What Are Some Common Side Effects Of Lyme Disease Medication
As with any medication, there are always potential side effects. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if your side effects persist or worsen.
Antibiotics are commonly used to treat Lyme disease and may cause allergic reactions that result in hives, difficulty breathing, or dry eyes, throat, and mouth. Some people may experience diarrhea, headaches, or chest pain as well. You should seek immediate medical care if you believe you are experiencing an allergic reaction.
This list of side effects is not comprehensive. Ask a healthcare professional for more details regarding the possible side effects of a particular medication.
What Is The Treatment For Lyme Disease
The first-line standard of care treatment for adults with Lyme disease is doxycycline, a tetracycline antibiotic. Other antibiotics that have activity against borrelia include the penicillin-like antibiotic, amoxicillin, and the second generation cephalosporin, Ceftin. The mainstay of treatment is with oral antibiotics, but intravenous antibiotics are sometimes indicated for more difficult to treat cases of neurologic-Lyme disease, such as meningitis, and cases of late Lyme arthritis.
What Should I Do If I Am Bitten By A Tick
If you experience a tick bite, the best way to remove it is by taking the following steps:
- Tug gently but firmly with blunt tweezers near the “head” of the tick at the level of your skin until it releases its hold on the skin.
- Avoid crushing the tick’s body or handling the tick with bare fingers as you could exposure yourself to the bacteria in the tick.
- Wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.
- DO NOT use kerosene, petroleum jelly , or hot cigarette butts to remove the tick.
- DO NOT squeeze the tick’s body with your fingers or tweezers.
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Using Antibiotics To Treat Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is typically treated with antibiotics, although the type of antibiotic used depends on what stage of the disease you have.
After you remove a deer tick that has been attached to you for at least 36 hours the amount of time it takes for the tick to transmit the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi theres a 72-hour window during which your doctor may give you a single dose of the antibiotic doxycycline to prevent the development of Lyme disease.
Doxycycline is prescribed to patients age 8 and older, except for pregnant women. Not everyone in this situation will receive doxycycline the deer tick bite needs to have occurred in a highly endemic area .
If you have localized Lyme disease with the telltale bulls-eye rash, also known as erythema migrans, but no other significant symptoms, your doctor will most likely treat you with oral doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime for 10 to 14 days. If you have early disseminated Lyme disease, which may include the characteristic rash along with cardiac or neurologic symptoms, the treatment duration is lengthened to 14 to 21 days.
Late disseminated Lyme disease is also treated with various antibiotics:
How Do Humans Get Lyme Disease
The germ that causes Lyme disease lives in certain animals. These are mainly rodents such as mice, some birds and some other small animals. The bacterium is usually harmless to the animals.
Ticks are small insect-like creatures, about the size of a pinhead. Ticks feed by biting the skin and sucking blood from animals such as mice, and sometimes humans. In this way, some ticks become infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
Ticks cannot jump or fly but climb on to passing humans from long grass or foliage. If an infected tick bites a human then the bacteria may be passed into the human. The bacterium that causes Lyme disease is not passed from person to person. Note: most ticks in the UK are not infected by the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Therefore, most tick bites will not cause Lyme disease.
After a person has been bitten by a tick, it usually takes 24-48 hours for the bacteria in the tick to pass into that person. with blood. The bacteria are normally carried in their gut and only travel up to their mouth and into your skin once they have been fed and are engorged. This normally takes about 24 hours but can be less if the tick was already partially fed.) Therefore, if you remove a tick soon after being bitten – within 24 hours – you are much less likely to develop Lyme disease, even if it was an infected tick.
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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, azlocillin was 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
Lyme Disease: Why Does Joint Pain Persist
Researchers have found clues that might lead to a treatment for Lyme arthritis. The secret may lie in the walls of the bacterium that causes the condition.
Lyme disease occurs when a person becomes infected with a tick-borne bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi.
Although doctors can often treat Lyme disease with antibiotics, if they do not catch it early, the bacteria can cause long-term issues with the individuals joints.
Lyme arthritis can persist for months or even years in some cases.
Researchers are still unsure why joint symptoms can continue long after antibiotics have destroyed the bacteria.
30,000 cases of Lyme disease among the United States population.
However, the true number of cases is likely to be much higher. In fact, the CDC estimate that there might be up to 300,000 cases each year.
According to the CDC, reports of Lyme disease have tripled since the late 1990s, and overall, tick-borne diseases are becoming more prevalent. This increase is due, at least in part, to rising global temperatures.
Due to the steady growth in the number of cases, scientists are keen to uncover more effective ways of treating the long-term symptoms.
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How Lyme Disease Is Diagnosed In Dogs
If your vet believes that your pet could be suffering from Lyme disease they will review a full medical history of your dog health, discuss with you any instances when your dog may have come into contact with ticks, examine your petâs body for ticks, then perform a number of tests which may include, blood tests , urine analysis, fecal exam and x-rays. If painful joints is one of your pupâs symptoms, your vet may draw fluid from the affected joints to be analyzed.
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Who Gets Lyme Disease
Anyone bitten by an infected deer tick can get Lyme disease. Most U.S. cases of Lyme disease happen in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But Lyme disease is also found in other parts of the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Other things that might increase a person’s risk include:
- spending a lot of time outdoors in tall grass, brush, shrubs, or wooded areas
- having pets that may carry ticks indoors
- activities such as yardwork, hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting in tick-infested areas
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Treatment Options For Canine Lyme Disease
Four weeks of doxycycline is recommended at either 10 mg/kg once daily or divided twice daily. CS of Lyme Arthritis should rapidly improve within one to three days. Treatment of pain is best with gabapentin rather than NSAIDs to avoid the need for a washout period in case corticosteroids are needed for a persistent immune mediated polyarthritis. Although considered beyond the scope of this article, treatment of Lyme Nephritis includes doxycycline along with the standard treatments for glomerulonephritis, (including a low protein diet, ace-inhibitors, aldosterone receptor blockers, antithrombotics, antihypertensive agents, omega-3 fatty acids, and immunosuppressive agents.
Diagnosis Of Lyme Borreliosis In Animals
Based on a combination of history, clinical signs, laboratory data, response to therapy, and exclusion of other diseases
Serology is important, but positive results have a low positive predictive value of clinical disease
Culture and PCR do not reliably detect spirochetes
Cytology and histopathology of affected tissues may show characteristic inflammatory changes
A diagnosis of Lyme borreliosis is generally reached through the exclusion of other diseases, in tandem with a history of exposure to ticks, clinical signs, supporting laboratory data, and response to therapy. Because clinical signs are nonspecific, other diseases may mimic the signs of Lyme borreliosis. Moreover, most infected animals are asymptomatic, so a positive test result for B burgdorferi has a low positive predictive value for clinical disease. In other words, a positive test neither demonstrates that current clinical signs are caused by infection with B burgdorferi, nor suggests that the animal is likely to develop clinical illness in the future. Thus, a positive test result in a clinically ill animal may be an incidental finding.
The standard procedure for antibody detection is a two-tiered approach in which samples are screened with a sensitive rapid assay and only positively reacting samples are rechecked with specific confirmatory tests. Although quantitative antibody assays are available to test for C6, titer magnitude is a poor predictor of current or future illness.
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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.
What Do You Do If There’s A Tick Under Your Skin
Use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. Pull upward with steady pressure. If parts of the tick are still in your skin, try to get those with the tweezers, too. After everything is out, clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
You probably wonât get infected if you remove the tick within 36 to 48 hours.
How do you throw away a tick?
Put it in soapy water or alcohol, stick it to a piece of tape, or flush it down the toilet.
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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.
Why Are Antibiotics The First Line Of Treatment For Lyme Disease
The use of antibiotics is critical for treating Lyme disease. Without antibiotic treatment, the Lyme disease causing bacteria can evade the host immune system, disseminate through the blood stream, and persist in the body. Antibiotics go into the bacteria preferentially and either stop the multiplication of the bacteria or disrupt the cell wall of the bacteria and kill the bacteria . By stopping the growth or killing the bacteria the human host immune response is given a leg up to eradicate the residual infection. Without antibiotics, the infection in Lyme disease can evade the host immune system and more readily persist.
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Is There A Vaccine For Lyme Disease
A vaccine for Lyme disease was once available in the United States, but it is no longer available. The vaccines manufacturer discontinued its production in 2002, citing low sales.
According to a 2011 analysis, there were likely a number of factors leading to the decision to suspend the vaccine. These factors included:
- Class-action lawsuits
- Low public support due to efforts by anti-vaccine groups
- Concerns that the vaccine could cause arthritis
- A difficult vaccination schedule.
The CDC also notes that the vaccine loses effectiveness over time, meaning that youre probably no longer protected against Lyme disease today if you received the vaccine when it was available.
In July 2017, the FDA granted Fast Track designation for another Lyme disease vaccine candidate, VLA15. The FDA designation is intended to facilitate development and expedite review of drugs that treat serious conditions in order to get them to patients faster.
Additional reporting by George Vernadakis.
Treatment For Erythema Migrans
People treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. Early diagnosis and proper antibiotic treatment of Lyme disease can help prevent late Lyme disease.
Treatment regimens listed in the following table are for the erythema migrans rash, the most common manifestation of early Lyme disease. These regimens may need to be adjusted depending on a persons age, medical history, underlying health conditions, pregnancy status, or allergies. Consult an infectious disease specialist regarding individual patient treatment decisions.
|30 mg/kg per day orally, divided into 2 doses
|500 mg per dose
*When different durations of antibiotics are shown to be effective for the treatment of Lyme disease, the shorter duration is preferred to minimize unnecessary antibiotics that might result in adverse effects, including infectious diarrhea and antimicrobial resistance.
NOTE:For people intolerant of amoxicillin, doxycycline, and cefuroxime, the macrolide azithromycin may be used, although it is less effective. People treated with azithromycin should be closely monitored to ensure that symptoms resolve.
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What Can I Expect Long Term If My Child Has Lyme Disease
If Lyme disease is caught and treated early, most children will make a full recovery. Some children with Lyme disease go on to experience what’s called a post-infectious syndrome with symptoms that may include feeling fatigue, joint aches and pains, headaches, difficulty sleeping, and problems concentrating. Since the infection itself is gone by this time, doctors generally don’t prescribe antibiotics. Each child is different, but it’s not uncommon for symptoms of post-infectious syndrome to linger for months, or even years, and they can be made worse by stress or other illness. But most children do make a full recovery.
Blacklegged, or deer, ticks are very small, so it helps to know what to look for when doing a tick check. Adults are about the size of sesame seeds and in the nymph or larva stage, they can be as tiny as a poppy seeds.
Which Areas Are More Likely To Have It
The tick that causes Lyme disease has been moving from the Northeast and upper Midwest into the Southern and Western U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Cases in California and Florida are on the rise. After a drop between 2017 and 2018, the numbers jumped a little bit in 2019.
But most Lyme cases in 2019 were in 15 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Washington, DC, is also a hotspot.
In 2019, Pennsylvania had the most Lyme infections, with 6,763. New York was next, with 2,847 cases.
In the Southern U.S., where itâs hotter, ticks stay under leaves so they don’t dry out. This means people donât get Lyme from Southern ticks very often because they don’t usually come out to bite.
Even though people only report about 30,000 cases of Lyme infection in the U.S. each year, there are actually around 476,000 a year. The same tick also can spread other diseases, including babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus. Those diseases are also on the rise in the U.S.
Whoâs likeliest to get Lyme disease?
Boys up to age 15 and men between the ages of 40 and 60 are the most likely to get Lyme disease. Thatâs because they tend to play outside and go camping, hunting, and hiking.
Why are there more ticks now than there used to be?
There are several reasons why Lyme is spreading. Some of these are:
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