Antibiotic Fights Lung Transplant Complication

Azithromycin offers patients hope when function declines, study finds

FRIDAY, Sept. 23, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Lung transplant patients with a form of otherwise lethal, untreatable lung dysfunction may be helped by a common antibiotic, azithromycin, British researchers report.

The study of 10 male and 10 female patients found that low doses of the drug could stop and reverse lung function decline in lung transplant patients with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), a fatal and previously untreatable condition.

After three months of receiving 250 milligrams of azithromycin every other day, the patients showed a significant increase in lung function, as measured by a standard breathing test.

"This improvement was sustained beyond three months in the majority of patients who had initially benefited from azithromycin, as demonstrated over 11 months of follow-up," researcher Paul A. Corris, of the William Leech Centre for Lung Research at Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, said in a prepared statement.

The findings appear in the September issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about lung transplant.

SOURCE: American Thoracic Society, news release, Sept. 15, 2005
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