Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

Scientists have proved that azithromycin does not improve the condition of coronavirus carriers

Scientists have proved that azithromycin does not improve the condition of coronavirus carriers

Doctors have found out that the antibiotic azithromycin isn't capable of improving the condition of people suffering from mild or moderate forms of coronavirus infection, according to the press service of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology (ECCMID) concerning an article in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal.

"Our observations show that the use of azithromycin by patients did not reduce their risk of being admitted to the intensive care unit or dying from a coronavirus infection. It is extremely important that doctors from all countries of the world soon abandon the use of this drug to combat COVID-19, which will reduce the risk that bacteria will begin to acquire resistance to its action," the researchers write.

In the first months after the spread of coronavirus infection, doctors from France said that they managed to suppress COVID-19 or significantly reduce its severity with a combination of the antibiotic azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine, a popular antimalarial drug.

Subsequent experiments and observations indicated that hydroxychloroquine is not able to protect the body of patients from coronavirus in concentrations that are safe for their health. On the other hand, many scientists have suggested that azithromycin can still have a positive effect on the body of carriers of mild forms of COVID-19 due to a strong anti-inflammatory effect.

A group of British scientists led by Duncan Richards, a professor at the University of Oxford, checked whether this is the case during clinical trials that lasted from June 2020 to January 2021.

These observations were attended by three hundred residents of Britain who have already been infected with the coronavirus but have not yet experienced obvious symptoms of the disease. Scientists used this to study how taking azithromycin will affect the nature of the development of infection and the likelihood of subsequent hospitalization of COVID-19 carriers.

As these observations showed, the constant intake of sufficiently large doses of azithromycin did not improve the condition of patients who survived mild and moderate forms of coronavirus infection, and also did not reduce the likelihood of getting into the intensive care unit among those volunteers who survived severe forms of COVID-19.

Such results of clinical trials, according to Professor Richards and his colleagues, suggest that the use of azithromycin as one of the components of COVID-19 therapies should be discontinued in all countries of the world where it is currently practiced. This, as scientists hope, will postpone the moment in time when this antibiotic will lose its effectiveness and become useless for fighting other infections.

You may also like: