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Three-Year Post-Op Trichiasis Lower With Azithromycin

Slightly better than topical tetracycline for preventing post-op trichiasis recurrence

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A single dose of oral azithromycin is better than, but not significantly superior to, topical tetracycline for protection against recurrence of trichiasis for up to three years post-surgery, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Fasika Woreta, M.D., M.P.H., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues compared the effect of oral azithromycin and topical tetracycline on the recurrence of trichiasis for up to three years after surgery for trichiasis. A total of 1,452 patients who underwent trichiasis surgery in southern Ethiopia, as part of the Surgery for Trichiasis, Antibiotics to Prevent Recurrence trial, were included. The participants were randomly allocated to receive either a single dose of 1 gram of oral azithromycin or topical tetracycline (twice per day for six weeks) following surgery. Recurrence of trichiasis within three years following surgery was the main outcome measured.

Three years after surgery, the investigators found a 22 percent reduction in the recurrence rate in the azithromycin group compared with the tetracycline group (P = 0.13). The most significant predictor of recurrence of trichiasis at three years was the severity of entropion at baseline.

"In conclusion, a single dose of oral azithromycin after surgery has been shown to be superior to topical tetracycline in protecting against the recurrence of trichiasis for up to one year, and some evidence is presented suggesting that the protective effect is evident for up to three years after surgery for trichiasis," the authors write.

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