Some physicians prescribe hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for Lyme disease as an adjunct to antibiotics. As in the treatment of
gas ganrene, all of which are
approved conditions, HBOT may inhibit the growth of anaerobic bacteria by improving blood flow and oxygenating
Some practitioners also claim that hyperbaric oxygen may help manage associated pain and depression, improve mental clarity,
and reduce or eliminate the long-term use of antibiotics.
Nevertheless, at present there is no scientific research supporting the use of HBOT in either primary cases of Lyme disease or
post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
While there is a plausible basis for thinking hyperbaric oxygen might help in the treatment of a systemic illness caused by a
bacteria infection, no clinical studies have been conducted to test this hypothesis in the case of Lyme disease and as of July
none are planned.
This is perhaps because antibiotic treatment alone has proven to be effective in treating most cases of Lyme disease.
In cases of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS) research has shown that long-term use of antibiotics does not
improve mental functioning or other symptoms in patients with PTLDS.
[ NIAID, 2014 ]
There are no published studies of hyperbaric oxygen treatment of PTLDS and extremely few case reports.
Those seeking treatment for Lyme disease or PTLDS should beware of practitioners making bold claims for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Advertising a specific medical benefit from a treatment that has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for
that purpose is a violation of US federal law. Never pay to participate in a clinical trial.