Disulfiram for persistent forms of Borrelia burgdorferi


Senior Member
I have recently watched a conference about Lyme disease held in October at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York). During the conference, prof. Kim Lewis (Northeastern University) talked about the persistent phenotype of Borrelia burgdorferi as a possible cause for at least some cases of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). He mentioned a drug (disulfiram) as a possible treatment for this condition. Disulfiram has been studied for Lyme disease only in vitro, so far (Pothineni V et al. 2016), but Kim Lewis mentioned a trial on the animal model of Lyme borreliosis, which is ongoing. You can follow his lecture in this video (from 39:00) and in this one (from 7:00). It is currently unknown how disulfiram exerts its action on Borrelia burgdorferi, but we know that in vitro it is able to kill persistent forms.

My question is: has any of you tried this drug? It is curently used against alcoholism, as it is an inhibitor of the enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and thus it lets acetaldehyde build up, if you drink any alcohol, leading to unpleasent consequences.
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Senior Member
This thread is a couple of years old, but the drug seems to be getting some traction in the lyme community based on Dr Liegner's experience.


The feedback so far is anecdotal, and while Dr Liegner's early patients seem to be clear cut cases of Lyme, it's apparent from social media that some of the folks using the drug now would describe themselves as CFS/ME patients.

The reason I'm posting is because I hope some of the biochemistry majors can help me figure something out.

A few of the folks on the drug say that it has restored their cognitive abilities to pre-illness levels in just a matter of weeks....four or five in one case.

I can't imagine that killing pathogens would so quickly improve cognitive function, so I'm wondering if something else is going on?

And I'm wondering if it's related to its effect on copper and zinc in the brain?

This link suggests Disulfiram is metabolised to DDC diethyldithiocarbamate which is a copper antagonist.


Any thoughts?

@HTester: This has no apparent connection to your theory or work...but might be of interest, she said hopefully. Either way, I'd appreciate your opinion.
Im on disulfiram. I started at a full tab and had an explosive amount of gas, orally and out the back end. Later on I had a really nasty nerve inflammations, so now 2 hours after I take, now a half tab, I take 100mg of alpha lipoic acid to detox it to avoid the nerve irritation later. Alot of gas, some increased energy, and the nerve irritation are the main things Ive noticed so far.

Ill report back when I up the dose to a full tab next week.