People suffering from lyme arthritis are treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. In case of severe chronic arthritis, antibiotic drugs are administered intravenously to reduce the discomfort.
Pain relief medications used for reducing inflammation and pain of the affected joints include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and hydroxychloroquine.
Medicines for Lyme Arthritis
Doxycycline belongs to the class of drugs known as tetracycline antibiotic. It is the most popular antibiotic used for treating lyme disease. Depending on the severity of the illness and the strength of the drug, your physician may ask you to take doxycycline once or twice daily. It is advisable to take doxycycline without food, as taking it on full stomach tends to reduce the absorption of the drug.
However, people susceptible to stomach upset following doxycyline intake may take it with food or milk. Doxycycline should not be taken with calcium supplements, antacids, laxatives and iron supplements. Diarrhea, sore mouth and vaginal or rectal itching are common side effects of the drug.
Amoxicillin is a penicillin-like antibiotic that may be used for treating lyme disease and reducing lyme arthritis flare-ups. It can be taken twice to thrice a day or as directed by the physician.
It is usually used as a safer alternative to doxycycline for treating lyme disease in young children, pregnant and breastfeeding women. Vomiting, diarrhea and stomach upset are common side effects of the drug. Amoxicillin should be avoided by lyme arthritis patients with a history of allergy to penicillin or penicillin-like drugs.
Cefuroxime is widely used for treating lyme disease. It belongs to a group of drugs known as cephalosporin antibiotics. People suffering from lyme disease and arthritis associated with it usually take cefuroxime twice daily for about twenty days or as directed by the physician. It should be taken around the same time each day with food. Cefuroxime is considered suitable for both children, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women. Diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain are common side effects of the drug.
Penicillin is usually taken orally for treating lyme disease. However, in the case of severe lyme arthritis, penicillin is administered intravenously to heal the infection and arthritis associated with it.
Although penicillin is considered safe for young children as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women, it should be avoided by people susceptible to penicillin allergy. It can be taken orally with or without food, as directed by your physician. Diarrhea, skin rash, fever and agitation are possible side effects of the drug.
Severe lyme arthritis is widely treated with ceftriaxone injections. It is administered intravenously once or twice a day for about four to fourteen days or as directed by the physician. Possible side effects of ceftriaxone injection include diarrhea, headache, sweating, dizziness and pain in the site of the injection.
Over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen provide fast relief from arthritis pain. Your doctor may recommend prescription NSAIDs for treating severe lyme arthritis pain. NSAIDs are usually considered safe when used for a short time.
Joint pain and inflammation may also be treated with hydroxychloroquine. It can be taken one to three times a day with food. Nausea, vomiting, headache, stomach pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite and skin rash are common side effects of the drug.