05 June 2013

If you're at risk for Lyme disease, read this

Excerpts from an article at Wired:
...back in March, the American Academy of Pediatrics warned of an FDA alert over an apparent shortage of doxycycline, an old and inexpensive drug that is used mostly for uncomplicated infections such as sexually transmitted diseases and acne. It is also used, though, as the first treatment for a new case of Lyme disease...

Dr. Judy Stone, who practices in western Maryland and Maine... announced the price of the drug at her community pharmacy had gone from $20 to $3,000 [for a bottle of 500 tablets].
More at the link, including a variety of informed observations in the comment thread.

Bottom line:  make an increased effort to avoid ticks and check yourself carefully after possible tick exposure (I found two on myself after a hike this week).


  1. This is also my preferred anti-malarial. Here in Canada it usally costs me a few dollars for a month's supply.

  2. Aaand this might be why I'm finding it hard to get here in the Netherlands too...

  3. I'm a field botanist, and I recently had a bout of what was possibly STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness), which is somewhat similar to but MUCH milder than Lyme. Luckily, I got treated at my university's clinic...which had a stockpile of Doxycycline because it treats so many students with gonorrhea, haha. They told me that I'd likely have a hard time getting it through the local pharmacy! The drug, that is, not the gonorrhea. But I really hope also the gonorrhea.

  4. Ugh. This is terrible. I must pull at least a dozen ticks off of myself each year because of my work on the farm. Lyme disease is something I fear.

  5. Just got prescribed this in the UK for use against malaria when I'm going travelling. It's going to cost me £3 for fifty or so tablets, less than a meal at MacDonalds.


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