APPLICATION OF THE PROKARIN DISC
The Prokarin Disc is very easy to apply.
- The recommended site of application is on the trunk of the body. A preferred site
is on the side of the abdomen/hip area just below the belt line. It can also be applied
to the upper leg (thigh area) or the upper arm, but it may have a slower absorption
rate (having a weaker effect) on the arms or legs as compared to the trunk of the body
Make sure that the skin is clean and intact at the site of application. Do not put
the disc over areas of the skin that are irritated, inflamed or have sores.
- Peel the disc off of the paper backing. Both sides of the disc are slightly sticky
and it does not matter which side of the disc is against the skin.
- Apply a 2-3 inch long piece of paper tape (supplied by the pharmacy with the Prokarin
prescription) over the disc to adhere it to the skin.
- Apply one disc daily in the morning upon awakening or after showering/bathing. Remove
the disc at bedtime.
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POSSIBLE REACTIONS TO THE DISC
The majority of people using the Prokarin Disc have no site reaction. If you are sensitive to
paper tape, notify the pharmacist who dispenses your ProkarinTM Disc as he/she can recommend a skin
barrier to be applied to the skin prior to applying the paper tape. Note that if you use a skin
barrier product, it must not be applied to the area of skin directly under the disc, as this would
prevent the medication from being absorbed. Another alternative to the paper tape is to use a
Tegaderm® patch to adhere the disc to the skin.
Some people can have a genetic intolerance to one of the components of the disc. If you experience
nausea, diarrhea, sweating, fishy body odor, feeling faint, or hypotension (low blood pressure), remove
the disc and call your pharmacist for an alternative form of transdermal delivery.
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The Prokarin Disc contains the active ingredients histamine and caffeine. Generally most
people see improvements in their symptoms wearing one disc (1.65 mg) worn from morning until
bedtime. But the dosing is individualized.
If you see an overall worsening in your symptoms within the first three days of applying the disc
then the dose is probably too high. Contact your pharmacist who dispensed the Prokarin disc
as you may need to decrease your dose which can simply be accomplished by cutting your disc in half
or quarters with a scissors and applying a lesser amount.
If you do not see any change in your symptoms (no better, no worse) after 2-3 weeks of using the
Prokarin Disc, contact your pharmacy as you may need to have your dose increased by either
applying more discs or portions of discs per application or having the concentration of the
histamine phosphate increased per disc. Note, some patients who have a chronic underlying infection
have required higher doses of the Prokarin Disc.
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The Prokarin Disc can be stored at room temperature, but for the longest shelf life and
stability it is recommended that you store it in the refrigerator. When traveling it is not
necessary to keep it in a cooler or refrigerator, but do protect it from extreme heat or cold. Do
not leave it in the vehicle on warm or cold temperature days as this can deteriorate the disc
and its potency.
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Calcium supplementation is a must when using Prokarin. Research studies show that
histamine can lower the blood calcium level. Signs and symptoms of low blood calcium are muscle
spasms, stiffness, and numbness and tingling in the hands,feet or face/mouth. The recommended
calcium/magnesium supplement is included with each month?s supply of the Prokarin Disc
from the dispensing pharmacy. Calcium is difficult to absorb, so it is important that calcium
supplements are taken with meals to increase absorption. It is recommended that you take
approximately 2,000 mg of calcium with breakfast every day. Calcium is very constipating but
magnesium helps to counteract this. If you experience loose stools and/or increased spasms,
stiffness, numbness and tingling in your feet, hands or face/mouth you may need to change to
a calcium citrate supplement rather than the calcium carbonate supplement provided with the
Prokarin Disc. Notify your pharmacist.
If you still experience increased stiffness despite taking the recommended calcium, then
you may benefit from FOS (fructooligosaccharides) supplementation, 2,000-3,000 mg per day
taken all at once with breakfast. Ask your pharmacist about this.
A good multivitamin and mineral supplement is important. Rule of thumb, a good vitamin and
mineral will look the same on the inside as it does on the outside when the vitamin is cut in
half. Talk to your pharmacist about a good brand of multivitamin and minerals. Vitamin B-12 is
essential in the making of myelin components. Talk to your pharmacist about the type and dosage
of Vitamin B-12 that would be best for you.
Generally those people taking only the minimum supplements of a multivitamin and
mineral, the necessary calcium/magnesium and if needed the FOS do the best when using the
Many herbs and roots will decrease the effects of Prokarin, such as licorice root a
nd tumeric (curcumin). Also Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) supplements will interfere with the
effectiveness of Prokarin. Do not take flaxseed oil, primrose oil, borage oil, or fish
oil when using Prokarin. Do not use soy products such as soy milk as these contain
phytoestrogens that can decrease the effect of Prokarin. Do not use tea tree oil products
as these too increase estrogen levels and high estrogen can interfere with Prokarin.
It is recommended to take no more than 200-300 i.u. of vitamin D3 daily as this is a fat soluble
vitamin and it can accumulate and become toxic. Most multivitamin supplements contain adequate
vitamin D concentrations.
Some patients using Prokarin have reported feeling anxious when taking a Co-enzyme Q10
supplement in conjunction with the Prokarin.
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Histamine stimulates the production of melatonin, which is essential in fat metabolism. It is
important that you get enough fats in your diet as the majority of the myelin is made up of fats
called phospholipids. It is important that you have a balance of unsaturated and saturated fat
in your diet. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature like vegetable oil, flaxseed oil,
primrose oil and fish oil. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and are in most animal
fats like butter, lard, red meat, cheese, etc. Research shows that diets high in unsaturated
fats and low in saturated fats can result in lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is toxic
to the myelin and nerve cell membranes. The trend has been to increase the unsaturated fats
and decrease the saturated fats in the diet. I wonder if this trend is contributing to the
prevalence of neurological disorders. I personally eat red meat 3-4 times a week, butter
cheese, eggs, etc., as well as fish and my lipid peroxidation results were low which is
desirable. This may vary from person to person. If you have been on the Swank diet with
good results, yet donít see any improvement when you try Prokarin, consider adding some
animal fat to your diet. Also, be sure to eat frequent small meals as Prokarin can
lower your blood sugar.
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SWIMMING / SHOWERING
Do not get the disc wet. If the disc gets wet, remove the disc and apply a new
disc. When showering, bathing or swimming remove the disc and wrap the paper tape around it,
place it in a sealed baggie and cover it to protect it from light. Then after toweling
yourself dry, reapply this same disc by removing it from the paper tape, and placing it on
your skin in the appropriate site and cover with a new 2-3 inch long strip of paper tape.
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OTHER MEDICATIONS USED CONCOMITANTLY WITH THE PROKARIN DISC
Discuss this with your pharmacist and your doctor. Prokarin contains Histamine. In
particular anything that blocks Histamine 2 receptors is going to interfere with the effectiveness
of the Prokarin. Histamine blockers include medication to decrease stomach acid, such
as Zantac®, Pepcid®, and Tagamet®. It will say on the package if it is a Histamine
blocking agent and this needs to be avoided. Also, anti-spasmodics such as Zanaflex® and
Baclofen® at higher doses can also decrease the effectiveness of Prokarin.
Avoid supplements that contain licorice root. Many Chinese herbs have licorice root in them. Licorice
root may stimulate Histamine3 receptors, which can tell the body to turn down its Histamine production.
This can decrease the effectiveness of Prokarin.
If you have esophageal reflux (heart burn) you may take antacids such as Tums®. This wonít
interfere with the action of Prokarin. But as time goes on, you may find less reflux problems
because as the Histamine is replaced in the body, it will stimulate gastric acid production. The
increased acidity in the stomach increases the tone of the sphincter between the stomach and the
esophagus, closing the sphincter tight so that food and acid donít regurgitate back into the
Occasional use of nasal allergy type of antihistamines does not seem to interfere with the
effectiveness of Prokarin because antihistamines block the H1 receptors not the H2
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SIGNS THAT INDICATE PROKARIN IS WORKING FOR ME:
- Heat Tolerance: Histamine is the heat stress regulator for the body. By supplementing
Histamine to a body that is deficient in this neurotransmitter, you would expect to see the
body tolerate heat again, such as a hot bath or shower. If you over expose yourself to heat you
will use up Histamine. As your body temperature increases, your need for Histamine also
increases. You need to adjust to heat gradually and watch for changes. Maybe you will now be
able to tolerate a little warmer temperature in your bath or shower without getting wiped out
or exacerbating your symptoms. If you live in an area that has hot seasonal temperatures, you
may find that you will need a higher or more frequent dosing schedule during these hot
temperatures. Talk to your doctor about this.
- Are you sleeping better? Are you dreaming again? Are you remembering your dreams? Histamine
stimulates the production of melatonin. Low levels of melatonin interfere with the Rapid Eye
Movement (REM) stage of sleep. This is a very important stage of sleep during which our body
repairs itself. Melatonin levels fluctuate throughout the day and night and it is the swing
from high to low levels that stimulate our body to go into the REM stage of sleep. If your
melatonin levels are low, there is not enough of a swing from high to low to induce REM
sleep. These increased levels of melatonin due to the supplementation of Histamine through
Prokarin may make you feel drowsy for the first few days after starting Prokarin. Your
body just needs some time to adjust to the higher levels of melatonin.
- Decrease in Pain: if you have pain, has your pain decreased? Histamine is an analgesic
for the body.
- Decrease in Fatigue: Do you notice a decrease in your fatigue? Maybe you can go shopping
for a little bit longer, or stay up later with the family. Maybe you just donít feel as wiped
out. Histamine is a potent stimulator in our body to make cyclic AMP. Cyclic AMP is necessary
to every cell in our body every second just as oxygen is. It is also vital to the myelin
producing cells in the central nervous system. The primary avenue for our body to make
the cyclic AMP is through Histamine, but if this system is defunct then our body has a
backup system. The backup system is our body breaks down its energy molecule, ATP, to make
the cyclic AMP. This depletes our body of its energy so a person may experience the overwhelming
fatigue. By giving the body back Histamine, the bodyís energy molecule is no longer being
used up and the fatigue lessens.
- Stress Tolerance: Can you tolerate some stress a little better without it wreaking havoc
on your symptoms like it did prior to being on ProkarinTM? Histamine is a major stress
regulator for the body. The more stress you encounter, the more Histamine you need.
Emotional, physical and environmental stress increases the bodyís need for Histamine. Increased
stress or prolonged stress may tap out your bodyís supply of Histamine and the usual dose of
Prokarin may no longer be adequate. Therefore you may notice increased symptoms during
stressful periods. If you are a female, you may notice an increase in symptoms during, or just
before your menses. If you are experiencing a prolonged period of stress, such as an emotional
crisis etc, you may want to consult with your doctor to see if you should adjust your Prokarin
dose to help accommodate your bodyís increased need for Histamine during this time.
- Improvement in Motor Function or Sensory Function: Histamine is a major neurotransmitter
for the body, as well as regulating many other neurotransmitters in our body. A neurotransmitter
is a chemical that is necessary to send a message down a nerve pathway. Just like muscles, the
nerve pathways atrophy (shrink) when we donít use them. The only way to build these atrophied nerve
pathways is by repetitively trying to send messages down them. This takes time and diligence. Please
refer to the section on exercises for more information.
- Do Others Notice a Difference in You: Ask your family and friends if they notice any changes
in you, such as a little more life behind your eyes, you engage in conversations more, or you all
around look better? They will probably notice the subtle changes, which you may have overlooked.
Remember, as your body moves toward normal it takes a conscious effort to notice it. So maybe
changes are occurring, but you arenít consciously aware of it. Here is an analogy: Our hands move
several times a minute and we are not even aware of their movements. But if we have a hand that is
tingling, or numb, we are aware of that hand every second because it is abnormal to the body. A lot
of times a significant other or a friend will notice the difference before you will. Also, you may have
your heart set on getting up and out of that wheelchair, so you might not notice the little changes
that are occurring. Look for the little subtle changes. Please see the section on exercising nerve
pathways if you havenít been doing the exercises. Perhaps this is the variable that is missing.
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The exercises to build back the nerve pathways consist of concentrating on sending a message from the
brain to a part of your body that isnít functional, trying to make it work. Repetitively trying to send
these impulses down the nerve pathways is what causes dendrites to grow again. For example, if you canít
move your toes, think hard: Iím going to move my toes. Picture the impulse forcing its way down the nerve
to the non-functional part, like a flame burning down a fuse. Even though you might not be able to move your
toes, relax for 5-10 seconds and then concentrate hard again at trying to send the message to your toes.
The key is repetition. Do these exercises 5-10 times per set, 3-4 sets per day every day. Apply this same
type of exercise to different parts of your body, such as trying to rhythmically tap your feet on the
floor, or touch your thumb to each of your fingers. Another exercise is to stand in front of your walker
and tell yourself, Iím going to stand up straight, put my feet together and let go of the walker. Even
if you can only let go of the walker for an instant, that is okay. Relax for 5-10 seconds and try again.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I have been on Prokarin for one month and no changes, good or bad, have occurred in my symptoms
- Ask yourself, are you sensitive to heat, does heat bother you? In other words, if you take
a hot bath or shower, does it worsen your symptoms? If it does we need to find the missing piece
of the puzzle. If you are heat sensitive this means that you may be deficient in Histamine because
Histamine is a heat stress regulator for the body. So if heat worsens your symptoms, it may
indicate that your body doesnít have enough Histamine because as our body heats up, it needs more
Histamine. Histamine is being supplemented in Prokarin. If Histamine is supplemented to a body
that is deficient in Histamine, the person may see an increase in heat tolerance.
- Are you taking the necessary 2,000 mg of calcium with breakfast? Are you taking EFA supplements
or a supplement with licorice root as these can negate the effects of ProkarinTM ? Are you taking
any H2 blockers such as Zantac, Tagamet, or Pepcid as these will interfere with Prokarin?
Are you on a low fat diet?
If all of these variables seem to be under control and you are not seeing any changes in your
symptoms, good or bad, then perhaps you should talk to your doctor and pharmacist, as it is
possible that your dosage needs to be changed.
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When I first started using Prokarin I saw improvements for the first couple of weeks to a
month, and then there was a gradual loss of these gains; the key word being gradual.
- Are you taking the recommended supplements? See the section on Supplements. Prokarin can
lower the blood calcium and it will feel like the Prokarin is no longer working.
- Are you on a low fat diet? A low fat diet can make you experience a weakness when using
Prokarin. It is important to eat a serving of meat a day and to eat red meat three times a week.
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I started and after about 3 days all my symptoms are getting worse including numbness, tingling,
- The key word here would be abrupt. If you see an abrupt increase in symptoms or decline
in your condition it may mean that the dose is too high for you and has triggered the
body to decrease its own production of Histamine. Discuss this with your doctor and
pharmacist, as you probably need a change in your dosage.
- Prokarin is supplementing something your body already produces (Histamine). Whenever
you supplement something your body naturally makes, you want to give just enough to the body
to keep it in its normal range. If you give too much back artificially and get the level too
high in the body, it will trigger the bodyís feedback mechanism, which tells the body that
there is too much of this chemical. Because of this, the body wonít produce as much Histamine.
When this happens, the bodyís own production of the Histamine decreases and now you are trying
to get by on the amount of Histamine that is in the disc. This may be why you see a sudden
worsening of your symptoms because you are trying to get by on less Histamine than you were
prior to being on the Prokarin. Now, if you see improvement for the first 2-3 days and
then the symptoms increase abruptly, perhaps your liver doesnít metabolize quite as rapidly as
most people, and you will start to get an accumulative effect. The first day you feel better,
second day even better, and by the third day or fourth day, you hit a brick wall where all of
your symptoms come crashing back. Perhaps your liver could not metabolize in 24 hours what you
took in from the disc, so you got a carry over effect. By the third of fourth day the level was
too high and you triggered your feedback mechanism to turn down your bodyís production. You need
to talk to your doctor and pharmacist about adjusting your dose and bringing it down, to the amount
your liver can metabolize and then slowly titrating up.
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When should I talk to my doctor about increasing my dose?
- We have a tendency to believe that if a little is good then more is better, but that is not
generally the case when you are supplementing something that the body already makes. The body must
keep all things within balance and we want to maintain that balance. Rule of thumb, as long as you
are seeing slow, steady, subtle changes, remain on the lower dose.
If you have been experiencing improvements and now your progress seems to have reached a plateau, are
you doing the exercises? Are you on a low fat diet and/or taking the unsaturated fat supplements, such
as flaxseed oil, primrose oil, salmon-omega, etc? All of these things can influence improvement. Please
see the sections on Supplements, Diet and Exercises.
Our body tries to maintain homeostasis. Change is stressful on the body even if it is good change. The
body tries to level out change creating a plateau. So whether you are building muscle or trying to
lose weight, your body does it in a stair-step fashion. For as you initiate a change, your body
struggles to level out the change and you experience a plateau. The body would be happy just staying
on this level stair, so you must take measures to force the body off the stair and continue to progress
with change. For example, when you are dieting to lose weight, you limit your calories or change the
type of foods you eat to initiate weight loss. You lose a few pounds very quickly, but then your weight
loss plateaus because your body is working to adjust to this change and create homeostasis again. In
order for you to start losing weight again, you need to increase your exercise or further limit your
calorie intake, forcing your body to move off the level stair again to the next step.
This same concept applies to any change initiated while using Prokarin. If you feel you have
reached a plateau, try doing more exercises, assessing your diet and balance of fat intake.
If you continue to experience the plateau after trying to challenge your body with exercises,
then perhaps consult with your doctor about increasing your dose of Prokarin.
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Can I do bee sting therapy with Prokarin?
- Some people are using bee venom therapy and have reported needing fewer stings with
Prokarin. It may be wise to stop stings when starting Prokarin; or if you choose
to continue with bee stings, start with a low dose of Prokarin and increase gradually
under the direction of your doctor.
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I have more energy, Iím sleeping better, and I can tolerate heat better, but Iím still not walking
better. Why is that?
- Histamine is an important neurotransmitter (chemical) in our bodies. Histamine is a
heat stress regulator for the body. It also is the chemical that stimulates the pineal gland
to make melatonin and cyclic AMP. Cyclic AMP is like oxygen to every living cell, in that
every cell needs it every second. If your body doesnít have enough Histamine to make cyclic
AMP, your body has no other choice than to break down ATP (the energy molecule for the body) to
make cyclic AMP. This results in the severe fatigue. By giving back the Histamine chemical, the
body can quit robbing its energy molecule, so the fatigue may improve. Also the body can start
making more melatonin so the deep sleep (REM state) can now occur. Restoring Histamine helps
the body tolerate heat again because now it can sweat. Heat tolerance, fatigue, and sleep may
all improve by just giving back Histamine to the body that is deficient in it. The motor
function and sensory function improvements are dependent on rebuilding of nerve pathways.
Research shows that the nerve pathways (dendrites) shrink with disuse, but by repetitively
sending messages over these nerve pathways the dendrites grow. Please see section on Exercises.
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I am experiencing an increase in muscle spasms, stiffness, numbness and tingling since I started Prokarin.
- Research shows that Histamine can lower the blood level of calcium. Thus, calcium and magnesium
supplements are necessary when using Prokarin. Please see the section on Supplements.
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Caffeine bothers me.
- Prokarin contains caffeine so if you donít tolerate caffeine, talk to your doctor and
pharmacist about this. The amount of caffeine in one disc is equivalent to drinking about a
tablespoon of coffee.
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