Bismacine is an “alternative health” product that is often used to treat Lyme disease, which is frequently contracted from tick bites. Bismacine has not been approved for any purpose in its injectable form, although when taken orally it can treat Helicobacter pylori—a bacteria which has been known to cause stomach ulcers. The drug contains high amounts of the heavy metal bismuth; bismuth poisoning can be caused with the injectable.
In 2006, the FDA warned the health care community of the risks of using the Bismacine injection to treat Lyme disease in patients. The FDA advised doctors not to use this product. It stated that the injectable version of Bismacine could cause bismuth poisoning, which could lead to serious death or injury, cardiovascular collapse and kidney failure.
The FDA had examined reports of injury in patients who had been administered Bismacine. In one case, the patient died as a result of treatment, while another person was hospitalized. Others who had been administered the drug also suffered some of the conditions previously stated.