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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-10

Macrolide antibiotics: 25 years of use and the future treatment of common diseases


Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8603, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Arata Azuma
Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8603
Japan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2225-6482.141746

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The novel mechanism of action of macrolides was discovered when a significant improvement in the survival of patients with diffuse panbronchiolitis (DPB) receiving low dose of erythromycin was observed, and when their beneficial effect was found to be independent of their anti-microbial activity. Macrolides that are members of the 14- and 15-ring groups show beneficial effects against DPB but not those of the 16-ring groups. We could recognize these effects of macrolides because their administration was associated with reduced inflammatory response in chronic airway diseases including upper- and lower-respiratory tract infections. The anti-inflammatory action of macrolides during infections by bacteria and virus with high virulence has been recently the focus of several studies. Thus, this interesting anti-inflammatory effect of macrolide is currently being assessed not only in the rare condition of DPB but also in common diseases such as viral airway infection. In this review, we will summarize the use of macrolides in common and rare diseases during the past 25 years.


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