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Azithromycin for Infants with Cystic Fibrosis Reduces Inflammation

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Clinical trial shows azithromycin reduces inflammation in infants with cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that affects the lungs and other organs, and it usually starts in infancy. Children with cystic fibrosis have a lot of inflammation in their lungs, which can lead to lung damage and breathing difficulties. Doctors have been looking for ways to reduce this inflammation and prevent lung damage in these children.

Clinical Trial

A clinical trial was conducted to see if giving azithromycin, an antibiotic, three times a week to infants with cystic fibrosis from diagnosis until age 36 months would reduce lung damage. The trial was done at eight pediatric cystic fibrosis centers in Australia and New Zealand. 

The trial included 130 infants with cystic fibrosis who were between 3 and 6 months old. They were randomly assigned to receive azithromycin or a placebo until they were 36 months old. The researchers looked at two primary outcomes: the proportion of children with bronchiectasis and the percentage of total lung volume affected by the disease. Secondary outcomes included clinical symptoms, hospitalizations, and inflammatory markers.

Results

The results of the study showed that azithromycin did not reduce the extent of structural lung disease at 36 months of age, but it did reduce airway inflammation and some clinical symptoms associated with cystic fibrosis. Azithromycin was found to be a strategy that could be considered for the routine early management of pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis.

The trial showed that azithromycin did not reduce the proportion of children with bronchiectasis or the percentage of total lung volume affected by the disease. However, it did reduce the number of days in the hospital for pulmonary exacerbations (when breathing difficulties become worse) and the number of courses of antibiotics needed. Azithromycin also lowered the concentration of airway inflammation markers, including interleukin-8 and neutrophil elastase activity, at 36 months.

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The trial suggests that azithromycin treatment from diagnosis of cystic fibrosis can reduce airway inflammation and improve some clinical outcomes associated with cystic fibrosis lung disease. The results of this study can help doctors develop new treatment strategies for pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis.

It's important to note that the study did not show any negative effects of using azithromycin on the participants. There were no differences in adverse outcomes between the treatment groups, and there was no evidence of pathogen emergence with the use of azithromycin.

Conclusion

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that can cause lung damage and breathing difficulties. This clinical trial investigated azithromycin, an antibiotic, to reduce lung damage and inflammation in infants with cystic fibrosis. Although it did not reduce the extent of structural lung disease, it did reduce airway inflammation and improve some clinical symptoms associated with cystic fibrosis. This study provides important information for doctors who treat pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis, and it could lead to new treatment strategies that improve the quality of life for these patients.

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THE LANCET, Jun-02-22




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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.