Azithromycin summer break

I know there has been some discussion in the past about whether or not taking a break from azithromycin is a good idea for bronchiectasis sufferers, so I'd thought I'd let you know how it has been for me. On the 8th July this year, my consultant told me I should take a couple of months off from taking the azi. His reasoning being that the other effects of long term antibiotics are inadequately researched and probably not good, so if you can take break it won't do any harm. I have been very lucky that azi has been very effective for me, and I was worried that my symptoms would all come back. I did sneeze more with allergies but the cough was fine right through holidays and unrelated other health issues. But here we are almost exactly two months later, and I have just started coughing up junk again! Looking for the packs of tablets stashed at the back of the cupboard now.

16 Replies

  • Sounds like a good idea to get back on the tablets monkey as it does sound as if you need them now. Pete has a year or two on Azith and then takes a break and goes onto Doxy for a while. His Consultant has said that he gets too used to the ab's and they don't work as they should. He uses them as a maintenance dose to keep chest infections at bay. So far, so good. You take care and hope you can stay as well as possible. xxxx

  • this year alone I have had no option but to break from the aziz severally times 3 for flare ups treated by AB's and once for anti fungal I must admit I never noticed anything different.

  • I found your comments very interesting, monkey. I was put on azith around February which has been so successful during a period of house moving, poorly husband. I have wondered how long the effect would last. I think it an idea if i saw my respiratory nurse at the new surgery and see what she thinks, too.

  • My Consultant put me on a winter regime of Azithromycin years ago. I stop taking them beginning of April to end of September. Naturally stopping if rescue antibiotics are needed. Not being analysis about the date if the season is early or late. It was only after reading in this community last year that I realised people were taking Azith all year round. I mentioned this to my Doctor a couple of weeks ago. He did not seem keen and said that he would consider it based upon my health next spring as to whether to stop as usual or carry on through the year. Regards Rib

  • Oddly, my consultant doesn't recommend stopping azi if rescue antibiotics are needed. Strange how they are all different...

  • You MUST stop Azith if you are taking Any other antibiotics. They will seriously damage your internal organs. Esp kindly and liver. Rib

  • Hi Rib, my consultant completely opposes what you say. He insists that one should keep taking azith while taking other courses of antibiotics. I stop taking them while on clarithromycin but take them otherwise. At the moment I am in hospital, taking IV tazacyn and continuing nebulised colomycin. The day I was admitted, one member of the team said I should stop azith then yesterday, another member of the team wanted me to keep taking it. I refused until the IVs are finished. If the old doctors differing saying is true, I should be well dead by now :)

  • Wow! Thank you so much for posting this. Especially from your hospital bed. As Monkey says, it certainly is strange how Consultants differ in their opinions and the advise they give us. I got well and truly chewed by my Consultant and the pulmonary nurse gave me a second bite too.

    I hope others read your post and at the very least challenge their doctors on just what is the best for us. I know I will be ringing the Pulmonary clinic on Monday. After all we are depending on these people to keep us healthy so we can live longer.

    I hope that you make a speedy recovery. Regards Rib.

  • Thank you Rib ! This is my fourth day on IVs and I'm beginning to. feel a little bit better. Regarding what consultants/doctors say, it's beginning to be a bit like reading hotel reviews on Trip advisor. You read all the reviews, get a cross-section of opinions and go with the one that seems the most sensible. I'm afraid that after 40 years with lung disease, I'm a bit cynical about doctors.

  • I had Sepsis in Feb this year so had a refresher course on living with multiple cannuli. I have only 32 yr of disability but with five goes at being re-sussed I can't complain about my treatment. Mend well. Regards Rib

  • I'm having a break at the moment monkey. My consultant said my lungs are pretty stable at the moment, but she advised me to start again when the weather change. Not sure when to do this, but wondered if next month might be best, as that is when the flu jabs start. Any suggestions?

  • If the trigger should be the weather change, perhaps you should have started again when the sunshine disappeared back in August............ :)

  • Evening.

    I was told not to stop taking it if I need to take my other AB's and steroids. I ask my respiratory nurse about taking it all year and she explained how it wasn't like other Antibiotics and that doctors are prescribing it more and more. And my GP said they will keep me on it because of the difference its made to me.

    Kim xxx

  • Hello, I just thought I would tell you what a wonder drug Azithromycin is and how it changed our lives.

    My husband had COPD, Bronchiectasis and had the bug Sudamonus for five years, he was on 24/7 oxygen and was in and out of hospital with pneumonia.

    He was prescribed Azithromycin 16 months ago. For the following 15 months he never, ever had to go into hospital, he did not get a chest infection or coughed up any gunk, he did not even have a cough. When we saw the specialist for his yearly visit he wanted to take him off them for a few weeks break but we said no way, he told us that there were small side effects but we said the side effects were worth the risk if my husband did not have to go into hospital or be coughing up disgusting stuff all the time so he let my husband carry on taking them.

    Six months after seeing the specialist, and just four weeks ago, myself and my husband started feeling ill, I was really, really poorly with a bad chest but started taking antibiotics straight away and within two days I was feeling much better. My husband had his emergency stand by antibiotics but would not take them until he had seen the Matron, I told him to just take them and stop the infection in its tracks but he waited for two days until he spoke to the Matron. He was about to start taking them when things got worse and I had to call for the ambulance, he was taken into hospital with Pneumonia, acute respiratory failure and carbon dioxide poisoning. He was in a week and came home for two weeks, he had continued with the Azithromycin whilst in hospital, I made sure he got his tablet three times a week. The doctors could not get a sputum sample as there wasn't any sputum. He was home for two weeks, started to get back on his feet and suddenly Friday teatime he started being ill again, I called for the ambulance and he was rushed in again with pneumonia, carbon dioxide poisoning and acute respiratory failure, I was asked about DNR so I knew it was bad. I and my sons stayed with him until the following afternoon, we asked the doctor if he would get better again but he said it depended how he responded to the antibiotics as his lungs were almost non-existant and if he did survive it it would happen again very soon as he was absorbing Carbon dioxide all the time as his lungs could not get rid of it but there was a portable machine he could have at home which would help with it but they said not to hold out much hope. We said we wanted the doctors to do all they could to make him better but within seconds, it seems as if he heard us and decided he could not fight anymore, he died peacefully with all his family around him and we all got the chance to say how much we loved him and he died in my arms. I had been his 24/7 carer for five years, but for the final 15 months, because of the Azithromycin, we got our lives back, went out for meals, visited family, went out shopping etc. I am so glad that this medication gave us time to enjoy our lives and at the end it was two days from start to finish.

    As far as I am concerned Azithromycin made my husbands last 15 months wonderful, and if we had not both picked up a chest infection he would still have been with us. Even in hospital he did not have any gunk on his chest so he was able to breathe in oxygen without having to cough stuff up all the time.

  • Hello Sweetthing1

    I'm sorry to hear about your husband I don't know how you found the strength to come on here and share your story but I'm glad you did.

    I've been taking Azithromycin since December and agree with you it has changed my life, I had pneumonia two years running and couldn't shake it the last time I live in fear of them taking me off it. I'm not naïve enough to think I wont get infection just hope it's not that often. Thank you for taking the time and I hope you are consoled by your memories especially the last 15 months.

    Kim xxx

  • Reading through all these comments has given me food for thought. Tremendously helpful, raising a subject which hadn't really occurred to me. There are conflicting views. As I have said, best consult the surgery. Perhaps I ought to take a break ??? Not keen without my lifebelt.

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