Adding clarithromycin to inhaled steroid in uncontrolled asthma was ineffective

PCR studies have shown Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Chlamydophila pneumoniae in the lower airways of patients with asthma.

92 adults with an Asthma Control Questionnaire score greater than 1.5 after a 4-week period of treatment with fluticasone propionate were enrolled in this study from National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado.

13% demonstrated PCR evidence of M pneumoniae or C pneumoniae in endobronchial biopsies.

Clarithromycin did not improve lung function or airway inflammation. There was some improvement in airway hyperresponsiveness with clarithromycin.

Adding clarithromycin to fluticasone in adults with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma that was suboptimally controlled by low-dose inhaled corticosteroids alone did not further improve asthma control.

This study found a positive effect in children: Clarithromycin for 3 weeks was effective as add-on treatment of acute asthma exacerbations in children

A 2012 retrospective study, suggested that neomacrolides may be useful as an add-on therapy in patients with severe asthma (Medscape, 2012).


A trial of clarithromycin for the treatment of suboptimally controlled asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Oct;126(4):747-53.
Image source: Clarithromycin structure, Wikipedia, public domain.

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