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Antibiotic therapy of Lyme borreliosis.

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There are still no definite patterns for antibiotic therapy of
Lyme borreliosis. Recent studies have shown that ceftriaxone or tetracyclines are superior to the conventional penicillin. Against erythema chronica migrans (stage I) oral therapy, preferably with tetracycline, is sufficient. In cases with stage II symptoms, such as arthritis or neurological affections, high dose parenteral treatment, preferably with ceftriaxone, is recommended, although its effect on the neurologic symptoms is not yet proven. Carditis also calls for high dose parenteral administration of antibiotics, even though there are no published studies on this treatment as yet. Opinion is divided on the cutaneous symptoms such as acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, morphea, lichen sclerosus et atrophicus (acute inflammatory stage) and lymphadenitis cutis benigna. Even if oral penicillin or tetracycline can cure existing symptoms, in the absence of longterm observations, it remains an open question whether oral treatment can prevent further complications or evolution to chronicity (stage III). For these clinical pictures there is also a tendency to give high dose parenteral antibiotics, and ceftriaxone is likely to win favour. In stage II
Lyme borreliosis, autoimmune processes occur which scarcely respond to antibiotics any longer. Nevertheless, parenteral administration of high dose antibiotics remains sensible as a means of eradicating pathogens from the tissues, CSF or synovial fluids, and to avoid further complications. Evaluation of the therapeutic effects of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive agents would require prospective studies.

Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1990 Feb 17;120(7):209-16. English Abstract; Review

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