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Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Started by Sundance
Posted: February 13, 2011
I have psoriatic spondylitis (an autoimmune disease), and have been on prednisone and methotrexate (a chemo drug) for over 5 months (both are immune suppressant medications). I've also recently finished an unsuccessful trial with Humira (another immune suppressant med).

I've had several abscesses over the last few months. The last one was lanced and drained this week, and the culture came back positive for MRSA. I'm currently scheduled to start Remicade this week (another immune suppressant), which I think will need to be postponed.

My family doctor that drained the abscess this week wasn't too concerned about it being MRSA, and has not prescribed any antibiotics for it - just soak it in hot water 4 times a day, and apply fresh dressings. It seems to be healing up OK, but I'm very concerned about having a MRSA infection at the same time that I'm on multiple immune-suppressant medications.

Right now, prednisone is the only med that is keeping me functioning, while we are trying to find a non-steroidal med that will control the inflammation that is wide-spread throughout my body. Before starting it, the pain was so severe I couldn't even floss my teeth or walk more than 100 feet. But the prednisone is making my skin very fragile, and I keep getting infected cuts, especially on my hands.

Should I be pushing for an aggressive treatment program for my MRSA, given that I will need to take immune-suppressant medications for the forseeable future, just to be able to function on a day-to-day basis?
Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #1 by Mom in Calif
Posted: February 13, 2011 at 01:23
I am not a doctor, but I have experience with fragile skin - my son and I have a
genetic collagen problem. Aggressive use of antibiotics could make your
situation much worse, in my opinion, since it could create more resistance in the
bacteria you carry, as well as furthe imbalance your immune system. I would
look into some of the advice here on garlic and other plant- based remedies.
They work well with normal or compromised skin, and do not cause incrrased
resistance. I also would recommend a close look at your diet, if that hasn't been
directly addressed by your doctors - chemicals, additives and GMO ingredients
can lead to a constant state of low-grade allergy (inflammation) - the last thing
you need while you are trying to heal your health.
Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #2 by Nancy R
Posted: February 16, 2011 at 04:38

You need to consult with an infectious disease specialist. With your auto immune issues, it will make treating MRSA more difficult. Your family doctor may be good, but its not his area of expertise and you totally need an expert when you are trying to fight this aggressive bacteria.

Best wishes.

Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #3 by Celeste
Posted: February 19, 2011 at 22:02
I just wondered how you were doing and if you found a ID Specialist. I can't
believe they don't have you on at least two or three antibiotics. I was wondering if
you have been bathing or showering. The reason I ask is because my problem was
localized to just my back until I took a bath. Now, it has spread to my legs and
arms. I have fragile skin from being sick with an auto immune illness as well. I am
not on any treatment for my illness right now, however have been on chemo, IVIG,
Solu-medrol and lots of Prednisone. My medical history is extensive. They have
me on Batrim and doxycyline. I think the reason they can't give you the Z med is
because that is only introduced through a special arterial IV, and is only given as a
last resort. I hope this helps and I hope you are doing better. Take Care
Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #4 by Bob Anderson
Posted: February 20, 2011 at 02:21
Celeste -

You are right in that it's is not normally a good idea to take a bath in the case of MRSA infection; however, aince properly prepared garlic water kills all MRSA it comes into contact with, MRSA cannot spread in such a bath, in fact all exposed MRSA will die. What's more, MRSA cannot become immune to CRG because it kills in a different way than pharmaceutical antibiotics, which kill by blocking chemical receptors on the outer surface of the MRSA cells. Allicin in garlic water kills by penetrating right through those bi-lipid cell walls and getting inside the MRSA cells causing the cells to swell up and burst, killing them. No bacteria can become immune to that by their physical nature anymore than you or I could become immune to being blown up - it can't happen.

That's the whole reason for the garlic water baths. The allicin and other garlic chemical compounds literally soak into the skin and are taken into into the lymphatic and circulatory system - that's the way the body works. The fat-solubles go into the lymphatic system and the water-solubles go into the vascular system because they are drawn there. In both cases they kill any MRSA they encounter and the body also breaks them down and uses them to build antibodies and help strenghen the immune system.

Garlic baths are very good for MRSA patients - they make you feel better, too. You'll smell garlicky for a few hours afterward but most people who try it say it is worth it. If you catch a new outbreak early enough, it will wipe it out in its tracks.

I really recommend you read all the garlic threads on this forum, you'll be surprised what you will learn, including some people who have tried it and commented on their experiences and results.

The garlic bath acts like a giant transdermal patch that covers the whole body, including hair and scalp as frequent complete immersion is recommended.

Don't expect your doctors to know anything about garlic, it isn't taught in med school, they teach only prescription pharmaceuticals there. It is not by happenstance that those same companies contribute millions of dollars to colleges to teach about their commercial products. The med students are not taught anything about herbal or traditional medicines so they really don't know anything about them unless they discover it on their own.

It is also not coincidental that there are no FDA treatment protocols that include garlic or other herbs and so doctors are not allowed to recommend them even if they know about them.

People are on their own and an educated patient makes better decisions.

Only non-irradiated garlic works but all natural garlics work, some better than others but they all kill staph and no bacteria can become immune to CRG. Garlic is the best friend of the MRSA patient.

Using CRG externally is a lot more effective than eating it, which will not kill staph.

Learn how to use garlic, the life you save may be your own.

Good luck to you.
Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #5 by ladyk
Posted: February 20, 2011 at 18:48

Sticking with ‘one name’ on forum will serve you best…

Celeste Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA 19/02/2011 22:02:31

Celeste Re: Vaginal MRSA 19/02/2011 21:47:55

Sydney Re: does bactrim work on mrsa 19/02/2011 21:32:06

Forum Administration

Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #6 by Sundance
Posted: February 20, 2011 at 21:45
ladyk: I haven't used any other names on this forum, as this is the only thread I've participated in.

My family doctor is not prescribing any antibiotics, as the infection doesn't seem to be systemic - only localized abscesses. The abscess in my thigh is still healing. It takes forever to heal when you're on predisone!

I developed another small abscess on my finger last week, and went to the doctor to have it cultured for MRSA - which she refused to do. I wanted to know if I was a carrier, and if this was going to be an ongoing issue for me. She said we would just treat it as if it was MRSA, which in this case was to lance and drain it again, soak it in hot water 4 times a day, and keep it covered. Nothing else.

For soaking the abscess in my thigh, she had specified soaking it in a bath. I had asked her about the possibility of spreading the MRSA that way, but she insisted it would be so diluted it wouldn't be an issue. (???)

One of my medications is methotrexate, and Bactrim is contraindicated with it (it can make that chemo drug MUCH stronger, and the combination has even caused fatalities). Of course, my family doctor had already prescribed it to me last year, and I refused to take it, as I have enough problems I'm dealing with and didn't want to take the risk. She insisted it wouldn't cause any problems. {sigh} I hate changing family doctors again (I just started seeing her last year), but I'm really starting to question her competency.

It's been a week, and I'm still waiting to hear back from my rheumatologist about this issue of having MRSA, and starting Remicade. How do I know when/if it's safe to start taking it?

I have a name of an infectious disease specialist, but I feel a bit embarrassed about seeing her when I'm only dealing with an occasional abscess. But I would like to get a more professional opinion about my situation. Lord knows how long it would take to get in to see her, though.

I have a nice stock of home-grown organic garlic, so maybe I'll give that a try while I'm waiting to find out more from my doctors. Thanks so much for everyone's feedback!
Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #7 by ladyk
Posted: February 20, 2011 at 23:22
Sundance -

I have not had a chance to look at your posts, but I will.

Post #5 above is directed at individual identified, I know it wasn't you ;)

Give me a bit of time and I'll get back to ASAP.

Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #8 by Celeste
Posted: February 21, 2011 at 01:45
My sister and I apologize for using more than one name on this forum. We are both
just trying to find out all we can about the MRSA and what can be done to help me get
better. I hope the garlic water works because I plan to try it. I wish I had some home
grown garlic, I guess I can try and find some organic garlic from the store. Thank you
all for your feedback and sharing your experiences. I have lost two family members to
the MRSA and don't want to be another casualty. Respectfully, Celeste
Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #9 by Bob Anderson
Posted: February 21, 2011 at 06:22
Please let us know how the garlic did for you and how you used it.

Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #10 by ladyk
Posted: February 22, 2011 at 16:56
Sundance -

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, simply put - oral surgery is no fun at all! I have been working daily (as much as possible) on the information you have provided, so I hope this response does not come across too fragmented.

As you know there are many influencing factors concerning one’s health. Ultimately we face compromising health factor(s). In your case it appears to be psoriatic
arthritis for which you are being treated with prednisone and methotrexate… yes? Secondary immunity complications. And thirdly whenever compromising health factors impact our immune system health, opportunistic pathogens are happy to oblige by setting up hopeful residency on/in us as human host.

In my opinion… after reading your posts what comes to mind directly is a grand need to gain ‘topical’ control over MRSA bacteria. MRSA is an opportunistic pathogenic contagion, therefore it is important for you to learn all you can about cross contamination, as we know drainage from active lesion(s) can easily be cross contaminated from one site to another about the body.
You wrote:
[“…abscess in my thigh is still healing”]
[“…another small abscess on my finger”]

Additionally, as you have been advised on previous posts above… I also can not emphasis enough the importance of having an Infectious Disease specialist on your team, as this specialist holds expertise in infectious diseases of which MRSA is one. *Just as important is seeking specialist who addresses you as a whole - an important inclusion being medication and treatment re-evaluation. Oddly enough we would not have a moment of hesitation when considering ‘second opinion’ should a major repair come up in our daily lives concerning homes, cars, etc. You wrote: [“I have a name of an infectious disease specialist, but I feel a bit embarrassed about seeing her when I'm only dealing with an occasional abscess.”] A second opinion is just that (another set of eyes looking at situation), and nothing to be embarrassed about. You have a potentially serious situation should MRSA progress, best to address it before it reaches such a stage.

Other physician specialties with a focus that includes the immune system in the US
The physician specialty areas that would usually have at least a partial focus on the immune system include:
- Infectious Disease
- Allergy and Immunology
- Oncology and Hematology
- Rheumatology

You may also find this link of interest
Spondylitis Association of America

Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #11 by ladyk
Posted: February 22, 2011 at 17:02
[Before you start treatment with Remicade, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have tuberculosis or other infections.
Serious and sometimes fatal infections may occur during treatment with Remicade. Contact your doctor right away if you have signs of infection such as: fever, cough, sweating, tired feeling, or if you feel short of breath. Some infections are more likely to occur in certain areas of the world. Tell your doctor where you live and where you have recently traveled or plan to travel to during treatment.
Remicade can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
*Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are being treated with Remicade.
Using Remicade may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer such as lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) or autoimmune disorders (such as a lupus-like syndrome). This risk may be greater in children and young adults. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk.]

Has physician discussed this with you?
*Since methotrexate is a folic acid antagonist, it must be replenished by taking a 1 mg folic acid supplement daily. Folic acid supplementation should also minimize side effects associated with taking methotrexate.

Methotrexate - Dosage - Side Effects - Drug Interactions - Warnings

Important informative link
When Should Arthritis Medicines Not Be Used?

To your questions:
[“Should I be pushing for an aggressive treatment program for my MRSA, given that I will need to take immune-suppressant medications for the forseeable future, just to be able to function on a day-to-day basis?”]
Yes. In my opinion an aggressive treatment program collectively combines ‘susceptible’ antibiotic therapy affording one a time frame in which to gain control over MRSA bacteria, as over population is greatly reduced during this time. (MRSA infections left untreated often result in progression which can rapidly spiral out of control.) These areas are so important to address: Topical care maintenance. Immune support. Environmental care maintenance focusing on bacteria reduction.

Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #12 by ladyk
Posted: February 22, 2011 at 17:04

Additional information
Forum’s associated website: MRSA AMERICA & Beyond (under drop down menu) Carrier - Colonized

Nare culture - determine if you are carrier.
Lesion re-culture - determine if MRSA is only pathogen present
Don't hesitate getting ID specialist on board!

I hope this helps you Sundance. Ask the million questions, research and become knowledgeable about afflictions you are facing, as this will assist you in becoming safely proactive in your care and quality of life.

Best wishes to you, please let us know how you are getting along.

Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #13 by Sundance
Posted: February 23, 2011 at 12:38
Thanks for all the information, ladyk. It will take me a while to go through it all. Sorry you're dealing with oral surgery! That can be a real bear. Hope you heal fast.

My rheumatologist's office has decided to ignore the MRSA issue, and left me a message saying to start the Remicade as soon as my abscess heals. {sigh} I never get to talk to a live person there - I have to leave a message of their machine, their nurse gives the message to the doctor, doctor tells the nurse what to tell me, and the nurse leaves a message on my machine. Ugh!

I contacted the office of an infectious disease specialist, and they only take patients with referrals from other doctors. And neither of my doctors believe I have a problem having had a MRSA infection. Not sure what to do next. I'll have to do more reading first, I think.

Thanks for all your help!
Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #14 by ruth
Posted: February 24, 2011
There is research showing psoriasis is and autoimmune disease caused by an
intracellular retrovirus and that the MRSA bacteria can live intracellularly. Both will
benefit from DNA methylation.

The way our body keeps intracellular viruses and bacteria in check is through DNA

Many of our most useful drugs work outside the cell allowing the bacteria and viruses
to hide inside the cell. DNA methylation works on bacteria and virus inside the cell.

Methyl groups are entirely derived from the foods people eat. The nutrients needed
for methylation are SAMe, glutathione, selenium, folate, methionine, vitamin B12,
selenium, Zinc, vitamin A.

Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #15 by Wendym
Posted: March 11, 2013 at 11:37
I'm on Remicaide, for psoriatic arthritis, though haven't had it in a while(3
months). Since January I have had the pleasure of the shingles for the 2nd time in
my life, about to be 41. One of the sores seeped pus and was swabbed and found
to be MRSA. The doc told me I have to tell every one I have MRSA if I get an
infection. I was diagnosed with foliculitis and cellulitis prior to the shingles for 3
months, wondering now where to start.
Garlic baths seem obvious. Would anyone stay off Remicaide for fear of further
infections? I was given muciprocin to put in my nose 5 days per month to keep
the MRSA in check. Anyone else? I'm sick of being sick. Any other
Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #16 by Violet
Posted: April 13, 2013 at 19:37
Cervical disc removal and fusion....history of MRSA. The surgical wound
healed beautifully within 2 weeks but the pain is ferocious! Back of my
head, both arms and obviously my neck!!! They put me on Prednisone, will
that cause the MRSA to worsen? I can't take anymore of this pain.
Surgeon says the pain is caused by inflammation and also prescribed
Neurontin, which is for seizures and pain caused by shingles and herpes!
I fortunately have neither! What the heck??? If only doctors were
healers.Should I take Prednisone and Neurontin considering the side
effects? I have lost all quality of life at 40.
Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #17 by Bob Anderson
Posted: April 15, 2013 at 06:03
Violet -

You must be undergoing some terrible pain, my heart reaches out to you and hopes you get relief soon.

If the inflammation is the source of the pain, it might be possible to use garlic water baths to kill off the infection and then maybe your healing can proceed properly, if you are not allergic to garlic. You might consider looking up some of the garlic water discussions in this forum, they're quite enlightening.

The allicin in crushed raw non-irradiated garlic kills MRSA and all other bacteria on contact and a lot of people on this forum have used it to overcome their MRSA infections. It really works if you get garlic that has not been irradiated but it is not approved by the FDA so people have to choose to do it themselves as doctors cannot reccommend it.

Read the Garlic Success atories thread and I think you will begin to get the idea.

Maybe you can regain your quality of life yet. You wouldn't be the first. There really is hope.

Good luck to you.

Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #18 by mike
Posted: April 17, 2013 at 23:56
this is to bob anderson...
the galic bath has saved me as i've alreay said. but i suggest you make a distiction between normal instuitional mrsa and aggessive mrsa that was first noticed among Ice" user about 10 years ago.

the reason being , there is a mrsa variation of the viruent strain that "seems" to be able to infect during a garlic bath.
the good news is that oregano oil and tea tree oil easily eradicte it.

it seems to me that there is genetic manipulation currently ongoing, tha has given rise to mrsa infections causing heart attack symptoms,atrial fibrillation, and other tissue killing or harding strains.

Re: Immune-suppressant meds & MRSA
Reply #19 by Jeanne
Posted: April 20, 2013 at 03:08
I am so glad that I stumbled upon this Topic, especially Wendym Reply #15. I
almost fell off my chair reading your reply. I just had almost the same thing
happen to me.
Feb 6'13 I went to the ER & they said Shingles in my eye/ eyelid & 4 days later I
was back in the ER with what the Dr said was MRSA. IV Vanycomycin & Bactrim
DS at home. Within two more weeks the Shingles & MRSA was cleared up. Then
my daughter got Hand, Foot & Mouth from school & coughed right in my mouth- 4
days later I got it. Then I got Strep a week later, then diagnosed two weeks later
with hearing loss & tinnitus (ringing in ear), excruciating ear pain, dizziness &
Vertigo. It turned out to be Ramsay-Hunt as a side effect of the Shingles.
I finally got into see a great ENT on April 6'13, who prescribed 60mg of
Prednisone each day.
On April 10, I got what I thought was a pimple- 48 hours later, my nose was three
times bigger than it usually is & the reddist Red you have ever seen. The migraine
was horrible & blinding. When I got the ER, the ER Dr said just by looking at it
that it was MRSA again. He took another sawb for the culture (the first one the ER
lost from my eye) & admitted me. Then for the next four days I had IV
Vanycomycin, oral Valtrex, blood thinners bc they said I was in the bed too long,
insulin bc they said that my blood sugars were too high from the Prednisone.
So here I am, on Leave again from work, taking oral Valtrex and oral
Clindomyocin 4x a day plus I'm using Mupirocin Ointment USP 2% in both
nostrils & on the outside where the puss was oozing from (I'm sure to have a scar
from the hole it ate away in my nose). I also have to shower each day with
Hibiclens Antimicrobial Skin Cleanser to disinfect my skin. They say it colonized
& I have to treat it orally, through my nasal passage & on my skin.
I'm only 43, but obviously I have an auto-immune problem. I have an appointment
with a Rhumatologist, the ENT & I still have to make an apt with the Infectious
Disease Dr.
The only other thing that I could think of was to clean up my diet. I eat pretty
healthy, but am a big diet coke drinker. I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (you
can get it on Amazon or I also found it at Bed, Bath & Beyond of all places), I
decided to Juice. It's not a blender, like a Vitamix or Ninja- I actually takes the
pulp away & leaves you with just the juice from the fruits & vegetables. I had only
just started juicing when my second case came around. I started again on Weds
of this week. It is amazing how when I cut out the sugar & refined carbs and drink/
eat nutrious food, how much better I feel.
I'm really scared that this will come back, but I'm doing everything I can to cut my
risk & also to have a Positive Attitude.
I'm not sure if it will help you too, but I'd love to hear from each of you if you think
that I could do anything else to lesson my chances of getting this horrible
disease again.
Best of luck as we all get through this!!!
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