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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 80  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 36--40

The efficacy of azithromycin in pityriasis rosea: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Department of Dermatology and STD, University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Deepika Pandhi
B-1/1101, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi - 110 070
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.125484

Clinical trial registration Clinical trials. gov registry

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Background: Macrolides are prescribed in the treatment of pityriasis rosea despite conflicting results of the limited number of studies evaluating their role in its treatment. Aim: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of azithromycin on the clinical course of pityriasis rosea. Methods: Seventy patients of pityriasis rosea were given either azithromycin (n = 35) or placebo (n = 35) and were followed-up at 2, 4 and 6 weeks. Pruritus was assessed in both groups using the visual analogue scale (VAS) . Change in the pityriasis rosea severity score (PRSS) and in the VAS were recorded as outcome measures and were compared statistically. Results: The decrease in PRSS from baseline through 2, 4 and 6 weeks within both treatment (P < 0.001) and placebo (P < 0.001) arms was found to be statistically significant; however, this change was not significantly different in the two groups (P = 0.179). Similarly, the decrease in VAS was found to be statistically significant within both groups (P < 0.001); however, the change was comparable between the two groups (P < 0.937). Analysis by Fisher's exact test did not find a significant difference between the two groups for PRSS and VAS. Conclusion: Azithromycin is not effective in pityriasis rosea and the use of macrolides for this disease should not be encouraged in clinical practice.


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Online since 15th March '04
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