Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Bacterial infections

NICE publishes draft guidance on Lyme disease

The bacterial disease is spread by tick bites and is on the increase in the UK.

Bull's eye rash Lyme disease

Source: Shutterstock.com

Lyme disease is spread by tick bites and is on the increase in the UK. When caught early, it can usually be treated easily with antibiotics

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released draft guidelines on how to spot and treat Lyme disease.

The bacterial disease is spread by tick bites and is on the increase in the UK. When caught early, it can usually be treated easily with antibiotics but if left undiagnosed can cause serious complications including heart problems, arthritis and meningitis.

The guidelines advise clinicians to diagnose Lyme disease and prescribe antibiotics in people with the characteristic circular ‘bull’s eye’ rash known as erythema migrans, which usually appears at the site of the tick bite.

It also says that Lyme disease should be considered as a rare but possible cause of flu-like symptoms, neck pain, joint and muscle pain, brain fog and pins and needles, as well as neurological symptoms, cardiac problems and inflammatory arthritis. Patients with symptoms of Lyme disease but without erythema migrans should be given laboratory tests to detect antibodies against the infection.

However, the guidance also cautions against diagnosing Lyme disease in the absence of symptoms, a supportive history or positive testing, which could result in inappropriate treatment and missed diagnosis. Tick bites can result in rashes that are not indicative of Lyme disease, it reminds clinicians.

“Lyme disease may be difficult to diagnose as people can have common and unspecific symptoms, like a headache or fever, and they may not notice or remember a tick bite,” said guideline committee chair Saul Faust, professor of paediatric immunology and infectious diseases at the University of Southampton.

“Our draft guidance will give GPs and hospital doctors clear advice on how to diagnose if they think Lyme disease is a possibility.”

The guidance is out for consultation until 6 November 2017.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203633

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 1 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £138.50Buy now
  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 2 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £262.50Buy now
  • Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics covers all aspects of drug use in renal failure. Shows the role of the pharmacist in patient care for chronic kidney disease.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Pathology and Therapeutics for Pharmacists

    Pathology and Therapeutics for Pharmacists

    An practical, integrated approach to the pathophysiological and pharmacotherapeutic principles underlying the treatment of disease.

    £54.00Buy now
  • Drugs and the Liver

    Drugs and the Liver

    Drugs and the Liver assists practitioners in making pragmatic choices for their patients. It enables you to assess liver function and covers the principles of drug use in liver disease.

    £38.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Bull's eye rash Lyme disease

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.