Treatment of Lyme disease
Learn about how Lyme disease is diagnosed and how it is treated.
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How is Lyme disease diagnosed?
Diagnosing Lyme disease can be difficult as symptoms vary from person to person. Symptoms can also be similar to other illnesses.
A diagnosis of Lyme disease is based on:
- signs and symptoms
- history of possible exposure to infected blacklegged ticks
- the outcome of laboratory testing
Laboratory testing may be recommended for patients with signs, symptoms and history of exposure to tick bite to support a clinical diagnosis.
Seek your health care provider right away if you develop symptoms of Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick or if you visited a known at risk area for Lyme disease. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the greater the chance of a successful treatment.
What is the treatment?
Most cases of Lyme disease can be effectively treated with 2 to 4 weeks of antibiotics. Depending on the symptoms and when you were diagnosed, you may require a longer course or repeat treatment with antibiotics.
Some people experience symptoms that continue more than 6 months after treatment. Research continues into the causes of these persistent symptoms and possible treatment methods.
Treating Lyme disease while pregnant
Treatment for pregnant women with Lyme disease is similar to that of non-pregnant adults. However, certain antibiotics, such as doxycycline should not be used as it can affect your unborn child.
Research shows that there are no life-threatening effects on the child when a pregnant woman receives appropriate antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease.
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