I have been on this for 9 months as a prophylaxis against infection cause of still being stuck on pred. In that time I have not had any colds - always my big trigger. I believe from reading about it that it has an anti-inflammatory effect as well as being an antibiotic. I thought that Deek might like to put that under his wig for consideration as well as the methotrexates etc. Is anyone else on it too?


9 Replies

  • Hi,

    Azithromycin, is the only thing that has really made a difference to my asthma in the past 2 years. They are now trialling it as a treatment for Asthma in Canada. I was prescribed it in the US for 6 Weeks to treat a chronic asymtomatic sinus infection (the infection only showed on a ct scan) But afterwards my asthma was the best it had ever been for nearly 6 months, until I got another infection.

    When I came back to the UK the Gp would not prescribe it, eventually with me getting sicker and sicker I managed to persuade the consultant to give it to me. Again it had the same brilliant effect, although not instant.

    I don't know why it works, but the Canadian study is hopeful. Most Uk docs know nothing about this.

    I would say to anyone with Asthma, that is going nowhere except on pred, that it is worth persuading your doctor to prescribe it. But you definitely need to take it for some weeks to get the effect. However if your gps are as ignorant as mine they probably wont believe you.

    I am currently on the Air2 trial, which is about microwaving your lungs to reduce the smooth muscle. As I was really sick over xmas, I think that I am getting the placebo, or that it doesnt work. Anyway I won't find out until August.

    I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has had this treatment.



  • Hello Den,

    I'm on Azithromycin and have been for about three years now. I was put on it for both of its effects - both anti-inflammatory and anti-biotics. I have found it very helpful, although the gut side-effects take some getting used to!

    One concern I had when I started was that I was worried that being on an antibiotic long-term (for whatever reason) would make me more likely to contract resistant strains. Apparently that shouldn't happen on an individual basis, although it does contribute to the overall development of resistant strains in the population. However, I have had five instances of MRSA infections since, although clearly there may be no connection whatsoever.

    For me, the azithromycin has reduced my hospital admissions. I still get infections, but they seem to respond to oral antibiotics in the way they didn't in the past (or at least the asthma would flare up before they had the chance to kick in). For me, they've been a good thing.


  • Hi folks,

    I asked my consultant about trying azithromycin or one of the other macrolide antibiotics as an anti-inflammtory, and he said there was very little evidence, although he did mention that there are one or two trials in progress. I was also fairly unwilling to subject myself to the GI side effects, as I already have IBS that affects my theophylline absorption at times, so any worsening in this would be significant.

    I believe that there is a little more evidence for the use of this class of antibiotics in children, so one might expect that it could be effective in certain adults too.

    I guess if you have recurrent infections and would benefit from a prophylactic antibiotic for that reason, you could do worse than to choose one from this class in the hope that the anti-inflammatory effects will give some benefit also. Myself, apart from a couple of episodes of pneumonia that were clearly associated with being ventilated, I don't tend to get infections very readily (despite high doses of pred and previously methotrexate!) so I think the benefit would probably not outweigh the side effects.

    I am glad to hear that some have found it useful though.

    Take care all

    Em H

  • Hey,

    I've been on 250mg of Azithromycin once a day for nearly 3 years. I was started on it by my professor at the brompton. I knew little about it or what it was actually used for until I was told by a dr at Wythenshawe last year. Apparently the dose I'm on is not enough to combat infection but it is actually used to thin down mucus and fight inflammation. Thats why when I'm unwell I have to have different antibiotics because the dose of Azithromycin isn't large enough to get rid of infections. Most of the drs I see, like GPs and on calls are thrown by this and I often have to tell them what its actually used for. I've had some pretty big arguments with SHOs that discharge you ;-). Its used alot in people that suffer from chronic bronchiolitis but the evidence it works is minimal. I've never really had bad GI side affects the only bad thing I've experienced from it is, I have a very resistant strain of MRSA which I've had for 2 years, which also for the last 8 mouths has sat in my lungs. It can't be doing me any good.

    Tks xxx

  • Im on it and have been for 2 and 1/2 years. Mine is for the phrophylactic antibiotic bit but also I was told it will help with inflammation.

    It did make a huge difference to my infections in the beginning but for me I am now beginning to wonder if the GI side effects which is still a struggle and the fact I am now having constant infections through the winter it is doing much good.

    TKS I too have had various disscussions with gps if not my own about it as when i have had infectiosn other than lungs they say well you are already on one antibiotic and I have had to have long debate over why I am.

  • Hello,

    I'm on 500mg twice a day which does seem a very large dose when compared to others. Strangely enough, I was suffering pretty badly with bronchiolitis when I was prescribed it, although I was actually in hospital for investigation of bronchiectasis, so perhaps that is why. The GI effects are certainly difficult, although mine now follow a regular (if painful!) pattern so at least I know what's going on.

    I have also heard that there is little evidence in the use in asthma, but I think in CF patients with troublesome wheeze as well as infection problems it has been used for some time. Not sure though.

    TKS - you have developed a resistant strain of MRSA since being on azithromycin? Everybody keeps telling me there is no link, but I'm not certain myself.

  • Hey Carrie,

    I've picked up MRSA since going on Azithromycin, it was probably just coincidence though I guess. Its a multi resistant strain but I am on and off IV antibiotics alot. Sorry I didn't make it clear in the first post.

    Tks xxx

  • Hellooo!

    I had a short course of it back in July 2006 after a rough month - was told it had anti-inflamatory properties too.

    Not had it since though.


  • HI All

    I've found it to be excellent, I was onit permenatly for over 6mths and then had a 12day course when I picked up a chesty cold last oct. also have supplies at the ready.

    When I was on the azithro all the time I needed another antib when got cold, I think the anti inflamatory properties are exceelent and lots of research done to back that up esp. with CF and Bronchiectasis patients now being used for Asthma - US and Canada not sure how much it's used for here?

    does reduce the inflammation in lungs (Pred properties?)

    best wishes


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