Our Lyme Disease Treatment Approach
There are currently two different treatment approaches for Lyme disease. The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) and the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) have each published their own set of evidence-based treatment guidelines.
IDSA guidelines recommend a short course of antibiotics, typically 14-30 days. IDSA argues that Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) does not persist in a patient beyond this time frame and that lingering symptoms are the result of an ongoing immune response and not the result of an active infection. IDSA cites scientific evidence claiming treatments beyond 30 days are ineffective, unnecessary and even dangerous. IDSA physicians will typically stop treatment after 30 days, even if symptoms remain.
Meanwhile, ILADS identifies flaws in the studies IDSA cites. And ILADS offers its own scientific data to show that long-term antibiotics are effective in treating persistent symptoms, and that a longer course is required to eradicate the bacteria.
ILADS recognizes that a month of treatment may be sufficient for patients in the acute stage of Lyme disease, but in cases where the spirochete has disseminated and the disease has advanced, a 30-day treatment regimen is inadequate. ILADS’ guidelines recommend additional rounds of antibiotics to those patients. It also advises continuing antibiotic therapy until a patient’s symptoms have resolved.
Our medical team treats patients according to ILADS’ guidelines, and in fact, Dr. Cameron is the lead author of those guidelines. After decades of experience in treating this patient population, Dr. Cameron has found that a one-time, short-term antibiotic treatment regimen, as recommended by IDSA, is not effective for a large number of patients with chronic Lyme disease.
There simply is no “one size fits all” treatment protocol for patients infected with Lyme disease.
Treating Lyme disease in its advanced stage can be complicated, based on numerous factors, including, the complexity of the organism itself; the differences in each patient’s immune system; the length of time infected; and the possible presence of other co-infections transmitted by the same tick bite.
There simply is no “one size fits all” treatment protocol for patients infected with Lyme disease and/or co-infections. This is why it’s critical for physicians treating Lyme disease to invest time with patients to thoroughly understand their medical history and to closely monitor symptoms and treatment response to determine the best therapy to restore the patient’s health.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection typically transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. It is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the country, and the steadily increasing number of cases has led many in the medical/scientific community and legislative arena to deem the disease a “public health crisis” and “epidemic”. learn more →
You have to examine whether you have prescribed appropriate antibiotics for each infection that might have been in that tick. The problem is that doctors are reluctant to treat any more than the bare minimum, and they lose the opportunity to treat people in a timely manner. learn more →
Lyme disease can become persistent, recurrent, and refractory, even with antibiotic therapy. Therefore, treatment should be prompt and thorough with in-depth follow-up to assess new symptoms and treatment response and to rule out other illnesses. learn more →