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The available evidence for long-term, low-dose treatment with 14- and 15-membered ring macrolides in non-cystic fibrosis (CF) bronchiectasis, COPD, chronic sinusitis, and asthma is reviewed with special attention to possible adverse effects and the emergence of resistance during long-term macrolide treatment. Macrolide maintenance therapy has been proven to be of benefit in diffuse panbronchiolitis and CF, presumably due to an anti-inflammatory mechanism of action in addition to its direct antimicrobial effect. Solid evidence to justify this treatment regimen for non-CF bronchiectasis, asthma, or sinusitis is still lacking, although a beneficial effect of long-term macrolide therapy has been found in small clinical trials on these subjects. Data from randomized trials of long-term macrolide treatment in COPD are conflicting. A sufficiently long duration of treatment and the careful selection of patients appears to be crucial. Aside from its beneficial effects, possible side effects of macrolide treatment should be taken into account, the most important of these being gastrointestinal upset and cardiac arrhythmias. Development of macrolide resistance among respiratory pathogens is very common during long-term macrolide treatment. Whether this finding is clinically significant is a matter of debate.
Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Medical Centre Alkmaar, Alkmaar, The Netherlands.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Respiration; international review of thoracic diseases
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Studies to determine the advantages or disadvantages, practicability, or capability of accomplishing a projected plan, study, or project.
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Monoquaternary homolog of PANCURONIUM. A non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agent with shorter duration of action than pancuronium. Its lack of significant cardiovascular effects and lack of dependence on good kidney function for elimination as well as its short duration of action and easy reversibility provide advantages over, or alternatives to, other established neuromuscular blocking agents.
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Monocyclic, bacterially produced or semisynthetic beta-lactam antibiotics. They lack the double ring construction of the traditional beta-lactam antibiotics and can be easily synthesized.
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COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
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