Antibiotics for asthma: effectiveness and proven treatments

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects 1 in 13 The people of the United States. It causes narrowing of the airways that can interfere with breathing.

Currently, Research The use of antibiotics for asthma is only supported in certain cases, such as when laboratory test results confirm the presence of a bacterial infection.

The causes of asthma are not clear. Some of the factors that may contribute to its development include:

Researchers continue to examine whether antibiotics may help treat asthma symptoms. Keep reading to learn how antibiotics work and what researchers have found so far.

Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and prevent their growth. The discovery of antibiotics revolutionized modern medicine. In just over 100 years since antibiotics were first discovered, human lifespan has increased by an 23 years.

Antibiotics are not effective in treating viral, fungal, or parasitic infections. Search It indicates that bacterial infections play a secondary role in asthma flare-ups, while viral infections play a major role.

Doctors try to avoid prescribing unnecessary antibiotics because they can cause side effects and contribute to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when drugs designed to kill certain strands of bacteria stop working.

according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Antibiotic resistance is one of the most pressing threats to public health. It leads to at least 23,000 deaths annually in the United States.

A short-term worsening of asthma symptoms is referred to as an asthma attack, flare-up, or exacerbation. In theory, antibiotics could help kill the bacteria that contribute to asthma attacks. But bacterial infections seem to make up a small percentage of episodes.

In many cases, the risks of overprescribing antibiotics to doctors may outweigh the benefits. The researchers did not find sufficient evidence to justify prescribing antibiotics outside of specific situations, such as a confirmed bacterial infection.

in 2017 study Examining the medical files of 100 women in the hospital, researchers found that respiratory infections caused nearly three-quarters of their asthma attacks.

About half of these women were prescribed antibiotics, but only 7% of them tested positive for the bacterial infection. The women prescribed antibiotics stayed in the hospital an average of 2.35 days longer, but both groups of women had good results.

Likewise, significantly Study 2020 With 110,418 participants, researchers found that people with acute lower respiratory tract infections were treated with antibiotics.

in 2018 review of six studiesResearchers have investigated whether antibiotics are safe and beneficial for people with asthma attacks. They concluded that their study findings support the position of the British Thoracic Society’s guidelines that doctors should not routinely prescribe antibiotics for asthma.

Researchers have found limited evidence that giving antibiotics at the time of an attack may lead to more symptom-free days, but results have been inconsistent across studies. The researchers had low confidence in the results.

When is it recommended to use antibiotics?

Antibiotics may help treat asthma symptoms in people with a confirmed bacterial infection in the respiratory tract. types of bacteria Asthma flare-ups include:

  • Mycoplasma pneumonia
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • chlamydia pneumoniae
  • Moraxella catarrhalis

The antibiotic azithromycin Sometimes included As a treatment option for severe asthma that does not respond to other treatments in guiding rules Affiliate:

  • Global Asthma Initiative
  • European Respiratory Society/American Thoracic Society
  • British Thoracic Society

in Study 2021And the Researchers have found evidence that antibiotics may improve symptoms in people with hard-to-treat asthma. Of the 101 people in the study with asthma, 61.4% also had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and 77% said their symptoms began after respiratory illness.

Exposure to antibiotics early in life, especially antibiotics to treat respiratory infections, may increase the risk of developing asthma later in life. Search It indicates that the association is stronger in children and younger women.

in 2022 Study of rodentsResearchers have found evidence that early exposure to antibiotics may cause asthma and allergies by killing healthy bacteria in the digestive system.

four The main types of medications are used to treat asthma. They include:

  • Quick Relief Medicines: Quick-relief medicines are usually given through an inhaler and are only used to treat asthma attacks. They include short-acting, rapid-acting beta-agonists and anticholinergic bronchodilators.
  • Control drugs: These medications are used to correct long-term swelling and excess mucus in the airways. They include anti-inflammatories, anticholinergics, and long-acting bronchodilators.
  • A combination of quick-relief and control medications: These medications provide short- and long-term relief from asthma symptoms. However, it has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose.
  • biology: Doctors may prescribe biologic drugs when other treatments don’t work or to control a particular trigger. These medications reduce inflammation by targeting proteins made in your immune system called antibodies.

Avoiding asthma triggers may also help you manage your symptoms. Popular Triggers Include:

  • Stress
  • Intense exercise (but it is not recommended to avoid exercise completely)
  • extreme temperatures
  • Some medicines such as aspirin
  • Smoke, pollution, fumes, and other irritants in the air
  • Allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, or animal dander

Most medical guidelines recommend the use of antibiotics for asthma only when asthma has not responded to other treatments or laboratory test results confirm the presence of a bacterial infection.

Respiratory infections are a common cause of asthma attacks, but viruses seem to cause most infections. Unnecessary use of antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic resistance and cause side effects.