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Higher rate of improvement, lower rate of adverse effects with clarithromycin for acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis

San Francisco, Calif., May 23, 2001 Data from a study presented today at the 97th annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society show that patients who were treated with clarithromycin (Biaxin, Abbott Laboratories) for an acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis (AECB), experienced a higher rate of improvement and fewer adverse events than patients who were treated with other leading antibiotics, including levofloxacin (Levaquin, Johnson & Johnson) and cefuroxime axetil (Ceftin, GlaxoSmithKline).

According to the study results, more patients with chronic bronchitis who were treated with clarithromycin improved compared to patients treated with the other antibiotics, said Lee R. Weiss, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., chairman, department of emergency medicine, Knox Community Hospital, Mount Vernon, Ohio, and lead investigator of the study. Specifically, clarithromycin offers an important alternative in the treatment arsenal for patients with an acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, as it offers a higher cure rate and fewer side effects.

Study Results

A randomized, prospective, multi-center study of 283 patients, compared clarithromycin 500 mg BID, levofloxacin 500 mg QD, and cefuroxime axetil 250 mg BID in patients with AECB. Each drug was administered for 10 days. For six weeks prior to randomization, patients with suspected AECB completed a questionnaire designed to assess disease severity and antimicrobial treatment. Eligible patients were required to have chest radiographs negative for pneumonia or structural lung disease (other than chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Among the eligible patients, 97 were randomized to clarithromycin, 94 to levofloxacin, and 92 to cefuroxime axetil. No significant difference was observed in disease between any groups at the start of the study. Among evaluable patients, clinical cure/improvement was observed in 87.9 percent (80 of 91) of those treated with clarithromycin, 87.3 percent (76 of 87) of tho
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Contact: Donna Lindquist
312-856-8873
Porter Novelli
22-May-2001


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