You can use your existing Medical Independent, MediLearning or PharmacistCPD account to log in.


Medicalindependent.ie is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

Address: Top Floor, 111 Rathmines Road Lr, Dublin 6

Tel: 353 (01) 441 0024

GreenCross Publishing is owned by Graham Cooke.


The benefits of registering: only registered users:
  • receive the ecCopy two days prior to the printed edition.
  • have automatic access to our free CPD sites.
  • can partake in our online MCQs.
  • can enter our online sports quiz.

Sign up now for ease of access to The Medical Independent, Ireland’s most frequently published medical newspaper, delivering award-winning news and investigative reporting.

Download the new Mindo app for both IOS & Android.

  • Get notified when a story goes live
  • Access Premium Content
  • Read Offline
 
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public"]

You are reading 1 of 2 free-access articles allowed for 30 days

Treatment with long-term, low-dose antibiotic could help people born with chronic lung condition

By Dermot - 01st Nov 2019 | 12 views

Taking a low dose of the antibiotic azithromycin for six months reduces symptoms for patients with the chronic lung condition primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), according to research presented at the 2019 European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress.

PCD is a rare inherited disease that affects people from birth. It causes coughing, a build-up of mucus in the lungs and frequent chest and ear infections that can lead to permanent lung damage and hearing loss.

The new findings come from a ‘gold-standard’ randomised controlled clinical trial comparing the therapy to a placebo in patients across Europe. It is the first trial of its kind to demonstrate an effective therapy for PCD.

The study was presented by Dr Helene Kobbernagel from the Paediatric Pulmonary Service, Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital – Rigshospitalet, Denmark. She said: “Because it is a rare disease, there is a lack of good evidence on how to treat children and adults to relieve symptoms and prevent longer-term damage.”

Dr Kobbernagel and her colleagues wanted to see if they could use azithromycin as a form of ‘maintenance therapy’ to keep infections at bay over an extended period, hopefully improving symptoms and reducing infections in PCD patients.

The study included 90 patients, ranging in age from seven- to 50-years-old, who were being treated at six hospitals across Europe. Forty-nine of the patients were randomly assigned to take the antibiotic for six months, while the other 41 took a placebo.

All patients were checked for symptoms, the presence of infection-causing bacteria in their sputum, lung function, hearing and quality-of-life.

Patients taking azithromycin suffered an average (mean) 0.63 episodes of symptoms that were serious enough to require treatment during the study. Among those taking the placebo, patients suffered an average of 1.37 such episodes. This equates to a 50 per cent reduction in episodes in patients taking the treatment. People taking the antibiotic also had fewer infection-causing bacteria in their sputum samples, but they were more likely to suffer with mild diarrhoea.

Dr Kobbernagel said: “Our results show that azithromycin is safe for patients with PCD and that it could offer an effective maintenance therapy, reducing ill-health and helping children and adults get on with their daily lives.”

Researchers did not find any measurable difference in longer-term measures such as lung function and hearing, but they say a longer study might be needed to see whether the treatment has any effect on these.

Dr Kobbernagel added: “We need to know if it’s safe for patients to continue taking the drug for longer than six months and whether it can prevent irreversible lung damage, but this trial is an important first step.”

Leave a Reply

[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]
Latest Issue
The Medical Independent – 24 June 2021

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

[the_ad_placement id="main-mpu-public"]
Most Read
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]