Professor Peter Gibson, from the Department of Respiratory and Sleep
Medicine, JHH, and colleagues conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled parallel group trial to determine whether oral
azithromycin decreases the frequency of asthma exacerbations in adults with symptomatic asthma despite current use of inhaled corticosteroid
and long-acting bronchodilator. 420 patients were randomly assigned to receive azithromycin 500mg or placebo three times per week for 48 weeks.
The study, published in Lancet
, found that patients with asthma symptoms uncontrolled by inhaled corticosteroids and
long-acting bronchodilators had fewer exacerbations of asthma and experienced improved quality of life with the addition of azithromycin.