Azithromycin improves outcomes in poorly-controlled child asthma

Azithromycin helps improve asthma control and reduce exacerbations in children with poorly controlled asthma, according to a study published in the June issue of Chest.

Jagat Jeevan Ghimire, M.D., from All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, and colleagues randomly assigned 120 children (5 to 15 years of age) with poorly controlled asthma to receive azithromycin three times weekly for three months along with standard treatment or standard treatment alone.

The researchers found that the numbers of children with well-controlled asthma according to Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines were 41 of 56 in the azithromycin group versus 10 of 56 in the control groups. The azithromycin group had a lower median number of exacerbations requiring emergency visit and steroid use (zero versus one). There was no difference observed between the groups for fractional exhaled nitric oxide level, spirometry parameters, positive throat swab results, or adverse effects.

“The beneficial effect of azithromycin was similar in children with eosinophilic versus noneosinophilic asthma and those 5 to 11 years of age and those 12 years of age or older,” the authors write.