MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis with at least one exacerbation in the past year, treatment with the macrolide antibiotic azithromycin correlates with a reduced rate of event-based exacerbations, according to a study published in the Aug. 18 issue of The Lancet, a theme issue on respiratory medicine.
Conroy Wong, M.B., Ch.B., from Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving patients with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. Participants, who had had least one pulmonary exacerbation requiring antibiotics in the previous year, were randomized to receive azithromycin (71 patients) or placebo (70 patients) for six months.
The researchers found that, during the six-month treatment period, the rate of event-based exacerbations was significantly lower (0.59 per patient) in the azithromycin group than in the placebo group (1.57 per patient; rate ratio, 0.38). In the azithromycin group there was no change in the prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second, while in the placebo group there was a 0.04 L decrease, but the difference was not significant (P = 0.251). There was no significant difference in the St. George's respiratory questionnaire score between the groups (P = 0.108).
"Azithromycin is a new option for prevention of exacerbations in patients with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis with a history of at least one exacerbation in the past year," the authors write.
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