Antibiotics regulation ineffective against long-term symptoms of a borreliosis infection

People with Borrelia infection often suffer from severe sequelae such as muscle or joint pain. Physicians have been looking for a long time for funds that allow effective treatment here. In a recent research, researchers from the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen found out that treatment with antibiotics does not work properly. The researchers published the results of their study in the journal New England Journal of Medicine.

Treatment with antibiotics does not help with long-term complaints of Lyme disease and the therapy brings unwanted side effects.(Image: Michael Tieck / Treatment with antibiotics does not help with long term Lyme disease and the therapy involves unwanted side effects.(Photo: Michael Tieck /

physicians test two different antibiotic applications
Many people with Lyme disease suffer from serious after-effects of the disease. For this reason, doctors have been looking for ways to treat the disease better. In the course of their investigations, the scientists now found that treatment with antibiotics is ineffective. Even after a twelve-week treatment no significant improvements could be detected, explain the experts. For their study, the researchers analyzed the data from 280 subjects. The new study was the largest trial to date in patients with chronic symptoms of Borrelia infection. It tested whether one of two different antibiotic applications can help successfully treat the condition. Both applications were unsuccessful, add the physicians.

antibiotic treatment has similar outcomes to
placebo After 12 weeks of the antibiotic doxycycline, 86 volunteers responded to a questionnaire on their state of health rating 35, with the scale ranging from 15 to 61 points and 61 for the highestQuality of life stood, explain the scientists. A twelve-week treatment of 96 patients with a combination of clarithromycin and hydroxychloroquine achieved a score of 35.6.The placebo group stated after twelve weeks that their health status was rated 34.8 points, say the doctors. These figures clearly show that even prolonged use of antibiotics has little difference to the use of placebo. Bart Jan Kullberg from the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen.

New therapies urgently need to be developed
Active Lyme infection is not the cause of symptoms such as pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances and mental acuity, which occur in 10 to 20 percent of patients with significant delay. The disease is usually treated at the onset of complaints by a short-term antibiotic therapy, the researchers explain. But if there are persistent symptoms, we do not really know what the cause of this syndrome is, said Prof. Kullberg to the news portal Reuters Health. Obviously, the right reaction is not prescribing prolonged treatment with antibiotics. Previous studies had already shown similar results. A new way has to be found that can control the disregulated immune system, say the doctors. More research is needed to find out how best to treat patients with such a condition.

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antibiotics applications are ineffective and cause side effects
At the beginning of the test, all subjects received intravenous antibiotic therapy with the drug ceftriaxone for two weeks to eradicate all active short-term infections, the experts explain. The patients had previously usually undergone two treatments by antibiotic therapy. The study divided all patients into three groups. All three groups reported being less tired and feeling better physically and mentally, researchers say. But these improvements were not significantly greater in the two groups with active drug use than in the group receiving only placebo, says Prof. Kullberg. In addition, no significant changes were observed during the 26-week follow-up. The only serious side effects were seen during the first two weeks of ceftriaxone use. Although the side effects were usually low, 68.6 percent of patients experienced at least one side effect, say the doctors. Overall, the findings indicate that physicians should not prescribe longer use of antibiotics in Lyme disease, the researchers concluded.(as)

Long-term use of antibiotics has no advantages in Borrelia infections
Even with twelve weeks of use, antibiotic therapy has proven to be ineffective to treat the long-term symptoms of so-called Lyme disease, scientists found in a recent study. Thus, antibiotics do not seem to be the right drug to help patients with long-term complaints of Borrelia infection.

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