Disulfiram for Lyme and Babesiosis Treatment: Retrospective 3 yr Review

Dr. Kenneth Liegner, MD
Dr. Kenneth Liegner, Co-author

In a retrospective review on the use of Disulfiram as a repurposed drug in the treatment of Lyme and Babesiosis, most patients experienced benefits with regard to their symptoms. It was found that although patients on high dose experienced higher risk for adverse reactions than the low dose patients, they were also more likely to show “enduring remission” which is defined as remaining clinically well for ≥6 months without further anti-infective treatment. Adverse reactions from disulfiram treatment observed in the high-dose group were fatigue (66.7%), psychiatric symptoms (48.5%), peripheral neuropathy (27.3%), and mild to moderate elevation of liver enzymes (15.2%).  It was also found that patients with co-infection of babesiosis and bartonellosis tended to require higher doses of disulfiram to achieve clinical improvement of their symptoms.

The authors concluded that disulfiram monotherapy is useful in the treatment of Lyme disease through individualized and flexible approach with shared decision-making with patients. They also suggest that further study and treatment trials seems warranted. This article was co-authored by Dr. Kenneth Liegner, LLMD, who serves on the LDA Scientific and Professional Advisory Board.

Read review here: Gao, J.; Gong, Z.; Montesano, D.; Glazer, E.; Liegner, K. “Repurposing” Disulfiram in the Treatment of Lyme Disease and Babesiosis: Retrospective Review of First 3 Years’ Experience in One Medical Practice. Antibiotics 20209, 868.

Dr. Kenneth Liegner Interview with ‘Disulfiram for Lyme Support Group’