Volume 73, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Azithromycin has demonstrated activity in a prevention of infection, but no controlled treatment studies have been performed. We conducted a double-blinded trial in malaria in which patients were randomized to either azithromycin 1,000 mg q.d. × 3 or chloroquine 600 mg q.d. × 2 then 300 mg on Day 3 followed by primaquine on Days 7 through 20. Eighty-five of 97 (88%) of those on azithromycin and 101 of 102 (99%) of those on chloroquine [difference 11%; 95% CI: −18, −4] were clinically cured at Day 7. The Day 28 results were similar [89% versus 99%, azithromycin versus chloroquine, respectively]. Parasitologic success was seen in 81 of 97 (84%) on azithromycin and 100 of 102 (98%) on chloroquine [difference 14%; 95% CI: −22, −6]. The median parasite clearance time was 55 hours on azithromycin and 20 hours on chloroquine ( < 0.001). Drug-related adverse events were seen in 13 of 98 (13%) on azithromycin and 24 of 102 (24%) on chloroquine ( = 0.062). Resolution of parasitemia was significantly faster with chloroquine compared with azithromycin, but azithromycin was better tolerated. These data provide support for further study of azithromycin to better define its role in the treatment of malaria, either alone as second-line treatment or in combination with other active therapies.


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  • Received : 12 Jan 2005
  • Accepted : 10 Jun 2005

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