Background: Pityriasis rosea is an inflammatory skin disorder with a known response to erythromycin. Considering similarities between erythromycin and azithromycin and lesser adverse effects of the latter, in a pilot study, we gave azithromycin to seven patients with pityriasis rosea and observed a noticeable improvement. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of azithromycin in patients with pityriasis rosea.
Methods: A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was performed in our clinic. Sixty patients over a period of 20 months were alternatively assigned to the treatment group or the placebo group. Patients in the treatment group received azithromycin, 250 mg/day, for 14 days. The response was categorized as complete response, partial response, or no response. All patients were followed up for 2 months.
Results: Age at presentation, sex, and average duration of the disease were comparable in both groups. Complete response was observed in 19 patients (63.3 %) in the treatment group and two in the placebo group (p<0.0001).
Conclusion: Oral azithromycin is effective in treating patients with pityriasis rosea.