“I have used steroids in Lyme patients, but only in very selected circumstances. In patients who have presented with eye involvement with rapidly deteriorating vision, such as optic neuritis or uveitis, the combination of high dose steroids appears to restore vision more rapidly than by using antibiotics alone. I have also used steroids in combination with antibiotics in patients who presented with a Lyme induced polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). “PMR is a common disease of elderly people characterized by pain and stiffness in the muscles of the upper arms and legs, fevers, malaise and weight loss. The ESR, sedimentation rate is elevated. In its classic form, the cause of the condition is unknown, and the
dramatic response to steroids is in itself diagnostic. I have personally seen three cases of Lyme induced PMR, which did not respond to steroids alone or antibiotics alone, yet when the combination was given the response was dramatic.
“In conclusion, the decision to use the steroids in a Lyme patient must be given considerable thought and the possible
benefits must be weighed against the risks. I would not use steroids unless the patient was also on antibiotics.”