Pharmacokinetics of azithromycin in trachoma patients: serum and tear levels

Ophthalmology. 1998 Apr;105(4):658-61. doi: 10.1016/S0161-6420(98)94020-9.


Objective: To determine the effectiveness of single-dose oral azithromycin in the treatment of Chlamydia trachomatis through monitoring of tear and serum levels.

Design: Nonrandomized, clinical trial.

Participants: Fourteen school-age children with active trachoma (one failed to complete the study).

Intervention: A single dose of azithromycin (20 mg/kg) was administered orally to 14 patients, and tear and serum levels were determined with high-performance liquid chromatography at 12, 24, 48, 72, 96, 120, and 144 hours after administration.

Main outcome measures: Azithromycin levels in tears and serum.

Results: Peak levels of 1.53 microg/ml (standard deviation [SD] +/- 0.94) and 0.15 microg/ml (SD +/- 0.04) were obtained at 12 hours in both tears and serum, gradually decreasing over 144 hours. All patients were disease-free by 6 months.

Conclusions: Levels of azithromycin in patients with trachoma were found to be within minimum inhibitory concentration range for Chlamydia trachomatis (0.03-0.25 microg/ml) throughout the monitored period of 6 days.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Azithromycin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Child
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / drug effects
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Tears / metabolism*
  • Trachoma / drug therapy
  • Trachoma / metabolism*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Azithromycin