British Lung Foundation
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Is anyone on antibiotics all the time .. as thats what my lung doc said i will have to go on .. why

I have a question is anyone on antibiotics all the time and dose anyone know whats it mean if you have to be on antibiotics all the time even for simple virus given lung condition and how long have thay been on them.

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39 Replies

If you have asthma or copd, it is sometimes triggered by a chronic infection in the lungs, You'll start a round of antibiotics and as soon as they're done, you start to feel bad again. This is what my doctor explained to me after my 4th round of antibiotics. You may want to look into other reasons why you are having a chronic infection. It never hurts to get another opinion. I learned after doing this that I had an allergy problem, and after treating that, the need for antibiotics went away. Get another opinion, and good luck to you, hope you feel better.


Hi ik_usa cheers thanks for reply .. Yer it took me ages to see this lung doc i have .. think raising complaint about my x gp did not help

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Hi Dazisnotsogood, Yes I am on Doxycycline 100mg once daily for life. If I feel a chest infection coming on I change to Augmentin 625mg. It seems to be working and I have cut down the chest infections considerably. I do, weather permitting try and come off the tablets through the summer months and go back on them for the winter (my choice). I have regular chest physio and swim three to four times a week which helps me considerably. I suffer Asthma, Bronchiectasis and COPD all brought on by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The antibiotics seem to help me because I have a weakened immune system.

Hi onthescrapheap nice name .. Sorry to read about your problems hope you have good summer .. thanks

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Thanks my name seemed appropriate at the time. Had a very good winter health wise so entering the summer fairly healthy and positive. Hope the doctors get you on the right meds. Keep positive. Kate.

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Agree with u there cheers thanks

Morning, hubby has been taking Azithromycin (or however it is spelt) 3 times a week for over a year now and has only had 2 lung infections in that time and only one needed further intervention, we are really pleased with the outcome of taking these as it has given him some life back. If they recommend it go for it, there are different ones to take and once they find the right one you should feel a lot better.


Hi secondlife cheers yer am

on 500mg amoxicillin and

felt not as bad .. as i was so

after them i have to start new

course week later of one

every day .. see how i go

I'm just wondering if you mean taking a small dose of something like Azithromax for the rest of your life or rotating courses of the most usually prescribed antibiotics for one or two weeks at a time. Or maybe nebulised antibiotics ? For chronic infection that keeps recurring, you could end up on any one of these three regimes. What reason did your doctor give ?

Hi argana cheers yer he said

recurrent infection and rates .. But think you are right about rotating antibiotics

Hi there Daz, can understand your caution but,I've been taking 2 Clarithromycin 500 for 3 days a week since just b4 Xmas and must say they have made a dramatic improvement to my health.

Just had a few days in hospital for an unrelated problem where for some reason they changed the Clarithromycin 500 to Azithromycin 250 but I wasn't so good on those. Within a couple of weeks my chest was getting congested again so my doctor put me back on the Clarithromycin.

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Hi cheers delilah yer just dont want my liver cooking its bad enough lung problems .. Cheers thanks for reply

I have been taking Azithromycin 250 mg three times weekly since 2010, upon the instructions of my Chest Consultant. I am not sure that it has done anything for my IPF but it has certainly reduced the incidence of bronchial pneumonia.

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Hi huwiehex cheers yep am sure it as help with your ipf cheers thanks

I have been on clarithromycin since 2003, my consultant said it was to stop my lungs being further damaged.


Hi tatteka cheers yer that what my doc said today

Cheers thanks for reply

I was encouraged when I read Huwie that you had been on Azithromycin for 3 yrs. as I have recently been put onto Az 250mg 3 times a week, after YEARS and I really do mean YEARS of taking anti-biotics , which when I was young worked to clear my chest infections...but lately as soon as I stopped taking the Anti-biotic & steroids the chest infection came straight back. I have been so pleased with the fingers crossed it is keeping infections away SO FAR !! My cons said once this does stop working I will have to go onto IV antibiotics In the hospital.....

I had been wondering how long I could hope that they would work for? I do understand everyone is different, but it was comforting to hear of your success for a number of years.

In answer to your question Daz I believe there are many of us on here taking AZ ( or another AB ) all the time, I know it may feel like another step that one does not want to take...but I feel so much better now, not getting one chest infection after another.

I can now concentrate on building up my immunity, clearing my chest , and doing my exercises to help me to stay as fit as possible

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I have Bronchiectasis and Asthma and my lungs are colonised with Pseudomonas Aeruginosa,which you cannot get rid of completely apparently,and so I nebulise Colomycin twice a day to keep the infection at bay and it does work, it keeps me out of hospital having IV antibiotics.


Like Fern I have bronchiectasis with pseudamonas and am on long term continuous nebulised gentamicin.

For years, I wavered over my consultants suggestions regarding nebulised antibiotics fearing that I might become resistant. I now know that I was wrong to delay and damaged my lungs unnecessarily as a result. If your consultant knows you, and has done all the tests, and has been monitoring you for some time - then I believe he is giving you good advice. Sometimes we need to trust our doctors rather than trying to self-diagnose.

I am now on oxygen, earlier than I expected, and feel my delaying cost me dear. The gentamicin nebs are annoying to do but they have improved my lungs and I have fewer exacerbations. Wish I could turn the clock back.


Hi all.

I have bronchiectasis and been on Azitromycin for two years, but my consultant told me to take one daily, I see from posts that people are taking three times a week, should it query this .

Same diagnosis as me. I neb gentamicin x2 daily and have just been put on Azithromycin. Keep well

I'm on azitheromycin, an antibiotic, I take 1 tablet a day. I think it is supposed to suppress any infection which, I'm pleased to say seems to be working as I haven't had a serious infection for some time. Good luck and take care, Lizzy.

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Im in process of being given treatment / management plan i see consultant next week to decide best options. Ive been on doxicyline 100g daily since Feb after two other types plus steroids 30mg. Consultant wanted me to stop both for a month so when i see him next week he will see how my breathing is without but unfortunately i had to go back on steroids last week due to breathing being bad but im not on antibiotics. Im well in summer so i imagine i wont hopefully need them till autumn for winter . I think anything that helps us lead as normal a life as possible by far outways the side effects of having to take the meds. I know dr s say exercise healthy eating etc plays a big part and i totally embrace that full on but for some unfortunately i am one of them this is not enough to keep us well. Hopefully everyones experiences will help xx Judith

Hi Daz, Pete takes Doxy daily at the moment and when he gets too used to them, he goes back to Azith every other day. If an infection does take hold then he takes 500mg x 2 daily of Clarith to clear his chest. We do not really question this as we do understand it is to try and help keep infections at bay. Hope you get all the help you need. Take care. xxx

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I've been taking Azithromycin since December one three times a week and fingers crossed it seems to be working.

Kim xxxx

I can understand you being reticent with regard to continuous antibiotics looking at the link you put up. It is a very good article BUT it is aimed at the normally fit and well I would guess, not at those who have respiratory disease.

As argana says it is not clear if you are being prescribed rotating abs, nebbed abs or oral prophylactic abs. If you were to have say azithromycin as a prophylactic it would not be used as a treatment course for an infection. They work in two ways - 1. they reduce inflammation within the lungs and 2. they can break down biofilms which some bugs form to protect themselves, making it easier for a treatment ab to zap them.

Wish I could take azithromycin - going to be assessed for nebbed tobramycin.

Good luck



Hi cofdrop yer all very good points .. Its early days with my gp and infections .. Am on hypertonic sailine to help with sputom and as helped keep my chest clear .. last time a seen long doc he talked about rotating antibiotics .. only problem i have is given liver enzine anomalis following blood test a dont want my liver cooking any more .. so will see what thay say about nebulised antibiotics

Did they say if the prob with your liver is temporary. My liver couint was deranged after cephtazadine IVs, but after a few weeks blood test showed back to normal. cx

Good luck with the tobramycin Cofdrop! I hope my heart copes with azithromycin! Why can't you take this drug? I have boarder line prolonged QT! Take care


The Tobramycin didn't work out for me eventually. I managed 5/6 cycles but became inceasingly SOB and wasn't funtioning properly whilst on them. Not as dramatic as nebbed Colomycin.

I found Azithromycin to be fantastic for my bronc and asthma and I knw it would help reduce the constant infections. It does however give me constant heartburn and reflux, so I just swop one problem for another.

I hope you are as well as can be at present.

love cx

Hi dazisnotsogood

I have met people who take low dose antibiotics 2-3 times a week and they swear they get less chest infections. When I tried being on low dose long term antibiotics my stomach could not take it. If you have a strong stomach then I would give it a go. It is less potent then some of the tablets they could be giving you for your lungs. Good luck whatever you decide.



Hi bugsbunny thanks cheers

I have been on antibiotics since 1990 I have to take them twice daily as I had my spleen

Hi mckenzie1301 cheers

Hi dazisnotgood; I was for two an a half years; This was to eradicate Mycobacterium Avium Intracelllulare which causes TB; It was so dangerous that at the first sighting of tis bug in my system, the consultant put me on Rifampicine;

As you know, I got ill with pneumonia and pseudomonas in February and most of March; As Rifampicine depletes my white blood cells and I become very low in them in any case, the consultant decided that I should stop this;

But before my latest illness, he had said I would be on this for life.

I had asked him if there was an alternative to Rifampicine, he said no. I think he must have discuss this depletion of my white blood cells with the haematologist. I think he takes a chance that I have no trace of TB at present.

I must say that I didn't feel anything different for taking them. But it didn't prevent me from getting pneumonia and pseudomonas! As TB isn't there, I think the consultant's tinking is "let's wait until it comes again"!

I, like many lung people and also because of my low white blood cells, am very vulnerable. The side effect of the Rifampicine is that instead of having to take my white blood cells bosster every 15 days, they become depleted much more quickly, and I have to take this "booster" every 8 days. The nurse that put antibiotics in me every day, grew frantic one day, when I was due to take the booster. She told me that my white cells were very low, Were I going to fall gravely ill I ought to call an ambulance and go to emergencies. I told her I would take my booster and the next day I would have too many white blood cells! This happened and she was happy.

I understand the process and take it a day at a time.

I get ill so many times, anyway, that I just have to live with this! :-)

I was on Clarythromycin for pneumonia permanently, but since I still caught pneumonia, the consultant withdrew ti too.

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Hi helingmic cheers YEP you .. have defo had rough time of it .. Is the pits but like you say it is what it is

And we just have to make best of it


Yes i have been on constant antibiotics for 2yrs due to the high number of chest infections i have - they have definitely helped me in reducing the infections xx

Hi cheers solowheelie

4 minutes ago oscarsmum

I have always coughed and didnt know I had bronchiectasis until I had pneumonias and chest infections on a VERY regular basis after chemo for breast cancer in 2011.The consultant put me on a trickle dose(ie x3 per week ) of Azithromycin a year ago to keep the chest infections at bay. Christmas , my daughter commented on me not hearing people speak to me.Saw GP, gave me Flixonase for 6 weeks - only made my nose bleed.Put me on waiting list to see ENT person- appt in a weeks time.Now i'm really very deaf-its driving me and my partner nuts !!! Saw Respiratory consultant 2 weeks ago - straight away told me it was the Azithromycin and to stop it NOW. he had never seen it before ! I'll still see the ENT person incase there's something else...but boy , am I fed up- nothing but one problem after the other after being diagnose with cancer back in 2010. Any one know how long it could take to have my hearing back.....please !!

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