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J Antimicrob Chemother. 1999 Aug;44(2):243-50.

Treatment of typhoid fever with azithromycin versus chloramphenicol in a randomized multicentre trial in India.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock 79430, USA.


To compare the clinical and bacteriological efficacies of azithromycin and chloramphenicol for treatment of typhoid fever, 77 bacteriologically evaluable adults, with blood cultures positive for Salmonella typhi or Salmonella paratyphi A susceptible to their assigned drugs, were entered into a randomized open trial at four hospitals in India. Forty-two patients were randomized to receive azithromycin 500 mg p.o. od for 7 days and 35 to receive chloramphenicol 2-3 g p.o. od in four divided doses for 14 days. Thirty-seven patients (88%) in the azithromycin group responded with clinical cure or improvement within 8 days and 30 patients (86%) in the chloramphenicol group responded with cure or improvement. By day 14 after the start of treatment, all patients treated with azithromycin and all except two of the patients treated with chloramphenicol (94%) were cured or improved. Blood cultures repeated on day 8 after start of therapy showed eradication of organisms in 100% of patients in the azithromycin group and 94% of patients in the chloramphenicol group. By day 14 the eradication rate in the chloramphenicol group had increased to 97%. Stool cultures on days 21 and 35 after start of treatment showed no prolonged faecal carriage of Salmonella spp. in either group. These results indicate that azithromycin given once daily for 7 days was effective therapy for typhoid fever in a region endemic with chloramphenicol-resistant S. typhi infection and was equivalent in effectiveness to chloramphenicol given to patients with chloramphenicol-susceptible infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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