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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2000 Nov;7(6):925-31.

Clarithromycin attenuates mastectomy-induced acute inflammatory response.

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Department of Surgery, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong.


Based on the observation that administration of clarithromycin led to an attenuation of the inflammatory response induced by surgical trauma in a guinea pig model, we investigated the potential beneficial effects of clarithromycin on the local and systemic inflammatory response in patients undergoing mastectomy in an open-label prospective study. During a 16-month period, 54 patients who underwent mastectomy were randomly divided into two groups. In one group, the patients received oral clarithromycin at a dose of 500 mg twice a day, from the day before to 3 days after mastectomy. There was no significant difference in the incidence of antibiotic prophylaxis-related toxicities or postoperative infections between the patients who received clarithromycin and those who did not. Clarithromycin treatment was significantly associated with an attenuation of febrile response, tachycardia, tachypnea, and an increase in monocyte counts (P, <0.0001, <0.01, <0.05, and <0.01, respectively). Clarithromycin also reduced the intensity and duration of postoperative pain (P, <0.05 and <0.005, respectively) and increased the range of motion of the involved shoulder (P < 0.05 for abduction and flexion). We conclude that clarithromycin effectively modulates the acute inflammatory response associated with mastectomy and produces a better clinical outcome.

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