NSAID vs. antibiotic for acute bronchitis?

2 Dec

interesting study from some primary care centers in Spain:

QUICK HITS:

416 adults, randomized to 3 groups (with 10-day courses of meds):

  • ibuprofen 600mg TID
  • amoxicillin-clavulanic acid 500/125mg TID
  • placebo TID

 

inclusion criteria: respiratory symptoms <1 week, cough as predominant symptom, discolored sputum, and at least one other lower respiratory symptom (e.g. dyspnea, wheeze, chest discomfort/pain).

exclusion criteria included notably: signs of pneumonia on X-Ray, asthma, COPD, CHF, immunosuppresion

 

still had smokers in the study, though (~50 former smokers in each group, ~20 current smokers in each group)

more adverse events in antibiotic group (12%) than other groups (5% & 3%) — mostly GI symptoms, a couple allergic reactions

NO DIFFERENCE IN THE NUMBER OF DAYS WITH FREQUENT COUGH (approx. 9-11 days) BETWEEN TREATMENT GROUPS

 

TAKEAWAYS:

acute bronchitis is mainly a viral infection

mostly self-limiting

neither antibiotics nor ibuprofen reduced the duration of cough (which is a bothersome symptom)

 

References: article; picture

 

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