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Treatment Duration for Lyme Disease

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SBU Assessment

Presents a comprehensive, systematic assessment of available scientific evidence for effects on health, social welfare or disability. Full assessments include economic, social and ethical impact analyses. Assessment teams include professional practitioners and academics. Before publication the report is reviewed by external experts, and scientific conclusions approved by the SBU Board of Directors.


  • Better research, consisting of properly designed and well conducted studies measuring both benefits and risks, is needed to determine the optimal duration of antibiotic treatment for Lyme borreliosis. There is currently insufficient evidence to determine whether extending antibiotic treatment beyond 10 to 14 days improves health outcomes for patients with erythema migrans.
  • There is insufficient evidence to determine if extended antibiotic treatment has any significant effect on neuroborreliosis, Lyme arthritis or other persistent symptoms of Lyme borreliosis.
  • The extended treatment (>21 days) with antibiotics (ceftriaxone) via peripherally inserted central catheter, is associated with a not-insignificant risk of serious and potentially lifethreatening complications.

How to cite this report: SBU. Treatment duration for Lyme disease. Stockholm: Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment (SBU); 2013. SBU report no 2013-05 (in Swedish).

Published: Report no: 2013-05

Project group


  • Pia Forsberg, Professor, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine Infectious Deceases, Linköping University
  • Katharina Ornstein, MD PhD, Region Skåne


  • Ingegerd Mejàre, Professor emerita, Project Manager
  • Christel Hellberg, PhD, Project Manager
  • Frida Mowafi, PhD, Assistant Project Manager
  • Anna Attergren Granath, Project Administrator
  • Agneta Brolund, Information Specialist
  • Thomas Davidson, Health Economist
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