Navigation Links
Long-Term Use of Antibiotic May Help Those With COPD

TUESDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Thousands of Americans, many of them smokers or ex-smokers, suffer from the lung condition known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Now a new study finds that patients placed on the common antibiotic azithromycin may be able to cut down on hospitalizations due to flare-ups of the disease.

"Given that exacerbations of COPD can be life-threatening, prevention of such events is critical," said Victoria Richards, assistant professor of medical science at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. Use of the antibiotic might also cut down on the need for doctor's office visits and boost patients' quality of life, said Richards, who was not involved in the study.

The research was presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society in Philadelphia.

COPD is a progressive disease involving bronchitis and emphysema, often tied to smoking, that makes it hard for patients to breathe.

In the new study, researchers compared how patients fared on a 12-month regimen of the drug versus patients who were given a dummy medication.

"COPD patients who have been hospitalized for a respiratory event are at particularly high risk for re-hospitalization," study lead author Dr. Fernando Martinez said in a meeting news release.

"We wanted to examine whether chronic azithromycin therapy might provide a benefit in these patients," said Martinez, who is director of pulmonary diagnostic services at the University of Michigan Health System, in Ann Arbor.

To assess treatment effectiveness, the researchers looked at data from a prior study conducted by the COPD Clinical Research Network.

Patients in that study had either suffered a so-called "acute exacerbation" of COPD in the year leading up to the study or were using supplemental oxygen at the beginning of the study.

For one year the patients randomly were assigned to receive either a daily dose of 250 milligrams of azithromycin or a placebo.

The result: Compared with the placebo group, patients taking the antibiotic were able to benefit from longer gaps between hospitalizations.

"We found that there was a significant delay from the first respiratory-related hospitalization to the next one among those treated with azithromycin," Martinez said. He said the finding also held for re-hospitalizations that were due to any cause, not just respiratory issues.

One expert said the findings warrant further investigation, but pointed out that the history of antibiotic use in people with respiratory disease has had its ups and downs.

"A number of years ago, it was reported that Ketak, an antibiotic in the erythromycin family, was helpful in reducing exacerbations in asthma," said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "[However], there were other problems with this antibiotic, and it was discontinued."

He called the new findings with azithromycin "promising," but added a caveat: "It was recently found that azithromycin is contraindicated in patients with cardiac arrhythmia, which [can] occur in COPD, so these factors must be viewed with caution."

For his part, Martinez said more research will need to be done to confirm the findings, and experts note that findings presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

Find out more about COPD at the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

-- Alan Mozes

SOURCES: Victoria Richards, Ph.D., assistant professor, medical sciences, Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Conn; Len Horovitz, M.D., pulmonary specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; news release, American Thoracic Society annual meeting, Philadelphia

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Long-term outcomes in patients with advanced coronary artery disease are better than expected
2. Erectile Dysfunction Tied to Long-Term Narcotic Use in Men
3. Long-term use of prescription painkillers for back pain linked to erectile dysfunction in men
4. BMA Affordable Assisted Living Community to Host Informational Program on Long-Term Care Insurance
5. hCGTreatments / Diet Doc hCG Diets & Weight Loss Plans Offers New Unlimited Support To Dieters, Making the Transfer to Long-term Improved Health Easier
6. A "FAST" Response to Stroke Can Reduce Long-Term Damage
7. Chickenpox Shot Provides Long-Term Protection, Study Finds
8. Varicella vaccine has long-term effectiveness against chicken pox
9. New mechanism for long-term memory formation discovered
10. False-Positive Mammograms Can Trigger Long-Term Distress
11. Breast Cancer Radiation Has Long-Term Heart Effects: Study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Long-Term Use of Antibiotic May Help Those With COPD
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Though trick-or-treating remains ... confines of their home. Whether it's making fun pre or post trick-or-treat snacks ... Florida Dairy Farmers. , Recipe 1: Green Chile Queso Dip with Sriacha ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... (PRWEB) ... (MOAA) will hold its 2015 annual meeting and corresponding events ... career fair; informational seminars; a luncheon featuring keynote speaker Air ... of Staff; and the Community Heroes Award Night, which recognizes ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... new Pillars of Excellence in the Life Sciences Initiative aimed at enhancing Purdue’s ... recently announced $2 billion “Ever True” capital campaign. , The investment will result ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... Sir Grout of Greater Boston donated an expansive, seven ... Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®). This donation was made in an effort to give ... since its inception. , “We believe strongly in the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... Califia Farms , one of ... release of its limited edition holiday seasonal flavors: Almondmilk Holiday Nog, new Peppermint ... unique flavor combinations and delicious taste Califia Farms’ beverages are known for, without ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13, 2015   Generational Equity , a leading ... pleased to announce the acquisition of its client, ... Largo, Florida , by Meridian Biomedical, Inc. (Meridian), ... 2015. Florida . To ... Florida . To learn more, visit ...
(Date:10/13/2015)...  Kay Elledge, M.D., an established South Bay ... Obstetrics and Gynecology (FACOG) for the past 21 ... Self Medical Laser Center where she provides laser ... Breast Cancer Awareness Month , the Center ... Touch treatments initiated in the month of ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... 2015 According to the 2015 ... by Cardinal Health , achieving both higher ... pharmacy revenue streams are vital to the future ... NCPA Digest affirms that independent community pharmacies ... underserved inner city and rural areas," said NCPA ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: