Affordable Access

Comparing Azithromycin to Amoxicillin in the Management of Uncomplicated Severe Acute Malnutrition in Burkina Faso: A Pilot Randomized Trial.

  • O'Brien, Kieran S
  • Sié, Ali
  • Dah, Clarisse
  • Ourohiré, Millogo
  • Ouedraogo, Moussa
  • Boudo, Valentin
  • Arzika, Ahmed
  • Lebas, Elodie
  • Nyatigo, Fanice
  • Godwin, William
  • Kelly, J Daniel
  • Arnold, Benjamin F
  • Oldenburg, Catherine E
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
eScholarship - University of California
External links


Azithromycin is a promising alternative to amoxicillin in the management of uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition (SAM) as it can be administered as a single dose and has efficacy against several pathogens causing infectious disease and mortality in children under 5. In this pilot trial, we aimed to establish the feasibility of a larger randomized controlled trial and provide preliminary evidence comparing the effect of azithromycin to amoxicillin on weight gain in children with uncomplicated SAM. We enrolled children 6-59 months old with uncomplicated SAM at six healthcare centers in Burkina Faso. Participants were randomized to a single dose of azithromycin or a 7-day course of amoxicillin and followed weekly until nutritional recovery and again at 8 weeks. Apart from antibiotics, participants received standard of care, which includes ready-to-use therapeutic food. Primary feasibility outcomes included enrollment potential, refusals, and loss to follow-up. The primary clinical outcome was weight gain (g/kg/day) over 8 weeks. Outcome assessors were masked. Between June and October 2020, 312 children were screened, 301 were enrolled with zero refusals, and 282 (93.6%) completed the 8-week visit. Average weight gain was 2.5 g/kg/day (standard deviation [SD] 2.0) in the azithromycin group and 2.6 (SD 1.7) in the amoxicillin group (mean difference -0.1, 95% CI -0.5 to 0.3, P = 0.63). Fewer adverse events were reported in the azithromycin group (risk ratio 0.50, 95% CI 0.31-0.82, P = 0.006). With strong enrollment and follow-up, a fully powered trial in this setting is feasible.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times