Forty Years of Evidence on the Efficacy and Safety of Oral and Injectable Antibiotics for Treating Lyme Disease of Adults and Children: A Network Meta-Analysis
Lyme disease (LD) is a heavy public health burden. The most common manifestations of LD include erythema migrans (EM), Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB), and Lyme arthritis (LA). The efficacy and safety of antibiotics for treating LD is still controversial. Thus, we performed a network meta-analysis (NMA) to obtain more data and tried to solve this problem. We searched studies in the databases of Embase and PubMed from the date of their establishments until 22 April 2021. Odds ratios (ORs) were used to assess dichotomous outcomes. A total of 31 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 2,748 patients and 11 antibiotics were included.
- Oral amoxicillin (1.5 g/day)
- oral azithromycin (0.5 g/day)
- injectable ceftriaxone
- injectable cefotaxime were effective for treating LD (range of ORs, 1.02 to 1,610.43)
- Cefuroxime and penicillin were safe for treating LD (range of ORs, 0.027 to 0.98)
- Amoxicillin was effective for treating EM (range of ORs, 1.18 to 25.66)
- Based on the results, we thought oral amoxicillin (1.5 g/day), oral azithromycin (0.5 g/day), injectable ceftriaxone, and injectable cefotaxime were effective for treating LD
- Cefuroxime and penicillin were safe for treating LD.
- Amoxicillin was effective for treating EM.
- We did not observe evidence proving the advantage of doxycycline in efficacy and safety for treating LD, LA, LNB, and EM of children or adults.
- We did not have sufficient data to prove the significant difference of efficacy for treating LA and LNB in adults and LD in children, the significant difference of safety of oral drugs for treating LD, and the significant difference of safety of drugs for treating EM.