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Please help - Can antibiotics interfere with blood test results? (Lupus...
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Please help - Can antibiotics interfere with blood test results? (Lupus, Lyme, RA, Epstein Barr)

I am in a confusing situation. I had a root canal that got really infected. Although I started antibiotics and was on them for a month, the infection continued to spread, went into my jaw, and made me very sick. A doctor thought it was the antibiotics making me sick, so he took me off them for 6 weeks. During that time the jaw infection spread - it went into my lymph glands around my head/neck, and I became bedridden for 4-6 weeks - during the worst of it I had trouble even walking or talking. I had constant fever, and the most horrible waves of painfully severe flu-like illness, and during the highest fevers I had mental confusion and memory loss. At one point I thought I was dying. Finally an oral pain specialist said I'd probably been on the wrong antibiotics for the kind of infection I had and put me on clindamycin. In 2 weeks on it I was feeling MUCH better, and the infection felt dramatically reduced. He usually works with TMJ (which I don't have) and infections are not his specialty, so he said I should follow up with a doctor in internal medicine.

I saw an internal medicine doctor. She insisted I had lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or some other autoimmune disorder because she didn't think a dental infection could spread like that and make me that sick for so long. She insisted I had to go off the antibiotics (even though the infection wasn't 100% gone) for 2 weeks in order to get blood tests for: Lupus, Lyme, Epstein Barr, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. She said otherwise the test results would not be correct, and would be tainted by the antibiotics. She spoke to my dental specialist and convinced him I needed to do this.

Reluctantly, I went off the antibiotics. Within 4 days the infection came back full force, and I was sick all over again, and became so ill I almost went to the ER. It literally felt like my body was tanking with bacteria, that's the only way I can explain it. My fever spiked, the infection was excruciating again in my jaw, and I also started having weakness and heat in my heart. I went back on the antibiotics, and was never able to get those blood tests because I wasn't able to stay off the antibiotics for the 2 weeks. When I did go back on the antibiotics, they didn't seem to work as well as they had the first time.

Then I went and saw an infectious disease doctor, and although I was still on the clindamycin, she tested me right away for autoimmune problems with an ANA test and tested all my immunoglobulins (?). Everything came back normal/negative. She did not think I had to go off the antibiotics for accurate results. She does not think I have an autoimmune disorder, she thinks I had a horrible dental infection that was allowed to spread because I wasn't on the right type of antibiotics. She put me on Augmentin, and I am already feeling better within 2 days of it. I am supposed to take it for 1 month, because she said it was a very deep infection. She said the reason I didn't respond well to the clindamycin when I went back on it was because going off it mid-infection/mid-treatment created a situation where I had started to get resistant to it. Anyway, right now on the Augmentin I am feeling better!

But - the other doctor keeps calling me telling me I HAVE to go off the antibiotics to get CORRECT test results, and is being very persistent about this, to the point it's really starting to stress me out. She's also called my oral pain specialist (they know each other) and now he's also calling me telling me to go off the antibiotics for the tests.

I felt like the infection became life-threatening again when I went off the antibiotics. I told this to her, but she doesn't understand/believe me I guess. I suggested I could even go into the hospital and go off the antibiotics there, and have the tests done while I was being monitored by someone just in case I got extremely ill again, but she said that was not necessary, and I just needed to stay off them and I would be fine. My whole family was like no way you're going off antibiotics again, and I agree.

So which doctor is right? I was happy that the blood test results came back showing no immune system problems, but now this other doctor has me all worried about it again. I'm going to see an oral surgeon next week, but I just want to feel better about this whole thing. I've been so confused and bounced around, I just want to make sure I'm on the right track with the Augmentin (which it seems like I am - hopefully!).

I have not had any joint swelling or pain of any kind. I don't know why this doctor thinks it's lupus or RA , but she insists it could be these diseases actually causing the infection. Which I also don't understand because I had a root canal procedure that went bad - prior to this I was healthy and normal.

Thank you for any info/input!!!
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13 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
This is what I can definitely say from experience.  I believe your infection was caused by being at the dentist.  When I went to the dentist, I ended up with a sinus infection.  I didn't realize that's what it was.  Went to the doctor and they said you probably have TMJ--but I didn't.  I wanted to try the antibiotics and then I went back to the dentist and he said it looked like a sinus infection.  So I told the doctor that and I got on antibiotics.  They started working and I asked for another refill and they refilled the prescription again.  So after a month of antibiotics it completely went away and never had the infection again.

If you stop an antibiotic while it's in the middle of it, it can definitely come back.  But the biggest thing you need to do is stay on the antibiotic and this doctor who's telling you to stop it is not doing the right thing.  If you have an infection, it will only spread.  Do not even bother with blood tests till this is gone.  There's no need to get tested until your infection is gone.  I don't know why this doc is saying at this point you have to be tested right now.  Even if you wait a month, then just get tested then.

                                           Postie
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Avatar_f_tn

Wow... if you are feeling better on the antibiotics, I don't know why any physician would suggest that you stop taking them. Perhaps after you finish the course of antibiotics... you can see how you feel and then follow-up with both of these physicians ?

And what your other physician should look into... (my opinion) is that they are finding out that successive infections can and do cause these "autoimmune" conditions.

My .002 cents.



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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you SO much, oh my gosh I know it was such a long post and I am SO grateful for your replies. I really needed to hear this today, especially.

Today, that doctor phoned my oral pain specialist AGAIN, and he left a voice mail yelling at me, telling me he was marking in my chart that I was refusing to follow doctors' orders and had been "forewarned extensively" and that if I wasn't going to go off the antibiotics and do what they were saying to do, they had no choice but to refuse to treat me anymore. It made me sick to my stomach with stress. I've done nothing but follow doctors' orders, and I'm still sick 4 months later. Even so, I was still willing to follow this dr's orders, but only if I can be monitored in a hospital when I go off the antibiotics, since the whole "dying/toxic" feeling came back so harshly when I went off the antibiotics before. I was so crushed, I can't believe a doctor would call a sick patient and yell at them. The worst of it is he doesn't even know anything about infections, or autoimmune disease, he's a TMJ specialist. He's just basing it all on what that one doctor is telling him.

Aside from that, OK, now I am feeling better about it .... That's what I was wondering, even if God forbid I did have an autoimmune disease, what would knowing that now change with my treatment? I don't know anything about autoimmune diseases so I just didn't know if it would hurt me to stay on the antibiotics if I did have an autoimmune disease. But I think an infection near my brain would take precedence over whether or not I had an autoimmune problem, to at least get it under control. But I don't know because I'm not a doctor.

Thank you sooooo much.
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149081_tn?1242401432
What a serious issue this is. Untreated infections could become sepsis ( go throught your whole blood stream) and cause serious injury to you. Shame on those doctors for not recognizing this. My statement to those doctors who insist you stop your antibiotics and yell at you for this would be " If I end up hospitalized due to your mistakes there will be one serious medical malpractice suit".

Per my allergist -dental infections can cause what appear to be auto-immune attacks. Your body is fighting with an infection therefore everything goes haywire. Treat your infection first then follow up to see if there is an auto immune disorder.

Best Wishes~
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Avatar_f_tn

scarlet --- you hit the nail on its head ! The research treatment that has helped me and the one I'm currently on (natural) that is still helping me is treating the stealth pathogens involved with my illness (CFS) and people who have autoimmune conditions. Some of the success stories are AMAZING. If anyone here is interested google, "Garth Nicholson" and read his research online and google "The Roadback Foundation" for just a few of the many patient testimonials.

Best,

PlateletGal
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484160_tn?1343401521
Oh my God!  The first thing that comes to my mind is to fire them all!  I cannot believe that any doctor would tell you to not complete a course of antibiotics.  Especially when you have already tried with such disastrous results.  I believe I would file a complaint on the internal medicine specialist.  Try to get a referral to a rheumatologist if they suspect an autoimmune problem.  I had a rheumatologist that I felt was incompetent so I fired him.  Just because they graduated med school does not mean they are a good doctor.  Doctors are human beings and as such are fallible.  Good luck to you.  I hope you find the answers you need.
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484098_tn?1259531132
STAY ON THE AUGMENTIN, AND TELL THE DOC THAT WANTS YOU OFF THEM TO STOP CALLING YOU OR YOU WILL HAVE TO FILE HARASSMENT CHARGES AGAINST HER.  NO DOCTOR IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WITH PROPER TRAINING WILL TELL YOU TO STOP YOUR ANTIBIOTICS WHEN THEY ARE DOING GOOD THINGS FOR YOU.  THE AUTOIMMUNE TESTING NEVER HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT AWAY, AS THERE IS LITTLE THEY CAN DO TO MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER ANYWAY, AND THERE IS NO CURE.  SO WHY RUSH, UNLESS THIS DOCTOR IS JUST HOPING FOR THE PAYMENTS THAT COME FROM WORKING ON A PATIENT LONG TERM.  I WOULD TURN HER IN TO THE MEDICAL BOARD, OR WHOEVER SEE'S OVER THEM.  SHE IS OFF HER ROCKER!  
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591808_tn?1218931854
I totally agree with zmombomb I have dueling autoimmune disorders and in 3 or more years all any one, specialists included have been able to do is diagnose the conditions and start the long haul through NSAIDs My rheumatologist (who is the big gun in the state) told me point blank "there are no rheumatological emergencies" I have had a staph infection in my blood stream though (infected from a Dr. office) and that WAS an emergency. If you do go off antibiotics make sure that the FIRST fever you spike higher than 102 you do go into a hospital and contact an attorney (in these type of cases if they can take them they will do it without money from you). Now to be the Devil's advocate, finish your antibiotic round and don't get more, if you take them properly you should be well, or at least go see a different doc and get checked out first, there are some infections and some bodies that will be held at bay by antibiotics but not FIXED so the infection still exists it just is kind of lying in wait for the antibiotics to stop so it can reemerge. I'm a classic for this and when I get a healthy infection going on it always seems like I go through a course of oral antibiotics get almost totally well and then when the round is over it comes raging back so I have to go in for a series of shots or a hospital stay where I get IV antibiotics and then get better. I've definently learned to follow my script directions to the T and watch for continued infection signs. By the way Staph infections are very COMMON from dental work and are SUPER HARD TO KILL and totally DANGEROUS, like kill you dangerous, and quick. If you feel toxic from an infection I say RUN to the hospital, after putting mine off and getting endocarditis and having my lungs bleed out I'll never wait again.
Just a thought
And report those PSYCHO DOCTORS, you are always entitled to a second third fourth fifth opinion!
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591808_tn?1218931854
PS I hope you are already better!
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Avatar_n_tn
hello I have been dealing with the same kind of issue. I had a few infected teeth while prego and decided to wait till after the baby to get treatment. I had the baby became busy and never went back. After about a year the pain was too much I went the the dentist. I had root canals then APICO then teeth pulled, no releif. Then a cat scan then a bone biospy, I was diagnosed with osteomyletis of the upper jaw. It is a nightmare the pain the treatments, IV antibiotics. If you are loosing weight and not getting releif you should have a cat scan to rule it out.
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1727541_tn?1309881328
Hi Bee
I read through the thread carefully. When I saw your symptoms my jaw dropped on the floor !
Everything you describe fits the lymes disease profile perfectly. You have mirrored my symptoms exactly and having read this http://www.truthaboutlymedisease.com/  and seen a variety of doctors (who know nothing about lymes disease) I would put most of my money on this being the source of your problem.
Don’t think this is just from a tick bite..you can get it from kissing or sexual contact. You can even get it through the food chain from an infected cow, sheep, chicken etc. You can be born with it!
AND THIS IS NOW OFFICIALLY THE WORLDS LARGEST AND FASTEST GROWING DISEASE
Strongly urge you to read this web page from a long sufferer and especially her symptoms.
HOPE YOU ARE FEELING BETTER AFTER THE ANTIBIOTICS?
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Avatar_f_tn
I wish I could post pics on this forum.  I'd post some dental xrays I got about a year ago.  Up around each ear was a god-awful pocket of mycoplasma and from those pockets lines of them running to my teeth.  The greedy little parasites where reaching out to get what was trapped between my teeth, and perhaps minerals and other nutrients from the teeth themselves!  This wasn't the first time the pockets had been noted.  When I got my impacted wisdom teeth extracted courtesy of the USAF in the late 70's one got infected.  The dentist was fascinated by the fact that he could literally milk pus out the now empty socket. He even called another dentist in to look at it.

On another note, taking antibiotics if you have no infection can be harmful.  My mother was on penicillin for over 20 years.  A metabolite of penicillin causes the excretion of copper, you should see what those 20 years of low copper has done to my little mother!
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Avatar_m_tn
I just had to add my 2 cents in. !. I became very sick very suddenly. My From approximately 3p.m. to 5:30 p.m. my jaw, nose, neck swelled and was very painful. I thought it might be teeth or sinus. I went to the dentist and they were closed ending up in the urgent care facility at 5:45-That doctor gave me an antibiotic that would take care of teeth or sinus problems. Much more pain and swelling by morning. I went to the dentist-had x-rays and tested all my teeth. Negative. The dentist noticed a sore in my nose and said I had an infection. I went to and ENT the next day and he said that the medicine I was on would probably help!  That I had an inflamed nose hair. My instincts were this doesn't spread so quickly from a nose hair! Red flag! I went to another ENT the next day and he said wrong medicine I had MRSA and was put on clyndamycin. This doc said I would feel better in 48 hours. My first pill was taken at noon on Wednesday. 11:30 that night I was out of bed, feeling better, and hungry. The rest is history.
Recommendation - follow your instincts that you have something going on! Fire the butchers that are following you, calling you, harassing you to believe that you are imagining what is happening to you. You know your body. Follow your instinct and fine a doctor that will help you!

2nd thought. Listen to lymesexpert. I am at the point now of being treated for lyme disease, though 4 test have come back negative. The symptoms you have mimic lyme infection. They also mimic autoimmune disease-RA, mental confusion, joint pain and so many more. Look up Lyme disease and you will find plenty of information on this topic. You need to find an LLMD (Lyme Literate Doctor). I was bitten 14 months ago, went right to the doctor the docotor the next day. They gave me 2 doses of pills to take-should be 4-6 weeks of treatment!  Eight months ago I started getting odd things happening to me. It felt like bugs were crawling around my ankle but it was inside. That went away and a month later it was my shin then gone. Then a month later more.Finally in month 8 I had severe burning joint pain that kept me up at night, mental confusion, had flu like symptoms-severe chills and shaking. All symptoms would go away then come back worse. I'm on 1 month of intravenous treatment with antibiotics.. After this there will be another type of treatment. The treatment takes about a year, from what I'm told. I continually feed myself yogurt and life cultures to try to restore the good bacteria that the medicine may be killing. It's crazy but lymesexpert is correct that experts agree that  THIS IS NOW OFFICIALLY THE WORLDS LARGEST AND FASTEST GROWING DISEASE!  Good luck!
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