Azithromycin Dihydrate: Package Insert and Label Information (Page 4 of 5)
Mechanism of Action
Azithromycin acts by binding to the 23S rRNA of the 50S ribosomal subunit of susceptible microorganisms inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis and impeding the assembly of the 50S ribosomal subunit.
Azithromycin demonstrates cross resistance with erythromycin. The most frequently encountered mechanism of resistance to azithromycin is modification of the 23S rRNA target, most often by methylation. Ribosomal modifications can determine cross resistance to other macrolides, lincosamides, and streptogramin B (MLSB phenotype).
Azithromycin has been shown to be active against most isolates of the following microorganisms, both in vitro and in clinical infections [see Indications and Usage ( 1)] .
The following in vitro data are available, but their clinical significance is unknown. At least 90 percent of the following bacteria exhibit an in vitro minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) less than or equal to the susceptible breakpoint for azithromycin against isolates of similar genus or organism group. However, the efficacy of azithromycin in treating clinical infections caused by these bacteria has not been established in adequate and well-controlled clinical trials.
Beta-hemolytic streptococci (Groups C, F, G)
Viridans group streptococci
Susceptibility Testing Methods
When available, the clinical microbiology laboratory should provide cumulative reports of in vitro susceptibility test results for antibacterial drugs used in local hospitals and practice areas to the physician as periodic reports that describe the susceptibility profile of nosocomial and community-acquired pathogens. These reports should aid the physician in selecting an antibacterial drug for treatment.
Quantitative methods are used to determine antimicrobial MICs. These MICs provide estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antibacterial compounds. The MICs should be determined using a standardized test method 1,2,3,4 (broth and/or agar). The MIC values should be interpreted according to criteria provided in Table 3.
Diffusion Techniques Quantitative methods that require measurement of zone diameters can also provide reproducible estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antibacterial compounds. The zone size should be determined using a standardized method 2,3,4. This procedure uses paper disk impregnated with 15 mcg azithromycin to test the susceptibility of bacteria to azithromycin. The disk diffusion breakpoints are provided in Table 3.
|Table 3: Susceptibility Test Interpretive Criteria for Azithromycin a|
|Pathogen||Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (mcg/mL)||Disk Diffusion (zone diameter in mm)|
|Haemophilus influenzae a||≤4||–||–||≥12||–||–|
|Staphylococcus aureus||≤2||4||≥8||≥18||14 to 17||≤13|
|Streptococci including S. pneumoniae||≤0.5||1||≥2||≥18||14 to 17||≤13|
|Moraxella catarrhalis a||≤0.25||–||–||≥26||–||–|
a Insufficient information is available to determine Intermediate or Resistant interpretive criteria
A report of Susceptible (S) indicates that the antimicrobial drug is likely to inhibit growth of the pathogen if the antimicrobial drug reaches the concentration usually achievable at site of the infection. A report of Intermediate (I) indicates that the result should be considered equivocal and if the microorganism is not fully susceptible to alternative, clinically feasible drugs, the test should be repeated. This category implies possible clinical applicability in body sites where the drug is physiologically concentrated or in situations where a high dosage of the drug can be used. This category also provides a buffer zone that prevents small uncontrolled technical factors from causing major discrepancies in interpretation. A report of Resistant (R) indicates that the antimicrobial drug is not likely to inhibit growth of the pathogen if the antimicrobial drug reaches the concentrations usually achievable at the infection site; other therapy should be selected.
Quality Control Standardized susceptibility test procedures require the use of laboratory controls to monitor and ensure the accuracy and precision of supplies and reagents used in the assay, and the techniques of the individuals performing the test 1,2,3,4. Standard azithromycin powder should provide the following range of MIC values provided in Table 4. For the diffusion technique using the 15 mcg azithromycin disk the criteria provided in Table 4 should be achieved.
|Table 4: Acceptable Quality Control Ranges for Susceptibility Testing|
|Quality Control Organism||Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (mcg/mL)||Disk Diffusion (zone diameters in mm)|
|Staphylococcus aureus ATCC* 25923||Not Applicable||21 to 26|
|Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 29213||0.5 to 2||Not Applicable|
|Haemophilus Influenzae ATCC 49247||1.0 to 4.0||13 to 21|
|Streptococcus pneumoniae ATCC 49619||0.06 to 0.25||19 to 25|
|Neisseria gonorrhoeae ATCC 49226||0.25-1||Not Applicable|
*ATCC = American Type Culture Collection
13 NONCLINICAL TOXICOLOGY
13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Long-term studies in animals have not been performed to evaluate carcinogenic potential. Azithromycin has shown no mutagenic potential in standard laboratory tests: mouse lymphoma assay, human lymphocyte clastogenic assay, and mouse bone marrow clastogenic assay. No evidence of impaired fertility due to azithromycin was found in rats given daily doses up to 10 mg/kg (approximately 0.2 times an adult daily dose of 500 mg based on body surface area).
13.2 Animal Toxicology and/or Pharmacology
Phospholipidosis (intracellular phospholipid accumulation) has been observed in some tissues of mice, rats, and dogs given multiple doses of azithromycin. It has been demonstrated in numerous organ systems (e.g., eye, dorsal root ganglia, liver, gallbladder, kidney, spleen, and/or pancreas) in dogs and rats treated with azithromycin at doses which, expressed on the basis of body surface area, are similar to or less than the highest recommended adult human dose. This effect has been shown to be reversible after cessation of azithromycin treatment. Based on the pharmacokinetic data, phospholipidosis has been seen in the rat (50 mg/kg/day dose) at the observed maximal plasma concentration of 1.3 mcg/mL (1.6 times the observed C max of 0.821 mcg/mL at the adult dose of 2 g). Similarly, it has been shown in the dog (10 mg/kg/day dose) at the observed maximal serum concentration of 1 mcg/mL (1.2 times the observed C max of 0.821 mcg/mL at the adult dose of 2 g). Phospholipidosis was also observed in neonatal rats dosed for 18 days at 30 mg/kg/day, which is less than the pediatric dose of 60 mg/kg based on the surface area. It was not observed in neonatal rats treated for 10 days at 40 mg/kg/day with mean maximal serum concentrations of 1.86 mcg/mL, approximately 1.5 times the C max of 1.27 mcg/mL at the pediatric dose. Phospholipidosis has been observed in neonatal dogs (10 mg/kg/day) at maximum mean whole blood concentrations of 3.54 mcg/mL, approximately 3 times the pediatric dose C max . The significance of these findings for animals and for humans is unknown.
14 CLINICAL STUDIES
14.1 Adult Patients
Acute Bacterial Exacerbations of Chronic Bronchitis In a randomized, double-blind controlled clinical trial of acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis (AECB), azithromycin (500 mg once daily for 3 days) was compared with clarithromycin (500 mg twice daily for 10 days). The primary endpoint of this trial was the clinical cure rate at Days 21 to 24. For the 304 patients analyzed in the modified intent-to-treat analysis at the Days 21 to 24 visit, the clinical cure rate for 3 days of azithromycin was 85% (125/147) compared to 82% (129/157) for 10 days of clarithromycin.
The following outcomes were the clinical cure rates at the Days 21 to 24 visit for the bacteriologically evaluable patients by pathogen:
|Pathogen||Azithromycin (3 Days)||Clarithromycin (10 Days)|
|S. pneumoniae||29/32 (91%)||21/27 (78%)|
|H. influenzae||12/14 (86%)||14/16 (88%)|
|M. catarrhalis||11/12 (92%)||12/15 (80%)|
Acute Bacterial Sinusitis In a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy controlled clinical trial of acute bacterial sinusitis, azithromycin (500 mg once daily for 3 days) was compared with amoxicillin/clavulanate (500/125 mg three times a day for 10 days). Clinical response assessments were made at Day 10 and Day 28. The primary endpoint of this trial was prospectively defined as the clinical cure rate at Day 28. For the 594 patients analyzed in the modified intent to treat analysis at the Day 10 visit, the clinical cure rate for 3 days of azithromycin was 88% (268/303) compared to 85% (248/291) for 10 days of amoxicillin/clavulanate. For the 586 patients analyzed in the modified intent to treat analysis at the Day 28 visit, the clinical cure rate for 3 days of azithromycin was 71.5% (213/298) compared to 71.5% (206/288), with a 97.5% confidence interval of –8.4 to 8.3, for 10 days of amoxicillin/clavulanate.
In an open label, non-comparative study requiring baseline transantral sinus punctures, the following outcomes were the clinical success rates at the Day 7 and Day 28 visits for the modified intent to treat patients administered 500 mg of azithromycin once daily for 3 days with the following pathogens:
Clinical Success Rates of Azithromycin (500 mg per day for 3 Days)
|S. pneumoniae||23/26 (88%)||21/25 (84%)|
|H. influenzae||28/32 (87%)||24/32 (75%)|
|M. catarrhalis||14/15 (93%)||13/15 (87%)|
14.2 Pediatric Patients
From the perspective of evaluating pediatric clinical trials, Days 11 to 14 were considered on-therapy evaluations because of the extended half-life of azithromycin. Days 11 to 14 data are provided for clinical guidance. Days 24 to 32 evaluations were considered the primary test of cure endpoint.
In three double-blind controlled studies, conducted in the United States, azithromycin (12 mg/kg once a day for 5 days) was compared to penicillin V (250 mg three times a day for 10 days) in the treatment of pharyngitis due to documented Group A β-hemolytic streptococci (GABHS or S. pyogenes). Azithromycin was clinically and microbiologically statistically superior to penicillin at Day 14 and Day 30 with the following clinical success (i.e., cure and improvement) and bacteriologic efficacy rates (for the combined evaluable patient with documented GABHS):
Three U.S. Streptococcal Pharyngitis Studies
Azithromycin vs. Penicillin V EFFICACY RESULTS
|Day 14||Day 30|
|Azithromycin||323/340 (95%)||255/330 (77%)|
|Penicillin V||242/332 (73%)||206/325 (63%)|
|Clinical Success (cure plus improvement):|
|Azithromycin||336/343 (98%)||310/330 (94%)|
|Penicillin V||284/338 (84%)||241/325 (74%)|
Approximately 1% of azithromycin-susceptible S. pyogenes isolates were resistant to azithromycin following therapy.
Acute Otitis Media
Efficacy using azithromycin given over 5 days (10 mg/kg on Day 1 followed by 5 mg/kg on Days 2 to 5).
In a double-blind, controlled clinical study of acute otitis media performed in the United States, azithromycin (10 mg/kg on Day 1 followed by 5 mg/kg on Days 2 to 5) was compared to amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium (4:1). For the 553 patients who were evaluated for clinical efficacy, the clinical success rate (i.e., cure plus improvement) at the Day 11 visit was 88% for azithromycin and 88% for the control agent. For the 521 patients who were evaluated at the Day 30 visit, the clinical success rate was 73% for azithromycin and 71% for the control agent.
Trial 2 In a non-comparative clinical and microbiologic trial performed in the United States, where significant rates of beta-lactamase producing organisms (35%) were found, 131 patients were evaluable for clinical efficacy. The combined clinical success rate (i.e., cure and improvement) at the Day 11 visit was 84% for azithromycin. For the 122 patients who were evaluated at the Day 30 visit, the clinical success rate was 70% for azithromycin.
Microbiologic determinations were made at the pre-treatment visit. Microbiology was not reassessed at later visits. The following clinical success rates were obtained from the evaluable group:
|Pathogen||Day 11||Day 30|
|S. pneumoniae||61/74 (82%)||40/56 (71%)|
|H. influenzae||43/54 (80%)||30/47 (64%)|
|M. catarrhalis||28/35 (80%)||19/26 (73%)|
|S. pyogenes||11/11 (100%)||7/7 (100%)|
|Overall||177/217 (82%)||97/137 (73%)|
Trial 3 In another controlled comparative clinical and microbiologic study of otitis media performed in the United States, azithromycin (10 mg/kg on Day 1 followed by 5 mg/kg on Days 2 to 5) was compared to amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium (4:1). This study utilized two of the same investigators as Protocol 2 (above), and these two investigators enrolled 90% of the patients in Protocol 3. For this reason, Protocol 3 was not considered to be an independent study. Significant rates of beta-lactamase producing organisms (20%) were found. Ninety-two (92) patients were evaluable for clinical and microbiologic efficacy. The combined clinical success rate (i.e., cure and improvement) of those patients with a baseline pathogen at the Day 11 visit was 88% for azithromycin vs. 100% for control; at the Day 30 visit, the clinical success rate was 82% for azithromycin vs. 80% for control.
Microbiologic determinations were made at the pre-treatment visit. Microbiology was not reassessed at later visits. At the Day 11 and Day 30 visits, the following clinical success rates were obtained from the evaluable group:
|Pathogen||Day 11||Day 30|
|S. pneumoniae||25/29 (86%)||26/26 (100%)||22/28 (79%)||18/22 (82%)|
|H. influenzae||9/11 (82%)||9/9 (100%)||8/10 (80%)||6/8 (75%)|
|M. catarrhalis||7/7 (100%)||5/5 (100%)||5/5 (100%)||2/3 (66%)|
|S. pyogenes||2/2 (100%)||5/5 (100%)||2/2 (100%)||4/4 (100%)|
|Overall||43/49 (88%)||45/45 (100%)||37/45 (82%)||30/37 (81%)|
Efficacy using azithromycin given over 3 days (10 mg/kg/day).
In a double-blind, controlled, randomized clinical study of acute otitis media in pediatric patients from 6 months to 12 years of age, azithromycin (10 mg/kg per day for 3 days) was compared to amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium (7:1) in divided doses q12h for 10 days. Each patient received active drug and placebo matched for the comparator.
For the 366 patients who were evaluated for clinical efficacy at the Day 12 visit, the clinical success rate (i.e., cure plus improvement) was 83% for azithromycin and 88% for the control agent. For the 362 patients who were evaluated at the Days 24 to 28 visit, the clinical success rate was 74% for azithromycin and 69% for the control agent.
Efficacy using azithromycin 30 mg/kg given as a single dose
A double-blind, controlled, randomized trial was performed at nine clinical centers. Pediatric patients from 6 months to 12 years of age were randomized 1:1 to treatment with either azithromycin (given at 30 mg/kg as a single dose on Day 1) or amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium (7:1), divided q12h for 10 days. Each child received active drug, and placebo matched for the comparator.
Clinical response (Cure, Improvement, Failure) was evaluated at End of Therapy (Days 12 to 16) and Test of Cure (Days 28 to 32). Safety was evaluated throughout the trial for all treated subjects. For the 321 subjects who were evaluated at End of Treatment, the clinical success rate (cure plus improvement) was 87% for azithromycin, and 88% for the comparator. For the 305 subjects who were evaluated at Test of Cure, the clinical success rate was 75% for both azithromycin and the comparator.
Trial 6 In a non-comparative clinical and microbiological trial, 248 patients from 6 months to 12 years of age with documented acute otitis media were dosed with a single oral dose of azithromycin (30 mg/kg on Day 1).
For the 240 patients who were evaluable for clinical modified Intent-to-Treat (MITT) analysis, the clinical success rate (i.e., cure plus improvement) at Day 10 was 89% and for the 242 patients evaluable at Days 24 to 28, the clinical success rate (cure) was 85%.
|Presumed Bacteriologic Eradication|
|Day 10||Days 24 to 28|
|S. pneumoniae||70/76 (92%)||67/76 (88%)|
|H. influenzae||30/42 (71%)||28/44 (64%)|
|M. catarrhalis||10/10 (100%)||10/10 (100%)|
|Overall||110/128 (86%)||105/130 (81%)|
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