Double-blind randomized study comparing the efficacies and safeties of a short (3-day) course of azithromycin and a 5-day course of amoxicillin in patients with acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis

J. C.C. Mertens, P. W.C. Van Barneveld, H. R.G. Asin, E. Ligtvoet, M. R. Visser, T. Branger, A. I.M. Hoepelman*

*Corresponding author for this work

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40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The efficacies and safeties of a three-dose regimen of azithromycin (500 mg once daily for 3 days) and a 15-dose regimen of amoxicillin (500 mg three times daily for 5 days) were compared in a double-blind manner in patients with an acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis. A total of 92% of patients suffered a type 1 exacerbation. Treatment success, defined as cure or major improvement, was achieved in all patients in the azithromycin group by day 5, compared with 23 (92%) of 25 patients in the amoxicillin group. On day 12, these data were 24 of 25 (96%) in the azithromycin group and 20 of 25 (80%) in the amoxicillin group (results were not significantly different). Several pathogens were isolated (MIC ranges [micrograms per milliliter] in parentheses): Haemophilus influenzae or Haemophilus parainfluenzae was isolated 23 times (azithromycin, ≤0.06 to 32; amoxicillin, 0.12 to 2); Streptococcus pneumoniae was isolated from 11 patients (azithromycin, ≤0.06 to >256; amoxicillin, ≤0.06 to 0.25); Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis was isolated from eight patients (azithromycin, ≤0.06; amoxicillin, ≤0.06 to 16); and other members of the family Enterobacteriaceae were isolated from eight patients. One patient treated with azithromycin had Legionella pneumophila pneumonia, and another in that group had a significant rise in titer of antibody against influenza A virus. One patient treated with amoxicillin also had a significant rise in titer of antibody against influenza A virus. Microbiological response rates were comparable. One patient who received azithromycin developed abnormal liver function. Two patients treated with amoxicillin developed abnormal liver functions, one developed exanthema, and one treatment was stopped because of nausea. It is concluded that a three-dose (3-day) regimen of azithromycin is as effective clinically and microbiologically as a 15-dose (5-day) regimen of amoxicillin in the treatment of acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1456-1459
Number of pages4
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Volume36
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992

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