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:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... States to support their local poison centers through donations on Tuesday, Dec. 1, ... calls it “a day that inspires people to collaborate in improving their local ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... R.I. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... With ... Amica Insurance is sharing safety tips to help protect your family and vehicle. , ... crashes around the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Amica is sharing the following safety tips ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... designated an Aetna Institute of Quality® Bariatric Surgery Facility for treating individuals living ... cost of health care services available to its members to help them make ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Sir Grout of Baltimore is ... certification. The award recognizes good companies for excellence in service and a commitment ... and hard surface restoration company earned this recognition after a thorough review by ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... York, N.Y. (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Giving Tuesday, the global movement driven by social media and the generosity of people ... Speaks, then encourage their social media networks to give – and share the personal ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 F1000Workspace - a research ... it was launched just six months ago. --> ... platform for scientists - since it was launched just six ... loaded on to F1000Workspace - a research collaboration, ... was launched just six months ago. --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 1, a free mobile-first network that enables healthcare professionals ... new completely redesigned web version that includes uploading. The ... primarily on a desktop, to upload images directly from ... base, Figure 1 is hosting an event during the ... (RSNA) Annual Meeting. Joshua Landy , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- iRhythm Technologies, Inc. , a leading digital health care ... will participate in the 27th Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference at ... . Kevin King , Chief Executive Officer of ... 8:50am ET. --> --> ... . --> iRhythm is a privately held ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: