mine were pretty bad even before I started treatment. By the time I got a diagnosis I had a 24/7 headache that never dipped below 7 out of 10 on the pain scale. It definitely jumped WAY above 10 after that... When I herxed it would feel like it was totally a 20 on a 10 point pain scale. I'm still herxing pretty bad, but my headache is getting a lot better now that I'm treating the Babesiosis (I have Lyme, Bartonella, Babesiosis, and probably Erlichea... I've only tested positive for the Lyme and Bart officially but the MASSIVE herxes I've been having since treating the Babs suggest I've had this one for a long time). Do you know if you have any coinfections? Have your MRIs or CT Scans shown any lesions or cysts (I read you had the tests done in your other post)? I found magnesium and fatty acid both helped my head symptoms... not overnight, but when I skipped them the headache definitely got worse. The biggest relief I got from the headache was treating the co-infections. I also used to sit in front of a fan or the air conditioner when my brain felt like it was on fire and that helped. But phsinvent has the best advice... all you can really do is hang in there and trust this is proof you've got something to kill and that you're killing it.

I'm somewhat of a lurker on this board. I've been more active on another one and I'm still getting my feet wet here. But I saw your post about the Lyme chat and the Lyme networking site, and I joined. Thanks for starting the thread!

p.s. I just recently read something about ammonia build up in the brain during herxes. I don't know anything about it yet, but maybe that's something to research while you're at it?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 12/7/2008 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gary,
I also had terrible headache when I first started abx - it is one of my primary symptoms. I was taking huge amounts of Imetrex for migraine before I was diagnosed which helped relieve the pain but when I was herxing on the abx there was no relief. I also got chills, vertigo, ataxia and strange muscle spasms. and cramps.
The good news is that the abx is doing a great job of killing the bacteria. You can lower you dose if you need to.
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