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reneeg (@reneeg)

MAC antibiotics and side effects

MAC & Bronchiectasis | Last Active: Jul 15 2:15pm | Replies (156)

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Ive been diagnosd with mac and on the three antibiotics for a little over a week. Four days-fri,mon, wed., and fri. I have been the sickest of my life. I cant function this way. The nausea med makes me even worse. Can anyone suggest something to help me? Does it get better? Id rather not treat it than be like this.

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Replies to "Ive been diagnosd with mac and on the three antibiotics for a little over a week...."

Hello 21042 – this is Pamela. I began the 3 pill regimen in November of 2015 and have to go until April… I did feel very lousy the first month but was told to hang in there, that it gets better each week- and it did! I will tell you how I take my pills, as timing can help, as can taking other supplements. I take my pills also Mon, Wed, Friday. I take them between 9 and 10 PM, just before going to bed. I take with a lot of water. I try to put about 2 hours between eating dinner and taking the pills. Every day I take a pro-biotic to help the gut – the antibiotics wreck havoc with the gut. This can help with nausea – I take my probiotic with breakfast or lunch – do not take it late in the day, especially on a day you have to take the pills. I use Ultra Jarro-Dophilus – 50 billion per capsule – will find in the frig at any health food store – I open up the capsule and drop in a bit of applesauce, stir it up and eat. I also take Vit D3, 2000 IU and B6, 50 mg. After my stomach settled down in about a month, the side affects I have been left with are fatigue and weight loss, sometimes night sweats, and insomnia. Remember to take the pills at the same time of the day, so if you go on a schedule like mine, just stick to it by taking the pills two hours or so after eating a meal. This way I found I slept through the nausea for the most part. And as has been suggested, read through all the earlier posts – they are VERY helpful! Good luck and just have faith your nausea will get better. Pamela

Thank you so much, Pamela. I have been taking one type in the morning, one about noon and one at night. No wonder im sick all the time. My Dr. told me to take the one that affects me the most, at night. I really cant tell which one that is. Ive wondered what kind of probiotics to take and you gave me good info there. Ive not been given any info on probiotics. You have been most helpful and given me hope to go on. Ive been on antibiotcs for 20 years for bronchiectasis and done very well, but the last year i began to feel bad and slow down. Thats when i was told about the MAC. Said ive probaly had it for two or three years. I knew i was not my usual busy self. I had no energy and could barely go to the gym once or twice a week, sometimes not at all. Ive always been very active and exercised regularly at the gym. Im 75 years old on Friday and i just need to get back on track. Im so encouraged. Im going to push on and get through this. Youve really lifted my spirits. Hope we can chat occasionally. God bless you. Kathi

Kathi ( glad to know your name!) – I too have bronchiectasis and am 67 and love to be on my feet all day – just rest when you can and sleep even if in the middle of the day. I am glad I could be of some help, Pamela

Hi 21042, I’m on my 6 month taking meds now. I was so terrified when I first started and it got better. Keep your chin up and I will include you in my prayer. Make sure you drink plenty of water. The probiotic help my stomach crump and the nausea. Hang in there and you will make it through. Cila

Thank you Cila for the kind words. I especially would covet your prayers. At this point i rely on prayers more than anything. I will continue and hope the side effects become less. Pray for me and i’ll pray for you. Kathi (21042)

Hang in there Kathi, we are here for you. Sending prayers and Hugs! Terri

I talked to my pulmonologist on Tues. and i brought up probiotics to her. She said these three antibiotics do not attack the good bacteria in the gut, that they only work for nothing but mac. Did your doctor recommend them? Im so confused. She said they would do nothing. I have been so sick today. An hour after i took my meds last night i vomited it all up and have been sick since. The first day i took all the meds at 9:00 pm. and went to bed. I did fine. I ate at 6:00 pm. Ive never had anything make me so ill. Im so nauseated i cant eat, but i know i cant continue not eating. Also my dr. gave me Ondansetron 4mg. for nausea. Doesnt help a bit.

I started taking probiotics when I was first diagnosed with MAC. I mentioned it to my doctor. He told me it was unnessary to take them as these antibiotics did not affect the bacteria in the bowel. So, I did not and have had no problems with that. I was somewhat nauseated at first and had no appetite. It does get better. Maybe if you take them at different times it would help. I did that for a while and finally started taking them all the first thing in the morning. I I was, however, given Rifabutin instead of Rifampin. I have
not seen where anyone else took Rifabutin. I am 6 mos.off the treatment and Sputum culture is still negative. I’m not sure why my doctor prescribed Rifabutin instead of Rifampin, but I have done well after the first few months. Try to find what works for you and rest as needed until you can tolerate the medicine. We are all different.

@laneyk, Elaine, I am curious .. during your period on antibiotics did you ever get vaginal yeast infections .. candida .. or oral thrush? Just curious because many of us on antibiotics have had those issues. Hugs to you on your WONDERFUL success with your being 6 mos off treatment .. way to go! Hugs! Katherine

Katherine, NO, I did not have a problem with yeast infections or thrush. The MAC antibiotics do not affect other bacteria. Only the mycobacterium are killed by them.