It’s amazing when researchers find new uses for old pharmaceutical ingredients. Recently, Stanford School of Medicine researchers showed that the antihistamine loratadine, specifically the metabolite desloratadine, may be able to help kill Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria associated with Lyme disease. This is not to say people with Lyme should take Claritin instead of antibiotics. More R&D is needed. Researchers describe the desloratadine discovery: “It can be considered as a new, nonantibiotic, antiborrelial compound for treating Lyme disease if the efficacy of the drug is improved by developing designer molecules.”
Currently, there are 300,000 cases of the tick-borne illness reported in the US each year, according to the CDC. Other countries where Lyme disease rates are increasing include Canada, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, and other central and eastern European nations. It has also been reported in China, and other Asian countries.
Symptoms of Lyme can include a red, expanding “bullseye” rash and fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. The majority of cases are successfully treated with antibiotics, but some sufferers experience lingering, debilitating effects.
Although we here in the Northeast US are encouraged to cover our heads to prevent deer tick bites, let’s tip our hats to these researchers and their sponsor, the Bay Area Lyme Foundation.
To find out more about desloratadine and Lyme Disease, please see the links below.