Inexpensive oral antibiotics are as effective as high-priced intravenous drugs against the most common form of Lyme disease, according to new research being published today.
The findings bolster a growing consensus among researchers that the once-common practice of prescribing intravenous drugs for Lyme disease is generally not warranted.
More than 16,400 Americans were diagnosed last summer with Lyme disease, which is spread by tick bites and causes symptoms ranging from a rash and muscle aches to severe arthritis and nerve inflammation.
No figures are available showing how many doctors treat the illness with intravenous antibiotics, primarily ceftriaxone. That antibiotic can cost $3,000 for a two-week treatment, compared with about $10 for the pills, called doxycycline.
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