Date of Award
Master of Physician Assistant Studies
Physician Assistant Education
The use of antibiotics for treating exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been a topic of controversy since first studied in the 1950s and 1960s. This paper analyzes the effects of a course of antibiotics on time until next exacerbation in patients with COPD. Five recent randomized control trials were examined. The antibiotic most often studied was azithromycin, a macrolide. Azithromycin decreased the length of time to first exacerbation compared to placebo in three studies; two other studies depicted sub analyses to support azithromycin as superior to placebo. Overall, antibiotics decreased the length of time between exacerbations, especially azithromycin. Treating exacerbations with antibiotics was more effective in certain patient populations such as patients of older age, a smoking history, or a milder form of COPD. It is important for these patients to be screened appropriately with continuous follow-up when administering azithromycin to decrease exacerbations in patients with COPD.
Coffman, Cierra, "Effects of Antibiotics on Exacerbations for Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)" (2019). Physician's Assistant Program Capstones. 9.