Intermediate results of the first 50 patients treated with clarithromycin (CLARI) regimens for Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare (MAI) lung disease were evaluated. Patients were HIV negative, and pretreatment isolates were susceptible to CLARI. Patients received CLARI 500 mg twice daily, ethambutol, rifampin (RMP), or rifabutin (RBT) and initial streptomycin, and they were treated until culture-negative 1 yr. Eleven of 50 patients (22%) were dropped in the first 3 mo. Of the remaining 39 patients, 36 (92%) converted their sputa to negative, and 32 (82%) remain culture negative to date. This includes 11 of 16 (69%) with prior drug therapy and 21 of 23 (91%) with no prior therapy. One or more companion drugs were discontinued in 16 of 39 (41%) of patients because of adverse events. Isolates from six of 39 patients (15%) became CLARI-resistant. Of 23 patients who are alive and were culture-negative a mean of 12.0 mo while receiving therapy, all remain culture-negative without therapy a mean of 19.1 mo. Despite reduced CLARI serum levels in patients also receiving RMP, 10 of 13 patients (77%) receiving this regimen were successfully treated. Although not directly compared with previous regimens, the success of this regimen strongly suggests it is superior to previous non-CLARI-containing regimens.