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Bismacine, occasionally known as Chromacine (though Chromocine might be a different drug), is an alternative medicine sold to treat Lyme disease that involves the injection of the metal bismuth. Bismacine was invented by Robert Bradford, who is not a medical doctor, in 2004. In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning against Bismacine, as bismuth is not approved for injection and can lead to heart and kidney problems. Bradford pled guilty in 2010 to charges that Bismacine caused the death of a woman in Kansas. Bradford and business partners also admitted that they inflated fears of Lyme disease as part of a marketing campaign to increase sales of Bismacine, calling Lyme disease a "potential plague of the 21st century."
In an article for the Townsend Letter, an alternative health magazine, Bradford claimed that when using Bismacine, all patients had little-to-no adverse effects known as Herxheimer reactions. This is not surprising, as Herxheimer reactions occur in at most 15% of all Lyme disease patients, and would occur in even fewer if Bismacine was failing to actually kill the Lyme-causing spirochetes.
- Mayo Clinic: Lyme Disease
- Biochemistry of Lyme Disease. Townsend Letter
- A Dubious Diagnosis. Chicago Tribune
- Lyme disease, potential plague of the 21st century. Townsend Letter
- Quackwatch: Lyme disease
- Casewatch: Robert W. Bradford Pleads Guilty (2010)
- Ex-Physician Convicted of Fraud Topeka Capital-Journal
- IDSA Lyme disease guidelines