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The aim of this article is to provide clinicians with guidelines for the antibiotherapy of early-localized
Lyme disease. The outcome measures are the clearance of erythema migrans and associated symptoms of early localized
Lyme disease and the prevention rate of late complications, with a low risk of adverse effects. Design. The reviewed studies were selected by Medline with the keywords: “erythema migrans, treatment”. Sixteen studies comparing treatment or duration of treatment were analyzed.
Amoxicillin, doxycycline, and cefuroxim axetil are equally efficacious for early-localized
Lyme disease. Azithromycin is an alternative. Most patients respond completely and less than 10% fail to respond. All antibiotics are associated with a low frequency of adverse effects, with the exception of Jarisch Herxheimer reaction which occurs in about 15% of the patients.
We recommend treating adults with amoxicillin (50 mg/kg/day in 3 intakes) or doxycycline (100 mg bid) for 14 days (erythema migrans) to 21 days (early localized
Lyme disease with associated symptoms). For children, we recommend amoxicillin (50 mg/kg/day in 3 intakes) or doxycycline (4 mg/kg/day in 2 intakes, maximum 100 mg/dose) above 8 years of age. Cefuroxim axetil (500 mg twice daily for adults or 30 mg/kg/day in 2 intakes, maximum 500 mg/dose, for children), and azithromycin (500 mg/day for adults and 20 mg/kg/day for children for 7-10 days) are second line treatment.