Two recent studies have just been published in the scientific literature reporting on the lack of benefits and the occurrence of side effects when taking azithromycin to treat or prevent Covid-19.
Azithromycin is an antibiotic that belongs to the macrolide family that works by inhibiting protein synthesis in bacteria and spread particularly in our cells. Against Covid-19, this molecule has had its moment of glory, as it is the antibiotic used in the protocol proposed by Didier Raoult of Marseille France. However, recently published studies show that it is not effective in preventing mortality and has notable side effects.
Azithromycin has no effect on rates of mortality
According to data from the UK Recovery Study, the prescription of azithromycin against Covid-19 makes no difference in mortality at 28 days compared to placebo. Similarly, it did not reduce the incidence of cases requiring mechanical ventilation. The results of this study are consistent across all study subgroups.
Serious side effects
The prescription of antibiotics is not without consequences, both at the individual and population level. In fact, in a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the massive prescription of macrolides has led to an increase in antibiotic resistance to these therapies in regions where this drug was massively prescribed compared to regions receiving placebos. In addition, a retrospective study published in Clinical Microbiology Infection suggests that the overprescription of azithromycin is associated with increased pulmonary aspergillosis a type of pneumonia caused by a fungal infection. This side effect of the drug was already known and has now been seen in Covid-19 patients that were prescribed the antibiotic.