Table 2—

Summary of studies examining the clinical effectiveness of macrolide therapy in bronchiectasis

First author [ref.]Study designDrug regimenAdults/ children nLength of studyBenefit?Adverse effects (treatment arm)
Yalcin 33Randomised, placebo-controlledClarithromycin 15 mg·kg−10/343 months↓Sputum volume;↑FEF25–75; FEV1 unchangedNot examined
Cymbala 34Randomised, open-label, crossoverAzithromycin 500 mg twice weekly11/06 months↓Exacerbation frequency; ↓sputum volumeNo serious events (diarrhoea in 25%)
Davies 35Prospective, open-labelAzithromycin 250 mg three times weekly39/010 months↓Exacerbation frequency; ↓i.v. antibiotics; ↑TL,CO; ↓symptomsDrug stopped due toabnormal LFT results (n = 2),diarrhoea (n = 2), rash (n = 1),tinnitus (n = 1)
Tsang 36Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlledErythromycin 500 mg twice daily21/08 weeks↑FEV1 + FVC; ↓sputum volumeOne withdrawal due to rash
Koh 37Randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlledRoxithromycin 4 mg·kg−1 twice daily0/25#12 weeks↓Airway responsiveness; FEV1 unchangedNot examined
  • FEF25–75: maximal mid-expiratory flow; FEV1: forced expiratory volume in one second; TL,CO: transfer factor of the lung for carbon monoxide; LFT: liver function test; FVC: forced vital capacity. #: with increased airway responsiveness.