Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1995 Aug;39(8):1688-90.

Effect of clarithromycin on sputum production and its rheological properties in chronic respiratory tract infections.

Author information

  • 1First Department of Medicine, Tokyo Women's Medical College, Japan.


Macrolide antibiotics possess a variety of actions other than antimicrobial activities. To determine the effects of long-term administration of clarithromycin (CAM) on the amount and physical properties of sputum in patients with clinical conditions associated with excessive airway secretions, we conducted the present study in a parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled fashion. Patients were divided into two groups: the first group (n = 16) received CAM (100 mg, twice a day) for 8 weeks, and the second group (n = 15) received placebo. In evaluating airway secretion, the daily amount of expectorated sputum, solid composition, viscoelastic properties (including elastic modulus and dynamic viscosity), and sputum microbiology were assessed. CAM decreased sputum production from 51 +/- 6 to 24 +/- 3 g/day after treatment, whereas placebo had no effect. The bacterial density and sputum flora were unaltered. In the group receiving CAM, the percent solid composition and elastic modulus increased from 2.44% +/- 0.29% to 3.01% +/- 0.20% and 66 +/- 7 to 87 +/- 8 dyne/cm2 (P < 0.05), respectively, but the dynamic viscosity remained unchanged. These results suggest that long-term treatment with CAM reduces the amount of sputum production, probably by inhibiting airway secretions, and increases sputum elasticity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk