Single Azithromycin Dose Prevents Trichiasis Recurrence

Oral antibiotic works better than tetracycline at preventing recurrence of in-turned eyelashes

TUESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- In countries like Ethiopia where trachoma is endemic and a leading cause of blindness, a single dose of azithromycin can reduce the recurrence of trichiasis by one-third after surgery, according to a study published in the March issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Sheila K. West, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues randomized 1,452 trichiasis patients in Ethiopia to a single dose (1 gram) of oral azithromycin alone; single-dose of azithromycin for household members plus the patient; or topical tetracycline twice a day for six weeks.

The researchers found significantly fewer recurrences of in-turned eyelashes after surgery (6.9 of 100 person-years overall) in the combined azithromycin groups than in the topical tetracycline group (10.3 of 100 person-years).

"In countries where azithromycin is part of the Trachoma Control Program, patients with trachomatous trichiasis should be treated postoperatively to prevent recurrence," the authors write.

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