Research Letter |

Oral Azithromycin for the Treatment of Meibomitis

Jonathan B. Greene, MD1,5; Bennie H. Jeng, MD1,2,3; Robert E. Fintelmann, MD4; Todd P. Margolis, MD, PhD1,2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco
2Francis I. Proctor Foundation, University of California, San Francisco
3Department of Ophthalmology, San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, California
4Barnet-Dulaney-Perkins Eye Center, Phoenix, Arizona
5now with the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, Ann Arbor
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014;132(1):121-122. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.5295.
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Common treatment regimens for meibomitis include eyelid hygiene, lubricants, topical antibiotics, topical steroids, and systemic medications.1 Azithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic with robust antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties,2 and topical azithromycin, 1%, ophthalmic solution (AzaSite) has been shown to be efficacious in treating anterior and posterior blepharitis.3 Azithromycin’s pharmacokinetic profile adds to its potential value in treating meibomitis: a single 1-g oral dose results in high conjunctival tissue and tear fluid concentrations that persist for at least 14 days.4 Pulsed oral azithromycin has been reported to improve ocular signs and symptoms in patients with papulopustular rosacea.5 Based on this, azithromycin has potential efficacy in treating meibomitis using a short, pulsed dosing regimen, and we have used azithromycin in this fashion for the treatment of symptomatic meibomitis. We performed a retrospective review of patients receiving oral azithromycin for meibomitis to determine its impact on relieving patients’ symptoms.

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