27 Apr 2018

marshall protocol, was on it for 3 months...


I was on the marshall protocol for 3 months. It did nothing, but I was wondering are there any long term side affects I might of picked up being on it for that time?  Thanks


Work on getting your Vitamin D3 levels back up to normal.

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. Mohandas Gandhi

I would pray that there aren't any long term side effects because from what I've read about it, those would more likely be infections then side effects.  I would strongly urge you to do as MacKintosh suggested, get your vitamin D levels back up.  You should start slow and build up. 

I would suggest starting with 400 IU daily for 2 weeks, then go to 1000 IU daily for 2 weeks, then maybe 1400 IU daily for 2 weeks, then 2000 IU daily for two weeks.  Stay there for a month then add another 1000 IU to it daily for a month and do that every month until you're at least at 6000 IU daily.

Now, this suggestion is not based on my medical experience, its based on my experience doing it as well as reading information on vitamin D3, and expert information that's online in the form of written information and videos.  Just my opinion on it as I think the Marshal protocol is a very bad idea.

best, JohnRRMS/EDSS was 4.5, 5, 6, 6.5, 6.9999, 6.5 on Wheldon/Stratton Protocol beginning 04/12/2006nac 4x600 mg/daydoxycycline 2x100mg/dayazithromycin 3x250mg/day MWFmetronidazole 3x400mg/day then 3x500mg/day

If you were going to have problems they would have occurred. Did you have trouble with the minocycline or Benicar?

 What was your diagnosis that you decided to try the MP?

My opinion is that the antibiotics used on the MP might be very effective depending on what infections you have.

What did you consider a normal vitamin D level? I ask because I have borrelia and babesia infections and my vitamin D level was never normal. It started out at 25 D being 20 and 1,25 D was 40. After 15 months it was about the same even though I carefully avoided sun and foods with D. Meanwhile 5 years later without ever avoiding sun my 25 D level was still 18. I am currently taking 8000 u of vitamin D3.

I am also still being treated for babesia. The MP will not treat babesia anymore than it would treat malaria. I think it is important to know if you have infections, and have some clue what they are IF YOU CAN FIND OUT. The tests are almost meaningless. You sort of have to just get lucky to find out if you are infected.


Paula Carnes

Not to be rude, but I find it curious you are asking this question on the CPN support site.....do you also have c. pneumoniae?



JeanneRoz ~ DX'd w/ CPN 4/2007; 6/07 -"officially" dx'd w/CFIDS/FM; also: HHV6, EBV, IBS-C, 100 Doxy:BID; 500 mg Biaxin BID; Tindamax Pulses, B12 shots, ERFA Dessicated Thyroid,Cortef, Iodoral 25 mg, Vit D-6,000 uni

I'snt the marshall protocol for any autoimmune disease? Although I do find they focus emphasis on lyme and sarcoidosis. I'd be willing to try its logic but A) I'm not comfortable taking a angiotensive drug regardless of its immunomodulary effects, even understanding the logic and B) I lay more towards  the benefits of vitamin D in MS vs the logic against it used in the protocol.

I agree with the others, if the marshall protocol didnt work for you just boost up the vitamin D, and maybe moniter your BP and get your heart health checked if you are really worried, but I somehow doubt benicar could have any long term permanent effect. Apparently its only a mild hypertensive anyway.




I have not been on the MP, but from what I have seen, there is one advantage with using Benicar; it potentiates the effects of the abx tremendously, and that is why they have such tight guidelines on how to take the abx, and the amount of abx they can take is really extremely small compared to the CAP protocols. One can argue that this is an advantage if you think that taking large doses of abx for years is harmful. On the other hand, it can get a bit dangerous if you dose them wrongly. According to the FDA Benicar is a very safe drug, even if used in large doses, so I doubt this would have caused any problems.

So just as a sidenote: this is one advantage I can see with MP approach, as antibiotics alone are in some rare cases unfortunately not enough for everyone to get a treatment response (or Herxes), regardless of how much you dump them into your body. If I haven't understood it wrongly, there are a number of non-responders to the CAP protocols, so here is a place for improvement.

No official diagnosis.

The idea that Benicar potentiates the effects of antibiotics seems to be one of Marshall's ideas, derived from his personal experiences and those of others on his forums. There might be something to it, but it should be treated with caution; it's easy to fool oneself when using anecdotal evidence.

I would want solid evidence that benicar potentiates antibiotics, not just someone who isn't even a doctor, let alone a specialist in microbiology telling me that this is so.  Its hard enough to get me to trust many medical doctors, let alone a chemical engineer.

Three months isn't enough time to pick up any long term side effects, but as Mack says, you would be well advised to build up your vitamin D.............Sarah  

An Itinerary in Light and Shadow

Completed Stratton/Wheldon regime for aggressive secondary progressive MS in June 2007, after four years, three of which intermittent.   Still improving bit by bit and no relapses since finishing treatment.

You would be well advised to read the articles, and professional journal papers through the links available on the Vitamin D page here  http://www.cpnhelp.org/vitamin_d3_table_contents  

You will see the valid studies that have been done regarding the health supporting properties of Vitamin D.  These give reason to highly question the validitity of starving yourself of Vitamin D3.

  • CAP(TiniOnly): 06/07-02/09 for CFS
  • MethylationProtocolSupplements: Started08/08
  • Intermtnt CAP: 02/09-02/10
  • Full MethylProtocol & LDN 02/09
  • Off CAP: 02/10, cont LDN & MethlyProtocol support

Yeah, I'd have to have evidence that it potentiates the effects of the abx as well. I do think minocen is a good drug of choice though. JMO



Hmm, yes you are all right in that there is no solid research that Benicar potentiates the effects of antibiotics. It's all anecdotal evidence. But some have said they tried some antibiotics alone and they had no effect, but when they tried the same abx with Benicar, the effects were very different. What these effects really are, is not known for sure, but they all appear to be just Herxes, as Benicar should be a safe drug in itself.

There is also anecdotal evidence from mainstream medicine doctors of adverse reactions, when they happened to use abx at the same time with some angiotensin blocker or even ACE inhibitor. Probably immunopathology (or Herx) that as well, but these guys are so clueless that they probably have no idea about what a Herx is.

Marshall offers the following explanations: Benicar stops TNF-alpha from being released from the macrophages. It also blocks the other cytokines released during an inflammatory reaction. And that the reduction in inflammation that Benicar promotes allows better tissue perfusion of the antibiotics. And also that it activates the VDR. Benicar also blocks the Nuclear Factor-kappaB, which is what some anti-oxidants like alpha lipoic acid does.

I think some of these ideas are sound; if someone doesn't get a response with antibiotics alone, it could be because the inflammation is too overwhelming and prevents the antibiotics from reaching their target.

No official diagnosis.

Does Marshall have anything to back up the idea that inflammation decreases perfusion of antibiotics? I've never encountered that idea from mainstream sources. On the contrary, inflammation loosens up tissue so that macrophages can migrate into it, via agents like matrix metalloproteases, which dissolve connective collagen that holds tissue together. (As we all have experienced, inflamed tissues are generally more delicate than uninflamed ones.) But whether this loosening has any effect on the movement of small molecules like antibiotics is another question. I am inclined to suspect that it doesn't have much effect: that antibiotics diffuse through tissue more or less irrespective of whether it is inflamed. But I've never looked into this question specifically.

There is a paper which has been referenced on this website which reported that hydrocortisone increases the effects of antibiotics against Cpn. So it's not out of the question that Benicar also might. But experiencing unpleasantness isn't a good measure of effectiveness; there are lots of ways of feeling lousy. Conversely, some of the people here have gotten much better without much "herxing".

As we've seen from the complexities of Cpn, "herxing" is not a unitary phenomenon although it has become a catch-all category that any reactions are dumped into, all with some assumption about what those reactions mean that are suited to the particular theoriest. As Norman said, anecdotal reports of "reaction" doesn't sort out what that reaction is actuall from: bacterial die-off? Endotoxin? Porphyrins? Cytokines? My discussion in the Handbook  and David Wheldon's 5 Ways of Feeling Lousy describe this.

So we don't know what was actually occurring from "more herx" with Benicar and low-dose antibiotic. Another explanation could be: inadequate dosing of antibiotic stimulates defensive survival response (secretion of the highly inflammatory HSP60 endotoxin) of Cpn without real bacterial kill. Thus you generate a "herx" like reaction with no real bacterial kill. Another could be that these subclinical doses actually stimulate Cpn to gear up reproduction, sucking up more ATP and producing increased secondary porphyrins. Without a way to test these hypotheses (they are always big on "alternative hypotheses" as their bumper sticker motto) it is just speculation. Just because you have a mechanism you can point to from other research areas doesn't mean that the mechanism is the one active.

I personally found a small dose, 20 mg, of Benicar very helpful in the first 8 months of CAP purely for the anti-inflammatory effect that NSAID's weren't touching, but I've also heard stories of people being advised to work  up the dose to 60mg or more and having the devils time getting off of it.

I hope Benicar is safe. I've been taking it for a while because azi caused me to have significant physical anxiety symptoms, which included raising my blood pressure when I was having these anxiety episodes. Benicar was a great relief for all those symptoms.


Oh well, I didn't find any papers on the MP site that would suggest that inflammation decreases perfusion of antibiotics. However, Benicar can be used the other way around too to brake the immune system. According to their instructions, you should dose Benicar every 4 hours, to stop intolerable Herxing. It seems to work often, but not always. It's all a matter of dosing I suppose.

However, from anecdotal reports, I have seen that not all get a response to abx alone. Benicar seems to be at least useful for these people, whatever it exactly does. From their reports, some feel better after taking Benicar, and some worse, and some don't notice a difference. My theory is that sometimes you have to mess with the immune system along with the antibiotics to get some treatment response. If nothing happens, you can at least be sure that you are not getting rid of any bugs. Of course, I'm not saying that Benicar is the only way of doing it.

When it comes to the question that are these reactions produced by Benicar + abx really ridding their patients of bugs, so yes I think so. Some guy at least reported that his multiple chemical sensitivites disappeared after a few months on only minocycline + Benicar. This didnt happen before to him, when he did some tetracycline courses without Benicar.

It's indeed too early to say anything definitive, and I suspect that we can't do that in the near future either, as everyone will not even react in the same way to Benicar or the Marshall protocol.

No official diagnosis.

"If nothing happens, you can at least be sure that you are not getting rid of any bugs. Of course, I'm not saying that Benicar is the only way of doing it."

Sorry, but I totally disagree.  You don't have to feel awful to improve on the Wheldon/Stratton protocol. 

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. Mohandas Gandhi

> You don't have to feel awful to improve on the Wheldon/Stratton protocol. 

I agree.

If you kill a lot of bugs you will probably end up feeling bad for a while as your body cleans up their corpses but that can be a hopeful thing since its confirmation the treatment is doing something.

In my case, I had several months with no meaningful aftermath to the flagyl pulses.  Several people here questioned whether I was a massochist when I complained about not having stronger reactions but I grew up around an attitude of "medicine has to taste bad to work" and its hard to shake it.  

CAP for M.S. 8/2007 - 3/2009.  Twentieth pulse metronidazole + INH completed 3/12/2009.  Intermittent treatment thereafter until 11/20/2009.  


Well not awful perhaps, but at least some porphyrins are always released when you kill intracellular Chlamydiae. I would assume that only when you are close to the end of your treatment, you will not feel anything while still improving.

But in the beginning of the treatment, when your Chlamydial load is high, nearly everyone experience at least some symptoms, if they are going to improve. I don't know any exception to this.

There is also a pitfall about feeling well. If feeling bad is not a proof that you're killing Chlamydia, then feeling well on the treatment isn't either a proof that you're getting better. Because some antibiotics have anti-inflammatory properties, that makes you feel better, even when they are not killing anything.

This is what mainstream doctors do anyway: they give a course of a single antibiotic that will certainly not kill Chlamydia on its own, and because of the anti-inflammatory properties of the antibiotic, the patient feels better, but relapse after the antibiotic is stopped. I've seen this so many times, that it seems obvious.

No official diagnosis.

What is the anti-inflamatory mechanism behind antibiotics anyway? Ive always seen quotes that say " may be due to some immodulating effect of the antibiotic". What is the "effect" and how does it work? What chemicals are affected and how? When this claim is made, do they actually have proof that an antibiotic is in fact immunomodulary meaning they can show the process bit by bit and illustrate that it has absolutly nothing to do with bug kill? Just curious



Clammed, Why don't you post that as a new topic, since it's a really good point of conversation?

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. Mohandas Gandhi

"I would assume that only when you are close to the end of your treatment, you will not feel anything while still improving. But in the beginning of the treatment, when your Chlamydial load is high, nearly everyone experience at least some symptoms, if they are going to improve. I don't know any exception to this."

Well, pgm - Here I am, one exception to your hypothesis. (Never 'assume'.  Image removed.)

I have not missed a day of work to my treatment.  I have had one noticeable reaction to flagyl pulses (a bit short-tempered).  Several people posting here have not had the reactions you attribute to the treatment.

Having recently gone off abx for five weeks while awaiting a Lyme test, I find my thinking is still clear, my short-term memory is intact, my exhaustion has not returned and my walking is normal. I know there is an immunomodulatory effect of doxy simply because some muscle aches have recurred without abx, but I am assured that 'rights itself' over time, too.

We have all learned treatment and recovery is very individual and one simply cannot generalize.


The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. Mohandas Gandhi