Simplification and improvement of height-based azithromycin treatment for paediatric trachoma

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2005 Jan;99(1):6-12. doi: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2004.01.014.


Recent data showing that azithromycin is safe at higher dosages than previously documented provide an opportunity to explore several important improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of height-based treatment of paediatric trachoma. The purpose of this study is to examine the feasibility of a single standardised schedule for application in any trachoma-endemic region. Data for 60813 children from Asia, North and sub-Saharan Africa were analysed. A height schedule maximizing the number of children receiving treatment of 20-40 mg/kg, a conservative estimate of the safe and effective treatment range for paediatric trachoma, was developed. Using the standardised schedule, 97.7% of children aged 6 to 59 months receiving oral suspension and 96.7% of children aged 60 months to 15 years receiving tablets would have received treatment within a dosage range of 20-40 mg/kg. Less than 1% of all children would have received treatment less than 20 mg/kg. These findings suggest that the schedule presented in this paper is likely to yield safe and effective treatment for a broad range of populations vulnerable to trachoma while substantially improving the efficiency of height-based treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Azithromycin / administration & dosage*
  • Body Height / physiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Health Services / methods
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Endemic Diseases / prevention & control
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Trachoma / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Azithromycin