Macrolides such as azithromycin are commonly prescribed antibiotics during pregnancy. The good oral bioavailability and transplacental transfer of azithromycin make this drug suitable for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, toxoplasmosis, and malaria. Moreover, azithromycin is useful both in the management of preterm pre-labor rupture of membranes and in the adjunctive prophylaxis for cesarean delivery. The aim of this comprehensive narrative review is to critically analyze and summarize the available literature on the main aspects of azithromycin use in pregnant women, with a special focus on adverse offspring outcomes associated with prenatal exposure to the drug. References for this review were identified through searches of MEDLINE, PubMed, and EMBASE. Fetal and neonatal outcomes following prenatal azithromycin exposure have been investigated in several studies, yielding conflicting results. Increased risks of spontaneous miscarriage, major congenital malformations, cardiovascular malformations, digestive system malformations, preterm birth, and low birth weight have been reported in some studies but not in others. Currently, there is no conclusive evidence to support that azithromycin use by pregnant women causes adverse outcomes in their offspring. Therefore, this agent should only be used during pregnancy when clinically indicated, if the benefits of treatment are expected to outweigh the potential risks.
Use of Azithromycin in Pregnancy: More Doubts than Certainties / Antonucci, Roberto; Cuzzolin, Laura; Locci, Cristian; Dessole, Francesco; Capobianco, Giampiero. - In: CLINICAL DRUG INVESTIGATION. - ISSN 1173-2563. - (2022). [10.1007/s40261-022-01203-0]