bronchiolitis: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial F. Tahan*, A. Ozcan # and N. Koc " ABSTRACT: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis is the most common lower respiratory tract infection in infancy. To date, there is no effective therapy for RSV bronchiolitis. In order to investigate the efficacy of clarithromycin in the treatment of RSV bronchiolitis, the present authors conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comparing clarithromycin with placebo in 21 infants with a diagnosis of RSV bronchiolitis. The infants were randomised to receive clarithromycin or placebo daily for 3 weeks. Levels of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-8, eotaxin, and interferon-c were determined in plasma, before and after treatment, using ELISA. Six months after treatment, parents were surveyed as to whether their child had experienced wheezing within the previous 6 months. Treatment with clarithromycin was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the length of hospital stay, the duration of need for supplemental oxygen and the need for b 2-agonist treatment. There were significant decreases in plasma IL-4, IL-8 and eotaxin levels after 3 weeks of treatment with clarithromycin. Readmission to the hospital within 6 months after discharge was significantly lower in the clarithromycin group. In conclusion, clarithromycin has statistically significant effects on the clinical and laboratory findings in respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis. Therefore, clarithromycin treatment may be helpful in reducing the short-term effects of respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis
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