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Update - Antibiotic therapy reported as reducing COPD attacks

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VOL: 102, ISSUE: 20, PAGE NO: 41

A Cochrane review has concluded that antibiotic therapy, regardless of the antibiotic being used, can reduce the risks associated with exacerbations of COPD.

A Cochrane review has concluded that antibiotic therapy, regardless of the antibiotic being used, can reduce the risks associated with exacerbations of COPD.

Patients with COPD often experience short-term worsening of their symptoms and there has been controversy about when antibiotics should be prescribed.

The systematic review identified 11 trials involving 917 patients, and found that the use of antibiotics reduced the risk of dying from an exacerbation by 77%, reduced the risk of treatment failure by 53% and the risk of developing purulent sputum by 44%.

Dr Felix Ram, senior lecturer in respiratory medicine and clinical pharmacology at Massey University, New Zealand, who led the review said that it would finally help to resolve a long outstanding issue.

Ram, F. et al (2006) Antibiotic for exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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