Tick Paralysis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

What Is Tick Paralysis?

In this Article

In this Article

In this Article

Tick paralysis is disease that causes tingling and numbness all over the body in people bitten by ticks. The numbness can lead to weakness.

While the symptoms can be alarming, treatment is simple: remove the tick, and you’ll usually feel better in a couple of hours.
Tick paralysis isn’t common, but you should take it seriously because in very rare cases, if untreated, the disease can affect your lungs and make it hard to breathe. That can be fatal.

In the U.S., tick paralysis is most common in the Pacific Northwest, the Rocky Mountain states, and the Southeastern part of the country. The American dog tick, Rocky Mountain wood tick, and dermacentor ticks are most likely to cause tick paralysis. But 40 kinds of ticks can cause tick paralysis, and the symptoms depend on the species of tick that bit you.

Tick paralysis can affect anyone, but it’s most often found in children under 8 years old.


When you’re bitten by a tick and it hangs onto you for several days, it can release a neurotoxin through its saliva. Experts don’t completely understand how, but the neurotoxin messes with your nervous system.


Tick paralysis usually starts with numbness or tingling in your legs. You may also have muscle pain and feel tired and irritable. If your child has it, you may notice that he or she is walking in an odd way, as if drunk.

From there, the numbness moves up your body and is followed by paralysis that starts in your feet and moves upward. It can just affect one side of you, but that’s less common. It then spreads to the arms and possibly lungs. You may also feel tired and irritable and have muscle pain.

While tick paralysis is rarely fatal, it’s an emergency if it weakens your diaphragm and makes it hard to breathe.

Tick paralysis symptoms are very close to those of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), which is when the body’s immune system affects nerves, leading to paralysis.



The first step is if you find one or more ticks attached to your body, or where a tick has recently bitten you.

Ticks can bite anywhere, but the most common spots are on your scalp, especially at the hairline on your neck. Ticks also often attach to the armpit, between fingers and toes, or around the genitals and rectum.

Your doctor may ask if you’ve been in the woods lately or, if you have a dog, if your dog has been in areas prone to ticks. Dogs can bring ticks into your home, which then attach to you.

If the tick has already fallen off, look for a red bump, which is your body’s reaction to the saliva. Make sure all of the tick is gone. If the tick’s body has already fallen off but the head or parts of its mouth are still attached to your body, it could still be releasing the poison that causes the paralysis.


The treatment is easy. Once the tick is removed — the entire tick, including the head and all parts of its mouth — you’ll get rid what’s causing the symptoms, and you should feel better quickly.

You can remove ticks by using tweezers to grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull the tick out in a slow but steady upward motion. Don’t handle the tick with bare hands when it’s out of your body, and clean your hands and the bite site afterward.

If the tick paralysis affects your breathing, your doctor may have you use a breathing machine until the symptoms ease. If you have trouble breathing, call 911 or go to the ER immediately.


The only way to prevent tick paralysis is to prevent tick bites. To do that, follow these tips.

Avoid tick-heavy areas, like woods and grassy areas. When you are hiking or exploring, stick to the middle of trails.

Use tick-deterring bug sprays. Check labels for DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon, eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanon. Ask your pediatrician to recommend a safe option for your children.

Treat your outdoor clothes and gear with products that have the insecticide permethrin, which deters ticks from attaching themselves to your stuff.

Do full-body tick checks after every outdoor adventure. Take special care to look under your arms, in and around your ears, inside the belly button, the backs of your knees, in and around your head, hair, and body hair, between your legs, and around your waist. Check your kids and dogs for ticks, too.


Curtis: “What’s eating you? clinical manifestations of Dermacentor tick bites.”

Clinical Toxicology: “A Comparative Meta-Analysis of Tick Paralysis in the United States and Australia.”

Przeglad Epidemiologiczny: “Tick Paralysis.”

CDC: “Lyme Disease.”

Simon, L. and McKinney, W. Tick, Paralysis, StatPearls Publishing, 2017.

Mayo Clinic: “Guillain-Barre syndrome.”

Seattle Children’s Hospital: “Tick Bite.”

Mayo Clinic: “Tick bites, First aid.”

CDC: “Prevent Lyme Disease.”

Columbia University Irving Medical Center: “Tick Paralysis.”


Antibiotics after a tick bite for adults and children for treatment and prevention

Medical expert of the article

Tick infections are the cause of many life-threatening diseases. Consider what antibiotics are most effective when biting a tick, when and how to apply them.

Ticks are potential carriers of microbes and several types of viruses. The most famous diseases transmitted by insects are tick-borne encephalitis, borreliosis (Lyme disease), anaplasmosis. Medicine knows about 60 pathologies transmitted by these parasites. The group of tick-borne infections includes:

  • Recurrent tick-borne typhus.
  • Tularemia.
  • Babesiosis.
  • Ehrlichiosis.
  • Hemorrhagic fever.
  • Tsutsugamushi’s disease.
  • Rickettsiosis.
  • Spotted fever.
  • Marseilles fever and others.

The most dangerous is encephalitis, that is, inflammation of the brain, which can lead to death.

The attack of insects is seasonal. The first cases of bites occur in the early spring, and the last in the fall. The maximum number of lesions recorded in the period from the middle of spring to the first months of summer. The tick is attached to the animal or human with a hypostome (special organ) and injects its saliva. At the site of suction due to micro-trauma inflammation and local allergic reaction develops. The attached parasite remains undetected for a long time. Bites are most often localized in places with developed capillary system and tender skin (groin, armpits, auricles, abdomen, loin, chest).

It is worth noting that not every tick is a carrier of disease. Most infections, thanks to the immune system, do not cause an infectious disease. The bite is not accompanied by painful sensations, because of what the sucking insect can for a long time remain unnoticed. Pathological symptoms occur in 2-4 hours and depend on the individual characteristics of the human body and the number of sucking parasites.

The main symptoms of the lesion:

  • Increased weakness and drowsiness.
  • Chills.
  • Photophobia.
  • Sore joints.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Dizziness and headaches.
  • Sharp decrease in pressure.
  • Cardiopalmus.
  • Itching and rashes on the body.
  • Increased regional lymph nodes.

The most pronounced symptomatology is observed in elderly people, in the presence of chronic diseases, allergic reactions or immunodeficiency states, as well as in children. Very often a recurrent fever is observed. The temperature rises 2-4 days after the bite, lasts about 2-3 days, after which it returns to normal.

Antibiotics with a tick bite are taken to prevent infection. The choice of dosage, duration of treatment should be done by a doctor. In addition, it is the doctor who must pull the insect and send it to the study.

Treatment with antibiotics after a tick bite

To date, a single protocol for the treatment and prevention of tick-borne infections has not been developed. Treatment with antibiotics after a tick bite is conducted to prevent its consequences and complications. This is due to the fact that insects are carriers of many viruses and infectious agents. To protect against tick-borne encephalitis, you can get vaccinated, but this will not save you from other diseases caused by the parasite.

In most cases, the bite that caused the infection is visible after 30 minutes — 1 hour. The affected area becomes bright red with pronounced edema. Gradually appears erythema, reddening has clear boundaries (a thin circle with a large diameter). Such signs indicate infection with Lyme spirochetes. The intake of antibacterial drugs is aimed at arresting the infection and the symptoms of this disease.

Medication consists of:

Since the mites carry infectious diseases that manifest themselves skin reactions, the effective antibiotics for their treatment are tetracycline drugs: tetracycline, doxycycline, amoxicillin. If against the background of cutaneous manifestations there are symptoms of damage to the nervous system, heart or joints, I prescribe the antibiotics of the penicillin or cephalosporin group: Penicillin, Ampicillin, Ceftriaxone. If the above drugs are intolerant, macrolides, for example, Erythromycin, are used.

Antibacterial treatment is carried out with the intake of probiotics, which restore the beneficial microflora in the digestive organs, necessary for normal digestion and assimilation of food. Their use is due to the fact that along with the infection, antibiotics destroy useful bacteria living in the digestive tract. Most often, patients are prescribed Linex or Bifiform.

The main cause of tick-borne borreliosis is the poisoning of the body with endotoxins, which are excreted by an infectious agent. Disintoxication therapy consists of taking detoxification drugs (Atoxil, Albumin) and drinking abundantly with the use of vitamin C.

  • Symptomatic and restorative treatment

It is aimed at suppressing painful symptoms and improving the patient’s condition. With severe pain and fever, NSAIDs are used: Naproxen, Indomethacin, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Nurofen. To stop the allergic reactions shown antihistamines: Diazolin, Suprastin, Alleron, Claritin. To stimulate the immune system, immunostimulants are prescribed: Immunal, Timogen or Imudon. With expressed disorders of the nervous system, immunosuppressants are shown. Vitamins of group A, B, E. Have general strengthening properties.

As an additional therapeutic method, physiotherapy is used. It is aimed at normalizing blood circulation at the site of a bite and restoring the functioning of the peripheral nervous system, eliminating inflammation in the joints. Most often used such physiotherapy: electrophoresis, UV irradiation, magnetotherapy, massage, paraffin applications.

If necessary, 3-4 months after infection from a tick bite, a second course of treatment with intravenous administration of antibiotics and immunomodulators is performed.

ATC classification

Indications of the antibiotics after bite

All indications for the use of antibiotics with a tick bite are based on the symptomatology of the pathologies that arise from infection. The first sign of an insect attack is the redness of the tissues at the site of the bite. If Borrelia (pathogens of Lyme disease) get into the skin, the place swells, red rings appear around the bite, resembling a target painted on the body. This erythema refers to migratory, so it can move to other parts of the body.

In most cases, the bite of a blood-sucking mite leads to Lyme disease, for which antibiotics are needed. This pathology has three stages, each with its own characteristic symptoms, consider them:

І stage

Symptomatic of tick-borne lesions begins to develop after the incubation period, that is, after 2-3 days. During this time, the infection has already begun to spread throughout the body and poison it with endotoxins. The duration of this stage is from 3 days to a month. During this period, there are symptoms that are already an indication for the use of antibiotics:

  • Significant increase in the size of annular erythema.
  • Puffiness, pain and itching in the area of the lesion.
  • A sharp rise in body temperature, a febrile state.
  • Body aches, stiffness in the muscles.
  • Increased regional lymph nodes.
  • Persecution in the throat and cough (may be mistaken for the signs of a cold).
  • General malaise, weakness.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Various rashes on the body.

In rare cases, approximately 20% of patients have the above symptoms. They only have ring-shaped erythema. But this does not mean that the disease stopped its development, since borreliosis can temporarily take a latent form.

[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]

ІІ stage

It occurs 1-3 months after infection, it occurs in 15% of patients who did not apply for timely medical care at the first stage of the disease. This stage is characterized by the penetration of infection into the lymphatic and circulatory system, internal organs, central nervous system, heart. The main symptoms are:

  • Increased weakness and malaise.
  • Photophobia.
  • Frequent headaches are pulsating in nature, dizziness.
  • Sleep disturbances and concentration of attention.
  • Stiffness of the occipital muscles.
  • Depressive state.
  • Hearing impairment.
  • Paralysis of the facial nerve.
  • Angina pectoris, arrhythmia.
  • Pericarditis.
  • Meningitis.
  • Cervico-thoracic radiculitis.

ІІІ stage

It begins 6-24 months after infection. It is manifested by a chronic course of the disease with such symptoms:

  • Lesions of joints (osteoporosis, arthritis).
  • Disturbances of the nervous system.
  • Weakness and malaise.
  • Migraines and severe headaches.
  • Paroxysmal pain in the abdomen and joints.
  • Frequent attacks of nausea.
  • Change in the picture of blood (increase of leukocytes and ESR).
  • Memory disorder.
  • Convulsive syndrome.
  • Invalidization.

This stage occurs in about 10% of people with a tick bite.

For the appointment of antibacterial and other drugs, the diagnosis of the disease. To do this, the doctor collects an anamnesis, that is, asks the patient about the case of insect bites and how much time has passed since that moment. Assigns a general and biochemical blood test, serological reactions, radiography, immunofluorometry, PCR study, electrocardiogram. A biopsy of the skin with tissue removal from the surface of the erythema is mandatory.

Release form

Antibiotics used at the tick bite have different forms of release. At the first stage of treatment or prevention, oral forms are used: tablets, capsules, suspensions, solutions. Such drugs are quickly absorbed and absorbed, but can be destroyed, getting into the acidic environment of the gastrointestinal tract.

At the second stage of therapy, when laboratory diagnostics confirmed the presence of tick-borne infection, drugs for intramuscular and intravenous administration are prescribed. This category includes ready-made ampoules with injections and a dry substance (powder) for the preparation of an injection solution.

There are also antibiotics in the form of ointments, gels, drops, that is, for topical application. But when infected with ticks, they are used extremely rarely.

Names of antibiotics and other medicines after tick bite

To prevent infectious complications after a tick bite, antibiotics are recommended. Consider the names of the most effective and popular drugs:

The broad-spectrum antibiotic belongs to the group of macrolides. Getting into the body, creates high concentrations in the lesion, having a bactericidal effect.

  • Indications for use: various infectious diseases caused by susceptible to the preparation of harmful microorganisms. Infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract and ENT organs, infectious lesions of the skin and soft tissues, diseases of the genitourinary tract, borreliosis (Lyme disease).
  • Method of administration: take the medicine an hour before meals or two hours after. On the average, appoint one reception per day for 250-500 mg. For the treatment of acute symptoms caused by a tick bite — twice a day for 500 mg and 250 mg for the second to fifth day of therapy.
  • Side effects: nausea and vomiting, flatulence, abdominal pain, increased activity of hepatic enzymes, skin rashes.
  • Contraindications: individual intolerance to the components of the drug, severe impairment of function and kidney. Pregnancy and lactation, allergic reactions to medication in history.

The drug is available in the form of tablets, capsules and syrup for oral administration.

Antibacterial agent of a wide spectrum of action. It has bacteriolytic properties. Contains the active substance — clavulanic acid, which ensures drug resistance to the effects of beta-lactamases and extends its spectrum of action.

  • Indications for use: bacterial infections caused by microorganisms that are sensitive to the drug. Used for infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract, bacterial lesions of the skin and soft tissues. With infections of the genitourinary system, sepsis, septicemia, postoperative infections, osteomyelitis, peritonitis.
  • The way of application and dosage are set individually for each patient. The maximum single dose of 1.2 grams, the allowable daily dose for intravenous administration is 7.2 g. Before taking the drug, it is important to determine the sensitivity to it of the microflora that caused the disease.
  • Side effects: digestive disorders, violations of the liver, hepatitis, cholestatic jaundice, skin allergic reactions, urination disorders, candidiasis, inflammation of the vein at the injection site.
  • Contraindications: intolerance of the components of the drug, severe violations of the liver, erythematous rash, hives, pregnancy and lactation.

Augmentin is available in tablet form, as a syrup in vials and a dry substance for the preparation of suspension and drops, powder for injection.

Beta-lactam antibiotic from the penicillin group. Its antimicrobial action is similar to benzylpeniiillin. It does not accumulate in the body, is low-toxic, has a prolonged effect.

  • Indications for use: infections caused by microorganisms sensitive to the preparation, prevention of rheumatism.
  • Method of administration: adults 1 500 000 units once a month intramuscularly, for children of child age, 600 000 units once every 3 weeks.
  • Side effects are manifested by skin allergic reactions. The main contraindication is the intolerance of the components of the medication.

The form of release is a dry substance for the preparation of injections, in bottles of 1 500 000 units.

Interferonogenic agent, inducer alpha and beta interferon. Has anti-inflammatory and immunostimulating properties. Especially effective against tick-borne encephalitis virus and pathogen of hemorrhagic fever with the observed renal syndrome (HFRS).

  • Indications for use: prevention and treatment of tick-borne encephalitis, HFRS
  • How to use: tablets must be taken after meals. One-time dosage of 100-300 mg 2-3 times a day. The course of treatment is from 2 to 9 days.
  • Side effects: skin rashes, dyspepsia, angioedema. In case of an overdose, there is an increase in adverse reactions.
  • Contraindications: hyperthyroidism, hepatic and renal failure, pregnancy and lactation, pediatrics, intolerance to halogens.

Yodantipyrine is available in tablets for oral use.

Antibacterial agent from the group of macrolides, semisynthetic derivative of erythromycin.

  • Indications for use: treatment and prevention of infectious processes caused by a drug-sensitive flora. Effective in infections of the upper respiratory tract, skin and soft tissues. Infectious lesions of the dental-jaw system, various local infections. It is also used in complex therapy for the eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection.
  • Method of use: the drug can be taken regardless of food. On average, patients are prescribed 500 mg twice a day. The course of therapy is 5-14 days.
  • Side effects: vomiting, stomatitis, nausea, taste disorders, headaches and dizziness, hallucinations, tachycardia, skin allergic reactions, hypoglycemia.
  • Contraindications: patients younger than 12 years, hypersensitivity to the components of the drug, the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Overdose: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Treatment is symptomatic, hemodialysis is ineffective.

Clarithromycin is available in tablets coated with 500 and 250 mg of active substance.

Chemotherapeutic agent with pronounced antiviral activity. In the early stages of infection, it inhibits the replication of viruses, inhibits the synthesis of the viral envelope.

  • Indications for use: prevention of tick-borne encephalitis, early treatment and prevention of influenza in children and adults.
  • Method of use: tablets should be taken after meals, washed down with water. To prevent tick infections, the drug should be taken immediately after an insect bite. Adults prescribe 100 mg twice a day for 3-5 days, for children the dosage is individual in each individual case.
  • Side effects: diarrhea, vomiting, drowsiness, violation of concentration of attention, tinnitus, hoarseness of the voice, skin allergic rashes, paresthesia.
  • Contraindications: kidney disease in chronic and acute form, pregnancy and lactation, thyrotoxicosis, intolerance of the components of the drug.

Remantadine has a tablet form of release, in one capsule 50 mg of active substance.

The broad-spectrum antibiotic refers to macrolides. After ingestion, it creates high concentrations in the inflammation focus, has bactericidal properties.

  • Indications for use: upper respiratory tract infections and ENT organs, bacterial and atypical pneumonia, bronchitis. Infections of the skin and soft tissues, secondarily infected dermatoses, Lyme disease, inflammation of the urethra.
  • Dosing: once a day 500 mg an hour before meals or two hours after a meal. The duration of treatment is determined by the doctor.
  • Side effects: nausea and vomiting, flatulence, increased activity of hepatic enzymes, skin rashes.
  • Contraindications: hypersensitivity to macrolide antibiotics, severe violations of kidney and liver function, allergic reactions to the drug in history, pregnancy and lactation.
  • Overdose: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, temporary hearing loss. Treatment is symptomatic, gastric lavage is recommended.

The drug is available in tablet form and in vials of powder for the preparation of a suspension or syrup.

Antibacterial agent for internal and external use. Has a wide range of action against many harmful microorganisms.

  • Indications for use: pneumonia, bronchitis, purulent pleurisy, inflammation of the internal cavities of the heart, bacterial and amoebic dysentery, angina, gonorrhea, brucellosis, tularemia, recurrent typhus. Infectious lesions of the urinary tract, purulent meningitis. The medicine can be used for infectious lesions of the eyes, phlegmon, mastitis, gonorrhea, cholera, septic states.
  • Usage: 250 mg every 6 hours, the duration of treatment is completely dependent on the severity of painful symptoms.
  • Side effects: decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, intestinal dysfunction, skin allergic reactions, photosensitization, changes in the mucous membranes of the mouth and the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Contraindications: hypersensitivity to the components of the drug, fungal diseases, kidney disease, leukopenia, pregnancy, children’s age of patients.

Produced in the form of tablets, dragees, granules for the preparation of syrup and suspension for oral administration.

Antimicrobial agent from the group of second generation cephalosporins. Produces a bactericidal effect by binding to penicillin-binding proteins on the walls of bacteria. Has an optimal spectrum of action against Gram-positive and Gram-negative microorganisms.

  • Indications for use: infectious diseases of the respiratory tract and ENT organs, skin and soft tissue lesions. It is prescribed for infectious and inflammatory processes from the osteoarticular system and urogenital tract.
  • Dosing: The average therapeutic dose for adults is 250 mg twice a day. The course of treatment is chosen by the doctor, individually for each patient.
  • Side effects: stool disorders, dyspeptic symptoms, headaches and dizziness, hearing loss, vaginitis, drowsiness, convulsions, increased hepatic enzymes.
  • Contraindications: pregnancy and lactation, bleeding of any etiology.
  • Overdose: convulsions, increased nervous excitement. For treatment, gastric lavage and sorbent reception are indicated.
  1. Cefotaxime

Semisynthetic antibiotic from the group of third generation cephalosporins. Has a wide spectrum of action, it is used for parenteral administration.

  • Indications for use: infections of the lower respiratory tract, urinary tract damage, infection of bones and soft tissues, abdominal organs. The drug is effective in Lyme disease and for the prevention of postoperative infections and complications.
  • Method of administration: it is administered intramuscularly and intravenously, struino and drip. Dosage and treatment depend on the characteristics of the patient’s body and the severity of the disease state.
  • Side effects: skin allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, stool, abdominal pain, leukopenia, hemolytic anemia, arrhythmia, headaches, phlebitis.
  • Contraindications: hypersensitivity to the components of the drug, bleeding, pregnancy and lactation, impaired renal and hepatic function.
  • Overdose: skin allergic reactions, encephalopathy, dysbiosis. Treatment is symptomatic.

The preparation is available in powder form for the preparation of injections in vials with a dosage of 500 mg, 1 and 2 g.

[8], [9], [10], [11], [12]

List of antibiotics for adult bite of a tick

If an infection is detected in a laboratory study of an extracted tick from the skin, then drugs are prescribed for its prevention, that is, prevention of further development. Antibiotic when bitten by an adult is used in the presence of a characteristic pathological symptomatology. Most often, the affected people face skin manifestations of the bite — migrating erythema, that is, Lyme-borreliosis spot. The temperature rises, and there are other symptoms similar to influenza infection. In this case, it is necessary to urgently begin the course of antibiotic therapy.

Most often with a tick bite, adults are prescribed antibiotics:

Bactericidal agent from the group of semisynthetic penicillins. Has a wide range of action. Acid-resistant, quickly and completely absorbed.

  • Indication: bacterial infections, pneumonia, inflammation of the kidney and renal pelvis, inflammatory lesions of the urethra and small intestine, other infections caused by microorganisms that are sensitive to the drug.
  • The method of application and dosage are set individually for each patient and depend on the severity of the infection and the sensitivity of the pathogen. Adults prescribe 500 mg 2-3 times a day, in case of severe disease the dosage can be doubled.
  • Side effects: skin allergic reactions, inflammation of the nasal mucosa and the outer shell of the eye, a sharp increase in temperature, pain in the joints. In rare cases, there is a development of superinfection.
  • Contraindications: penicillin intolerance, infectious mononucleosis. With special care appoint during pregnancy, with a tendency to allergic reactions.

The preparation has several forms of release: enteric-coated tablets, capsules, solution and suspension for oral administration, dry substance for injection.

Semisynthetic antibiotic from the pharmacotherapeutic group of tetracyclines. It has a wide range of action and bacteriostatic properties. After oral administration, it is rapidly absorbed from the digestive tract. The maximum concentration in the blood plasma is observed two hours after application. The level of binding to blood plasma proteins is 80-95%. Half-life is 15-25 hours.

  • Indications for use: various infectious and inflammatory diseases caused by drug-sensitive intracellular pathogens and microorganisms. The drug is used for treatment and prevention with tick bite, with borreliosis, gastrointestinal tract infections, ENT organs, urinary tract, pelvic organs, lower respiratory tract. Effective with prostatitis, Lyme disease of the first stage, whooping cough, syphilis, tularemia, cholera and other diseases.
  • Dosing: The drug is taken orally after meals, washed down with water (to reduce irritation of the esophagus). The daily dose can be taken immediately or divided into two doses (every 12 hours). In most infections, 200 mg of the drug are prescribed with a decrease in dosage in the following days to 100 mg. The course of treatment is 10-14 days.
  • Side effects: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, allergic reactions and swelling. With long-term use of the drug, neutropenia, hemolytic anemia, candidiasis, dysbacteriosis, a stable change in tooth enamel are possible.
  • Contraindications: hypersensitivity to tetracyclines and doxycycline, second half of pregnancy, lactation, porphyria, leukopenia, severe hepatic insufficiency.

Available in the form of capsules for oral use.

Antimicrobial agent from the group of cephalosporins. Contains active substance — cefotaxime (third generation cephalosporin). Possesses pronounced bactericidal properties. Resistant to most beta-lactamases.

  • Indications for use: treatment of diseases caused by microorganisms sensitive to cefotoxime. It is most often used for infectious diseases of the musculoskeletal system, soft tissues, skin, respiratory and urogenital system. Effective in septicemia, bacteremia, diseases of the nervous system, intra-abdominal infections.
  • Method of use: the medication is used to prepare a solution for intravenous and intramuscular injections. Subcutaneous or intradermal administration is contraindicated. Adult patients in most diseases are prescribed a single injection of 500-1000 mg intramuscularly. In severe cases, the introduction of 2 g of the drug with an interval of 6-8 hours and a daily dose of 6-8 g.
  • Side effects: neutropenia, arrhythmia, thrombocytopenia, encephalopathy, nausea and pain in the epigastric region, vomiting, allergic reactions, anaphylactic shock.
  • Contraindications: intolerance of the components of medication and other medications from the group of cephalosporins, pregnancy and lactation.
  • Overdose: high doses can cause the development of reversible encephalopathy. There is no specific antidote. For treatment, withdrawal of the drug and symptomatic therapy are indicated.

The preparation is available in the form of a powder in transparent glass bottles for the preparation of an injection solution.

Semisynthetic antibiotic from the group of tetracyclines. Has a wide range of action, prevents the reproduction of bacteria.

  • Indications: bacterial infections, upper or lower respiratory infections, ornithosis, psittacosis, Reiter syndrome, conjunctivitis, trachoma, plague, tularemia, cholera, brucellosis, tick-borne recurrence, soft tissue and skin infections, meningococcal infections.
  • The way of application and dosage is individual for each patient. The average initial dose is 200 mg, followed by a dose of 100 mg every 12 hours. Treatment should last 24-48 hours.
  • Side effects: lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, swallowing disorders, increased skin sensitivity to sunlight, skin allergic reactions, increased activity of liver enzymes, headaches and dizziness.
  • Contraindications: tetracycline intolerance, pregnancy, children’s age of patients.

The drug is available in tablet form, in the form of capsules and a suspension for oral administration.

Immunomodulator, antiviral and antiproliferative agent. Stimulates the cellular activity of phagocytes and T cells.

  • Indications for use: diseases of viral etiology, hepatitis B, C, tick-borne encephalitis, T-cell lymphoma of the skin, Kaposi’s sarcoma, malignant melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, chronic myeloid leukemia.
  • Method of administration: The preparation is used for parenteral administration, i.e., intramuscularly or subcutaneously. The drug should be diluted in 1.0 ml of water for injection. When a tick is bitten, 1-3 million IU are prescribed twice a day for 10 days. Then therapy is continued with the introduction of 5 injections of REALDIRON for 1-3 million every 2 days.
  • Side effects: general weakness, chills, febrile condition, increased drowsiness, headaches, myalgia. Very rarely develops leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, it is also possible to disrupt liver function and arrhythmia. Overdose manifests itself with more intense side effects.
  • Contraindications: individual intolerance to the components of the drug. Use during pregnancy is possible if the expected benefit to the mother is higher than the potential risks to the fetus.

Realdiron is produced as a lyophilizate (dry powder) for injection.

Macrolide with bacteriostatic effect. It is active against intracellular pathogens. Biotransformiruetsya in the liver, forms active metabolites. It is excreted with bile and urine.

  • Indications for use: diseases of the ENT organs, bronchopulmonary pathologies, skin lesions, diseases of the genitourinary system, sexually transmitted infections.
  • The method of application and dosage depends on the form of release of the drug and indications for use. In most cases, appoint 3 million IU 2-3 times a day (daily dose of 6-9 million IU). The course of treatment is 3-5 days, but if necessary, it can be extended up to 10 days.
  • Side effects: allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, pseudomembranous colitis, paresthesia, phlebitis, pain in the epigastric region, increased level of transaminases.
  • Contraindications: intolerance of the components of the remedy, severe liver damage, lactation. The drug is allowed to use during pregnancy.
  • Overdose: nausea, vomiting, stool disorders, violations of varying severity from the cardiovascular system. There is no specific antidote, symptomatic therapy is indicated.

Rovamycin has several forms of release: coated tablets (1.5 and 3 million IU), lyophilized powder for injection.

Cephalosporin antibiotic of the third generation. Characterized by bactericidal properties due to inhibition of bacterial cell wall synthesis. Has a wide spectrum of antimicrobial action.

  • Indications for use: infectious diseases caused by microorganisms sensitive to the preparation, infections of the ENT organs, upper and lower respiratory tract, infectious skin and soft tissue injuries. Infections of the urino-genital organs, abdominal cavity. Bone infection, Lyme disease (develops after a tick bite), syphilis, chancroid, typhoid fever, salmonellosis. Prevention of postoperative purulent-septic pathologies.
  • Method of administration: The drug is used intramuscularly / intravenously and only freshly prepared solutions. Adults and children over 12 years of age are prescribed 1-2 g per day, if necessary, the dosage may be increased to 4 g. The duration of therapy depends on the severity of the infection and the patient’s condition.
  • Side effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hepatitis, allergic reactions, hematopoietic system disorders, candidiasis, phlebitis, tenderness at the injection site.
  • Contraindications: individual intolerance of the drug and other cephalosporins or penicillins, the first trimester of pregnancy and lactation, renal and hepatic insufficiency.
  • Overdose: prolonged use of the drug can cause a violation of the picture of blood (leukopenia, hemolytic anemia, neutropenia). Treatment is symptomatic, hemodialysis is not effective.

The medication is available in the form of a powder for the preparation of a solution for injection.

Cephalosporin antibiotic of the second generation. Semisynthetic drug has bactericidal properties against a wide range of harmful microorganisms. Oppresses the synthesis of peptidoglycan of the bacterial cell membrane. Penetrates through the transplacental barrier and into breast milk.

  • Indications for use: upper respiratory tract diseases, ENT diseases, cystitis, pyelonephritis, gonorrhea, arthritis, bursitis, osteomyelitis, furunculosis, erysipelas, pyoderma, various infectious pathologies, diseases of the abdominal cavity and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Method of use: the drug is used for intravenous or intramuscular administration. Adult patients are prescribed 750 mg every 8 hours. The course of treatment is individual for each patient.
  • Side effects occur extremely rarely and are reversible. Most often, patients are faced with such reactions: neutropenia, leukopenia, nausea, vomiting, stool, headaches and dizziness, increased excitability, increased levels of creatine and urea in the blood serum. Skin and local allergic reactions.
  • Contraindications: individual intolerance to the components of the drug, cephalosporins and penicillins. Medication is not recommended during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Overdose: increased excitation of the central nervous system, convulsions. Treatment is symptomatic, hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis is possible.

Cefuroxime is available in powder form for the preparation of injection solutions.

Antibiotic of a wide spectrum of action. Contains the active component ceftriaxone — a substance with antimicrobial properties, belongs to the group of cephalosporins. With intramuscular injection, its bioavailability is 100%. The active substances penetrate the cerebrospinal fluid, pass through the placental barrier and are excreted in breast milk.

  • Indications for use: infections of the abdominal cavity, respiratory tract, kidneys, joints, bones, soft tissues, genital organs and urinary tract. Infectious lesions of patients with reduced immunity, sepsis, meningitis, early and late stages of disseminated borreliosis Lyme.
  • Method of use: ready-mixed solution is injected or drip. For patients over 12 years of age, appoint 1-2 grams at intervals of 24 hours. In severe infections, an increase in the daily dose to 4 mg is possible. Therapy should last for 48-72 hours after the patient’s condition is normalized. With a tick bite, the antibiotic is taken within 14 days.
  • Side effects: stomatitis, pancreatitis, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, neutropenia, leukopenia, hematuria, reversible cholelithiasis, secondary fungal infections. Also, allergic and local reactions (phlebitis, tenderness along the veins) are possible. Overdose manifests more pronounced adverse reactions. There is no specific antidote, symptomatic treatment is indicated.
  • Contraindications: hypersensitivity to penicillins or cephalosporins in anamnesis. With caution is prescribed for people with kidney failure. Safety of use during pregnancy has not been studied, the drug can penetrate the placental barrier.

Emsef is available in the form of a powder for the preparation of a solution for parenteral administration.

Antibiotic from the group of tetracyclines, contains the active substance — doxycycline. It has bacteriostatic properties, is active against pathogenic microorganisms in the functional stage of growth and division.

  • Indications for use: infectious diseases of the ENT organs, upper and lower respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, genitourinary system. The drug is effective in gonorrhea, pyelonephritis, cystitis, prostatitis, infections of the skin and soft tissues, typhus.
  • The method of application, the dose of the drug and the duration of treatment is established by the attending physician individually for each patient. Adults, as a rule, appoint 200 mg once a day or 100 mg twice a day. In severe infectious diseases appoint 200 mg daily.
  • Side effects: nausea, vomiting, eating disorders and stools, hemolytic anemia, headaches and dizziness, increased intracranial pressure, erythema, photosensitivity, various allergic reactions, candidiasis infections.
  • Contraindications: hypersensitivity to the components of the drug and medicines from the pharmacotherapeutic group of tetracyclines, pregnancy and lactation, patients younger than 8 years.
  • Overdose: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and dizziness. There is no specific antidote, so gastric lavage, reception of enterosorbents and further symptomatic therapy are indicated.

Unidox is produced in a tablet form of release, that is, for oral administration.

On average, the course of treatment / prophylaxis with antibiotics with a tick bite is 10-28 days. For pregnant women and people with weakened immunity, the duration of treatment can be 6-8 weeks. Short-term use of antibiotics is useless and dangerous for the organism, as it contributes to the increased reproduction of Borrelia. In this case, the initiated therapy is categorically contraindicated to interrupt. If there are side reactions, that is, the drug is not suitable, then it is replaced with other antibiotics, which are equivalent in their effectiveness.


Various pharmacological effects, the mechanism of action, strength and localization of drugs in the body after their use — it’s pharmacodynamics. Antibiotics prescribed at the tick bite should have a wide spectrum of action.

First of all, patients are prescribed penicillin or cephalosporin group drugs, and if they are intolerant tetracyclines or macrolides. Getting into the body, the antibacterial agent creates high concentrations, which destroy the protein compounds and cells of harmful microorganisms.

[13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20]


The processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs from the body are pharmacokinetics. Most antibiotics used to prevent and treat tick-borne infections are quickly and completely absorbed, regardless of their form of release. They are characterized by high bioavailability and increased concentration in the blood plasma for a short period of time.

Effective antibacterial drug has a prolonged effect, penetrates into all organs and body fluids. That is why many antibiotics are contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation. The withdrawal period takes on average about 5-8 days. Active components and their metabolites can be excreted with the kidneys in the form of urine, with bile or during defecation.

[21], [22], [23], [24], [25], [26], [27], [28], [29]

Use of the antibiotics after bite during pregnancy

The tick bite during pregnancy is of particular concern, since there is very little information on borreliosis and the effect of tick-borne infections on the fetus. There are isolated cases of transmission of pathogens through the placenta, and only in animals.

The pathological effect of infection on a growing organism is based on the similarity of the pathogen with pale treponema or syphilis. Clinical and epidemiological studies have not confirmed the relationship between the tick bite and the negative outcome of pregnancy (miscarriages, the birth of children with developmental abnormalities). Also, the transmission of infection during lactation, that is, through breast milk, has not been confirmed.

Use during pregnancy of antibiotics for treatment or prophylaxis of tick-borne infections is possible only for medical purposes. For this, a woman should have characteristic symptoms or a serological confirmation of infection. Most often, future moms are prescribed a course of such drugs: Amoxicillin, Abiklav or Rovamycin. Take antibiotics with extreme caution, as some of them can cause complications during the period of gestation.


Antibiotics, like other types of medications, have certain contraindications to the use. Let’s consider in more detail, in what cases the antibacterial treatment of tick infections can be difficult:

  • Individual intolerance of the active substance and other components of the drug.
  • Pregnancy and lactation.
  • Newborns, children or senile patients.
  • Severe renal or hepatic insufficiency.
  • Leukopenia.

With special care, antibiotics are prescribed to patients who have an allergic reaction to a given drug in an anamnesis.

[30], [31], [32], [33], [34], [35]

Side effects of the antibiotics after bite

In some cases, the use of antibacterial drugs causes side effects. Most often, patients encounter such reactions:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Violation of the stool.
  • Intestinal dysbiosis.
  • Transient increase in hepatic transaminase activity.
  • Changing the picture of blood.
  • Various allergic reactions (itching, skin rash, swelling).
  • Urinary retention or frequent urination.
  • Candidiasis.

In addition to the above symptoms, local reactions are possible: for intravenous administration, phlebitis, and for intramuscular use, pain at the injection site.

[36], [37], [38], [39], [40], [41], [42]

Dosing and administration

Before the appointment of any drug, it is necessary to determine the sensitivity to it of the microflora that caused the disease in this patient. The way of administration and dose of antibiotics is selected by the doctor, individually for each case.

With a tick bite, drugs can be prescribed for both oral and intramuscular / intravenous administration. In the latter case, only freshly prepared solutions should be used. The duration of therapy depends on the severity of pathological symptoms and the characteristics of the patient’s body. Most often the treatment lasts from 10 days to 1-3 months.

[43], [44], [45], [46], [47], [48], [49], [50]


Elevated doses or prolonged use of antibiotics may cause overdose symptoms. Most often, patients encounter such reactions:

  • Change in the picture of blood (leukopenia, hemolytic anemia, neutropenia).
  • Dysbacteriosis.
  • Encephalopathy.
  • Skin allergic reactions.
  • Increased nervous excitement.

In most cases, there is no specific antidote, therefore symptomatic treatment is indicated. Possible use of desensitizing drugs, hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.

[51], [52], [53], [54], [55], [56]

Interactions with other drugs

Complex treatment and prevention of tick infections is much more effective than monotherapy. But in this case, possible interactions with other drugs should be considered. For example, Cephalosporin when used with medications that reduce platelet aggregation significantly increases the risk of bleeding. The use of this drug with anticoagulants leads to an increase in anticoagulant action. And diuretics increase the risk of nephrotoxic reactions.

The interaction of Doxycycline with antacids or magnesium-containing laxatives provokes the formation of hardly soluble compounds. Cholestyramine or Kolestypol reduce the absorption of active components of the drug. While barbiturates shorten the half-life. A similar reaction is observed with regular use of alcohol and treatment with doxycycline.

[57], [58], [59], [60], [61]

Storage conditions

The storage conditions depend on the form of antibiotic release. All forms of medicines should be kept in their original packaging, protected from sunlight, moisture and out of reach of children. The recommended storage temperature for tablets is not above + 25 ° C, and for finished injections + 10-15 ° C. Failure to comply with these conditions may lead to premature deterioration of the drug and loss of its medicinal properties.

[62], [63], [64], [65], [66], [67]

Shelf life

Timely use of antibiotics with a tick bite makes it possible to minimize the risk of developing tick-borne infections. You can take medications only for medical purposes, in compliance with all of its recommendations. Particular attention should be paid to the expiration date of medicines, since overdue medications can cause uncontrolled adverse reactions, which will significantly worsen the patient’s condition and his chances of successful recovery.

[68], [69], [70], [71], [72], [73], [74]


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