Published: 2021-12-23

Study on the efficacy of ceftriaxone versus azithromycin for the treatment of uncomplicated enteric fever among the patients admitted in a tertiary level hospital

Sougata Mitra, Masuma Khanam, M. Iqbal Hossain, Rukhsana Quadir


Background: Typhoid fever is a severe debilitating and potentially life threating illness. In Bangladesh, typhoid fever is a round the year problem which sometimes take epidemic proportions. The reasons behind such occurrences are unsafe water supply, defective sewage system and unhygienic food handling practice. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of ceftriaxone and azithromycin in the treatment of uncomplicated enteric fever.

Methods: An observational study was conducted at the department of pharmacology in Dhaka medical college, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Data were collected from blood culture positive patients for Salmonella typhi and Salmonella paratyphi, who admitted in the Dhaka medical college and hospital, Dhaka during the period of July 2015 to June 2016. Data was collected by using a structured questioner, face to face interview, physical examination and investigation reports. Patients were hospitalized during the entire treatment period and at admission evaluation was made by history and physical examination in a structured format. Subjects ware asked regarding changes in symptoms and possible adverse effects of the study drugs. All patients were asked to return two weeks after completion of treatment for follow up. Blood culture of Salmonella typhi or Salmonella paratyphi were done in all cases. Total 91 patients were culture positive for either S. typhi or S. paratyphi which were finally studied.

Results: During the study period out of 91 patients, 51 were receiving ceftriaxone and 40 were receiving azithromycin. Clinical cure was achieved in 46 patients (90%) of ceftriaxone group and in 31 patients (78%) in the azithromycin group. There were no significant differences of clinical cure between both treatment groups (p>0.05). Mean fever clearance time in ceftriaxone group was 3±1.4 days and was 4±1.6 days for azithromycin group. Difference in fever clearance time was statistically significant (p<0.05). No clinical relapses were detected in any study subject. No major side effects of both drugs occurred in any subject.

Conclusions: These results indicated that both ceftriaxone and azithromycin were effective against enteric fever caused by sensitive organisms and multi drug resistant S. typhi and S. paratyphi. It is concluded that ceftriaxone is more effective and can be a convenient alternative for the treatment of enteric fever, especially in developing countries like us where medical resources are scarce.


Typhoid fever, Paratyphoid fever, Ceftriaxone, Azithromycin

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