Antibiotics are the primary treatment for Lyme disease; the most appropriate antibiotic treatment depends upon the patient and the stage of the disease. According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines, the antibiotics of choice are doxycycline (in adults), amoxicillin (in children), erythromycin (for pregnant women) and ceftriaxone, with treatment lasting 10 to 28 days. If Lyme arthritis symptoms fail to respond to a 30-day antibiotic regimen, some recommend an additional 30 days of antibiotics. Alternative choices are cefuroxime and cefotaxime. Treatment of pregnant women is similar, but doxycycline should not be used.
A double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled multicenter clinical study indicated three weeks of treatment with intravenous ceftriaxone, followed by 100 days of treatment with oral amoxicillin did not improve symptoms any more than just three weeks of treatment with ceftriaxone. The researchers noted the outcome should not be evaluated after the initial antibiotic treatment, but rather 6–12 months afterwards. In patients with chronic posttreatment symptoms, persistent positive levels of antibodies did not seem to provide any useful information for further care of the patient.
In later stages, the bacteria disseminate throughout the body and may cross the blood–brain barrier, making the infection more difficult to treat. Late diagnosed Lyme is treated with oral or intravenous antibiotics, frequently ceftriaxone for a minimum of four weeks. Minocycline is also indicated for neuroborreliosis for its ability to cross the blood–brain barrier.
Read more about this topic: Lyme Disease
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