LYMErix / Lyme Disease Vaccine

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:49 by admin
Lyme disease is a relatively new ailment first discovered in 1975 in the small town of Lyme, Connecticut. Lyme disease is caused by the introduction of the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria into the human body. The bacteria are most often delivered through the bite of a deer tick. Once infected, the victim usually develops a large red spot at the site of the tick bite. The bacteria then spread to various parts of the body where they may cause fatigue, chills, fever, headache, stiff neck, muscle aches, joint aches, backache, nausea, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged spleen, abnormal nerve function, meningitis, heart arrhythmia, pericarditis (swelling of the sac surrounding the heart) and arthritis. While many of the more serious symptoms of Lyme disease are rare, the condition should not be taken lightly. Lyme disease can last for several months or longer.

Once infected, the best treatment includes the administration of antibiotics. If Lyme disease is detected early enough, oral antibiotics should suffice. However, in more severe cases and in those victims subject to late diagnosis, intravenous delivery of antibiotics may be necessary.

In January 1999 GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals introduced LYMErix, a vaccine that the company claimed would protect those living in deer tick infested areas from the ravages of Lyme disease. LYMErix was the first lyme disease vaccine approved by the FDA. While the effectiveness of LYMErix is still open to debate, many people who have taken the vaccine have reported serious side effects such as painful and debilitating arthritis. Currently, the FDA is investigating the connection between LYMErix and arthritis.

In February 2002, citing diminishing sales, GlaxoSmithKline pulled LYMErix off the market. GlaxoSmithKline's decision to pull LYMErix was supported by several pharmaceutical industry critics. A spokesperson for the Lyme Disease Foundation said the vaccine "was never safe, nor was it effective." See your doctor if you have experienced serious side effects associated with LYMErix. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Vaccines: Overview
  2. Autoimmune Disorders: Overview
  3. Information on Arthritis
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