The FDA has warnings that azithromycin “can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart that may lead to a potentially fatal irregular heart rhythm.”
So instead, Alam replaced azithromycin with another decades-old antibiotic that doesn’t pose any known risks to the heart.
“Doxycycline is an anti-inflammatory with properties similar to azithromycin but without the safety concerns and without cardiac toxicity,” he said.
Now that's an interesting twist -- and it appears to be working.
This doctor reports 38 of the 47 patients he had, all of whom were very high risk, have stabilized with this regime. It didn't work for everyone but the fact remains that this looks very promising for people who would otherwise likely be hosed straight-up; these are persons who would be rather likely to be killed by a simple flu.
Is this statistically significant? Not standing alone -- but another word for "anecdote" is "clinical evidence", and when you have a group of people who are otherwise screwed and you can only improve the situation for someone who is likely to die then it certainly looks to me like a positive outcome -- especially when we're talking about people who can't use ZPAK due to their underlying health conditions.
Interestingly enough doxycycline is also an anti-malarial.....
The article in question mentions that the Henry Ford health system -- a very large hospital network in SE Michigan -- is using this combination as well and as a result we'll probably get some pretty good data soon.
Again, do not attempt to play doctor with this on your own -- this is a tetracycline antibiotic and some people are allergic to those medications, and it can cause tooth discoloration (permanent) in un-erupted teeth. This would be a problem in both children and pregnant women for obvious reasons. Additionally it can be very dangerous in people using warfarin and similar medications.