Azithromycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, is widely prescribed as a treatment for Covid-19 around the world. According to the new study, this commonly prescribed drug for Covid-19 is no more effective than a placebo in preventing COVID-19 among non-hospitalized patients and may increase their chance of hospitalization.
The findings of the research were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Around 263 participants were included in the study who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 within seven days before entering the study. None of the participants were hospitalized at the time of enrolment. The researchers randomly picked 171 participants to receive a single, 1.2-gram oral dose of azithromycin, and 92 received an identical placebo.
On day 14 of the study, 50 percent of the participants remained symptom-free in both groups.
By day 21, 5 of the participants who received azithromycin had been hospitalized with severe symptoms of Covid-19, and none of the patients from the placebo group had been hospitalized.
The researchers mentioned that among outpatients with COVID-19, treatment with a single dose of oral azithromycin compared with placebo did not result in a greater likelihood of being free of symptoms at day 14. The findings of the study do not support the routine use of azithromycin for outpatient SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The researchers concluded that treatment with a single dose of azithromycin compared to placebo did not result in a greater likelihood of being symptom-free. The hypothesis is that azithromycin has anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent the progression of the disease if treated early was not proven valid in this study.
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