Objective: To compare the effectiveness of amoxicillin and erythromycin for the treatment of antenatal Chlamydia trachomatis infection by meta-analysis of available trials involving random assignment of subjects.
Data sources: A computer search of English-language abstracts using MEDLINE and the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Database (medical subject heading terms: pregnancy, chlamydia, erythromycin, amoxicillin, antenatal antibiotics) was supplemented with a review of the bibliographies of the relevant articles generated by the computer search.
Methods of study selection: Five trials were identified, four of which met our inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis.
Data extraction and synthesis: Trials to be included in this meta-analysis underwent trial quality evaluation and data abstraction. An estimate of the relative risk (RR) was calculated for the dichotomous outcomes using a fixed-effects model. The pooled RR for the effectiveness of amoxicillin compared with erythromycin was 1.11 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05-1.18), and the pooled RR for gastrointestinal side effects of amoxicillin compared with erythromycin was 0.29 (95% CI 0.20-0.42). The pooled RR for gastrointestinal side effects that resulted in discontinuation of therapy of amoxicillin compared with erythromycin was 0.14 (95% CI 0.06-0.36).
Conclusion: The available data suggest that amoxicillin is more effective than erythromycin for the treatment of antenatal C trachomatis infection and has fewer gastrointestinal side effects, leading to better compliance.