"Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have found a unique cell type that, in tests on mice, can protect against uveitis—a group of inflammatory diseases that affect the eye and can cause vision loss.
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Mechanism of Action
Azithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic .
The plasma concentration of azithromycin following ocular administration of AzaSite (azithromycin ophthalmic solution) in humans is unknown. Based on the proposed dose of one drop to each eye (total dose of 100 mcL or 1 mg) and exposure information from systemic administration, the systemic concentration of azithromycin following ocular administration is estimated to be below quantifiable limits ( ≤ 10 ng/mL) at steady-state in humans, assuming 100% systemic availability.
Azithromycin acts by binding to the 50S ribosomal subunit of susceptible microorganisms and interfering with microbial protein synthesis.
Azithromycin has been shown to be active against most isolates of the following microorganisms, both in vitro and clinically in conjunctival infections [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE].
CDC coryneform group G*
Streptococcus mitis group
*Efficacy for this organism was studied in fewer than 10 infections.
The following in vitro data are also available, but their clinical significance in ophthalmic infections is unknown. The safety and effectiveness of AzaSite in treating ophthalmological infections due to these microorganisms have not been established.
The following microorganisms are considered susceptible when evaluated using systemic breakpoints. However, a correlation between the in vitro systemic breakpoint and ophthalmological efficacy has not been established. This list of microorganisms is provided as an aid only in assessing the potential treatment of conjunctival infections. Azithromycin exhibits in vitro minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of equal or less (systemic susceptible breakpoint) against most ( ≥ 90%) of isolates of the following ocular pathogens:
Streptococci (Groups C, F, G)
Viridans group streptococci
Animal Toxicology and/or Pharmacology
Phospholipidosis (intracellular phospholipid accumulation) has been observed in some tissues of mice, rats, and dogs given multiple systemic doses of azithromycin. Cytoplasmic microvacuolation, which is likely a manifestation of phospholipidosis, has been observed in the corneas of rabbits given multiple ocular doses of AzaSite. This effect was reversible upon cessation of AzaSite treatment. The significance of this toxicological finding for animals and for humans is unknown.
In a randomized, vehicle-controlled, double-blind, multicenter clinical study in which patients were dosed twice daily for the first two days, then once daily on days 3, 4, and 5, AzaSite solution was superior to vehicle on days 6-7 in patients who had a confirmed clinical diagnosis of bacterial conjunctivitis. Clinical resolution was achieved in 63% (82/130) of patients treated with AzaSite versus 50% (74/149) of patients treated with vehicle. The p-value for the comparison was 0.03 and the 95% confidence interval around the 13% (63%-50%) difference was 2% to 25%. The microbiological success rate for the eradication of the baseline pathogens was approximately 88% compared to 66% of patients treated with vehicle (p < 0.001, confidence interval around the 22% difference was 13% to 31%). Microbiologic eradication does not always correlate with clinical outcome in anti-infective trials.
Last reviewed on RxList: 9/4/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Azasite Information
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