Hmm. Others can speak to this better than I, but I think it's prescription meds that are used against biofilms. That's what my doc prescribed, and I never asked otherwise.
There is tindamax and Flagyl. Then there are naturals, grapefruit seed essential oils or capsules.
lumbrokinase is one - it helps break down biofilm and makes your antibiotics more effective at killing the germs.
Yes, it was Flagyl that I took. Worked fine.
From what I understand, Flagyl or Tindamax do not dissolve biofilms. These two drugs are helpful for breaking up the cyst forms, also known as "round body" forms of Borrelia. (When the spirochetes feel the need to defend themselves against antibodies or antibiotics, they'll curl up into these round forms/cysts. Flagyl and Tindamax do a good job of getting them out of the round form and back into spirochete form so that a spirochete-killing antibiotic and antibodies can then kill them.
Biofilms are different, though. They can have multiple pathogens in them as well as heavy metals and other toxins. Very few antibiotics are known to penetrate them. A recent biofilm study at Yale showed that the bacteria inside a biofilm are about 1000x as antibiotic resistant as free floating bacteria in the blood.
I do remember one paper from several years ago (could be out of date already) that said the only antibiotic class known to penetrate biofilms is fluoroquinolones (Levaquin, Cipro, et.al.), which is probably why Levaquin is used so much for UTIs. (UTIs are well known to make biofilms, resulting in stubborn and relapsing infections.) Levaquin is often good for treating Bartonella. I felt noticeably better on it, but then developed tendon pain and had to stop.
These drugs now have a black box warning due to their tendency to damage tendons. Makes sense to me... biofilms contain collagen, which helps camoflauge the bugs from the immune system. If fuoroquinolones penetrate collagen, that could explain why they penetrate both biofilms and tendons.
From what I have read, medical and pharmaceutical researchers are still looking for something to dissolve biofilms. I read about a very recent big breakthrough at a university in British Columbia with a new compound. They successfully broke up a Staph (or was it strep?) biofilm in a mouse, something that's never been done in a scientific setting before. But it's probably at least 5 years from becoming a user-ready drug.
Biofilms get most of the blame for the treatment resistance cases of Lyme, especially the long term, entrenched cases. But since the CDC and IDSA still brush off the topic of Lyme in biofilms, I don't even know if they're doing research on it. I believe that chronic Lyme patients will benefit from a biofilm buster not because of Lyme Disease research, but because of other research into biofilms, like the promising work going on in BC.
Sorry I don't have a simple answer to your question. There are some supplements that are claimed to help break up biofilms, but I don't know if they're scientifically proven or not. I read good things about Nattokinase, so I've been taking it faithfully for several months now. You might try Googling supplements for biofilms and see what you find that you might be comfortable trying. There are some enzymes and Chinese herbs that are believed to break up biofilms and fibrin.
Just be warned that some of these supplements can result in a symptom flare (which suggest that they do indeed work in some people). Biofilms contain multiple pathogens and toxins, so you don't really know what kind of garbage will get dumped into your bloodstream all at once. Just be well prepared to detox.
It happened to me. when I first took Boluoke, I got really sick with a Babesia flair. I stopped everything for a few days before resuming most meds and supps again. But it took a month for the flair to die down before I felt like I could try the Boluoke again (in itty bitty doses, working up very slowly).
Good post, Rico. I was unaware of much of this. Thank you.
I just searched this site, and found a March 2013 thread titled, "Biofilm treatment, anyone?"
Quite interesting, not sure if it throws light on this topic or confuses the situation more. fwiw.
This is interesting. Flagyl is used by some LLMDs as a cyst buster. I've been reading about this for years.
But a just published Johns Hopkins study tried a bunch of different antibiotics against Lyme persister cells in a lab. They reported that while Doxy wiped out 95% of spirochetes in the test period, and penicillin killed 75%, Flagyl killed just under half of them. Looks like Flagyl does kill some spirochetes. (I wonder what would happen if Doxy & Flagyl were combined. Too bad they didn't test that.)
But of the persister cells, Doxy left nearly 80% alive, penicillin left about 85%, and Flagyl left over 90% alive. So in the lab, Flagyl does a poor job of killing these cyst forms. Not what I expected to read!
Maybe Flagyl is working in a different way than doctors thought. It really helps a lot of Lyme patients, so perhaps it's the combination with something else that delivers the 1-2 punch. Or maybe it needs more time to get at them.
We need more study. At least this is a start.
My LLND started me on a biofilm protocol of Lactoferrin and Xylitol. I know it sounds crazy but since starting this I've been herxing bad. I almost thought I was done with treatment until we added this:(
If you're herxing, then it means the meds are finding stuff the earlier meds didn't locate and wipe out, right? So hang in there! Sounds like progress!
Thanks for your comment. I didn't know anything about lactoferrin. In reading the wikipedia page, it has a lot of good functions to help a Lyme patient, including some antibacterial ability and immune support. It also has some anti-candida effect, and it says when combined with fluconazole (Diflucan), it works well on Diflucan strains of the yeast.
I hadn't heard of taking Xylitol, although I have taken Stevia in the past. I felt a bit crummier for the first month of taking Stevia. Later I read that Eva Sapi had seen it kill some spirochetes and cysts in the lab. I figured the extra fatigue and brain fog I had was the die off. After that eased up, it didn't seem to benefit me anymore. It seemed to have a short effectiveness.
At this point, I'm open to trying anything that is unlikely to hurt me, and has a chance of helping me.
You say above, "[Lactoferrin] also has some anti-candida effect, and it says when combined with fluconazole (Diflucan), it works well on Diflucan strains of the yeast."
Should that last part read "it works well on Diflucan-RESISTANT strains of the yeast" -- ?
My LLND said stevia works differently than Xylitol. I've been taking stevia for several months without feeling anything. I started the xylitol/lactoferrin combo last month and have been herxing ever since. Although I wouldn't want to wish this herx on anyone, if you want the recipe you can PM me:)