The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications as recommended by your doctor, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
Two main medications used for Lyme disease include:
Common names include:
Antibiotics are given in all stages of Lyme disease. Their aim is to kill the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. A repeat course of antibiotic therapy may be needed if Lyme disease infection recurs. Some people may continue to develop symptoms and complications of the disease even after the bacteria are killed.
Possible side effects of all antibiotics include:
Common names include:
NSAIDs are pain relievers. Your doctor may advise you to use them if you have arthritis pain as a complication of Lyme disease. The dose depends on the amount of pain. For severe pain, NSAIDs are available in higher doses by prescription. They should be taken with food and a full glass of water.
Possible side effects include:
NSAIDs may interfere with other medications including those treating high blood pressure . Be sure any doctor prescribing NSAIDs knows about your past medical history and any of your other medicines. If you are aged 50 or older or have previously had bleeding from the stomach or upper gastrointestinal tract, your doctor may prescribe different medications than the ones listed above.
If you are taking medications, follow these general guidelines:
A history of Lyme disease, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/lymeDisease/Pages/history.aspx. Updated March 29, 2011. Accessed September 26, 2012.
Lyme disease. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114365/Lyme-disease. Updated August 15, 2016. Accessed October 6, 2016.
Lyme disease treatment. Lyme Disease website. Available at: https://www.lymedisease.org/lyme-basics/lyme-disease/treatment. Accessed September 26, 2012.
Treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/treatment/index.html. Updated July 26, 2012. Accessed September 26, 2012.
United States Pharmacopeial Convention. USP DI. 21st ed. Englewood, CO: Micromedex; 2001.
Last reviewed November 2015 by David L. Horn, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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