prescription blueCOPD patients placed on azithromycin may have fewer hospitalizations due to exacerbations, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society in Philadelphia.

Researchers randomly assigned patients to receive a 12-month daily regimen of either a placebo or a dose of 250mg of azithromycin, a macrolide antibiotic used to treat infections caused by certain bacteria.

“We found that there was a significant delay from the first respiratory-related hospitalization to the next one among those treated with azithromycin,” said study lead author Fernando Martinez, MD, MS, director of pulmonary diagnostic services at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.

Fernandez noted that the results also held for re-hospitalizations due to any cause, not just respiratory issues. He added that more research is necessary to confirm the findings.