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Lyme disease - chronic persistent

  • Alternative Names

    Tertiary Lyme disease; Stage 3 Lyme disease; Late persistent Lyme disease; Lyme arthritis


    Antibiotics are given to fight the infection. Medications sometimes need to be given through a vein (intravenously).

    Chronic persistent Lyme disease is treated for up to 28 days with antibiotics. If arthritis symptoms do not go away, a second 2 - 4 week course of antibiotics may sometimes be used. Antibiotics given by mouth (doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime) are used most of the time.

    People with severe Lyme disease that affects the nervous system may receive 2 - 4 weeks of the antibiotic ceftriaxone through a vein (by IV).

    Treating patients for longer periods of time is generally not thought to be helpful, even if symptoms do not go away.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Arthritis symptoms may not get better with treatment. Other symptoms should improve with treatment.

    Rarely, a person will continue to have symptoms that can sometimes interfere with daily life or activities. Some people call this post-Lyme disease syndrome. There is no effective treatment for people with these symptoms.

    • Arthritis symptoms may continue
    • Heart problems (slow heart rate, and effects on the electrical system of the heart)

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms, especially if you have had Lyme disease before, or live or travel in high-risk areas.