Common Conditions Requiring Medication Treatment For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease requires medication treatment. If you don’t take proper medication, your condition can get much worse. It is important to continue seeing your doctor, even if you are feeling better, until your doctor says you are free of the disease. Be sure to share if you are getting new symptoms or have found your symptoms are not improving.
What Did It Find
- Compared to doxycycline, there was no difference between the following antibiotics for treatment response by 12 months: penicillin V , azithromycin , cefuroxime axetil , amoxicillin or ceftriaxone plus doxycycline .
- More than 80% of patients showed a treatment response, 84% at two or fewer months after starting treatment and 80% at 12 or more months following treatment initiation. There was no available data on outcomes for around 15%.
- There were few treatment failures in those people who were followed up 4% by two months and 2% by 12 months.
- Treatment-related adverse effects occurred in around 31% of people and included vomiting and diarrhoea as well as a Herxheimer-like reaction . Only 1% experienced haematologic adverse events, such as low platelet counts.
Questions To Ask Your Veterinarian
If your dog has a positive Lyme test but no symptoms of the disease or protein in the urine, ask your veterinarian why he or she is recommending treatment. Experts currently recommend against antibiotic therapy under these circumstances because the dogs immune system is holding the bacteria in check and antibiotics are unable to eliminate the infection.
Dogs who have contracted Lyme disease do not develop prolonged, protective immunity and can be reinfected at a later date. Talk to your veterinarian about how best to prevent future infections. Options include measures to prevent the ticks that carry Lyme disease from biting your dog and Lyme vaccination.
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Port For Lyme Disease:
A Port, also known as a Porta-Cath, is a catheter and port inserted under the skin in the chest into the super vena cava . The Port procedure is very similar to that of a PICC line: a thin, flexible tube will be inserted into a large vein in the the chest, the tube will be threaded through the vein until it rests just above the heart, a technician will use a numbing agent so that there is no pain and the tube will be guided through the vein with the help of ultrasound and/or X-ray. A Port, like a PICC line, will sit above the heart and make for more effective distribution of antibiotics and nutrients, etc. Also like the PICC line, a Port can stay in for several weeks to several months without needing to be changed or taken out.
Each infusion with a Port will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half and can be done at your own home either on your own or via a visiting nurse. Otherwise, infusions will be done at a hospital infusion lab or doctors office. Ports require regular cleaning by a nurse, either in home or at a facility.
This procedure should be taken seriously and adequate discussion and caution should be used when considering a Port with your doctor. Ports are a good alternative to PICC lines when the patient has poor veins in the arms.
Potential Treatment For Lyme Disease Kills Bacteria That May Cause Lingering Symptoms Study Finds
Screening thousands of drugs, Stanford scientists determined that in mice, azlocillin, an antibiotic approved by the Food and Drug Administration, eliminated the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
Deer ticks are vectors of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.Scott Bauer/USDA Agricultural Research Service
For decades, the routine treatment for Lyme disease has been standard antibiotics, which usually kill off the infection. But for up to 20% of people with the tick-borne illness, the antibiotics dont work, and lingering symptoms of muscle pain, fatigue and cognitive impairment can continue for years sometimes indefinitely.
A new Stanford Medicine study in lab dishes and mice provides evidence that the drug azlocillin completely kills off the disease-causing bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi at the onset of the illness. The study suggests it could also be effective for treating patients infected with drug-tolerant bacteria that may cause lingering symptoms.
This compound is just amazing, said Jayakumar Rajadas, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Biomaterials and Advanced Drug Delivery Laboratory at the Stanford School of Medicine. It clears the infection without a lot of side effects. We are hoping to repurpose it as an oral treatment for Lyme disease. Rajadas is the senior author of the study, which was published online March 2 in Scientific Reports. The lead author is research associate Venkata Raveendra Pothineni, PhD.
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Different Types Of Medication For Lyme Disease
Doctors prescribe different medications for children and adults and for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. You’ll take antibiotics for 10 to 21 days, depending on your doctor’s advice.Medication treatment is more intense if the bacteria show signs of progressing into your central nervous system. This is what happens with time when Lyme disease is left untreated. Instead of taking pills, you’ll be given an antibiotic through a needle. This is called intravenous treatment. The medicine will work faster by going straight into your bloodstream. People are given IV treatment for two to three weeks.
Antimicrobials That Kill Growing Phase Spirochetes
- Amoxicillin 500 mg 1 to 2 pills 3 times a day. Alternatively as an alternative to IV antibiotics take 3 to 4 pills 3 times a day.
- Amoxicillin/Clavulanic Acid 875 mg/125 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
- Bicillin LA 2.4 million units IM 3 times a week with one day between each injection
- Ceftriaxone 2 gm IV 2 times a day for 4 days in a row then off for 3 days of each 7 days
- Cefotaxime 2 gm IV every 8 hours
- Cefuroxime 500 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
- Cefdinir 300 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
Additional IV Antibiotics
Vancomycin, imipenem, and ertapenem are possible alternatives if someone is allergic to Ceftriaxone or Cefotaxime.
Intracellular and Extracellular
- Clarithromycin 500 mg 2 pills 2 times a day
- Azithromycin 500 mg 1 time a day or 500 mg IV 1 time a day
- Doxycycline 100 mg 1 or 2 pills 2 times a day or 200 to 400 mg mg IV 1 time a day
- Minocycline 100 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
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How Is Lyme Disease Transmitted
Lyme disease is transmitted through a bite from a specific type of tick. The animals that most often carry these insects are white-footed field mice, deer, racoons, opossums, skunks, weasels, foxes, shrews, moles, chipmunks, squirrels, and horses. The majority of these ticks have been found in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
What Causes Lyme Disease
People get Lyme disease when they are bitten by an infected tick. Ticks live in areas with a lot of plant life, such as wooded areas or fields. They sit near the top of grassy plants and low bushes. They wait there for people or animals to brush up against them. Ticks can crawl on your clothes or body for up to several hours or more before attaching to the skin.
Ticks can attach to any part of your body. They are usually found in hard-to-see areas, including the armpits, groin, or scalp. An infected tick needs to be attached to your skin for 36 to 48 hours before it passes the bacteria on to you.
People who spend time in outdoor areas where ticks are common are at higher risk of getting tick-borne diseases.
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Quinine Derivatives To Boost Intracellular Antibiotics
Inside of cells, Lyme may live in cave-like structures called vacuoles. In these vacuoles, Lyme germs create a hostile acidic environment that can limit the effectiveness of various antibiotics. Quinine derivatives, like hydroxychloroquine , can make the inside of cells more basic which can help the tetracyclines and macrolides mentioned above work better.
- Hydroxychloroquine 200 mg 1 pill 2 times a day
Why This Is Important
The use and duration of antibiotics for chronic Lyme disease treatment is controversial because there is no biomarker that can determine whether the Lyme bacteria has been eradicated in CLD patients. Patients are often told that either chronic Lyme disease does not exist or that it is incurable. If this were true, we would not expect more well and substantially improved patients to be taking antibiotics. Instead, we might have expected the percentage of people using antibiotics to be roughly the same among the patient subgroups.
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Living With Lyme Disease
Most people treated in the early stages of Lyme disease make a quick and complete recovery. Some may experience symptoms for a few weeks after treatment. If you were treated for Lyme disease but you still dont feel well, call your family doctor. He or she can make sure there isnt something else wrong. They can help you find ways to ease your symptoms. Some patients have found relief with treatments typically used for chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.
Other things you can do to help manage Lyme disease include:
- Educate yourself.There is a lot of inaccurate information to be sorted through, especially on the internet. Ask your doctor if you have questions.
- Track your symptoms.Keep a diary of your sleep patterns, eating habits, exercise routines, and how youre feeling. You or your doctor may be able to make connections between them.
- Take care of yourself.Eat a healthy diet. Exercise as regularly as you can. Get plenty of rest.
Find support. It can be hard to not feel well and not know why. Some people may think your symptoms arent real. Talk to friends and family. If they cant offer support, talk with a counselor who can help you.
Picc Line For Lyme Disease:
PICC stands for peripherally inserted central catheter. Inserting a PICC line is a common procedure in which a thin, flexible tube will be inserted into a large vein in the upper arm. The tube will be threaded through the vein until it rests just above the heart. A technician will use a numbing agent so there is no pain and the tube will be guided through the vein with the help of ultrasound and/or X-ray. A PICC line can stay in place for several weeks or months without needing to be changed or taken out. It is a more effective way of delivering IV antibiotics into your body if you intend to be using them on a regular basis. The placement of the tube just above the heart allows for a quicker response time for medications and nutrients, etc. If done properly, once the line is in and the initial discomfort settles, it shouldnt be at all noticeable.
Each infusion with a PICC line will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half and can be done at your own home either on your own or via a visiting nurse. Otherwise, infusions will be done at a hospital infusion lab or doctors office. PICC lines require regular cleaning by a nurse, either in home or at a facility.
This procedure should be taken seriously and adequate discussion and caution should be used when considering a PICC line with your doctor.
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Lyme Disease Antibiotics Overview
The following are four general rules I use to develop a Lyme disease antibiotic regimen.
- Rule 1. Combine antibiotics to treat all forms of the germ.
- Rule 2. Combine antibiotics to treat Lyme living outside and inside of cells.
- Rule 3. Combine antibiotics that work in different ways to attack the germ from different angles.
- Rule 4. Treat all growth phases of Lyme at the same time – this means treatments should include antimicrobials that address persisters in addition to the growth phase of the term.
Oral Antibiotics For Early Treatment Of Lyme
The bacteria involved in spreading Lyme disease throughout the body are intelligent. They find ways to hide in the bloodstream along the lining, making it hard for antibiotics to find and attack. The bacteria are also robust. They can move and replicate even when traveling against the flow of blood.
Plus, to eliminate Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterias antibodies must be present at the time of antibiotic treatment. This means that if your doctor prescribes antibiotics for two weeks, the bacteria are in hibernation during those two weeks, and they can remain after the treatment ends.
Timing is everything when using oral antibiotics. This becomes even more true for patients who have had Lyme disease for a long time. Oral antibiotics are not as successful when treating late or chronic Lyme disease, plus they can have side effects.
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Do I Have To Use Antibiotics To Recover From Chronic Lyme Disease Or Post
A frequent question that gets asked is, Do I have to use antibiotics, or are there other ways to recover from chronic Lyme disease or Post-treatment Lyme disease? Certain patients cant tolerate antibiotics, or the antibiotics side effects are too great, or maybe youve tried antibiotics and they didnt work. There are still ways to heal from Lyme Disease if you cant tolerate antibiotics, or if antibiotics did not work for you.
About a year ago, Johns Hopkins published a study showing the efficacy of natural antibiotics for Lyme disease. The study showed there are some natural things that weve been using for a long time that show great activity against Lyme disease. This is important because we know that antibiotics do not cure 100% of people with Lyme disease. When were looking at how to get people better, these agents can play a very important role in a persons recovery. Its nice to have some modern science to back up the value in using natural and herbal remedies to help patients heal from Lyme.
Possible Complications To Watch For With Lyme Disease
Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about your dogs condition.
- Some dogs who take antibiotics can develop loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Once infected, a dog will always have the bacteria that cause Lyme disease in his or her body. Therefore, relapses are possible, and owners should be on the lookout for unexplained fever, swollen lymph nodes, and/or lameness.
- A small percentage of dogs develop kidney failure as a result of Lyme disease. Clinical signs include vomiting, weight loss, poor appetite, lethargy, increased thirst and urination, and abnormal accumulations of fluid within the body.
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Will Prescription Antibiotics Work Faster Or Better Than Natural Antibiotics For Lyme
Unfortunately, from nearly a decade of experience my answer is no. Antibiotics are extremely effective if taken within the first 3 months of contracting Lyme. Doing antibiotic regiments for patients with chronic Lyme does not work faster than natural methods. In fact, from my experience heavy prescription antibiotic methods cause a plethora of messy and harsh side effects. In the 20% of patients who require medical antibiotics to recover we spend much of our time trying to counteract the negative and unpleasant side effects the prescription is causing.
Several Antibiotics Appear Effective Against Early
Most cases of Lyme disease, which is an infection carried by ticks, can be easily managed if treated early using antibiotics, with choice of antibiotic agent having little bearing on success.
This network meta-analysis suggests that when symptoms of the disease are confined to a localised skin infection, treatment failures are relatively infrequent, only 2% at 12 months. Effective antibiotics include penicillin V, doxycycline, azithromycin, cefuroxime, amoxicillin and ceftriaxone plus doxycycline.
The research has significant limitations, but choice, dose and duration of antibiotics appear to have little impact on outcomes. This research does not suggest that guidelines need to be reviewed.
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Hunting For Alternative Drug
Frustrated by the lack of treatment options for Lyme disease patients with lingering symptoms, Rajadas and his team began hunting for a better alternative in 2011. In 2016, they published a study in Drug Design, Development and Therapy that listed 20 chemical compounds, from about 4,000, that were most effective at killing the infection in mice. All 20 had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for various uses. One, for instance, is used to treat alcohol abuse disorder.
In this most recent study, azlocillin, one of the top-20 contenders, was shown to eclipse a total of 7,450 compounds because it is more effective in killing B. burgdorferi and causes fewer side effects. Lyme disease affects more than 300,000 people annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can affect various organs, including the brain, skin, heart, joints and nervous system, and cause heart problems and arthritis if untreated. Symptoms include fever, headaches, chills, and muscle and joint pain.
Traditional antibiotics, such as doxycycline, are effective as an early course of treatment for the infection in the majority of patients, but it remains unclear why these drugs fail to treat 10% to 20% of patients, Rajadas said.
Symptoms Of Post Treatment Lyme Disease
- Include severe fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, & cognitive problems
- Can significantly impact patients health and quality of life
- Can be debilitating and prolonged
Our research indicates the chronic symptom burden related to PTLD is significant. Although often invisible to others, the negative impact on quality of life and daily functioning is substantial for PTLD sufferers.
The chronic symptom burden related to Lyme disease is considerable, as shown on the left side of the graph above, and statistically significantly greater than the aches and pains of daily living experienced by the control group, on the right.
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