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VCU medical team recommends preventive antibiotic for COPD sufferers
Date:7/26/2012

>However, according to Wenzel, this protocol may not be suitable for every patient. Some may suffer adverse consequences with a year-long use of azithromycin, such as hearing loss, antibiotic resistance and heart rhythm disturbances. The VCU team reviewed many of the studies of the drug and made recommendations to minimize the unwanted consequences yet provide relief to a large segment of the COPD patients.

In the study, the authors have outlined a list of proposed criteria for choosing which patients would benefit and who should not take the proposed regimen. They would exclude those with a high risk of cardiovascular disease who may be prone to dangerous cardiac rhythm disturbances; those on drugs already known to affect the electrocardiogram adversely and that might interact with the antibiotic azithromycin; and those with hearing loss.

Wenzel and his colleagues noted that an earlier study based on a large clinical trial indicated that if approximately three people must be treated to prevent one annual exacerbation, then the cost to prevent an exacerbation would be $3,564 for daily dosing, or $1,545 for dosing three times a week.

They also noted that a recent study in Canada showed that the cost of a hospital stay following an acute exacerbation of COPD was $9,557 Canadian dollars. In 2000, 726,000 patients were hospitalized in the U.S. with acute exacerbations of COPD.


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Contact: Sathya Achia Abraham
sbachia@vcu.edu
804-827-0890
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert

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