Just bitten a few weeks ago, need advice on a few things

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/5/2009 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I was bitten by a tick 2 weeks ago. In a panic I didn't remove the tick properly and the head may have been left in. about a week later I got a high fever and flu like symptoms. The high temperature only lasted about 20 minutes but it has happened every couple of days since. My lymph nodes have been hurting and I have slight headaches and my eyes hurt a bit.

I went to the doctors a week after the bite and he prescribed me 100mg doxycycline twice a day for two weeks but after a bit of reading online I found this wasn't enough, so I've ordered more online. I plan to take 400mg a day for about 6 weeks. I'm still feeling pretty bad at the moment, mostly weak, no appetite, the fever that comes and goes and just tonight had some horrible sharp back pain.

I have a few problems which I would really appreciate any advice on!

a) How do I go about getting tested for co-infections in the UK? My doctor was reluctant to even get me tested for lymes. (i have a serology test in 6 weeks)
b) Is my planned course enough doxy? I'm 19 and weight 7.5 stone. I'm otherwise healthy.
c) I'm prone to yeast, how can I keep it at bay whilst on the doxy?
d) I've completely lost my appetite. I think this is because of the drugs. Can I expect this to go away as I adjust or will I have to force myself to eat whilst on them?
e) Its not really possible for me to stay out of sunlight entirely - I have to go to college and work. Will a really high factor sunblock applied reguarly do it?

That was more than a few! Thankyou so much in advance.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4399
   Posted 8/6/2009 3:43 AM (GMT -7)   
a) I don't know. I do know that the Lyme test is not able to detect a fresh/new infection until at least 4 weeks after infection because the body's immune system takes that long to generate enough antibodies to be detectable on the tests...this may explain your doctor's reluctance to test you.

b) Recommended amounts of Doxy for a new infection are for at least 400mg/day for at least 6 weeks. I don't know if this needs to be adjusted based on weight or not...

c) Most here find taking a daily probiotic supplement (such as acidophilus) about 2 hours after each dose of antibiotic helpful for controlling yeast. Also, dietary recommendations include cutting out all sources of sugar (stevia is ok) and reducing carbohydrate intake to reduce the chances of "feeding" the yeast. You also may need to find a doctor willing to prescribe anti-yeast medication if you do wind up with yeast overgrowth.

d) Make sure you take Doxy with a full meal or at least a hearty snack, and also make sure to drink a complete glass of water with it (to keep it from getting stuck in your throat). I also don't think dairy food is supposed to be taken at the same time as Doxy (dairy food is ok if 2 hours before or after the Doxy)...

e) Sunblock should help reduce the sun sensitivity that comes with taking Doxy.

Good luck...
Chronic Lyme Disease, Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD ("Secondary Lupus-Like Syndrome"), Osteoporosis, chronic Lymphopenia, intermittant pancytopenia, chronic malabsorption/malnutrition, etc.; G-Tube; Currently TPN-dependent.
Meds:  Zofran, Pulmicort, IV Ceftazidime, Heparin (to flush PICC line), Claritin, Domperidone, Colloidal Silver (used topically), probiotics, homeopathy.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 147
   Posted 8/6/2009 5:02 AM (GMT -7)   
some advice about doxy - learned the hard way - I would not reccommemd that you take doxy too late in the evening - atleast two hours before bed time - also once you have taken it try to remain standing or sitting up for atleast 2 hours - drinking a large glass of water with it is good advice too.

Doxy is a powerful antibiotic so be alert for any allergic reactions - odd rashes/swelling in the throat etc;

I am not trying to scare you off taking them - but I think it is important that you don't consider doxy as straight foward as taking an aspirin or something - esp. as you will be taking a fairly high dose.

I am in u.k - the ELISA serology test my Dr. ordered is considered among 'Lymies' as pretty useless - mine was neg.

I found myself an LLMD [ lyme literate med. Dr.] I am treating for Lyme without any positive results - ie:clinical diagnosis based on symptoms and tick-bite.

I don't wish to sound like a 'know-all' !! - as although I have lyme I am not as knowledgeable as others here - just learning from exp.

The advice to take 'acidophilus' or other good probiotic is important too - try to take it 2hrs. after doxy.

Best Wishes


Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 8/6/2009 5:41 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi newtothiss, welcome to the board!

How did you remove the tick?  For future reference, please know the only safe way to remove a tick is with tweezers by grasping the mouthparts as close to the skin as possible and pulling straight back.  Save the tick, it can be tested for disease at IgeneX Lab in Palo Alto, CA.

Below is a Lyme symptom list.  You can have any combination of symptoms.  
Unexplained fevers, sweats, chills, or flushing
Unexplained weight change--loss or gain
Fatigue, tiredness, poor stamina
Unexplained hair loss
Swollen glands
Sore throat
Testicular pain/pelvic pain
Unexplained menstrual irregularity
Unexplained milk production: breast pain
Irritable bladder or bladder dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction or loss of libido
Upset stomach
Change in bowel function-constipation, diarrhea
Chest pain or rib soreness
Shortness of breath, cough
Heart palpitations, pulse skips, heart block
Any history of a heart murmur or valve prolapse?
Joint pain or swelling
Stiffness of the joints, neck, or back
Muscle pain or cramps
Twitching of the face or other muscles
Neck creeks and cracks, neck stiffness, neck pain
Tingling, numbness, burning or stabbing sensations, shooting pains
Facial paralysis (Bell's Palsy)
Eyes/Vision: double, blurry, increased floaters, light sensitivity
Ears/Hearing: buzzing, ringing, ear pain, sound sensitivity
lncreased motion sickness, vertigo, poor balance
Lightheadedness, wooziness
Confusion, difficulty in thinking
Difficulty with concentration, reading
Forgetfulness, poor short term memory
Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
Difficulty with speech or writing
Mood swings, irritability, depression
Disturbed sleep-too much, too little, early awakening
Exaggerated symptoms or worse hangover from alcohol
It is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor.  Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols.  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.   

If you need a doctor recommendation, you can email me at ko_@bellsouth.net  

There are some important tips about taking Doxy.  Do not have any dairy, magnesium, or iron products within two hours of taking it or it will not be absorbed properly.  If it makes you nauseous, eat something substantial and non-dairy before taking it.  Avoid the sun.  You can get a severe burn in minutes even when wearing sunblock.  Some people get burned knuckles from the sun coming into the car when they are driving, so I advise you to be extremely careful.  Do not lay down for at least an hour after taking it, or you can ulcerate your esophagus.  This is very painful.  Drink a full glass of water when you take it for the same reason.  Whenever you take antibiotics, make sure you take high-quality acidophilus at least two hours apart from the meds.  This helps to replace the good bacteria and prevent yeast overgrowth.  The best kind to get are refrigerated and have a high culture count.  Most health food stores have them. 

From what I understand, six weeks of the proper dose antibiotic is the minimum treatment time for an infection caught within two weeks of the bite. 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.  Early infections are the easiest to cure.  Getting the proper treatment now may reduce the chance of long-term complications.    

Be aware of the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction (herx).  Often when people who have Lyme take antibiotics, their symptoms get worse or they get new ones.  When the antibiotics kill the bacteria, toxins are released making them feel worse.  It can be scary when it happens, but it is a sign the antibiotics are working.  This is probably why you feel worse.   During treatment, it is important to document your symptoms daily.  One way to do this is to list the main symptoms you have with a numerical rating of their severity from 1-10.  Over time when you review this, you can see when your herxes occur and how you are responding to the meds. 

It is also important to learn as much as possible.   I recommend reading Dr. Joseph Burrascano's 2008 Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines For Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses  at http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/B_guidelines_12_17_08.pdf  He is one of the top Lyme doctors in the country, and many Lyme doctors follow his protocols.   He discusses antibiotics and doses starting on page 18.   I also recommend the books "Everything You Need To Know about Lyme Disease Second Edition" by Karen Vanderhoof-Forschner and "The Lyme Disease Solution" by Kenneth B. Singleton M.D.

Good luck with your treatment.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/6/2009 5:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone, thanks for your informative replies. The only thing is, I live in the UK and can't exactly fly over to see a lyme doctor. Whats the best thing I can do here?

I don't feel great about deciding to self-medicate but I feel its my only choice.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 8/6/2009 6:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome. You are very smart to have done the research and continued the Doxy. Two weeks is not enough treatment. Most LLMDs are saying 6-8 weeks to be safe. So I would make sure you are on it for at least 6 weeks. The others have given you great advice. Try and take a probiotic while on the Abx. It should help keep the yeast at bay. I wish you all the best.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/6/2009 6:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Thankyou Thankyou. Yes I plan to stay on the doxy for 6 weeks at least. The only thing is though I have no appetite to speak of and I'm already skinny. Not sure if this is because of the doxy or illness :(
Does anyone have any experience with this?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4717
   Posted 8/6/2009 7:06 AM (GMT -7)   

These are the side effects of doxycycline:

Indigestion and heartburnĀ 
Skin reaction to sunlight (photosensitivity)
Loss of appetite

**You never know how STRONG you are....until being STRONG is the ONLY choice you have**

Co-Moderator Lyme Disease Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 9208
   Posted 8/6/2009 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
nettothiss, you can email me for doctor recommendations.  I know of a couple possibilities in the UK.
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