Antibiotics for Lyme Disease
How Well It Works
Antibiotics are most effective in helping cure Lyme disease when they are taken early in the course of the disease.Reference 1 Early treatment with antibiotics can help prevent future problems with arthritis, the heart, or the nervous system. But symptoms may not go away right away. Some symptoms may last for several weeks after treatment. This does not mean that the antibiotics were not successful, nor does it mean that you need additional antibiotic treatment.
Antibiotic treatment for early symptoms of Reference chronic Lyme arthritis Opens New Window is usually very effective. Joints that have been badly damaged by Lyme arthritis may take a long time to get better after the infection has been cured, or they may not respond to treatment at all. A small percentage of people in the United States continue to have symptoms of chronic Lyme arthritis after treatment with antibiotics.Reference 2
Heart symptoms often begin to go away before antibiotics are given. If not, they usually respond to antibiotic therapy within days. Mild heart symptoms that may occur with early Lyme disease usually improve after treatment with oral amoxicillin or doxycycline for 21 to 30 days.
Symptoms of Reference inflammation Opens New Window of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord (Lyme meningitis) begin to improve by the second day of therapy and usually disappear after 7 to 10 days.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 9, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology