EARLY RESULTS SHOW NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
A July 2021 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has explored the question of whether oral azithromycin can be used to reduce the symptoms of COVID in outpatients. Outpatients refer to those individuals who are sick, but who are not admitted to the hospital for treatment.
As the rates of immunized individuals continue to grow, the number of COVID infections being treated on an outpatient basis also continues to grow. Most of these patients are fully or partially (one dose, or recently immunized) vaccinated, and thus enjoy some form of immunity against the virus, resulting in shorter and less severe disease. As such, the authors of this study posited the question of whether those who were treated on an outpatient basis only would benefit from a single dose of azithromycin.
The authors followed 236 participants who were randomized into two groups: one receiving the azithromycin (171 individuals), and the remainder receiving a placebo (92 individuals). Patients were asked to complete a self-reported form indicating the severity of the symptoms over a 14-day period of time following administration of either the azithromycin of the placebo.
It was found that there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups with 50% of both groups reporting that they were symptom free at the end of the 14-day period. Interestingly enough, by day 21, 5 participants from the azithromycin group had been hospitalized, while no one from the placebo group had been admitted.
ADDITIONAL STUDIES NEEDED
This study represents only a small cohort of individuals, and used self-reported data; as such, the results, while interesting, are open to debate and would require additional studies in the future to validate the findings.
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