Indexed on: 24 Jun '04Published on: 24 Jun '04Published in: The Annals of pharmacotherapy
To review the literature concerning the use of azithromycin in the treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).A search of MEDLINE (1966-April 2004), Embase (1980-April 2004), and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (1971-April 2004) was performed. Search terms included cystic fibrosis, macrolide, and azithromycin.Four studies have been performed in 7-185 patients (children and adults) over a 3- to 6-month period. The azithromycin dosage ranged from 250 mg 3 times weekly to 500 mg daily. The trials reported an improvement in percent predicted forced expiratory volume ranging from 2.95% to 6.2% in patients treated with azithromycin compared with those receiving placebo.Azithromycin appeared to improve pulmonary function in adults and older children with CF and was well tolerated when administered for 6 months. Further research is needed to determine an optimal dosage regimen, duration of treatment, effects on quality of life, and cost-effectiveness of azithromycin therapy.