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Antibiotic may reduce acute COPD attacks

Good news for those who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — or COPD: A clinical trial involving more than 1,100 people has found that a common antibiotic called azithromycin can reduce the occurrence and severity of COPD exacerbations or flareups.

John Connett

Professor John Connett, a University of Minnesota biostatistican, led the study. He said it’s especially good news because until now there has not been a good treatment for people who suffer from COPD. COPD refers to a group of chronic lung diseases that block airflow. These include bronchitis and emphysema.

“The azithromycin group had fewer exacerbations. They had them later in the year, on average. And they generally benefitted from this treatment,” Connett said. “It was a positive study. And it does have implications for treatment for COPD because there are not a lot of good treatments available right now. There are other treatments that will treat symptoms — make the person feel better, breathe a little bit better. This one actually prevents some illnesses.”

Read more in Advances Magazine.

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