Vermont now joins five other states in protecting physicians prescribing long-term antibiotics for treating Lyme Disease. Vermont law allows the practice only in persistent Lyme Disease cases. Connecticut joined other states in changing their law on July 1, 2009. Previously, physicians in CT were subject to disciplinary action by the Connecticut Medical Examining Board.
We’ve all heard concerns in the news about physicians over-prescribing antibiotics. Bacteria are very adaptive. There has been increasing concern over antibiotic long-term use. Antibiotics used long-term have also been shown to cause diarrhea. They often adversely affect a person’s immune system. During discussion of the Vermont law, legislator Rep. George Till, MD told Boston.com, that studies by the NIH had ‘‘not demonstrated any long-term benefit from long-term antibiotics.’’
It is common for Lyme Disease patients to be treated with antibiotics for 2 to 4 weeks. Some patients will continue to feel fatigue, muscle pain and joint pain. For patients with chronic Lyme Disease or PTLDS (Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome) the CDC states, “The exact cause of PTLDS is not yet known. Most medical experts believe that the lingering symptoms are the result of residual damage to tissues and the immune system that occurred during the infection.” They continue, “In contrast, some health care providers tell patients that these symptoms reflect persistent infection with Borrelia burgdorferi. Recent animal studies have given rise to questions that require further research, and clinical studies to determine the cause of PTLDS in humans are ongoing.”
The Vermont legislator whose wife had the symptoms of PTLDS for 12 years was instrumental in getting this law passed. His wife was diagnosed only after a naturopathic physician tested her with a more expensive test. After her correct diagnosis, she learned her physician could not legally prescribe her antibiotics for more than four weeks.
The advance of science in Lyme Disease diagnosis and treatment is slowly advancing. Research is being done and laws are changing, not always in step with each other. Patients often aren’t sure how to decide or what to decide in terms of their treatment.
Early diagnosis is critical. If diagnosed early, Lyme Disease is treated with 2 to 4 weeks of antibiotics. If you think you or a family member has Lyme Disease, it is important they medical attention early. Lyme Disease can be detected with widely available blood tests, within the first 15 to 30 days of a bite.
Of course, prevention should be anyone’s first choice in protecting against exposure to Lyme Disease. If your family is like ours, they spend most of their time outdoors in the yard. For the best CT Lyme Disease protection an effective perimeter spray should be your first matter of course. Perimeter sprays create a barrier around your yard and areas where you spend the most time. They eliminate ticks for weeks on end. Mosquito Squad customers purchase a season long protection program in which their property is then re-treated every 3 weeks for the entire season. One of the additional benefits of our barrier spray is that it eliminates mosquitoes as well. This additional benefit provides the most enjoyment to customers enjoying and entertaining in their yard.