What Is the Treatment for Lyme Disease?


Quick Answer

Physicians prescribe antibiotics to treat Lyme disease, explains Mayo Clinic. Oral antibiotics are typically prescribed for 14 to 21 days when the disease is in its early stages, while intravenous antibiotics may be administered for 14 to 28 days in cases where the disease affects the central nervous system.

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What Is the Treatment for Lyme Disease?
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Full Answer

Doxycycline, amoxicillin and penicillin are examples of antibiotics that can be taken orally to treat Lyme disease, notes WebMD. Women who are lactating or pregnant and children below the age of 9 typically receive amoxicillin or penicillin because doxycycline can cause teeth stains in unborn babies and children whose permanent teeth are developing. Individuals allergic to penicillin may receive erythromycin or similar antibiotics. Taking these antibiotics as prescribed usually prevents the development of arthritis or neurological issues in Lyme patients.

Lyme disease patients who present with heart-related symptoms are often prescribed penicillin, Rocephin, Claforan or other antibiotics intravenously, explains WebMD. Although Lyme disease rarely causes long-term damage to the heart, individuals with persistent or severe heart symptoms may also receive corticosteroids or a temporary internal cardiac pacemaker.

A small percentage of Lyme disease patients still have fatigue, muscle aches or other symptoms after completing treatment, notes Mayo Clinic. Taking more antibiotics does not get rid of these lingering symptoms.

The Food and Drug Administration does not approve the use of bismacine injections in the treatment of Lyme disease, as of January 2015, according to Mayo Clinic. The compound, which alternative medicine practitioners sometimes use to treat Lyme disease, contains large amounts of the metal bismuth. Bismuth poisoning can result in kidney and heart failure.

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