In this trial of COPD patients with recent exacerbation, and on oxygen or steroids in the last year, they were randomized to daily azithromycin (250mg) or placebo. Those on azithromycin had significantly fewer exacerbations (1.5 vs 1.8 per patient year) and longer time to first exacerbation (266 vs 174 days). Mortality was the same, but azithromycin-resistant strains were higher. For some severe COPD patients, daily azithromycin may be beneficial, but long term consequences are unknown (abstract)
Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.