FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 3, 2015

For Media Inquiries:
International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS)
Barbara Buchman
bbuchman@ILADS.org
(301) 263-1080

ILADS Treatment Guidelines Are Now Summarized on the National Guideline Clearinghouse Website.

(Nov 3, 2015) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease occur annually in the US. ILADS guidelines, Evidence Assessments and Guideline Recommendations in Lyme disease: The Clinical Management of Known Tick Bites, Erythema Migrans Rashes and Persistent Disease” bring the latest scientific evidence to bear on the management of the illness. ILADS is proud to announce that a summary of their guidelines is now available on the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) website.

NGC is an initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In June 2014, NGC adopted the definition of a clinical practice guideline developed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and revised its inclusion criteria to more closely align with this definition. Guidelines must now satisfy these criteria to be represented on NGC. ILADS’s peer reviewed guidelines were accepted to be summarized on the NGC website because they met the revised inclusion criteria.

ILADS is the first organization to issue guidelines on Lyme disease that were developed in accordance with the IOM standards. The document provides a detailed review of the pertinent medical literature and contains the first set recommendations for Lyme disease based on the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) process. This rigorous review format is also used by many other well-respected medical organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), the American College of Physicians, and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the UK. ILADS guidelines are the only Lyme disease guidelines that included a patient from the Lyme community as an author or as a member of the guidelines development panel.

ILADS’ GRADE-based analyses found the evidence was of very low quality and regimens based on randomized controlled trials often failed. “For this reason, we moved away from designating a fixed duration for antibiotic therapy and instead encourage clinicians to tailor therapy based on the patient’s response,” noted Cameron, author and past president of ILADS.

“We not only recommend that clinicians perform a deliberate and individualized assessment of the potential risks and benefits of various treatment options before making their initial selection, we also recommend careful follow-up because this allows them to adjust therapy as circumstances evolve. This patient-centered approach should reduce the risk of chronic illness due to inadequate antibiotic therapy.” said Elizabeth Maloney, MD, a guidelines coauthor and provider of continuing medical education courses on tick-borne illnesses.

The guidelines include share medical decision making and take patient values into consideration. Lorraine Johnson, JD, MBA, a coauthor and Chief Executive Officer of LymeDisease.org, said “A lot of the treatment decisions in Lyme disease depend on trade-offs. How sick is the patient, how invasive is the treatment, what is valued by the patient? Patients need to understand the risks and benefits of treatment options to make informed medical choices. These guidelines provide that information.”

ILADS is a nonprofit, international, multidisciplinary medical society dedicated the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of Lyme and associated diseases. For more information, visit www.ILADS.org.