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Explore the potential of ozone therapy for treating Lyme disease, its benefits, risks, and ongoing research efforts. Learn how this alternative treatment may offer hope for patients.

The standard treatment for Lyme disease, a bacterial infection affecting more than 476,000 people per year, is antibiotics. When a Lyme disease infection is diagnosed and treated early, it often is cleared up by a course of antibiotics. For some 10-20% of patients, however, symptoms of Lyme disease persist. Other patients are not diagnosed until the infection has progressed to later stages of disease, making it much more difficult to treat. These patients often find themselves turning to alternative treatments to either complement or follow antibiotic therapy. One such alternative treatment is ozone therapy. Let’s walk through what ozone therapy is, how it works, and its benefits and risks for Lyme disease patients.

What is Ozone Therapy?

Ozone is a type of oxygen. In medical practice, it can be used in gas or liquid forms to treat infection or disinfect wounds. The most common method of administrion is through intravenous gas. Ozone gas can be used in ozone therapy, ultraviolet blood irradiation therapy, intravenous hydrogen peroxide therapy, and high dose intravenous ascorbate. [i] Patients will likely need regular ozone treatments to see lasting change.

History of Ozone Therapy

Ozone was first used as a disinfectant in 1881, and medical applications of ozone date back to an 1885 textbook. According to the Spanish Association of Medical Professionals in Ozone Therapy, in 1911, Dr. Nobel Eberhart, head of the Department of Physiology of Loyola Chicago University, stated in the “Manual of High Frequency Operation” that he used ozone therapy to treat conditions such as tuberculosis, anemia, tinnitus, bronchitis, insomnia, and pneumonia. Today, ozone can be used as a disinfectant and as a treatment for many diseases.

Benefits of Ozone Therapy

Ozone therapy is versatile and has the ability to target various pathogens, including Borrelia burgdorferi and other tick-borne pathogens. In an interview with GLA Chairman Paul Ross, ozone therapy specialist Dr. Howard Robbins explains that ozone “has the unique ability to destroy every bacteria and spirochete, every virus, fungus, yeast, mold, parasite, toxin, and harmful free radical, and even chelate toxic metal off nerve tissue.” Dr. Robbins also notes that ozone can act as an anti-inflammatory and as a pain killer. Animal studies have shown that ozone can help the immune system.[ii]

Another benefit of ozone therapy is that it can be used in conjunction with any other treatment, including antibiotics. Ozone therapy can be used on its own or as part of an existing pharmaceutical or nutraceutical protocol. This makes it an attractive alternative treatment modality and gives patients a lot of flexibility when starting it.

Risks of Ozone Therapy

Studies of ozone therapy on humans have not yet been completed, so a full safety spectrum is not yet known. Certain methods of administration, such as rectal/vaginal, can lead to infection. Administered intravenously, the therapy could cause vein irritation.[iii] Another risk can be middle ear damage.[iv] Ozone should not be inhaled, as it is dangerous for the lungs, and it should not come in direct contact with the eyes.[v] Of the 38,000 patients that Dr. Robbins has treated, only two had to stop therapy for an allergic or hypersensitive reaction.

It's important that ozone is dosed correctly for the patient, and that the doctor begin with the lowest dose possible, so patients should talk to their doctors about the best dose and method of administration for them. Particularly at higher doses, ozone therapy can induce a Herxheimer reaction.

While undergoing ozone therapy, it’s important for patients to stay hydrated. Doctors may also advise an increase in Vitamin C, or dietary changes. Talk to your LLMD about whether ozone therapy is right for you and what you should do to support your body while using this therapy.


Thus far, ozone has only been studied in the lab and animal models, not yet in humans. The Global Lyme Alliance is committed to exploring novel treatment options and is funding a study at Tufts University to investigate the effects of ozone on Lyme bacteria.

Tufts University's Tanja Petnicki-Ocwieja Ph.D, is exploring the groundbreaking potential of personalized Lyme disease treatment plans utilizing ozone therapy. Investigating the impact on inflammation triggered by Lyme bacteria and identifying key genes influencing epigenetic programming, this research delves into the promise of tailored approaches for individuals, offering hope for more effective interventions. Click to learn more about GLA's research grants in 2024 or subscribe to GLA’s newsletter


[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7802416/

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5674660/

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7802416/

[iv] Fallon, Brian, MD and Sotsky, Jennifer, MD. Conquering Lyme Disease: Science Bridges the Great Divide. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018 (198).

[v] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5674660/


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The above material is provided for information purposes only. The material (a) is not nor should be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor (b) does it necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of Global Lyme Alliance, Inc. or any of its directors, officers, advisors or volunteers. Advice on the testing, treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.