A study by the University of California, San Francisco found the antibiotic azithromycin was no more effective than placebo in preventing COVID-19 symptoms in non-hospitalized patients. Moreover, taking this drug can, on the contrary, contribute to hospitalization. Nevertheless, antibiotics are widely used around the world to treat coronavirus infection. This was announced in a press release on MedicalXpress.
According to the scientists, the study results do not support the routine use of azithromycin for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection on an outpatient basis. It was originally thought to have anti-inflammatory properties that could help prevent progression if treated early in the disease. However, it turned out that this is not the case.
The study involved 263 volunteers, all of whom tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 within seven days prior to enrollment. At the time of the start of participation, no one was hospitalized. In a random selection process, 171 participants received a single oral dose of 1.2 grams of azithromycin, and 92 participants received an identical dose of placebo. By day 21 of the study, five of the participants treated with azithromycin were hospitalized with severe symptoms of COVID-19, and none of the participants in the placebo group were hospitalized.