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Recent Department of Defense research on traveler?s diarrhea has shown that a single dose of azithromycin (Zithromax) can be used to effectively treat the condition, particularly if it is acquired while in Thailand. Researchers at the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Md, studied 156 patients with traveler?s diarrhea who were being treated in field clinics in Thailand. Patients were randomly selected to receive a single dose of azithromycin, azithro-mycin for 3 days, or levofloxacin for 3 days. Of the entire study group, 64% showed evidence of Campylobacter organisms; 50% of these organisms were resistant to the levofloxacin, but in the azithro-mycin group there was no resistance. A 96% cure rate was achieved in the single-dose azithromycin group, 85% in the 3-dose azithromycin group, and 71% in the levofloxacin group. Total eradication of bacteria was seen in all the patients taking azithromycin, but it was seen in only 38% of the patients taking levofloxacin. The time to complete recovery was the same for both medications, however. The report appears in the March 2007 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.