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Neuroscience For Kids

FDA Warns About Unapproved Treatment for Lyme Disease
July 28, 2006

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public to avoid the use of a product called "bismacine" (also known as "chromacine"). Bismacine contains a high amount of bismuth, a heavy metal, that is used in some medicines to treat stomach ulcers. However, bismacine and injectable medicines containing bismuth are NOT approved for any use.

Apparently, some druggists are making bismacine to treat Lyme disease. The drug is then injected by people claiming to be doctors. Bismacine may be responsible for one death and many reports of injuries (cardiovascular problems, kidney failure).

Lyme disease was first discovered in 1975 after a mysterious outbreak of arthritis in children who lived near Lyme, Connecticut. Lyme disease is an infectious disease (a disease caused by an outside agent) that affects the skin first, then the joints, the nervous system and, if untreated, eventually other organs.

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