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The Herxheimer reaction (also known as Jarisch-Herxheimer or herx) occurs when large quantities of toxins are released into the body as bacteria (typically Spirochetal bacteria) die, due to antibiotic treatment.
Additional recommended knowledge
Typically the death of these bacteria and the associated release of endotoxins occurs faster than the body can remove the toxins via the natural detoxification process performed by the kidneys and liver. It is manifested by fever, chills, headache, myalgias, and exacerbation of cutaneous lesions. Duration in syphilis is normally only a few hours but can be much longer in other diseases. The intensity of the reaction reflects the intensity of inflammation present.
Both Adolf Jarisch, an Austrian dermatologist, and Karl Herxheimer, a German dermatologist, are credited with the discovery of the Herxheimer reaction.
Both Jarish and Herxheimer observed reactions in patients with syphilis treated with mercury. The reaction was first seen following treatment in early and later stages of syphilis treated with Salvarsan, mercury, or antibiotics. It is seen in 50% of patients with primary syphilis and about 90% of patients with secondary syphilis.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Herxheimer_reaction". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|