Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Antibiotic therapy may cut hospital admissions in COPD patients

  • Comment

Treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with twice daily with the macrolide antibiotic erythromycin can reduce exacerbations that are a major cause of hospital admissions, a study has shown.

Patients with COPD are prone to frequent exacerbations, which are a major cause of hospital admission, mortality, primary care visits and impaired health status, authors noted.

Study recruited from London hospitals

In the 12-month UK study, 109 hospital outpatients from the London Free Hospital and the London Chest Hospital were randomised to receive either a therapy of 250mg twice-daily dosage of erythromycin or placebo.

There were a total of 206 moderate to severe COPD exacerbations and 125 occurred within the placebo arm.

The rate ratio for exacerbations in the macrolide-treated patients compared with placebo-treated patients was 0.648.

Antibiotic therapy effective

Authors wrote: ‘The results show a significant effect of low-dose macrolide therapy, reducing exacerbation frequency and severity in patients with moderate to severe COPD.

‘We have found that erythromycin use was associated with a 35% fall in the rate ratio of moderate to severe exacerbations compared with the placebo arm patients.

‘Macrolides have a role in COPD and may be used to augment therapy in patients with moderate to severe COPD.’

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.