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Treatment of erythema migrans with antibiotics

Key message

Lyme disease or Lyme borreliosis is a bacterial infection were the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) is transmitted to humans through tick bites. Skin symptoms at the site of the bite, erythema migrans, is often the first sign of illness. The disease may develop into a severe systemic disease including neurological and chronic pain if left untreated or inadequately treated.

We have summarized and reviewed the documentation for the efficacy of treatment of erythema migrans with the following oral antibiotics: Fenoksymetylpenicillin, amoxicillin, doxycycline, erythromycin and azithromycin, and compared the treatments with each other. We have summarized the treatment effect for the duration of the rash, the absence of other symptoms after treatment and the occurrence of later manifestasjoner (serious and less serious).

• The documentation provides no basis for determining whether there are differences in the effects of the current antibiotic treatments. This does not mean that there are no differences, but the results are too uncertain for us to draw conclusions about this.

• We did not find evidence on whether there are differences in the effects of these antibiotics for the outcomes mentioned above with regard to dosage and duration of treatment.

About this publication

  • Year: 2012
  • By: Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services
  • Authors Sæterdal I, Ringerike T, Harboe I, Eliassen KE, Klemp M.
  • ISBN (digital): 978-82-8121-461-3