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South Med J. 2003 Oct;96(10):986-91.

Equal effectiveness of older traditional antibiotics and newer broad-spectrum antibiotics in treating patients with acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis.

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Pharmacy Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA 15240, USA.



Choice of antibiotic therapy for acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis (AECB) is important because of cost and concerns about development of resistance.


A retrospective cohort study was conducted in outpatients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and documented AECB treated with antibiotics.


We compared outcomes and costs of AECB treated with first-line antibiotics having partial coverage against organisms associated with AECB (eg, amoxicillin), first-line antibiotics with full coverage against organisms associated with AECB (eg, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim), and newer broad-spectrum antibiotics (eg, azithromycin). There were no significant differences among the three antibiotic groups in failure rate, hospitalization rate, or time until subsequent AECB. Pharmacy costs were significantly less with first-line antibiotics (3.18 dollars +/- 0.64, 3.00 dollars +/- 0.48, and 36.70 dollars +/- 16.29, respectively; P < 0.0001), but there was no significant difference among all three groups with regard to total costs.


We found no difference in outcome between older traditional antibiotics with adequate coverage against organisms associated with AECB and newer broad-spectrum antibiotics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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