Treatment of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is generally considered to be easily treatable in the early stages of infection. An oral antibiotic (cefuroxime, doxycycline, and others) taken for 4 weeks is usually prescribed. This will usually clear up the infection. If the disease has been allowed to progress beyond the early stages then it becomes much harder to treat. Often a high dose of oral antibiotics will be administered for a long period of time. The time needed for the antibiotics varies with individual reactions to treatment. The doctor should use the reaction as a guideline for continuing treatment or trying a different treatment option.
If oral antibiotics are having no effect then a more aggressive treatment of intravenous antibiotics may be administered. In cases where patients cannot tolerate oral or intravenous antibiotics, intramuscular antibiotics can be used.
Knowing when to stop treatment in chronic Lyme patients is difficult for doctors as there is no current test to determine whether the bacteria has been eradicated from the patients body.
Early diagnosis is the key in treating this disease effectively. If you suspect that a tick has bitten you, seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Note: during treatment lyme patients may experience a worsening of symptoms due to a herxheimer reaction which can be very disabling.
For more information on treatment guidelines see Dr. Burrascanos Guide or our Articles and Links pages. Dr. Joseph J. Burrascano has been treating Lyme patients for 30 years and is regarded as the leading expert on Lyme Disease in the U.S.