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Respir Med. 2008 Oct;102(10):1494-6. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2008.06.005. Epub 2008 Jul 23.

Effects of long-term low-dose azithromycin in patients with non-CF bronchiectasis.

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North Tyneside General Hospital, Rake Lane, North Shields, NE29 8NH Tyne and Wear, UK.


We describe our institutional efficacy experience of azithromycin 250 mg thrice weekly in adult non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.


Eligibility criteria for prophylactic azithromycin included 3 exacerbations requiring rescue antibiotics over the previous 6 months. The clinical records of 56 bronchiectasis patients on azithromycin were retrospectively reviewed. Exacerbation frequency, sputum microbiology, self-reported change in sputum volume, and spirometry results were recorded.


Mean length of treatment was 9.1 months (7.5) and 50 patients had treatment > or = 3 months. Spirometry, pre- and post-azithromycin in 29 patients, who had 3 or more months of treatment, showed a mean increase in FEV(1) of 83 ml (0.14) (P=0.005) from 1.560 to 1.643l. There was a decrease in the exacerbation frequency from 0.81/month (SD) (0.32) pre-azithromycin to 0.41/month (0.45) (P<0.001) post-azithromycin. Clinically significant suppression of previous sputum microbial isolates was also observed.


Azithromycin improves exacerbation frequency, spirometry, and sputum microbiology in bronchiectasis.

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