Single dose azithromycin for the treatment of chancroid: a randomized comparison with erythromycin

Sex Transm Dis. Jul-Aug 1994;21(4):231-4. doi: 10.1097/00007435-199407000-00010.


Background and objectives: Chancroid is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa and enhances the sexual transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus Type 1 (HIV-1). Azithromycin is an orally absorbed macrolide antibiotic that is active against Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of chancroid, and has pharmacokinetic properties that are suitable for single dosing.

Study design: In a randomized single-blinded study of 127 men presenting to a referral STD clinic with culture proven chancroid, we compared the efficacy of azithromycin, administered as a single 1 g dose, with erythromycin 500 mg given 4 times daily for 7 days.

Results: Cure rates were 89% (73 of 82) in the azithromycin group and 91% (41 of 45) in the erythromycin group. A failure to respond to treatment was associated with HIV-1 seropositivity and a lack of circumcision. Both regimens were well tolerated.

Conclusions: Azithromycin, given as a single 1 g oral dose, is an effective treatment for chancroid in men, and offers major prescribing advantages over erythromycin.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / drug therapy*
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / epidemiology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / microbiology
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Azithromycin / administration & dosage*
  • Chancroid / drug therapy*
  • Chancroid / epidemiology
  • Chancroid / microbiology
  • Circumcision, Male
  • Erythromycin / administration & dosage*
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Risk Factors
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Failure


  • Erythromycin
  • Azithromycin