Study: Antibiotic may help people with acute asthma

A study published in the April 13, 2006 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine provides evidence of the benefit of telithromycin in patients with acute exacerbations of asthma; however the mechanisms of the benefit remain unclear. The study tests the theory that atypical bacteria may colonize the lungs of people with asthma worsening their experience. The study shows that the antibiotic telithromycin can kill these unusual suspects. Respiratory disease expert Sebastian L. Johnston, MD, PhD, of the U.K.’s National Heart-Lung Institute at Imperial College, London led an international study that added an inactive placebo, to the usual care of 278 adults who’d just had an asthma attack and results show that symptoms improved nearly twice as much in those receiving the antibiotic treatment as in those receiving placebo.To see the abstract of the study go to: //content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/354/15/1589.

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