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Taking doxycycline for Lyme disease is overall a highly beneficial treatment. If the drug is given to a patient within 72 hours of the initial tick bite that causes Lyme disease, it has been shown to prevent the development of the disease. The only time it is not suitable to use doxycycline for Lyme disease is when the patient exhibits nerve damage as a result of the disease. The common side effects associated with doxycycline include diarrhea, sore mouth and itching of the rectum or vagina.
Lyme disease is caused by a tick bite, and it causes symptoms affecting the skin, heart, joints and nervous system. Lyme disease is also known as borrelia, which is a name derived from the microorganism that causes the condition. It is usually transmitted by the wood tick, which normally lives on deer. The tick buries into the skin of a human, usually in warm places such as the crotch or armpits, and exposes the host to the risk of the infection.
Doxycycline is a drug used to treat many bacterial infections, and it comes as a capsule, syrup or a tablet. Research has shown that if patients take a 200-milligram dose of doxycycline for Lyme disease within 72 hours of the initial tick bite, the drug is effective almost 90 percent of the time. The drug is also prescribed in 30-day courses for treatment of the cardiac, nervous and joint symptoms associated with Lyme disease.
The side effects of the drug are the only drawbacks of taking doxycycline for Lyme disease. The most common side effects are a sore mouth, diarrhea and itching of the rectum or vagina. These symptoms are not viewed as serious unless they are particularly persistent or severe. The less common but more serious side effects associated with using doxycycline for Lyme disease include severe headache, blurred vision, hives, itching, dark urine, vomiting, stomach pain and loss of appetite.
Overall, using doxycycline for Lyme disease has many more pros than cons. The treatment is cheaper than the alternative intravenous antibiotics treatment for the disease, and it has been shown to be effective in clinical trials. The cons of using doxycycline for Lyme disease are simply the side effects of the drug, and side effects are a potential risk of virtually all treatments.