Friday, November 15, 2019

Disulfiram, disulfiram and Monurol?


Perhaps, when the  history of Lyme disease is told at some future date, it will be divided into the pre-and post-worlds of disulfiram.  Maybe since Antabuse is not classified as an antibiotic, the IDSA will back off, who knows.  


The drug seems to be amazingly effective for so many patients. Still, it’s not for everyone.  Some patients tolerate relatively high doses of the drug out of the gate; for the most part, is better start low and gradually increase the dose as many patients do not tolerate high doses.  The effective dose is unknown.  250 mg may be effective for  many patients (not 500 mg).


Patients have had a hard time finding the drug, scouring pharmacies across the continent.  A patient I saw today did incredibly well after 6 weeks of therapy.  Then, she could not find any more drug and symptoms returned with a vengeance.  She is now well stocked from an overseas pharmacy. With nearly 30 years of disease, the majority of her life, she suffers with POTS, EDS and MCAS – and chronic pain.  Antabuse is not going to fix everything.  I continue to enjoy excellent success managing pain without opioids. 


Antabuse for most patients may not be a quick fix.  But it’s effectiveness is undeniable and it is quickly changing the game.


Elevated liver function tests are common.  Frequently the drug can be stopped for several days until labs normalize and tolerated at a lower dose without budging liver numbers. Liver function tests in excess of 3 times the upper limit of normal (120ish) should be of immediate concern.  
Another novel therapy been very effective for 1 of my patients.  Fosfomycin, Monurol is a 3 g powder is typically used for urinary tract infections.  It also works very well against Lyme persister.  With a typical UTI the dose is a single 3 gm packet. The drug has a prolonged duration of effects, about 48 hours, despite a short half-life:  it continues to work because of its PAE (post antibiotic effect). A current patient is responding beautifully to twice weekly dosing along with doxycycline and Zithromax – Zithromax combined with Mepron for Babesiosis. 


There are more great and effective options than ever before, including IV daptomycin. 


I am accepting new patients with Lyme (and coinfections) and a host of other conditions: PANS, POTS, CVID, CIDP, EDS, MCAS, CFS, FMS, neuropathic and central pain syndromes, headaches and chronic, mysterious difficult to diagnose ailments. 


I offer blood Giemsa staining screening for active Babesia infection:  Lab CLIA approved and certified by College of American Pathologists.

Blogging about Lyme and related topics since 2008.

3 comments:

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Jen said...

When I was prescribed Disulfiram by a different physician I gradually began having some minor hallucinations and thought that perhaps I had a brain tumor. I saw gray shadow figures at first and then full color hallucinations. I wish my physician had been following my care more closely. It took me three months to realize that the disulfiram was most likely causing my horrible symptoms. As soon as I stopped the disulfiram all hallucinations were gone within three days. Have any of your patients experienced hallucinations? Does this mean I should never take disulfiram again or is there still hope that it may treat my Lyme Disease?