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Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2014 Mar;11(3):425-34. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201311-395FR.

Inhaled antibiotics for lower airway infections.

Author information

1
1 James Hogg Research Centre, St. Paul's Hospital, and Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

Inhaled antibiotics have been used to treat chronic airway infections since the 1940s. The earliest experience with inhaled antibiotics involved aerosolizing antibiotics designed for parenteral administration. These formulations caused significant bronchial irritation due to added preservatives and nonphysiologic chemical composition. A major therapeutic advance took place in 1997, when tobramycin designed for inhalation was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) with chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection. Attracted by the clinical benefits observed in CF and the availability of dry powder antibiotic formulations, there has been a growing interest in the use of inhaled antibiotics in other lower respiratory tract infections, such as non-CF bronchiectasis, ventilator-associated pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, mycobacterial disease, and in the post-lung transplant setting over the past decade. Antibiotics currently marketed for inhalation include nebulized and dry powder forms of tobramycin and colistin and nebulized aztreonam. Although both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency have approved their use in CF, they have not been approved in other disease areas due to lack of supportive clinical trial evidence. Injectable formulations of gentamicin, tobramycin, amikacin, ceftazidime, and amphotericin are currently nebulized "off-label" to manage non-CF bronchiectasis, drug-resistant nontuberculous mycobacterial infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and post-transplant airway infections. Future inhaled antibiotic trials must focus on disease areas outside of CF with sample sizes large enough to evaluate clinically important endpoints such as exacerbations. Extrapolating from CF, the impact of eradicating organisms such as P. aeruginosa in non-CF bronchiectasis should also be evaluated.

PMID:
24673698
PMCID:
PMC4028738
DOI:
10.1513/AnnalsATS.201311-395FR
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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