Friday, September 30, 2005

Antibiotic Reverses Airflow Obstruction in Lung Transplant Recipients

News from Medscape Pulmonary Medicine

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Sept 15 - The long-term survival of lung transplant recipients is limited by the development of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), a condition thought to be irreversible, but UK researchers suggest that the drop in lung function can, in fact, be reversed through treatment with azithromycin (Zithromax).

Encouraging findings from a pilot study, led Dr. Paul A. Corris, from The Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne, and colleagues to retrospectively evaluate the effects of azithromycin on lung function in 20 lung allograft recipients with established BOS.

Azithromycin was introduced at a mean of 82 months after transplantation, according to the report in the September issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. All of the subjects were treated with immunosuppressive regimens that included a cell-cycle inhibitor, oral corticosteroids, and a calcineurin inhibitor.

After 3 months of treatment, azithromycin therapy was tied to a 110 mL median increase in FEV1 (p = 0.002), the authors point out. Moreover, the majority of patients who experienced an early benefit showed sustained improvements at up to 11 months.

"This case series," the authors observe, "confirms the benefit of azithromycin in not only halting, but reversing the declining lung function seen in patients with BOS."

"Low-dose macrolides," they conclude, "offer a new and exciting therapeutic strategy for the treatment of progressive BOS, and further clinical and translational mechanistic studies are required."

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2005;172:772-775.


Anonymous said...

Can't find the original of this on the Reuters Health News. Does anyone know what dosage of Zithromax was given in this study?

Merv Sheppard said...

I believe the dosage used was 250 mg on alternate days.
See the PDF report

Anonymous said...

My name is Wesley Brown and i would like to show you my personal experience with Zithromax.

I am 45 years old. Have been on Zithromax for 2 days now. I took this drug (generic azithro 500 mg bid) to get rid of an 2+ week old sinus infection that did not clear with decongestants and antihistamines. The drug made a substantial difference within 2 days. I'm a physician and needed to return to work, and the tiredness was just excessive, so I stopped the drug after 48-72 hours. The infection did not return. I would take this drug again if I needed to kill off an infection. I don't expect to feel good all the time. If a drug is making me healthy in a particular way, it's up to me to weigh that benefit against the cost of side effects.

I have experienced some of these side effects -
Fatigue. I just didn't want to move or get out of bed while on the drug; it was a bit hard to figure out that this was an effect of the medication rather than the sinusitis. Otherwise I was fine.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Wesley Brown