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A randomized trial of ceftriaxone versus oral penicillin for the treatment of early European Lyme borreliosis.


In a prospective randomized multicenter trial for the therapy of erythema migrans, 40 patients received ceftriaxone 1 g daily for 5 days and 33 patients obtained phenoxymethylpenicillin, 1 million units 3 times daily, for 12 days. Follow-up was for a mean of 10 +/- 5 months. Eight oral penicillin recipients (24%) and six ceftriaxone recipients (15%) developed minor consecutive manifestations. Two ceftriaxone and one penicillin recipient(s) still had elevated IgG antibody titers 10 to 20 months after therapy. Borrelia burgdorferi could be isolated from the erythema migrans in 29 out of 56 patients (52%) before therapy and in one oral penicillin recipient but none of 24 other patients after therapy. Ceftriaxone was superior to oral penicillin in a subgroup of patients with more than one symptom prior to therapy (p less than 0.01), but not in the overall evaluation of clinical, serological and bacteriological outcome data. Ceftriaxone ought to be preferred to oral penicillin in patients with more severe early
Lyme borreliosis.

Infection. 1990 Mar-Apr;18(2):91-6. Clinical Trial; Comparative Study; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial [1]