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May 26, 2020

Doxycycline Demonstrates No Benefit Versus Placebo to Treat AAA

May 26, 2020—The University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) announced the publication of a study that found that patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm received no benefit from taking doxycycline to reduce inflammation. The study by B. Timothy Baxter, MD, et al is available online ahead of print in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Patients experienced no reduction in the growth of their aneurysm over 2 years compared with patients who took a placebo. The finding could lead doctors to stop prescribing the drug as a way to prevent small aneurysms from growing larger and bursting, noted the UMSOM announcement.

As stated in the UMSOM announcement, the JAMA study involved 254 patients with small aneurysms who were randomly assigned to take either 100 mg of doxycycline (n = 133) or a placebo (n = 128) twice daily for 2 years. CT scans performed at the beginning of the study and on follow-up found no differences in aneurysm growth between those who took the drug and those who took the placebo. Study participants were mostly white and male with an average age of 71 years.

“This study provides strong evidence that doxycycline is of no benefit for patients with small abdominal aortic aneurysms in terms of preventing their growth,” stated the corresponding investigator, Michael Terrin, MD. “Health care providers should take note of the finding and stop using this as a prophylactic treatment.” Dr. Terrin is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at UMSOM.

Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, commented, “Randomized clinical trials are essential when it comes to answering important clinical questions. This finding will help guide doctors to avoid an unnecessary treatment for a common condition associated with aging.” Dean Reece is also the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor at UMSOM.

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