RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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A single 2 g oral dose of extended-release azithromycin for treatment of gonococcal urethritis.

OBJECTIVES: We treated gonococcal urethritis in men with a single 2 g dose of azithromycin extended-release formulation (azithromycin-SR) to determine its microbiological outcomes and tolerability.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We enrolled 189 Japanese men with gonococcal urethritis between April 2009 and December 2013. The patients were given a single 2 g dose of azithromycin-SR. Microbiological efficacy was evaluated by the results of the post-treatment molecular testing of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. MIC testing was performed only for pretreatment isolates of N. gonorrhoeae collected from the patients.

RESULTS: We evaluated 130 patients for microbiological outcomes. Of these patients, 122 (93.8%) were judged to be microbiologically cured on the basis of negative test results. All isolates for which the azithromycin MICs were ≤0.25 mg/L were eradicated, whereas 5 of 12 isolates for which the MICs were 1 mg/L persisted after the treatment. Forty-six adverse events occurred in 41 patients. However, all adverse events were classified as mild.

CONCLUSIONS: The eradication rate of N. gonorrhoeae was 93.8% in men with gonococcal urethritis treated with a single 2 g dose of azithromycin-SR. The breakpoint MIC of a 2 g dose of azithromycin-SR for gonococcal urethritis associated with clinical treatment failures appeared to be 1 mg/L. With regard to side effects of higher doses of azithromycin, the 2 g dose of azithromycin-SR appeared to improve tolerability. However, the widespread use of a high-dose regimen of azithromycin might lead to the development of further resistance to azithromycin.

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