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Artesunate - Cheney dosage and benefits

Discussion in 'Antivirals, Antibiotics and Immune Modulators' started by Daisymay, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

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    those artemisinins again...

    Hi, Lisa; I don't know exactly how these things work, and the best source of info I have found to date is the review article which I quoted from and gave a link to in Post 16 on this thread. Cheney has some info on his latest video (2009) which is worth getting--he says it does a major number on the Redox point, shifting it to a point at which virusus can no longer replicate. I don't fully understand this, but am impressed by his more recent statements on his website that he has achieved reversal of diastolic dysfunction in many of his patients since using Artesunate--that is very big news (I am assuming that Cheney, though he may be quirky, is basically a highly intelligent and truthful man). The article mentioned above cites some evidence that Artesunate has some activity against HIV, so I am going to assume--and hope--that it also has some activity against XMRV, and that may be the mode by which it improves diastolic function, which is, as Cheney says, a major consumer of mitochondrial energy.

    So I make the following suggestions if you want to go ahead and try: get Cheney's DVD, "CFS: is Oxygen the Problem?" --it is not expensive, though you can find a summary on Phoenix; download and read carefully that article; and if convinced it is worth a try, order some Hepasunate, which is the brand Cheney uses. If you find more interesting info, please post on this thread! Best wishes, Chris
  2. alice1

    alice1 Senior Member

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    I have read a study that too many antioxidents are not good for a variety of reasons.
    I'll try and find those findings.
  3. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

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    antioxidants and Artesunate

    Hi, Alice--it may well be the case that antioxidants are inadvisable if taken with Artesunate, which seems to work by oxidizing the little buggers--it may even be a good strategy to take a bit of iron to help burn them up, so to speak--the article that I linked to does mention something like that.

    I gather you too are a Canuck (from where?)--please tell me and the rest of us if you discover a Canadian source for Artesunate! That would really help! Best wishes, Chris.
  4. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

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    Hi; I have been continuing to use Artesunate, but have had other problems in recent weeks, so cannot yet really report on what effects it may be having. But I have been doing some checking, and can report that it (and other artemisinins, but artesunate seems the best) are now being actively explored for anti-cancer activity, which includes breast, prostate, pancreatic, and other, and seems to be remarkably effective. The lead investigators are at Washington U, and a search of PubMed under "artesunate and cancer" or "artemisinins and cancer" will turn up a lot of material of great interest. One of the mechanisms is via iron--cancer cells (and parasites--and viruses?) have a very high level of iron in them, and the artesunate uses that to destroy them--via oxidization? I think it may be worth taking a bit of bioavailable heme iron the evening before a dose of artesunate, and since grass fed bison is very high in heme iron, tasty, and available here, I plan to do that henceforth--in small amounts, of course, so that Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn don't come down on me too hard.

    The fact that medical researchers are actively exploring artesunate for development as a pharmaceutical drug does carry the possibility that it may become unavailable one of these days except by prescription, and FDA clearance of course can take years, decades.... So you have been warned! Best , Chris
  5. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Artesunate

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your post on this and actually it perhaps answered a question I was considering just this morning. This is my 5th week on artesunate (I believe Dr. Cheney talks about not seeing any results for maybe 6 weeks or so). I am also on inosine and I continue to try to get as much magnesium into my body as it will handle. I am not having any side effects of the artesunate (unlike when I first started the inosine) with the possible exception of sleeping longer during the day when I nap after lunch. I am on the 1/2 cap in water, rinse and spit for M-W-F. During the last couple of weeks I have had 2 days were I felt better than usual. I am not sure if it is from the artesunate, inosine, magnesium or combo.

    This morning I took the artesunate as usual. Around 11:00 am, however, I felt extremely dizzy for a while. Then I needed to go to the bathroom - sorry guys this is somewhat disgusting - but in the poo that resulted there were large dark "blobs" of something. I wracked my brain trying remember something dark that I might have eaten and didn't digest, but couldn't remember a thing. As a result, I wondered if artesunate could possibly be an anti-parasitic (other than malaria) or pushed some kind of detox stuff thru my system? I don't think that I had read anything about that anywhere. In any case I again feel better this afternoon.

    In the information you read which you discussed above, there was a mention of parasites. It just struck me as quite a coincidence. I am going to do a google search to see if I can turn up anything.

    Thanks again,

    Maxine
  6. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

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    Hi, Maxine; if you are just swishing and spitting 1/2 cap three times a week, I wonder if you are really getting enough to make much difference? The stuff is certainly a poweful anti-parasitic, but I don't know anything about parasites, and have no idea if those dark "blobs" could have been parasites--the one thing you should perhaps check out is the possibility of occult blood in your stool--which could of course be serious. I am no doctor, but in my reading about artemisinins I have not come across any suggestion that they can do serious damage to the stomach at such low doses and over such a short time. The possible problems seem to lie more in the liver and neuro stuff, and seem only to occur at much higher doses and much longer times. I do think it is good to take a break--I suggested every fourth week, I think--and still think that is a good idea, though that does not seem to be part of Cheney's protocol. There are foods like beets and such that can produce such appearances, maybe--but I am no expert on this!

    I have not tried enough Inosine to really have any sense of what that might do, or the combo of the two. I feel dizzy sometimes, but seems to come for a variety of reasons, by no means all of which I can figure out. I am still taking a capsule every three days, swishing and then swallowing 1/2 capsule, just swallowing the other half, and have not recorded anything that is clearly a result of the artesunate yet, though apart from recent unrelated problems feel I am probably slowly improving. I don't recall Cheney saying he noted improvement in 6 weeks--he does comment that over a year or so he has seen major improvement. I think I may rashly have promised an update in 6 weeks or so--I think that was over hasty! In addition, I do sometimes swish and spit some wormwood on the off-days, though irregularly. I am taking a week off now. So sorry I don't have the answer to your odd "blobs," and do check other possibilities; it is of course possible that you are especially sensitive to this stuff, but remember it has been used for years by millions in the east with remarkably little trouble. And glad you are better again--hope that continues.

    Maybe take a week off, and then reintroduce it slowly at your 1/2 doseage? And of course watch for any more appearances of those blobs! And maybe check your doc for the other possibilities--an occult blood test should not be difficult to get. Sorry I can't help more!
    Best wishes, Chris
  7. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Chris/Artesunate

    Hi Chris,

    Your reply was great, thank you for taking the time. Can't be sure as to whether what I saw was parasites or not, but my whole gut seemed to feel better afterwards. It didn't look like occult blood - I have had that before due to hemorrhoids. I am careful about that because I had an older Sister who died of colon cancer at a young age.

    I don't want to stop taking it because I think it might be helping. Cheney doesn't seem to recommend pulsing this the same way as inosine that you take a break from not only every weekend, but a month off after taking it for two months. So, I think I am going to stay with the dose I am on now for a while. I agree that it is a small dose and with the rinsing and swishing that it wouldn't be enough for a parasite kill. However, like many of us, I am sensitive to small amounts of stuff whether that be allopathic medication, herbs, or supplements.

    I am not taking the wormwood, have chosen just the artesunate for right now hoping that it will help me sort out what might be or might not be working. Not sure where I got the 6 week thing. I suspect I read it somewhere on the internet, or maybe my friend who sees him said that to me. Or maybe I got your statement talking about reporting back in 6 weeks mixed up.

    I have an appt. with my PCP next week. I plan to talk to him about getting the minerals test from EXAtest. I dropped some info about it at his office yesterday. His nurse called me and said that he would be happy to run any test that I wanted but that he needed to see me. It's probably been a year since I have been in there.

    In any case, thanks for responding and please keep me and the list updated as to how you are doing. Obviously, this forum is an incredible resource!

    Take care,

    Maxine
  8. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Hi Lisa,

    I came across an article from the New England Journal of Medicine that discusses how artesuante works on the malaria parasite. It admits, tho, that they don't know everything about how it works. Here is a link to the article:

    http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/358/17/1829

    Here is an excerpt:

    The most important new class of antimalarial agents is the artemisinins, which are natural products developed in China beginning in the 1960s.14 A number of artemisinin derivatives in addition to the parent compound are now available, including artesunate, artemether, artemotil, and dihydroartemisinin. Although the mechanisms of action of artemisinins are not fully understood, they may include free-radical production in the parasite food vacuole15 and inhibition of a parasite calcium ATPase.16 A key advantage of artemisinins is rapid action against all of the erythrocytic stages of the parasite, including transmissible gametocytes, resulting in a rapid clinical benefit and decreased transmission of malaria (Figure 1). In addition, there is currently limited, if any, resistance to artemisinins in malaria parasites. Although all artemisinins have rapid antiparasitic activity, they have short half-lives, such that the standard 3-day treatment course is commonly followed by recrudescence of infecting parasites and recurrent illness within days to weeks.14 To help prevent late recrudescences and the emergence of resistant parasites, these drugs should always be used in combination with a longer-acting agent. Fixed-dose combinations for oral therapy of uncomplicated malaria, known as artemisinin-based combination therapy, have been developed recently.

    HTH,

    Maxine
  9. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

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    and yet more....

    Hi; first an added note for Maxine; despite the generally low toxicity of Artesunate, there is the possibility of neurotoxicity, which seems to have appeared more often in animals than humans, however. But affected areas in the brain stem have been "the reticular system with regard to autonomic control, the vestibular system,.."--so it is certainly possible that your dizziness was in fact due to the artesunate, despite the very low dose. ( from Efferth, "The Antiviral Activities of Artemisinin and Artesunate," p.805).

    More generally, I think I am going to be more careful about taking pomegranate (and juice) while taking artesunate--for fear of overloading the P450 enzyme system, which is in trouble anyway according to Cheney's last DVD.

    I have found another general overview, Krishna S, "Artemisinins: their growing importance in medicine", which you can find in PubMed under that name and title, and then download the complete text free. There is also an interesting little article, Shapira MY, "Artesunate as a Potent Antiviral Agent in a Patient with Late Drug-Resistant Cytomegalovirus Infection after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation"--again, PubMed will get you the abstract, and click on "University of Chicago Press" button for the full text. This reiterates that despite concerns, in practice "the extensive use of artisunate in patients with malaria has not been associated with significant adverse effects." The essay describes treatment of a 12 year old boy with 100 mg a day for 30 days-"no adverse effects developed during 30 days of treatment."

    The stuff is metabolized rapidly--and in view of the doses used, I am at lest contemplating changing my schedule to maybe 2 x 50 Artesunate on M and Wed, then break till next Monday--or something like that; still thinking, and make your own decisions--if I find more on dose and schedule suggestions, will post here.

    There is more, for some future date; there is now work on more artemisinin derivatives, and there is another essay, Nagelschmitz J, "First Assessment in Humans of the Safety, Tolerability, Pharmacokinetics, and Ex Vivo Pharmacodynamic Antimalarial Activity of the New Artemisinin Derivative Artemisone." This seems both much more active and much less toxic than even artesunate--but is still in development, and I don't think is going to be available except on an experimental basis for a good long time, alas. The essay appeared in Sept. 2008. Nothing yet about possible activity against cancer or viruses....yet.

    This story is not over! Best, Chris
  10. rhiannon

    rhiannon

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    Thanks for these instructions, minimus! I managed to get the "Hepasunate" and started out taking it two days a week, as you described. Then I read the label on them which said you could take one a day. So I tried that, and have been doing so for about four or five weeks. I feel much better and no ill-effects so far. What I do is open the capsule and just put the powder straight under my tongue. I didn't manage to get the wormwood/artemisinin from Mediherb as you have to be medical practitioner, but I've discovered that a company called Holley Pharmaceuticals may supply it (website of International RRP ISA Center, which is for sufferers of Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis caused by HPV. They have lots of information on what they refer to as ART - Artemisinins and related therapies). Does anyone know if the Holley Pharmaceuticals are reputable?
  11. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Chris - thank you!

    Hi Chris,

    Sorry it took me a while to respond to this. Yes I am aware of the possible of neurotoxicity with artesunate and I want to be careful because of that. The dose I am on is tiny, tho. Just a note - I have had problems with dizziness thru my entire CFS life (1991), but the dizziness I had on that day was more pronounced and felt different. Not any way to know for sure if it was connected with the artesunate. I have had that same dizziness one other time sine then, but it wasn't as strong.

    Wow - that's really getting into the nitty gritty level - good for you!

    I am looking forward to checking out some of this information - thank you so much for finding such relevant articles.

    Yes, Chris, please post here if you have more suggestions. Right now I am staying on 1/2 cap rinse spit on M-W-F. I have been feeling a lot better in the last week or so. I was able to walk for 15 in the woods 3 days ago and I was able to do it again today. I have not been able to take any walks since a major major crash in August.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Thanks again for your research.

    Far from it!!:D

    Take care,

    Maxine
  12. bluebonnet

    bluebonnet

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    Be careful. Cheney had one patient who followed the instructions on the package, taking one capsule each day, and after about 3 months, the patient developed drug-induced hepatitis.
  13. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Bluebonnet/artesunate

    Hi Bluebonnet,

    I agree, one has to be careful about the dosage which is why I am following the small dose, spaced out over a week, and swish and spit. I did find a website that talked about the drug induced hepatitis, but in this case, the person was taking something in addition to the artesunate. I am not exactly sure what that means - just an FYI.

    http://www.tropicalmedandhygienejrnl.net/article/S0035-9203(01)90024-0/abstract

    Take care,

    Maxine
  14. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Also came across this while searching for artesunate and hepatitis:

    Effect of artemisinin/artesunate as inhibitors of hepatitis B virus production in an “in vitro” replicative system


    References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article.



    Marta R. Romeroa, Thomas Efferthb, Maria A. Serranoa, Beatriz Castaoc, Rocio I.R. Maciasc, Oscar Brizc and Jose J.G. Marinc, [​IMG], [​IMG]

    aDepartment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Salamanca, Spain
    bCenter for Molecular Biology of the University of Heidelberg (ZMBH), Germany
    cDepartment of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Salamanca, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, E.D. S09, 37007-Salamanca, Spain


    Received 11 April 2005;
    accepted 4 July 2005.
    Available online 10 August 2005.



    Abstract

    The antiviral effect against hepatitis B virus (HBV) of artemisinin, its derivative artesunate and other compounds highly purified from traditional Chinese medicine remedies, were investigated. HBV production by permanently transfected HepG2 2.2.15 cells was determined by measuring the release of surface protein (HBsAg) and HBV-DNA after drug exposure (0.01–100 μM) for 21 days. The forms of HBV-DNA released were investigated by Southern-blotting. Neutral Red retention test was used to evaluate drug-induced toxicity on host cells. The compounds were classified according to their potential interest as follows: (i) none: they had no effect on viral production (daidzein, daidzin, isonardosinon, nardofuran, nardosinon, tetrahydronardosinon and quercetin); (ii) low: they were able to markedly reduce viral production, but also induced toxicity on host cells (berberine and tannic acid) or they had no toxic effect on host cells but only had a moderate ability to reduce viral production (curcumin, baicalein, baicalin, bufalin, diallyl disulphide, glycyrrhizic acid and puerarin); (iii) high: they induced strong inhibition of viral production at concentrations at which host cell viability was not affected (artemisinin and artesunate). Moreover, artesunate in conjunction with lamivudine had synergic anti-HBV effects, which warrants further evaluation of artemisinin/artesunate as antiviral agents against HBV infection.



    Keywords: Artemisinin; Artesunate; Curcumin; Traditional Chinese medicine; Hepatitis B


    Abbreviations: DMSO, dimethylsulfoxide; HBV, hepatitis B virus; HBsAg, HBV surface antigen; NR, Neutral Red; PCR, polymerase chain reaction; QPCR, quantitative real-time PCR; Ct, QPCR, cycle at which the arbitrary fluorescence threshold is reached; TCM, traditional Chinese medicine

  15. Chris

    Chris Senior Member

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    Hi, Maxine; thanks for this encouragement! but note that this is an "in vitro" study--i.e. in a glass dish, not a living body. Best, Chris
  16. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Hi Chris,

    Sure, I understand, but thanks for making it clear. Some of this stuff is still preliminary, but very interesting.

    Take care,

    Maxine
  17. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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  18. Kathi

    Kathi Senior Member

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    I find the artesunate to be an asset to my protocol. It definitely helps!!!

    Kathi
  19. Hysterical Woman

    Hysterical Woman Senior Member

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    Great news, Kathi!

    Can you share what you dosage you use?

    Thanks,

    HW
  20. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

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    I read a bit about artesunate last year. One of my concerns, other than the question of effectiveness for CFS and safety issues, is also how the drug is processed in the body. A lot of the literature on this drug concerns malaria so I looked at malaria articles. Within the last year, interest in artesunate is way up due to resistance of malaria bugs so scientists have been looking for other drugs. Arteminisin derivatives appear to be the answer and last year the WHO started recommendation more of its use; a prescription form of artesunate is available in the US now but has a co-drug in it so not good for CFS (Co-artem). Anyway, what I was reading is that arteminisin and its dervatives are quickly eliminated from the body - the half-life is 1 hour so within 2 hours, the drug may no longer be active. So I'm not sure given the dosages and dosing schedules whether there will be an adquate amount in the blood. It would be good if a drug company tests XMRV against artesunate in a test tube first to see if it has any activity against it.

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