Initial (6-month) results of three-times-weekly azithromycin in treatment regimens for Mycobacterium avium complex lung disease in human immunodeficiency virus-negative patients

J Infect Dis. 1998 Jul;178(1):121-6. doi: 10.1086/515597.


Two consecutive, open, prospective trials of intermittent azithromycin (600 mg), usually given Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (TIW) for Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) lung disease were initiated in human immunodeficiency virus-negative patients. Regimen A consisted of TIW azithromycin and daily ethambutol (15 mg/kg/day), daily rifabutin (300 mg/day), and initial twice weekly (BIW) streptomycin. Regimen B consisted of TIW azithromycin, TIW ethambutol (25 mg/kg/dose), TIW rifabutin (600 mg/dose), and initial BIW streptomycin. Of 19 patients enrolled in regimen A who completed at least 6 months of therapy, 14 (74%) had sputum samples become culture-negative. Of 39 patients enrolled in regimen B who completed at least 6 months of therapy, 24 (62%) had sputum conversion. These sputum conversion rates are comparable to previous rates at 6 months in patients receiving daily clarithromycin- or azithromycin-containing regimens. No resistance to azithromycin emerged with either regimen. This is the first study to demonstrate the efficacy of intermittent administration of medication for MAC lung disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Azithromycin / administration & dosage*
  • Azithromycin / therapeutic use
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Ethambutol / administration & dosage
  • Ethambutol / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Infection / drug therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rifabutin / administration & dosage
  • Rifabutin / therapeutic use
  • Streptomycin / administration & dosage
  • Streptomycin / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Rifabutin
  • Azithromycin
  • Ethambutol
  • Streptomycin