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Sunday 04, Jul 2010

  Efficacy of macrolide antibiotic for reducing COPD exacerbations under the scanner

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Efficacy of macrolide antibiotic for reducing COPD exacerbations under the scannerExacerbations in patients suffering from moderate to severe COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) could be reduced by as much as 35 percent with use of macrolide antibiotic in the long run, as per a London-based study.

John Heffner, M.D., past president of the ATS, said that intervention could minimize the severity and frequency of acute exacerbations in COPD suggesting significant public health implications.

The study disclosed that macrolide therapy involving low doses can be useful to reduce frequency of exacerbations and severity with moderate to severe COPD, according to lead author of the paper, Terence A. R. Seemungal, Ph.D., and Jadwiga Wedzicha, M.D., principle investigator.

Friday 25, Jun 2010

  Inhaled corticosteroids helpful for COPD patients

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Inhaled corticosteroids helpful for COPD patientsReduced mortality risk is experienced in patients with COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) who are administered with inhaled corticosteroids. This finding was disclosed in a study published in the CHEST, peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP).

It was said by Christine Macie, MD, FCCP, Cambridge Hospital, Ontario, Canada and author of the study that inhaled corticosteroids are effective in prolonging lives of patients with COPD.

COPD patients who are using inhaled corticosteroids are relatively better protected than those not making use of them, as per Dr. Macie.

Tuesday 08, Jun 2010

  Macrolide antibiotic use can minimize COPD exacerbations

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Macrolide antibiotic use can minimize COPD exacerbationsAccording to a London-based study, frequency of exacerbations in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be reduced by almost 35 percent with the use of a macrolide antibiotic in the long term.

It was remarked by lead author of the paper, Terence A. R. Seemungal, Ph.D., and Jadwiga Wedzicha, M.D., principle investigator that the study results suggest that there is a significant effect of low-dose macrolide therapy on the frequency of exacerbation, and severity with moderate to severe COPD.

From News-Medical.Net:

While their findings are encouraging, Dr. Seemungal points out that they must be put in context with future findings. Furthermore, the threat of growing antibiotic resistance resulting from widespread prophylactic use of erythromycin is not a trivial concern. “In this scenario, substantial, widespread emergence of macrolide bacterial resistance is virtually foreordained, with attendant reduction in the antimicrobial usefulness of this drug class,” wrote Ken M. Kunisaki, M.D. and Denise E. Niewoehner, M.D., of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minneapolis, in the accompanying editorial. “Balancing benefit against harm could pose a dilemma for which there might be no clear answers.”

Moreover, not all of the study patients were treated with guideline-recommended therapy, such as inhaled corticosteroids or inhaled long-acting bronchodilators, which have been shown to decrease exacerbation frequency. The degree of added benefit of erythromycin over and above standard therapy will require further study.

“Observations that any intervention might decrease the frequency and severity of acute exacerbations in COPD present considerable public health implications,” observed John Heffner, M.D., past president of the ATS. “Exacerbations occur about once a year among patients with moderate to severe COPD and account for more than $30 billion dollars in direct and indirect costs annually in the United States alone.”

The study results were published in the first issue for December of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, which is published by the American Thoracic Society.

Monday 17, May 2010

  Purple Periwinkles can fight against inflammatory diseases

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Purple Periwinkles can fight against inflammatory diseasesVinpocetine, a natural product derived from the periwinkle plant, can one day be used as a novel anti-inflammatory agent for treating inflammatory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

There is an urgent need for developing new and safe therapies for treating inflammatory diseases as the commonly used agents of today such as steroids can result in severe side effects including damage to the liver.

This finding was disclosed in a study that was published May 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sunday 16, May 2010

  COPD patients using inhaled steroids at risk for severe pneumonia

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COPD patients using inhaled steroids at risk for severe pneumoniaMedical practitioners generally recommend inhaled steroids to patients affected by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) but a study has found out that these anti-inflammatory drugs could increase the risk of pneumonia.

It was remarked by the researchers that present inhaled corticosteroid use was linked with a significant 70 percent increase in the risk of being hospitalization for pneumonia. This remark came after evaluating a large cohort of patients with COPD.

These findings were reported in the second issue of the July American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.

Saturday 24, Apr 2010

  Risk of pneumonia can increase dramatically with inhaled corticosteroids

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Risk of pneumonia can increase dramatically with inhaled corticosteroidsA great sense of caution has been recommended by lung disease experts at John Hopkins when it comes to prescribing inhaled corticosteroid drugs to patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

This caution call was made after evidence was found suggesting that a widely used anti-inflammatory medication increases the risk of pneumonia by a full third.

It was remarked by the researchers that it is not clear why the corticosteroid treatment increases the risk but it is suspected that it is because corticosteroids suppress the immune system.

Pulmonologist M. Brad Drummond, M.D., M.H.S., led the study and was supported by Eddy Fan, M.D.; other researchers involved in this study, conducted solely at Hopkins, were Elliott Dasenbrook, M.D., M.H.S.; Marshall Pitz, M.D., M.H.S., now at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, Canada; and David Murphy, M.D.

Thursday 08, Apr 2010

  Pneumonia development possible with inhaled steroids

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Pneumonia development possible with inhaled steroidsMore and more patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are relying upon inhaled corticosteroids for controlling exacerbations of the disease but this practice does not get any support from a recent study.

The study found out that the anti-inflammatory drugs increase the risk of pneumonia development in such patients leading them to face hospitalization.

Pierre Ernst, M.D., a clinical epidemiologist at McGill University, Canada, along with three other researchers from the university’s department of medicine, analyzed hospitalization and drug prescription information from 1988-2003 of 175,906 patients with COPD and living in Quebec, Canada.

Monday 05, Apr 2010

  Corticosteroids useful for offering benefits to COPD patients

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Corticosteroids useful for offering benefits to COPD patientsPatients with COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and being administered with inhaled corticosteroids experienced lower mortality risk than their counterparts not on steroids, as per a new study published in the CHEST, peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP).

It was remarked by Christine Macie, MD, FCCP, Cambridge Hospital, Ontario, Canada and author of this study that COPD patients on corticosteroids benefit from longer survival durations.

Dr. Macie also said that patients on inhaled corticosteroids are relatively better positioned to stay protected than those not using them.

Thursday 01, Apr 2010

  Self-management education for COPD patients

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Self-management education for COPD patients  Hospital admissions can be reduced significantly among people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) because of self-management education programs, as per report by researchers in a new systematic review of studies.

Lead author Tanja Effing, an institutional researcher in the department of pulmonary medicine at the Medisch Spectrum Twente, a hospital in Enschede, the Netherlands, said that the most important finding is that self-management education is associated with significant and is clinically relevant for reductions in hospital admissions.

The review appeared in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, which is an international organization examining medical research.

Thursday 25, Mar 2010

  Mechanism behind increased lung inflammation identified

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Mechanism behind increased lung inflammation identifiedA mechanism that increases lung inflammation to make Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) more severe has been identified by an international team of researchers. This finding is expected to provide improved and alternative ways to develop new treatment options.

The research team from Imperial College London, Royal Brompton Hospital and the University of British Columbia reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that there is a correlation between increased lung inflammation and histone deacetylase (HDAC), a loss of activity in an enzyme responsible for switching off inflammatory genes and cells.

Professor Peter Barnes, from Imperial College London and the Royal Brompton Hospital, and senior author of the research, said that identification of this mechanism could be of great importance for treating COPD in the future.

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