Comparison of Azithromycin and Amoxicillin Before Dental Implant Placement: An Exploratory Study of Bioavailability and Resolution of Postoperative Inflammation

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Background—Studies suggest that a single prophylactic dose of amoxicillin reduces early implant complications, but it is unclear whether other antibiotics are also effective. This study compared the local antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects resulting from a single dose of azithromycin or amoxicillin prior to surgical placement of one-stage dental implants. Methods—Healthy adult patients requiring one-stage dental implant placement were randomly allocated to receive either 2g amoxicillin (n=7) or 500mg azithromycin (n=6) prior to surgery. Peri-implant crevicular fluid (PICF) samples from the new implant and gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) from adjacent teeth were sampled on postoperative days 6, 13 and 20. Inflammatory mediators in the samples were analyzed by immunoassay and antibiotic levels were measured by bioassay. Results—On day 6, azithromycin concentrations in GCF and PICF were 3.39±0.73μg/ml and 2.77±0.90μg/ml, respectively, while amoxicillin was below the limit of detection. During early healing, patents in the azithromycin group exhibited a significantly greater decrease in GCF volume (p=0.03, ANOVA). At specific times during healing, the azithromycin group exhibited significantly lower levels of IL-6 and IL-8 in GCF than the amoxicillin group and exhibited significantly lower levels of G-CSF, IL-8, MIP-1β and IP-10 in PICF. Conclusions—Azithromycin was available at the surgical site for a longer period of time than amoxicillin, and patients taking azithromycin exhibited lower levels of specific pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in GCF and PICF. Thus, preoperative azithromycin may enhance resolution of postoperative inflammation to a greater extent than amoxicillin.