Clarithromycin use for adjunct surgical prophylaxis before non-elective cesarean deliveries to adapt to azithromycin shortages in COVID-19 pandemic

PLoS One. 2020 Dec 21;15(12):e0244266. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0244266. eCollection 2020.


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to evaluate safety and effectiveness of clarithromycin as adjunctive antibiotic prophylaxis for patients undergoing non-elective cesarean delivery in comparison with no macrolides, to adapt to azithromycin shortages in COVID-19 pandemic.

STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a multi-center, prospective observational cohort study from March 23, 2020 through June 1, 2020. We followed all women receiving either clarithromycin or no macrolide antibiotic for adjunct surgical prophylaxis for non-elective cesarean deliveries. The primary outcome was development of postpartum endometritis. Secondary outcomes included meconium-stained amniotic fluid at time of cesarean delivery, neonatal sepsis, neonatal intensive care unit admission, and neonatal acute respiratory distress syndrome. All patients in this study were tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection and resulted negative.

RESULTS: This study included 240 patients, with 133 patients receiving clarithromycin and 107 patients receiving no adjunct macrolide prophylaxis. Patients receiving clarithromycin were noted to have significantly lower rates of postpartum endometritis as compared to those who did not receive adjunct prophylaxis (4.5% versus 11.2%, p = 0.025). In crude (unadjusted) analysis, a significantly lower risk of developing endometritis was noted in the clarithromycin group as compared to the control group (66% decreased risk, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.95, p = 0.040). When adjusted for perceived confounders, a significant difference was again noted (67% decreased risk, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.97, p = 0.034). Stratified analysis of significantly different demographic factors including Black race, BMI, and age was performed. A significantly decreased risk of development of endometritis when taking clarithromycin versus no adjunct macrolide was noted for Black race women in crude and adjusted models (crude: 87% decreased risk, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.83, p = 0.032; adjusted: 91% decreased risk, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.79, p = 0.026). This was also noted for women aged 18-29 years in crude and adjusted models (crude: model, 79% decreased risk, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.80, p = 0.014; adjusted model: 75% decreased risk, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.94, p = 0.028). All other stratified analyses did not yield significant differences in endometritis risk.

CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that administration of clarithromycin for adjunctive surgical prophylaxis for non-elective cesarean deliveries may be a safe option that may provide suitable endometritis prophylaxis in cases where azithromycin is unavailable, as was the case during the start of COVID-19 pandemic, most especially for Black race women and women ages 18-29 years.

PMID:33347510 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0244266