Treatment for Lyme Disease

Early stage Lyme disease is treated with a 3- to 4-week course of antibiotics (e.g., amoxicillin, doxycycline, ceftriaxone), administered orally. Advanced disease may require intravenous ceftriaxone or penicillin for 4 weeks or longer, treatment for progressive symptoms (e.g., arthritis, neuropathy), and additional courses of treatment.

In areas where Lyme disease is prevalent, people should seek medical treatment if they are bitten by a tick that tests positive for Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria and symptoms develop. Women who are pregnant should seek prompt medical attention because the disease can be transmitted to the fetus.

Lyme Disease Prognosis

When Lyme disease is diagnosed in its early stage, most patients are successfully treated with antibiotics. Humans do not develop immunity to Lyme disease and reinfection is possible. The disease is rarely fatal.

Publication Review By: John J. Swierzewski, D.P.M.

Published: 31 Dec 1999

Last Modified: 13 Aug 2015