Azithromycin and Septic Shock Outcomes

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J Pharm Pract


Introduction: Although there is evidence describing the immunomodulatory effects of macrolide antibiotics, there is little literature exploring the clinical effects these properties may have and their impact on measurable outcomes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if empiric antimicrobial regimens containing azithromycin shorten time to shock resolution.

Methods: A retrospective study was performed in adults with septic shock admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) of 3 university-affiliated, urban teaching hospitals between June 2012 and June 2016. Eligible patients with septic shock required treatment with norepinephrine as the first-line vasopressor for a minimum of 4 hours and received at least 48 hours of antimicrobial treatment from the time of shock onset. Propensity scores were utilized to match patients who received azithromycin to those who did not.

Results: A total of 3116 patients met initial inclusion criteria. After propensity score matching, 258 patients were included, with 124 and 134 patients in the azithromycin and control groups, respectively. Median shock duration was similar in patients treated with or without azithromycin (45.6 hr vs 59.7 hr, P = .44). In-hospital mortality was also similar (37.9% vs 38.1%, P = .979). There were no significant differences in mechanical ventilation duration, ICU length of stay (LOS), or hospital LOS.

Conclusions: In patients admitted to the ICU with septic shock, empiric azithromycin did not have a significant effect on shock duration, mechanical ventilation duration, ICU LOS, hospital LOS, or in-hospital mortality.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Humans; Shock, Septic; Azithromycin; Retrospective Studies; Intensive Care Units; Anti-Infective Agents

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