What Is The Treatment For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease can be treated and cured in all the stages. 14 to 21 days course of oral antibiotics are commonly used to treat the disease in its early stages. The medications used are doxycycline , and cefuroxime and amoxicillin
The later stage of Lyme disease that involves the central nervous system is treated with intravenous antibiotics for a course of 14 to 28 days. Sometimes, these intravenous antibiotics can cause various side effects that include a lower white blood cell count, diarrhea, colonization, or other infection.
Some people might experience symptoms such as joint pain and muscle weakness even after the treatment. This condition is known as post-Lyme disease syndrome and the cause of this syndrome is not known to date. In this case, treating with antibiotics is also ineffective.
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How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Lyme Disease Or Other Tick
Recommendations on preventing ticks include these from AKCs Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Jerry Klein:
- Inspect your dogs and yourself daily for ticks after walks through the woods or grassy settings. On dogs, look especially on the feet , on lips, around eyes, ears , near the anus, and under the tail.
- Remove ticks stat. The quicker you find them the less likely your dog will contract a secondary illness related to tick bites. Learn the proper method of tick removal. Invest in a pair of fine tweezers used for this purpose. If you are unable to do so, consult with a veterinarian.
- Ask your veterinarian to conduct a tick check at each exam. Theyll be able to find any you may have missed.
- Prevent ticks from jumping on your dog with one of the many veterinary-approved flea and tick preparations available on the market. Speak to your veterinarian to find the best and most appropriate product for your dog.
- Keep grass mowed as short as possible. Refrain from walking into grassy patches in endemic tick areas if you can.
- Get your dog vaccinated. Vaccination could prevent your dog from getting Lyme disease. They may not be appropriate for some dogs, so discuss with your vet.
How To Test For Lyme Disease
Wondering how to get tested for Lyme disease? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests a two-step testing process to check for a Lyme disease infection, both of which involve antibody testing , typically done on the same blood sample.
If the first step in the process returns a negative test result, then the second step is not necessary. However, if the first step yields a positive result, the second test is recommended as confirmation of a Lyme disease diagnosis. The Everlywell Lyme Disease Test follows this recommended protocol from the CDC, so it includes the two-step testing process.
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Is Treatment 100% Effective
Scientists are divided on this topic. Some studies suggest that that even long-term antibiotics may not completely clear infection dogs may get sick again at some point after antibiotic treatment is stopped. Other studies suggest that complete clearance of infection is possible with antibiotic treatment. Further research is required to answer this question.
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The Blood Tests Can Have False Positives
The blood tests can trigger false positives, suggesting that you have the disease when you really dont. This can happen in up to one out of four tests.
This can lead to unnecessary treatment with antibiotics. These drugs are usually safe, but they sometimes cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight. In rare cases, they can even cause dangerous allergic reactions.
Using too many antibiotics can also lead to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. This means that bacteria in your body may get stronger and more difficult to treat with antibiotics in the future.
A false positive can also lead to more unneeded blood tests, urine tests, X-rays, and doctor visits.
If you have a false positive, you may not get treated for the real cause of your pain. For example, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes joint pain. It can lead to permanent and severe joint damage if you do not start taking the right medicines as early as possible.
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What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP will ask about your symptoms and consider any rash or recent tick bites you know about.
Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. It has similar symptoms to other conditions and thereâs not always an obvious rash.
2 types of blood test are available to help confirm or rule out Lyme disease. But these tests are not always accurate in the early stages of the disease.
You may need to be retested if you still have Lyme disease symptoms after a negative result.
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What Are The Post
The symptoms of Lyme disease become very complicated if treated at a later stage. However, quicker and complete treatment of a patient suffering from Lyme disease is possible, if he/she is properly treated at an early stage. The post treatment guidelines for treatment of such a disease essentially involve taking the prescribed medicines regularly on time as directed by the doctor. If a patient is not taking the medicines regularly, then he/she may invite severe health risks or even life risk.
If a female patient is pregnant, breast feeding or planning to get pregnant then she must stop taking Doxycycline because such an antibiotic may harm the baby growing within their womb. Such female patients should not take any medicine without consulting a doctor.
Follow-up care is an important part for the treatment and safety of the patients suffering from Lyme disease. The patient should make sure to go to every appointment or call up their doctor in case they are having any problem during the course of treatment.
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Government Assistance For Lyme Disease
While there arent many government assistance programs that help offset Lyme disease costs, filing for disability can make life easier while you receive treatment. Applying for Lyme disease disability benefits can be tricky, but the Benefits.gov website lists the benefit programs from every state with information on how to apply.
Stage : Late Disseminated Lyme Disease
Late disseminated Lyme disease occurs when the infection hasnt been treated in stages 1 and 2. Stage 3 can occur months or years after the tick bite.
This stage is characterized by:
- arthritis of one or more large joints
- brain disorders, such as encephalopathy, which can cause short-term memory loss, difficulty concentrating, mental fogginess, problems with following conversations and sleep disturbance
- numbness in the arms, legs, hands, or feet
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Who Is Eligible For The Treatment
Any person who has been bitten by blacklegged tick and is suffering from symptoms like fever, headache, weakness, muscle or joint pain, swollen lymph nodes and a typical type of skin rash known as erythema migrans, are said to have Lyme disease and are eligible for such treatment. Pathological tests of blood samples of the patient are also helpful in the diagnosis of Lyme disease, if they are used correctly and performed with validated methods. It is very important to be cautious, so as to avoid misdiagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease, when the actual cause of the ailment is something else.
Azlocillin Comes Out On Top
The drug, which is not on the market, was tested in mouse models of Lyme disease at seven-day, 14-day and 21-day intervals and found to eliminate the infection. For the first time, azlocillinwas also shown to be effective in killing drug-tolerant forms of B. burgdorferi in lab dishes, indicating that it may work as a therapy for lingering symptoms of Lyme disease.
Pothineni and Rajadas have patented the compound for the treatment of Lyme disease and are working with a company to develop an oral form of the drug. Researchers plan to conduct a clinical trial.
Rajadas is also a professor of bioengineering and therapeutic sciences at the University of California-San Francisco.
Other Stanford co-authors are Hari-Hara S. K. Potula, PhD, senior research scientist postdoctoral scholars Aditya Ambati, PhD, and Venkata Mallajosyula, PhD senior research scientist Mohammed Inayathullah, PhD and intern Mohamed Sohail Ahmed.
A researcher at Loyola College in India also contributed to the work.
The study was funded by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation and Laurel STEM Fund.
- Tracie White
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Lyme Disease Frequently Asked Questions
If you have not done so already, remove the tick with fine-tipped tweezers.
The chances that you might get Lyme disease from a single tick bite depend on the type of tick, where you acquired it, and how long it was attached to you. Many types of ticks bite people in the U.S., but only blacklegged ticks transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Furthermore, only blacklegged ticks in the highly endemic areas of the northeastern and north central U.S. are commonly infected. Finally, blacklegged ticks need to be attached for at least 24 hours before they can transmit Lyme disease. This is why its so important to remove them promptly and to check your body daily for ticks if you live in an endemic area.
If you develop illness within a few weeks of a tick bite, see your health care provider right away. Common symptoms of Lyme disease include a rash, fever, body aches, facial paralysis, and arthritis. Ticks can also transmit other diseases, so its important to be alert for any illness that follows a tick bite.
Moody KD, Barthold SW, 1991. Relative infectivity of Borrelia burgdorferi in Lewis rats by various routes of inoculation.Am J Trop Med Hyg 44: 135-9.
There are no reports of Lyme disease being spread to infants through breast milk. If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease and are also breastfeeding, make sure that your doctor knows this so that he or she can prescribe an antibiotic thats safe for use when breastfeeding.
How Is The Treatment Done
When doctors diagnose a patient for Lyme disease, then they mainly look for the history of possible exposure of the person to infected blacklegged ticks and the signs or symptoms shown by the patient. Pathological tests of blood samples of the patient are often helpful in diagnosis, if they are used correctly and performed with validated methods. It is very important to be cautious so as to avoid misdiagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease, when the actual cause of the ailment is something else.
In medical science, Lyme disease is basically described in three stages. During the first stage the symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, chills, skin inflammation and rashes. The second stage of the disease is characterised by spreading of the disease to the heart and the nervous system and may involve palsies and meningitis. On the other hand, during the late stage of this disease the featuring motor and sensory nerves get damaged and brain inflammation and arthritis may also develop.
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Treatment For Chronic Lyme Disease
Sometimes, people go through treatment for Lyme disease but their symptoms donât go away. If this lasts over 6 months, itâs known as chronic Lyme disease or âpost-treatment Lyme disease syndromeâ .
Doctors still arenât sure why some people get PTLDS. Some believe that getting Lyme disease may cause damage to your tissues or immune system. Others believe itâs because the bacteria that causes Lyme hasnât completely gone away.
There is little evidence that taking more antibiotics at this stage will help. They may actually be harmful. Instead, your doctor will focus on treating the symptoms youâre still having. This will be different for everyone. Some people could benefit from a medicine that relieves fatigue, while others may need a drug that can help with headaches or very sensitive skin.
Your doctor could also have you try a treatment that helps people with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.
More research is needed to figure out how best to treat PTLDS. Itâs something that can be frustrating. Just remember: Many people who have this condition do start feeling like their old selves after a few months.
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the Borrelia bacterium which is spread by ticks. The most common sign of infection is an expanding area of redness on the skin, known as erythema migrants, that appears at the site of the tick bite about a week after it occurred.
Question 10 What Other Infections Can A Tick Transmit To Humans Besides Lyme Disease
I scapularis ticks can also carry other human pathogens that have a high degree of symptom overlap, including Borrelia miyamotoi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and Babesia microti.2,10-12 Several studies on co-infected ticks indicate as many as 20% of Ixodid ticks can be coinfected with B burgdorferi and one or more of these other tick-borne human pathogens.10-12
Molecular tests can be useful to detect these organisms in early/acute stages of infection, when genetic material from the pathogen can be detected but antibodies remain below the limit of detection of serologic assays.2,10-12 Quest offers molecular and/or serological tests for B burgdorferi, B miyamotoi, A phagocytophilum, E chaffeensis, and B microti, individually and in 2 panels .
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How Can I Tell If Treatment Is Working
If joint lameness is the presenting sign, improvement may be noted after 3-5 days starting antibiotics. A dogs response to therapy can be assessed by repeating the QC6 test six months after treatment is complete. Dogs that start with a moderate to high QC6 value typically show a 50% reduction or more in the QC6 at six months, indicating that treatment has been successful. Dogs that have a lower initial QC6 value may not show such dramatic reductions in the QC6 at six months, although the value should still be lower than the starting point if treatment has been successful.
A persistently high QC6 suggests treatment may not have been complete or that the dog became reinfected after treatment was stopped.
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Lyme Blood Culture: C
A United States lab called Advanced Laboratory Services had a Lyme disease blood culture that may have good predictive value in finding Lyme infection. Note: ALS no longer offers this tests. Traditionally the problem with Lyme blood culture has been finding a substance to grow the Lyme germ. ALS has perfected a method that involves three separate steps. In the first step the blood is incubated on a special modified BSK medium. Then after 2 weeks it is transfered to a medium that has a protein matrix. As a third step a PCR techinique is use to determine if the growth on the medium is really borrelia. PCR is a techinique that finds the dna of an infection, in this case borrelia.
There is one study of this technique performed by Eva Sapi PhD and her research group. Of note the research was supported by ALS and Dr. Sapi is a member of the Research Division at ALS. This means there is an inherent bias built into the results of the research to find a positive result supporting the effectiveness of the test.
The test included 72 people who were known to have Lyme based on the very strict standards of the CDC and IDSA. There were also 50 people put in a control group who did not have Lyme. The study results found 94% sensitivity and 100% specificity.
In fact in my limited use of this test I found it missed many that I diagnosed with Lyme disease based on other tests and clinical grounds.
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What Happens If You Go Untreated For Lyme Disease
If you happen to test positive for Lyme disease but go untreated, then your symptoms may increase significantly. You may develop early-onset arthritis, facial palsy, and inflammation of the brain stem and spine. Those symptoms can affect how your brain works and your ability to function cognitively.
Macrolide Plus Quinine Derivative Plus Azole Plus Methylene Blue
- azithromycin 500 mg 1 pill 1 time a day
- hydroxychloroquine 200 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
- metronidazole 500 mg 1 pill 2 or 3 times a day
- methylene blue 50 mg 2 times a day
- Since azithromycin is not as effective as other macrolides like clarithromycin, hydroxychloroquine is used to increase the effectiveness.
- Tinidazole could be substituted for the metronidazole because it may remove biofilms more effectively.
- Methylene Blue can treat persister Lyme.
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Intravenous Antibiotics For Lyme: Pros Cons And The Lived Experience
byJennifer Crystalon September 3, 2020
Has your doctor recommended you get a PICC line to treat your Lyme disease? Here are the pros and cons of IV antibiotics for Lyme.
When diagnosed right away, many cases of Lyme disease can be treated with a three-week course of oral antibiotics. Some 20% of patients, however, go on to experience continued symptomsknown as Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndromeand require more antibiotics. Still others, like myself, suffer with Late Disseminated Lyme Disease, which isnt diagnosed until months or years after a tick bite. By that point, the Lyme bacteria, called a spirochete, has replicated and invaded many systems of the body, often crossing the blood-brain barrier.
This stage of Lyme disease is so advanced that Lyme Literate Medical Doctors often recommend intravenous antibiotics, administered through a peripherally inserted central catheter . A port is placed in your arm with a line that runs directly to your heart. The port remains in your arm for as long as your doctor recommendsin some cases months or even yearsand you self-administer antibiotics. Just the idea of having a PICC line is understandably daunting to patients. Many write to me wondering if they should pursue this route. I responded briefly to this question in one of my Dear Lyme WarriorHelp! columns. In this blog, I will share more about my own experience with a PICC line, and outline pros and cons.