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Azithromycin for Coronavirus


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Azithromycin, a treatment for rosacea, is being investigated as a treatment for COVID-19. One study states, "Studies suggest beneficial effects of azithromycin in reducing viral load of hospitalized patients, possibly interfering with ligand/CD147 receptor interactions; however, its possible effects on SARS-CoV-2 invasion has not yet been evaluated. In addition to the possible effect in invasion, azithromycin decreases the expression of some metalloproteinases (downstream to CD147), induces anti-viral responses in primary human bronchial epithelial infected with rhinovirus, decreasing viral replication and release." [1]

MedScape reports, "This small open-label study of hydroxychloroquine in France included azithromycin in 6 patients for potential bacterial superinfection (500 mg once, then 250 mg PO daily for 4 days). These patients were reported to have 100% clearance of SARS-CoV-2. While intriguing, these results warrant further analysis. The patients receiving combination therapy had initially lower viral loads, and, when compared with patients receiving hydroxychloroquine alone with similar viral burden, the results are fairly similar (6/6 vs 7/9)." [2]

"Though azithromycin is an antibiotic and thus ineffective alone against viruses, some clinicians have seen limited success in COVID-19 coronavirus disease patients when adding it to chloroquine (Aralen) and/or hydroxycholoroquine (Plaquenil) in the sickest patients." [3]

Coronavirus and Rosacea

Azithromycin for Rosacea

End Notes 

[1] Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2020 Apr 20 : 1–7.
CD147 as a Target for COVID-19 Treatment: Suggested Effects of Azithromycin and Stem Cell Engagement
Henning Ulrich and Micheli M. Pillat

[2] What is the role of hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?, David J Cennimo, MD, Scott J Bergman, Keith M Olsen, MedScape

[3] azithromycin (Zithromax): Potential COVID-19 Combo Drug, Omudhome Ogbru, Jay W. Marks, MD, MedicineNet

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  • Root Admin

"A comprehensive clinical trial assessment with extended follow-up is, therefore, crucial to confirm or exclude the hypothetical benefits of azithromycin in COVID-19."

BMJ Open Respir Res. 2021; 8(1): e000806.
Rationale for azithromycin in COVID-19: an overview of existing evidence
Iwein Gyselinck, Wim Janssens, Peter Verhamme, and Robin Vos

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