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Lyme disease - primary

  • Alternative Names

    Early localized Lyme infection; Lyme borreliosis; Stage 1 Lyme disease; Lyme disease - primary


    Antibiotics are used to treat Lyme disease. The type of antibiotic used depends on the stage of the disease and your symptoms. The most common choices are doxycycline for older children and nonpregnant adults. Amoxicillin or cefuroxime (Ceftin) is typically prescribed for younger children.

    Antibiotics are given for 10 - 21 days.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    If diagnosed in the early stages, Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics. The disease will usually get better in 3 - 4 weeks.

    Without treatment, complications involving the joints, heart, and nervous system can occur.


    If untreated, Lyme disease may progress to the advanced stages. Complications related to advanced Lyme disease include long-term joint inflammation (Lyme arthritis) and heart rhythm problems.

    Nervous system (neurological) problems are also possible, and may include:

    • Decreased concentration
    • Memory disorders
    • Nerve damage
    • Numbness
    • Pain
    • Paralysis of the face muscles
    • Sleep disorders
    • Vision problems

    Another complication is infection with bacteria that cause other tick-borne diseases, such as ehrlichiosis or babesiosis.

    Calling your health care provider

    Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have:

    • A rash that looks like a bulls eye
    • Had a tick bite and develop weakness, numbness, or tingling, or heart problems
    • Symptoms of Lyme disease, especially if you may have been exposed to ticks