Q. I have had COPD for decades. After taking azithromycin for about 15 weeks I am feeling well for the first time in over 20 years.
A. A placebo-controlled study found that the antibiotic azithromycin can reduce flare-ups associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammatory condition that makes it difficult to breathe (New England Journal of Medicine, Aug. 25, 2011). The downsides of long-term azithromycin include hearing loss, digestive distress, rash, itching, dizziness or serious allergic reactions.