A single dose of the broad-spectrum antibiotic azithromycin didn’t change the proportion of US COVID-19 patients reporting symptoms by 14 days, finds a randomized, controlled trial published late last week in JAMA.
The study, led by University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) researchers, involved assigning 263 non-hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients to either a 1.2-gram dose of oral azithromycin (171) or a placebo (92) from May 2020 to March 2021.
Participants, who had tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 7 days, were followed for as many as 21 days to gauge whether the antibiotic would prevent disease progression by 14 days. Most patients had symptoms at baseline.
There was no significant difference in the proportion of participants reporting no symptoms by 14 days (50% each), regardless of age. Differences between the two groups, however, were significant in terms of several outcomes.