my 7 year old presented with the typical bull's-eye rash 3 days ago and was immediately seen by our dr. She is running blood test for lyme but went ahead and put her on Amoxicillin 500 mg 3x per day for 21 days. She has absolutely no other symptoms and has had no history of other symptoms. I am calling Dr Michael Ledtke tomorrow (office closed today) but would love to know if anyone has insight into pediatric cases of lyme and is this prescribed treatment going to be enough? After doing some research, I am scared to death for my child!
I am sorry your daughter has Lyme, but it is good you found out early. Although only about 50% of people who have Lyme ever get a rash, a bulls-eye rash is a definite sign of Lyme. Be sure to get photos of the rash. It is important documentation. Place something near it, like a coin or ruler, to give it size defintion. Write down the date. It is good she got the rash and that you recognized it.
Three weeks of treatment is not long enough. From what I understand, an infection caught within two weeks of the bite should be treated with a minimum of six weeks of the proper dose antibiotic. The antibiotics kill the bacteria when they are reproducing, which is estimated at four weeks. Six weeks of treatment will cover one growth cycle. If symptoms are still present, further treatment is warranted. A longer infection needs longer treatment. Getting the proper treatment early in the infection may reduce the chance of long-term complications.
The only Lyme pediatrician in the country is Dr. Charles Rady Jones in New Haven, CT. I highly recommend calling his office to make sure your daughter is getting the proper dose. From what I have heard, he and his staff are wonderful. I do not know what the recommended dose of Amoxicillin is for children who have Lyme, hopefully someone else may know.
Be aware of the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction (herx). Often, when people who have Lyme take antibiotics, their symptoms become worse or they get new ones. When the antibiotics kill the bacteria, toxins are released making them feel sicker. It can be very scary when it happens, but it is a good sign the antibiotics are working. Although it can vary individually, many people experience this at the beginning of treatment and every three to four weeks.
It is a good idea to document your daughter's symptoms daily if she gets them. One way to do this is to list the three main symptoms she has each day and a numerical rating of their severity, from
1-10. Over time when you review this, you can see when her erxes occur and how she is respondding to the meds.
It is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. Lyme needs continuous, aggressive treatment.
Besides Lyme, ticks can also transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, two types of Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Many people who have Lyme are co-infected. It may affect treatment choice and progress. It is important to be tested for these by a Lyme reputable lab such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA.
It is also important to learn as much as possible. I recommend reading Dr. Joseph Burrascano's 2005 Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines For Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses (on-line). He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many Lyme doctors follow his protocols. I believe he lists the recommended antibioitics and dosages for children and adults. I also recommend the book "Everything You Need To Know About Lyme Disease (2nd edition)" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner.
It is good her infection is early. Early infections are the easiest to cure. You are a good mom!
My 4 year old son got bit 5 weeks ago and had the rash. I took pictures of the rash and then took him to his regular pediatrician the next day. I literally had to throw a fit for them to put him on 2 weeks of amoxicillan. Long story short, I was able to get him into a General Practitioner (who's an LLMD) and he changed my son's dosage to 15ml/2x day and extend the prescription for 6 weeks. He said that Lyme responds better to bigger bursts of abx. Originally my son was taking 6ml/3x a day.
After our experience, I would think that your child needs to be on a higher dose of amoxicillan and for at least 6 weeks. Definitely get your child to a LLMD asap. You can beat this Lyme's since it was caught so early.
Also, while your child is on abx, he/she will need to take a good probiotic (don't take it w/in 2 hours of taking the abx). That way your kid won't have problems w/ yeast or digestive issues. You can find kid probiotics at healthfood stores. Or ask your LLMD where you can pick some up.
Thank you so much for the great information. Her titer came back today at a .7 (dr. stated that 1-2 would be classified as infection). The dr is continuing tx because her titers were high and will retest in Nov. I am going to try to contact the dr in CT just for a second opinion. Fortunately, after 3 days of antibiotics, she feels great, has a tremendous amt of energy (as always), and no complaints except that she has to write too much for school! I did leave a message with Dr. Ledtke today but have yet to hear from him. If you have a contact number for the pediatrician that specializes in lyme, I'd love to have it.