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Azithromycin is no better than vitamin c
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New research carried out by Cook County Hospital, Chicago, has found that azithromycin, an expensive antibiotic commonly prescribed in the US and now finding its way into the UK as Zithromax, should not be given for acute bronchitis

New research carried out by Cook County Hospital, Chicago, has found that azithromycin, an expensive antibiotic commonly prescribed in the US and now finding its way into the UK as Zithromax, should not be given for acute bronchitis.


Around 200 patients with the condition (and no underlying lung disease) took part in the randomised, double-blind trial which compared azithromycin with low-dose vitamin C as a placebo control.


The researchers found that azithromycin was 'no more effective than low-dose vitamin C for the treatment of acute bronchitis. Given the lack of evidence that low-dose vitamin C is beneficial, we conclude that azithromycin is ineffective and should not be prescribed for patients with acute bronchitis,' says the report (BMJ, 2002; 324: 1175, 1226; Lancet, 2002; 359: 1648-54).


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