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Effects of long-term low-dose azithromycin in patients with non-CF bronchiectasis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ali Anwar, Professor Stephen BourkeORCiD, Dr Peter Middleton, Professor Christopher WardORCiD, Dr Robert Rutherford


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We describe our institutional efficacy experience of azithromycin 250 mg thrice weekly in adult non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. Methods: Eligibility criteria for prophylactic azithromycin included 3 exacerbations requiring rescue antibiotics over the previous 6 months. The clinical records of 56 bronchiectasis patients on azithromycin were retrospectively reviewed. Exacerbation frequency, sputum microbiology, self-reported change in sputum volume, and spirometry results were recorded. Results: Mean length of treatment was 9.1 months (7.5) and 50 patients had treatment ≥3 months. Spirometry, pre- and post-azithromycin in 29 patients, who had 3 or more months of treatment, showed a mean increase in FEV1 of 83 ml (0.14) (P = 0.005) from 1.560 to 1.643 l. There was a decrease in the exacerbation frequency from 0.81/month (SD) (0.32) pre-azithromycin to 0.41/month (0.45) (P < 0.001) post-azithromycin. Clinically significant suppression of previous sputum microbial isolates was also observed. Conclusion: Azithromycin improves exacerbation frequency, spirometry, and sputum microbiology in bronchiectasis. © 2008.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Anwar GA, Bourke SC, Afolabi G, Middleton PG, Ward C, Rutherford RM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Respiratory Medicine

Year: 2008

Volume: 102

Issue: 10

Pages: 1494-1496

ISSN (print): 0954-6111

ISSN (electronic): 1532-3064

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.rmed.2008.06.005


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Funder referenceFunder name
G0500705Medical Research Council