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Lyme Disease (cont.)

Lyme Disease Treatment and Medications

  • Doctors will treat primary or early Lyme disease with oral antibiotics including doxycycline, penicillins, or erythromycin. In early stages, the disease can be curable with just this antibiotic treatment.
  • Pregnant women are usually treated with penicillins or erythromycin. Doxycycline is generally avoided as it may affect the development of the fetus.
  • Doctors may treat late-stage cases of neurological, heart, or arthritic Lyme disease with intravenous antibiotics (usually ceftriaxone [Rocephin]) in the hospital or as an outpatient.

Follow-up for Lyme Disease

Follow-up with continued care is important for people who have early Lyme disease but who fail to improve rapidly and completely.

  • Doctors must consider other treatment options and rule out other illnesses that may be mistaken for Lyme disease.
  • People with later-stage disease who require IV antibiotics or hospitalization must be monitored in the weeks following their treatment.
  • Improvement in the symptoms of Lyme disease, particularly in the heart and nervous system, may occur gradually over a period of months. Lack of immediate improvement in all your symptoms is not a sign of unsuccessful treatment.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/17/2015

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Lyme disease is due to infection with the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi and the body's immune response to the infection.

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