Department of Gastroenterology, Yeditepe University Medical Faculty, Devlet Yolu Cad 102-104 34752 Kozyatagi, Istanbul, Turkey.
Introduction: Drug-induced esophageal ulcers most commonly cause heartburn, midsternal pain and dysphagia. In our clinic azithromycin is a relative widely used antibiotic for respiratory tract infections and otitis media because of its activity against Haemophilus influenzae and atypical pathogens, and its ease of administration. After a thorough search in Pubmed the present case is the first one to report azithromycin-induced esophageal ulcer and associated symptoms in the literature.
Case Presentation: A 61-year-old Caucasian man was admitted to our endoscopy unit for the investigation of odynophagia and retrosternal pain of new onset. His past medical history was unremarkable but had used azithromycin 500 mg/d for three days in the previous week. An upper endoscopy revealed an extensive serpiginous midesophageal ulcer in the presence of a normal squamocolumnar junction and biopsies from the edges and center of the lesion disclosed no neoplasia or infectious causes but a dense acute inflammatory infiltrate. The patient was put on a liquid diet, sucralfate proton pump inhibitor treatment and was symptom-free within two weeks. After four weeks on therapy a repeated upper endoscopic control examination demonstrated normal findings.
Conclusion: To our knowledge this is the first such a case of azithromycin -induced esophageal ulceration. We think that a little time taken by the physician to warn the patients for taking every oral drug with sufficient amount of water might prevent this kind of complications.