Lyme disease is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria that live in deer ticks and are passed on to humans via tick bites. Symptoms vary, but may include a red bump and rash resembling a bull's-eye, flu-like symptoms, joint pain, and neurological problems. The different type of Lyme disease antibiotics include doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime. Possible side effects are nausea, diarrhea, infection, or low white blood cell count. If conventional antibiotics are ineffective, the doctor may recommend herbal antibiotics which have been shown in some studies to effectively treat the disease.
Treatment for Lyme disease is primarily a four-week course of antibiotics, either orally, by injection, or intravenously. The best results come when treatment is started early. For those over eight years old, doxycycline is the preferred antibiotic for treating early Lyme disease. The exceptions to this include pregnant women and those allergic to tetracycline. Amoxicillin is often prescribed children under eight. Ceftin, ceftriaxone, erythromycin, penicillin, and tetracycline are other Lyme disease antibiotics that may be used.
The Lyme disease antibiotics the doctor chooses can depend on the patient's age, symptoms, and disease progression. Most people with Lyme disease receive treatment for four weeks or less. If the oral version of Lyme disease antibiotics is ineffective, the patient may be started on intravenous treatment. Once treatment is complete, it might take several weeks for all of the symptoms to go away.
The first 24 hours of antibiotic treatment may make Lyme disease symptoms worse. This probably is not necessarily an allergic reaction, but proof that the bacteria is being killed off in large numbers. Other side effects of Lyme disease antibiotics may include nausea, diarrhea, a yeast infection, or a low white blood cell count. Patients who receive intravenous antibiotics require weekly blood tests to make sure that their white blood cell count remains stable.
If conventional Lyme disease antibiotics do not have the desired effect, some doctors recommend a trial of the herbal antibiotics samento and cumanda. These have been shown in small studies to effectively kill the Borrelia burgdoferi bacteria. In a six-month study on patients with advanced, chronic Lyme disease, half of the subjects were given the standard Lyme disease antibiotics and half of the subjects were treated with samento. At the end of the study, all of the patients taking samento felt much improved, but the subjects taking standard antibiotics felt the same or worse. Samento and cumanda have no known side effects; anyone considering their use, however, should consult with a healthcare professional first.