Therapy With Macrolides in Patients With Cystic Fibrosis

Allyson S. Gaylor, Pharm.D., Joan C. Reilly, Pharm.D.

Pharmacotherapy. 2002;22(2) 

In This Article


Macrolides have beneficial properties aside from their antibacterial activity (Table 3). Inhibition of various proinflammatory cytokines, antioxidant properties, effects on neutrophils and chemotactic activity, alterations in the properties of P. aeruginosa, and other immunomodulatory effects are just some of the theories behind the beneficial effects. The potential to alter inflammatory and immune processes holds great promise for the agents in a wide variety of disease states. Interrupting the vicious cycle of infection, inflammation, and injury, they could have a tremendous impact on the quality of life of patients with cystic fibrosis. More large-scale, randomized controlled trials are necessary to elucidate the mechanism by which these effects may occur and the full benefit patients may receive from long-term macrolide therapy. A multicenter trial sponsored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is under way to investigate the effect of azithromycin in cystic fibrosis. It is hoped that it will provide answers to some questions as well as new hope for these patients.


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