The Centers for Disease Control estimate than more than 300,000 people are infected with Lyme disease every year. Lyme disease is spread through tick bites and can cause serious symptoms in people, including swollen joints and severe headaches. The good news is that Lyme disease is easy to treat in its early stages, and a course of oral antibiotics is usually able to stop the infection with no long-term repercussions.
Identifying Lyme Disease In Its Early Stages
In its early stages, Lyme disease may be mistaken for a cold or the flu. Common symptoms include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, muscle ache, headache, fatigue, and joint pain or stiffness. The infection frequently causes a distinctive bull’s eye-shaped skin rash. In rare cases, it can also cause an irregular heartbeat. Anyone who has these symptoms should schedule an appointment with a doctor who can run blood tests for Lyme disease. If the doctor diagnoses a case of Lyme disease, treatment can begin right away.
In general, the sooner a patient starts treatment for Lyme disease, the faster they recover. If Lyme disease is left untreated for too long, symptoms can get considerably worse and may include severe headaches, temporary paralysis of facial muscles, pain or weakness in limbs, loss of coordination, arthritis, and even memory loss problems.
Treating Lyme Disease with Antibiotics
While Lyme disease is treatable at all stages, early diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics can help prevent painful symptoms and a drawn out recovery period.
100mg doxycycline is often the first line of defense against Lyme disease. Doxycycline is a type of drug known as a tetracycline antibiotic. It works by slowing the growth of bacteria (in the case of Lyme disease, a bacterium called Borrelia burgodferi) so that the body’s immune system can fight the infection off. This antibiotic is usually prescribed for a treatment period of two to four weeks, and most patients are completely free of Lyme disease symptoms within a few weeks of starting their treatment.
Anyone using antibiotics to treat Lyme disease should follow their doctor’s dosing instructions carefully and should not stop taking their medicine before their course of treatment is over. Stopping a course of antibiotics too soon may allow the infection to return and become more resistant to that medication. For more information about Lyme disease and to save up to 75% off related medications, visit our Lyme Disease Condition Page.