Oral azithromycin was preferred over doxycycline in patients with meibomian gland dysfunction, according to a study recently published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
Kashkouli and colleagues assessed 110 participants who did not respond to earlier treatments for their meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
The participants were randomly split into two groups; one group received oral 5-day azithromycin, which consisted of 500 mg on day 1 and 250 mg per day for the rest of treatment, and the other group received 1-month doxycycline, which consisted of 200 mg each day.
Researchers awarded a score to participants based on five symptoms and seven signs that were measured at baseline as well as at 1 week, 1 month and 2 months following treatment.
Results showed that signs and symptoms improved significantly in both the azithromycin and doxycycline groups. However, participants in the azithromycin group demonstrated better overall clinical response and ocular surface staining, and bulbar conjunctival redness was significantly better when compared to the doxycycline group. Additionally, participants in the doxycycline group reported significantly more gastrointestinal side effects at the second visit.
"This randomized double-masked, open-label clinical trial demonstrated beneficial effects for both oral doxycycline and azithromycin in patients with MGD," the authors concluded. "The azithromycin group, however, had a relatively better effect with regard to symptom (statistically insignificant) and sign (statistically significant) scores and fewer side effects. Therefore, a 5-day course of oral azithromycin is recommended based on better clinical improvement, shorter duration of treatment, lower cost and [fewer] side effects. [Because] MGD is a chronic disease, a longer term regime (repeating the 5-day treatment course) would be often required." – by Chelsea Frajerman
Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.