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Ask the Experts


What is the treatment for lyme disease?

Answered by: Brian Fallon

This is not an easy question to answer simply. As Lyme disease is caused by a bacterial agent (B.burgdorferi), it is treated with antibiotics. The choice of antibiotic and the length of antibiotic treatment varies depending on the duration of illness and manifestation of illness.

In general, 2-3 weeks of oral antibiotics is sufficient for early Lyme disease. Later stages of Lyme disease are mired in controversy and uncertainty.

I would recommend reading the two sets of guidelines currently on the web that relate to treatment. One is by the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA).

The other is by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). You can also read a general review of treatment approaches in our Lyme website