British Lung Foundation
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Bronchiectais and chest infection

Hi all. I have bronchiectasis and take prophylactic azithromycin 3 x weekly October to April. Therfore been off azithromycin for 2 months and well. Unfortunately have a bad chest infection at the moment and GP has given me 1 week of amoxicillin. All guidance for bronchiectasis states 2 weeks of antibiotics. Should I go back to my GP and ask for 2 weeks? Chest terrible

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Hi Lung girl, I'm sorry that you are feeling rotten. It may be that you need to go back on the azith. When you have needed azith to keep the bugs down Amoxicyllin is about as useful in bronchiectasis as a bag of jelly babies! And yes, with bronch we need at least two weeks of the appropriate antibiotics in a high enough dose. So back to the GP, sputum to be tested for the bug and insist on the right antibiotic. When will these GPs learn that they are dealing with a serious lung condition which requires aggressive and appropriate treatment, not a 'well member of the public' who happens to have a little chest infection.


I am a lifelong asthmatic and a few years ago diagnosed with bronchiectasis. After spending more than half last year in hospital with constant infections (not help by contracting pseudomonas in there) I am now on Azithromycin 3 x week, and have been well since I started taking it last September, with no stops.


Another GP who has not read the guidelines on bronchiectasis. Grrrr.

Unfortunately I cannot tolerte Azith and so like you have frequent infections.

I find Amox is just fine if I am culturing strep p for example (unpleasant but a gram positive bug and much easier to treat,) but it would be in a high dose and certainly longer than a week - usually 14 days.

It may be an idea if you don't improve to get a sample off to check what this bug is you are growing and also what it is sensitive to. Also you could say something like 'as you know with bronchiectasis the guidelines state to get a sample off but to start on a high dose antibiotic for 14 days or until the culture comes back with a different ab'. I've done this and they are not going to say they don't know, even if they don't. Just an idea. BTW the ERS are in the process of updating the guidelines and will form part of our meeting at the 2nd Bronchiectasis Cenference in July. They will be launched at the Int. Resp. Congress in September.

Good luck - be your own advocate.

love cx


Thanks everyone. I try to have a 6 month break from Azithromycin in the summer my stomach and ears are affected by it. Did put a sample in yesterday prior to starting amoxicillin today. Hope it grows something as my sputum tends not to grow any bugs despite being sticky and yellowy green at the moment!

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well, it does grow them but unfortunately the labs don't always find them. GPs shouldn't not treat a visibly obvious infection because of iffy results. You can tell that @ cofdrop and I have been at it a very long time can't you.

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Hi lung-girl, I,ve just had a bad infection & 2 months of amoxycillin went to docs just under a week ago changed my preventer to fostair & antibiotics to dyoxcycill my chest is as clear as a bell & only take the last of the course on Mon coming.


Didn't your GP ask for a sputum sample? Sounds like a lot of time and trouble could have been saved if an MC&S had been done and the bug identified and the fact that it was not sensitive to Amox but was sensitive to Doxy.

Glad you are feeling better.



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