Green Line Apothecary is Offering Onsite Lyme Disease Treatment

It's the first pharmacy in the country to administer antibiotic treatment to prevent the vector-borne illness.

lyme diseaseHere’s a surefire way to ruin a summer weekend: Spot a deer tick burrowed in your leg or — worse — on your kid’s.

According to CDC data, Rhode Island ranks fourth in the nation for Lyme disease incidence, with 53.4 confirmed cases per 100,000 people. (Vermont, Maine and Pennsylvania top off the list.) But South Kingstown’s Green Line Apothecary is waging war against the vector-borne illness with a new practice that treats patients onsite within three days of a deer tick bite.

Timing is crucial; a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a single dose of antibiotics given within seventy-two hours of a deer tick bite can prevent the development of Lyme disease.

In a press release emailed this morning, pharmacist and URI professor Anita Jacobson writes: “If a tick is removed on Friday and it’s a holiday weekend, the patient cannot wait until Tuesday to receive the antibiotic. The availability and convenience of a pharmacy setting plays an important role in the timely administration of this potentially preventative treatment.”

Adults and kids older than eight are eligible for the onsite treatment, which involves a single dose of the antibiotic, doxycycline. Green Line Apothecary’s Christina Procaccianti says the drug’s administration is covered by most insurance companies and it’s billed like any other prescription.

The service, a collaborative practice between the pharmacy, URI’s Jacobson and infectious disease specialist Fredric Silverblatt, involves a patient evaluation, medication counseling and information about symptoms and prevention.

“A deer tick must have been attached for at least thirty-six hours [and] the tick must have also been removed less than seventy-two hours prior,” Procaccianti writes in the announcement.

This Thursday, June 22, from 5 to 8 p.m., Green Line kicks off its Lyme disease prevention effort in a very refreshing way: The pharmacy, which boasts a cute soda fountain (read our story about it here), will serve free lime rickeys during a discussion about Lyme disease.

To learn more about Green Line Apothecary’s services, visit greenlineapothecary.com.

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