Many with Lyme Disease receive antibiotics intravenously and sometimes in conjunction with oral antibiotics. Unlike oral antibiotic which must travel through the digestive system first before entering the blood stream, antibiotics administered intravenously directly enter the blood stream to the location of the bacteria. Rocephin is the most common antibiotic used for intravenous therapy.
Improvement with intravenous antibiotics can be seen in about 5 weeks but some find no improvement at all despite the duration. Borrelia is capable of becoming resistant to antibiotics intravenously and orally. Also, candida overgrowth seems to be a common side effect of taking antibiotics orally or intravenously so replenish the good bacteria in your gut with a good probiotic.
There are a few common methods used for intravenous antibiotic therapy with each having its own advantages.
P.I.C.C. line stands for peripherally inserted central catheter. It is essentially a catheter that is inserted into a peripheral vein in the upper arm. The catheter is guided through the vein via an ultrasound machine or an x-ray as it is brought to its final resting place, near the heart. Procedure time: 1 - 1.5 hours
The PICC line is probably the most commonly performed procedure for intravenous antibiotic therapy for Lyme Disease. The patient is awake the entire time with just a numbing agent used on the location of where the catheter will enter the arm. A sore arm will occur after the procedure and could last from 3 days to 2 weeks.
The Hickman Line is a catheter inserted under the skin in the chest and runs to a jugular vein near the heart. Like a PICC line, an ultrasound machine is used to guide the line into the correct vein. It provides freedom of movement as opposed to a P.I.C.C. line. Procedure time: 30 - 40 minutes
The patient is awake for the procedure but will receive a few local anesthetics to numb the area of insertion. After the procedure, a soreness will occur in the chest, neck and shoulder area and usually lasts about a week.
A Port (Port-A-Cath)
A Port or Port-A-Cath is a catheter and portal (hence port-a-catch) inserted completely under the skin in the chest making it resistant to water intrusion. It runs over the collar bone and rests in the right jugular vein. Antibiotics are administered via the port by a needle that punctures the overlying skin. Procedure time: 30 minutes - 1 hour.
The procedure is performed with a local anesthetic. The catheter is guided to the jugular vein via ultrasound or x-ray. Pain or soreness can occur after the procedure and usually lasts for about 3 days.
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