A retrospective analysis of the impact of azithromycin maintenance therapy on adults attending a UK cystic fibrosis clinic

J Cyst Fibros. 2013 Jan;12(1):49-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2012.05.010. Epub 2012 Jul 15.


Background: Azithromycin is widely used as an immunomodulatory agent in the treatment of cystic fibrosis with previous literature documenting improvements in lung function and a reduction in infective exacerbations. The maximal study period in adults has been six months.

Methods: 81 adult patients taking continuous azithromycin were retrospectively identified. Percentage predicted FEV(1) and courses of intravenous antibiotics were examined at yearly intervals two years prior to and two years after azithromycin initiation.

Results: FEV(1) deteriorated in the two years before starting azithromycin by a mean of 2.02% per year. In the year following initiation, FEV(1) increased by 1.15% (P=0.01). However, a mean 2.58% reduction was observed in year two. There was no statistically significant effect on courses of intravenous antibiotics.

Conclusions: Azithromycin resulted in an improved FEV(1) at year one. This effect was not sustained beyond the first year of treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Azithromycin / administration & dosage*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Maintenance Chemotherapy*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United Kingdom
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Azithromycin