Navigation Links
When Are Antibiotics for Lyme Disease Medically Necessary?
Date:6/5/2008

Guidelines downplay antibiotic treatment for longstanding symptoms

PORTLAND, Ore., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- As good weather brings people outdoors and into the woods, it also exposes them to tick bites that can result in Lyme disease, one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the United States. A microscopic bacterial organism, Borrelia burgdorferi, carried by the Ixodes tick causes the Lyme infection. Although the incidence of Lyme disease remains low -- about 100,000 cases each year -- that's a big jump over the 16,000 cases the Center for Disease Control (CDC) noted in 1999.

The CDC and Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) have de-emphasized antibiotics in the treatment of Lyme disease.

"The IDSA released guidelines that are more restrictive about using antibiotics in the three stages of Lyme disease," said Dr. Skip Freedman, Executive Medical Director at AllMed Healthcare Management, a leading independent review organization.

According to Freedman, doctors should consider other diagnostic possibilities first. Prior to diagnosing Lyme disease, they must verify that a patient has recently been in a place where the disease is epidemic -- usually the coastal northeast, mid-Atlantic region, Wisconsin, Minnesota or northern California. Then doctors should follow the current CDC and IDSA guidelines for prescribing courses of antibiotic treatment.

During the first stage of the disease, infected patients may develop a bull's-eye rash. In the second stage, they may show multiple skin lesions that coincide with flu-like symptoms, followed by nonspecific muscular, skeletal, arthritic, neuralgic, psychiatric and even cardiac symptoms.

"A diagnosis of Lyme disease should never be made based on initial blood test screening alone," Freedman said. Doctors must run more specific serologic tests, including an enzyme-linked immunoassay and a Western blot test to check if Lyme disease antibodies are present.

Once doctors determine that a patient is in stage one or two of the disease, it can be easily treated with a two- to four-week course of oral antibiotics. Most doctors prescribe doxycycline, (for adults and children over eight years old) or amoxicillin or cefuroxime (for adults and children under eight). Usually -- but not always -- an early course of antibiotic treatment cures the disease. Even with proper treatment, patients who have Lyme disease may develop symptoms consistent with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. An active infection, however, often isn't the source of such symptoms.

Doctors unfamiliar with Lyme disease often misdiagnose it as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or other autoimmune and neurological diseases. Misdiagnosis, as well as delayed or inadequate treatment, may lead to the persistent third stage of the disease.

Without early and medically necessary antibiotic treatment, 10 to 15 percent of Lyme disease patients may display arthritic or even neurological complaints. And 80 percent of patients with Lyme disease develop malaise and fatigue similar to chronic fatigue syndrome. They also may display other symptoms unrelated to Lyme disease.

The current recommendations for diagnosis and care require either the bull's-eye rash or positive specific laboratory tests and only recognize false negatives during the early stages of the disease. The recommendations also suggest that post-Lyme disease syndromes don't respond to long-term antibiotic use.

For more information on leading-edge treatments and their medical necessity, check out http://www.allmedmd.com/peerpoints/cuttingedge/cutting_edge_email.htm. To find out more about the services that independent review organizations offer, go to AllMed's Website at http://www.allmedmd.com.


'/>"/>
SOURCE AllMed Healthcare Management
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Antibiotics Not Always Best Bet for Battling Childhood Ear Infections
2. Ear infection superbug discovered to be resistant to all pediatric antibiotics
3. Antibiotics May Not Help Mens Chronic Pelvic Pain: Harvard Doctors Discuss Alternatives
4. Advanced Life Sciences to Participate in Antibiotics Expert Panel at the 10th Annual BIO CEO & Investor Conference
5. DNA with a twist: New company to search for cancer drugs and antibiotics
6. Antibiotics Do Little for Inner Ear Infections
7. Biannual Antibiotics May Cut Major Cause of Blindness in Africa
8. Synthetic peptoids hold forth promise for new antibiotics
9. Dont Prescribe Antibiotics for Adult Sinus Woes
10. Green Tea Boosts Antibiotics for Superbugs
11. Gator Blood May Be New Source of Antibiotics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Anesthesia Progress – Everyone wants less pain during ... option for each patient. Dentists have several general anesthesia alternatives and finding the right ... the Tokyo Dental College in Tokyo, Japan wanted to find out which anesthetic was ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... Healthful-Flex. , The company, owned and operated by Ed Stroup, was created ... reasonable price with the highest level of customer service. Healthful Balance products can ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... Clemente, CA (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 ... ... Diego County, as well as Palm Desert, is opening a new office in ... Brainsway deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) in Southern California, successfully treating individuals struggling ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A prescription medication bottle, pocket knife, luggage and a solar-powered ... Product Design Challenge , the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has ... scheduled to run through early 2018. The challenges are presented by the Institute in ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 , ... Livionex, ... the results of a double blind clinical study for its dental gel that shows ... leading national brand of toothpaste containing triclosan. The study was conducted at the Beckman ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... 17, 2017  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and ... today announced that it has implemented a ... the Zimmer Biomet management team. Effective January 23, ... the position of President, Americas and join the ... served as Zimmer Biomet,s Vice President of U.S. ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... laparotomy sponges market to grow at a CAGR of 7.94% during ... 2016-2020, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with ... its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... BELLEFONTE, Pa. , Jan. 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Medical, Inc.(AMI) announces the addition of 6 senior ... of the TubeClear® System.  These sales leaders were ... recently acquired medical device company. Repeatedly recognized for ... of exceeding customer expectations and establishing relationships with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: