JUL 18, 2021 3:34 PM PDT

COVID-19 Antibiotic No More Effective than Placebo

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Azithromycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic commonly used to prevent symptoms of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized patients, does not prevent COVID-19 symptoms from arising and may even increase a person's chance of hospitalization. The corresponding study was published in JAMA by researchers in California. 

Azithromycin is widely prescribed in the US and the rest of the world as a treatment for COVID-19. It was initially recommended on the basis that its anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent the progression of COVID-19 if used early on in the disease. 

"Most of the trials done so far with azithromycin have focused on hospitalized patients with pretty severe disease," said Catherine Oldenburg, lead author of the study. "Our paper is one of the first placebo-controlled studies showing no role for azithromycin in outpatients."

For the study, researchers recruited 263 people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 within seven days of enrolment. None of the patients were hospitalized at the beginning of the study. 

They were split into two treatment groups: the first group of 171 participants received a single, 1.2 gram oral dose of azithromycin, while the second group of 92 participants received an identical placebo. 

By day 14, the researchers found that there was no significant difference in the proportion of participants in either group who were symptom-free. In both groups, 50% of participants had no symptoms. By day 21, while patients given the antibiotic had been hospitalized, the same was true for none of the participants in the placebo group. 

The researchers conclude that their findings do not support the routine use of azithromycin for outpatients SARS-CoV-2 infection. The drug seemingly performs no better than a placebo in preventing COVID-19 symptoms from arising, as well as hospitalization from the disease. 

 

Sources: JAMAEurekAlert

About the Author
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
JUL 29, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
A low-cost drug for the treatment of hepatitis.
JUL 29, 2021
A low-cost drug for the treatment of hepatitis.
      The viral disease, Hepatitis C, is known as a silent killer. Hepatitis C is easily spread thro ...
AUG 01, 2021
Neuroscience
Keto-based Dietary Supplement Reduces Epileptic Seizures
AUG 01, 2021
Keto-based Dietary Supplement Reduces Epileptic Seizures
K.Vita, a dietary supplement, reduced seizures by 50% in adults and children with drug-resistant epilepsy in its first c ...
AUG 05, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
A Smartphone App that Identifies Disease-Carrying, Insecticide-Resistant Mosquitos.
AUG 05, 2021
A Smartphone App that Identifies Disease-Carrying, Insecticide-Resistant Mosquitos.
Mosquito-borne diseases can lead to serious disability or death. These diseases, which include Malaria, Zika, West Nile ...
AUG 24, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
A comparison of drugs for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
AUG 24, 2021
A comparison of drugs for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
     Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a rare and unpredictable autoimmune disease in which the body’s inn ...
OCT 14, 2021
Cancer
Mechanism of Resistance to Colorectal Cancer Treatment Uncovered
OCT 14, 2021
Mechanism of Resistance to Colorectal Cancer Treatment Uncovered
Colorectal cancer develops when a series of changes occur across multiple genes.  While researchers have paid signi ...
OCT 12, 2021
Health & Medicine
A New Way of Administering Deep Brain Stimulation May Increase Therapeutic Effect Duration in Parkinson's Disease
OCT 12, 2021
A New Way of Administering Deep Brain Stimulation May Increase Therapeutic Effect Duration in Parkinson's Disease
  Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a specific type of neurological disorder that can significantly impact a p ...
Loading Comments...