Clinical applications of azithromycin microspheres in respiratory tract infections

Francesco Blasi, Stefano Aliberti, Paolo Tarsia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Few adequately designed clinical trials have addressed optimal treatment duration in lower respiratory tract infections. Drugs possessing favourable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles may obtain early bacterial eradication allowing shorter treatment duration. This may be associated with a number of advantages including reduced resistance induction, increased compliance, lesser adverse events, and cost containment. Recently, a novel 2.0 g single dose of azithromycin microspheres has been compared with 7-day levofloxacin 500 mg or extended release clarithromycin in over 400 patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Clinical cure and bacteriological eradication rates, hospitalizations, and deaths were similar between azithromycin and comparators. Azitbromycin 2.0 g microspheres proved as effective as 7 days of levolloxacin 500 mg in acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis patients across all degrees of obstruction severity. In both settings Azithromycin microspheres obtained clinical cure in most patients barbouring macrolide-resistant Streplococcus pneumoniae strains. The drug was well tolerated in clinical studies and in healthy volunteers with modest and transitory adverse events. An undoubted advantage of single-dose azithromycin administration is the facility in ensuring that patients complete their prescribed course of therapy. A further advantage of single-dose therapy is the potential for use as directly-observed therapy, which may be useful in specific clinical conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-559
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Azithromycin mierospheres
  • COPD exacerbations
  • Pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery


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