The scientific name for Lyme disease is borreliosis. It is transmitted to humans when a tick who has bacteria from the genus Borrelia in its system bites a human. As the tick is feasting on the human’s blood, it can regurgitate some of its saliva and infect the human. Lyme disease treatment is usually accomplished with antibiotics.
If someone is bitten by a tick, he or she should watch for a bulls-eye to appear at the site of the bite. If this occurs, the person should see a doctor, and arrange for a blood test to confirm Lyme disease. Even if a bulls-eye pattern does not appear, it does not mean the person does not have Lyme disease.
Anyone who is bitten by a tick should keep an eye out for symptoms such as joint pain, rashes on the skin, meningitis, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle stiffness. Lyme disease can be detected one to two weeks after a person has been infected, but symptoms may not appear until years later. It is important that Lyme disease treatment is started as soon as possible.
When someone tests positive for Lyme disease, he or she will be given the most common Lyme disease treatment. This is a long course of antibiotics, which is referred to as antibiotic therapy. The specific antibiotic a doctor prescribes is based on the patient's tolerance of antibiotics and the stage of the disease.
When Lyme disease is diagnosed early, it can be treated and cured with amoxicillin, doxycycline, or cefuroxime. These antibiotics are given in pill form, and taken for a total of three weeks. The first two days, individuals may notice that their symptoms are magnified. This can happen, and it is important that the antibiotics are not stopped. After three or four days, the individual usually begins to feel better, and the symptoms are less bothersome.
If the Lyme disease was not detected until the individual has already been suffering from more serious symptoms, antibiotics are given intravenously. Usually, either cefotaxime or ceftriaxone is administered once per day for up to one month. In some cases, a home nurse may administer the therapy so that daily trips to the doctor's office are not necessary.
Some symptoms may remain after the Lyme disease treatment has been completed. These symptoms may occur even though the infection itself is gone. A doctor may wish to prescribe some medications to help with any remaining symptoms, such as a pain reliever for arthritis or headaches.