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Curing Asthma By Eliminating An Underlying Fungal Infection

Are some hard-to-treat asthma cases caused by an infection? Research suggests that may be the case. Curing asthma is not easy, but some people say it is possible.
Curing Asthma By Eliminating An Underlying Fungal Infection

Asthma is often perceived as a life-long condition that cannot be cured. Millions of people are prescribed corticosteroid drugs and bronchodilators for years if not for decades. Many absolutely must take such medications to keep airways open and avoid ending up in the emergency department. Others, however, may be suffering from an inflammatory reaction triggered by a smoldering infection. This reader shares a story about actually curing asthma:

Curing Asthma with Antifungal Meds?

Q. Several years ago, I developed asthma. I really thought that I would die from it one day. If I was late with my inhaler, I would start to wheeze.

Fast forward to the following story. One day I saw the PA at my doctor’s office. I told her that I thought I might have a low-grade thrush infection in my mouth. She prescribed an antifungal oral troche. In less than 24 hours I was off my steroid inhalers, never to need them again. I have been symptom free for three years.

Is Curing Asthma Possible with Antifungal Medicine?

A. The underlying causes of asthma can be difficult to diagnose. Many people have breathing difficulties due to an allergic reaction. In some cases, the wheezing can be triggered by a fungal infection (Journal of Asthma, Sept. 2016).  Antifungal medication can be helpful in situations like yours.

Not The First Time We Have Heard This Story:

A few months ago we heard from a pharmacist who had a similar story to share. His wife developed asthma as a child. She suffered breathing problems for decades.

Then she developed nail fungus in middle age. Learn about her experience with Sporanox here:

Can You Cure Asthma With Antifungal Medicine?

You will also find out about some serious Sporanox (itraconazole) side effects at this link.

What About Bacterial Infections and Asthma?

Other research suggests that some hard-to-treat asthma cases could be related to a chronic bacterial infection in the airways (Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America, Aug. 2016).  A placebo-controlled trial found that antibiotic treatment with azithromycin helped patients with persistent and challenging asthma (Lancet, Aug. 12, 2017).

The Australian researchers concluded that:

“…add-on therapy with azithromycin is effective and safe in adult patients with uncontrolled asthma despite treatment with inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta agonists.”

You can learn more about the Australian AMAZES clinical trial at this link:

Azithromycin for Asthma AMAZES

In the above comment section, you will read a thoughtful exchange about a link with this kind of macrolide antibiotic and hearing loss.

Reader Stories:

It is crucial to understand that not all asthma is related to infection. Some is caused by allergy. Other cases are brought on by cold air or exercise. There is a lot we do not understand about asthma.

It is also important to rule any underlying causative factors. Treating symptoms without resolving the reasons for those symptoms can also be problematic. Here are some readers who have shared their experienced.

Sherry in Charlotte, NC did get long-lasting benefit from an antibiotic:

“Finally, after a year of extreme asthma symptoms that were not helped by Advair, etc. and CT scan, my pulmonologist finally prescribed long term azithromycin. I was told to take 3 pills a week over 6 months. Beginning at week 4, I already felt better. I no longer needed a rescue inhaler. I still have a long way to go.”

Sunni noticed benefit after several months:

“Yes, it works! I suffered with adult-onset ‘asthma’ for 8 years. It started after a chest cold one fall. I was always suspicious that it was actually a chronic infection. No doctor would listen.

“It took me years to find a doctor who was willing to try a multi-antibiotic long term treatment. It took several months of a combination of azithromycin and doxycycline, then a month of amoxicillin and doxycycline to finally nip it in the bud. But now it’s been a year since the antibiotics and no more asthma! No more meds!”

Sherri in Kansas shares her son’s story:

“My son was cured of moderate asthma after twelve years of suffering with asthma attacks. Zithromax works. My five year old grandson is now being treated with Zithromax for mild asthma. He says he feels like a new person already and his treatment still has a few weeks to go.”

Diane got benefit after antibiotics post flu:

“I know that I was cured of asthma after many years on Proventil and Advair. I had the flu and subsequently 2 treatments with Zithromax. After that, no asthma. That was about 8 years ago.”

Antibiotics Have Side Effects:

No one should try to badger a physician into prescribing antibiotics for asthma. Drugs like azithromycin have some serious side effects and a doctor must weight them carefully before prescribing such a treatment regimen. But doctors also have the responsibility to stay up with the latest scientific studies.

You can learn more about a connection between infection and asthma in the book, A Cure for Asthma? by Dr. David Hahn. It is available at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. There are also a list of side effects to watch out for with azithromycin. Dr. Hahn offers a dosing regimen for physicians to consider. Doctors may find the scientific research cited in the book of great interest.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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