Commonly prescribed antibiotic reduces acute COPD attacks
Adding a common antibiotic to the usual daily treatment regimen for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can reduce the occurrence of acute exacerbations and improve quality of life, reports new results from a clinical trial funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
The study will appear in the Aug. 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
"Acute exacerbations account for a significant part of COPD's health burden," said Susan B. Shurin, M.D., acting director of the NHLBI. "These promising results with azithromycin may help us reduce that burden and improve the lives of patients at risk."
COPD exacerbations are sudden onsets of worsened cough, wheeze, and labored breathing which are typically induced by bacterial and/or viral infection. Azithromycin is already prescribed for a wide variety of bacterial infections including pneumonia and strep throat.
Previous research suggested that this antibiotic might work for COPD exacerbations, but this study was the first to enroll a large number of COPD patients and treat exacerbations with this drug over a long time. Participants had a history of exacerbations in the previous year or needed oxygen therapy.
The 570 study participants who took 250 milligrams of azithromycin daily for a year in addition to their usual care averaged 1.48 acute COPD exacerbations annually, compared to 1.83 exacerbations for the 572 participants who received their usual care without azithromycin. The participants taking azithromycin also assessed their own breathing ability and overall well-being more favorably on questionnaires.
Eighty percent of the study participants were already taking other medications normally used to manage COPD, including inhaled steroids and long-acting bronchodilators.
"This study suggests that azithromycin's benefits extend beyond those of other therapies," noted James Kiley, Ph.D., director of the NHLBI's Division of Lung Diseases. Kiley added that more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of azithromycin treatment and to identify which group of patients would benefit the most.
Side effects of azithromycin during the study were minimal. The presence of microbes resistant to azithromycin increased in some patients, although no one developed a clinically evident infection. A small fraction of participants receiving azithromycin were found to have slight hearing loss, which is a known side effect of the drug. Azithromycin can also cause heart arrhythmias in susceptible people. No heart rhythm abnormalities were seen in study patients, though people with heightened risks for arrhythmias were not enrolled in the study.
Provided by National Institutes of Health
- Use of antibiotic by children with cystic fibrosis does not result in improved lung function May 04, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Diabetes patients admitted for acute exacerbations of COPD have longer hospital stay Jun 21, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Long-term antibiotics reduce COPD exacerbations, raise questions Nov 21, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Early antibiotic treatment for severe COPD symptoms linked with improved outcomes May 25, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Depression may increase exacerbations, hospitalizations in COPD Oct 24, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
15 hours ago From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
Marie Curie's leukemia
May 13, 2013 Does anyone know what might be the cause of Marie Curie's cancer
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Europe's medicines watchdog said Friday the benefits of acne drug Diane-35, also widely used as a contraceptive, outweigh the risk of developing blood clots in the veins—when correctly prescribed.
Medications May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Switzerland's Cytos Biotechnology AG today announced that the first healthy volunteer has been dosed in a Phase 1 clinical trial with their ...
Medications May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—An aspirin a day may not always keep heart disease away, say two University of Florida cardiologists. But a new algorithm they have developed outlines factors physicians should weigh as ...
Medications May 16, 2013 | 3.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
(HealthDay)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved new, lower-dose labeling for the popular sleep drug Ambien (zolpidem) in an effort to cut down on daytime drowsiness that could be a hazard ...
Medications May 15, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
An increasing number of U.S. children are experiencing gastrointestinal issues that require interventions to resolve, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW).
8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
The latest makeover to a massive psychiatric tome honored by some, reviled by others and even called the "Bible" of mental disorders is being released Saturday with a host of new changes.
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new case of the deadly coronavirus has been detected in Saudi Arabia where 15 people have already died after contracting it, the health ministry announced on Saturday on its Internet website.
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Big names in medicine are set to give an upbeat assessment of the war on AIDS on Tuesday, 30 years after French researchers identified the virus that causes the disease.
16 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
For combat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, 'fear circuitry' in the brain never rests
Chronic trauma can inflict lasting damage to brain regions associated with fear and anxiety. Previous imaging studies of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have shown that these brain regions can over-or ...
17 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
A ground-breaking advance in colonoscopy technology signals the future of colorectal care, according to research presented today at Digestive Disease Week(DDW). Additional research focuses on optimizing the minimal withdrawal ...
8 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0