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Harvard Health Blog
Antibiotics don’t speed recovery from asthma attacks
- By: Nandini Mani, MD, Contributing Editor
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Is there a different study looking at the effects of azithromycin on lung inflammation taken over a longer period of time and not just on the effect on an asthma attack? I am currently doing this treatment under my Dr’s order and would be interested in knowing more about this study.
For years, as an asthmatic, every time I got my usual “chronic bronchitis” in the winter. Off I went with my Z-Pack — after suffering 2-3 weeks of goopy coughs, Mucinex DM, Tussin DM, humidifiers, bags of cough drops, and sleepless nights, and if I was lucky–(or looking in super rough shape) codeine cough syrup so I could finally pass out.
Surprise. Z-pack is not the cure! It’s viral not bacterial, duh.
I know now, according to my lung specialist that it’s called an “acute asthma attack” not bronchitis, and to take Prednisone (along with my usual preventive inhalers) when I can’t get it under control. And THAT helps fast. No more 3 months of suffering through “bronchitis”
Hi There, I think this is a very interesting subject. ( I have brittle asthma, moderate to severe.) I have been taking a low dose of Azithromycin 3 times a week since September prescribed by my consultant. (As an add on to all the other medicine I take), I’m not at all sure that this has any effect whatsoever, but there seems to be some research that says Azithromycin taken long term can have an anti-inflammatory effect. Anyway I promised to take it for 6 months.
Also I find that all my doctors are always very quick to suggest taking Anti-Biotics when I have a flare-up. (Along with all the usual suspects, prednisolone and nebules). I think sometimes doctors feel very helpless particularly when dealing with asthma as they desperately want to keep you out of the emergency room. So will throw all “guns”at the problem because, waiting to get a sputum test analysed might be the difference between ER or “getting ahead of the curve”. So I think this may be part of the reason that doctors prescribe us Asthmatics so many Anti-Biotics.
I have a general rule about taking Anti-biotics, which means I generally don’t start taking them until I have been unwell for at least 10 days, having probably gotten better but then got worse again and have a fever. Sometimes my PCP’s override this, but I think that on the spectrum of Asthma I get can get pretty sick.
I think to get doctors to write less scripts and patients to take less Anti-Biotics, people with Asthma need to have a written asthma plan, they need to step up medication before they get really sick, I.E, I step up my meds if a family member gets a cold. And they need to know when Anti-biotics are a good idea. An Emergency room visit is not what anyone wants.
You shouldn’t have a “general rule” for taking antibiotics. It’s not “after 10’days” it’s NOT AT ALL UNLESS ITS BACTERIAL.
Zpack after 2 weeks or 2’days isn’t the answer. You need to go to a lung specialist like I did and stop wth PCP’s “throwing antibiotics at you”
Prednisone is the answer when you are having an “acute asthma attack” which is what my lung specialist told me to call it and to STOP calling it chronic bronchitis. I have asthma. It can get awful in winter but it’s NOT bronchitis and it gets better ONLY with prednisone when all else fails (mucinex dm, tussin dm, humidifiers, cough drops, inhalers, codeine cough syrup….) enough with the antibiotics! That was the whole point of the article.
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