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Minocycline treatment results in reduced oral steroid requirements in adult asthma

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The tetracycline antibiotics have pleiotropic anti-inflammatory properties that may explain their therapeutic benefit in rheumatoid arthritis and acne. As these agents suppress both cellular and humoral immune responses, they may be of benefit in treating asthma and other allergic disorders. The purpose of this study was to determine whether minocycline therapy of asthma has steroid sparing effects beyond its inherent antibiotic properties. Adult asthmatic patients (n = 17) were treated with minocycline 150 mg p.o. twice daily or placebo for 8 weeks in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Patients were evaluated for clinical improvement in oral steroid requirements, spirometry, and symptom scores (Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire). They underwent assessment for preexisting infection (CT facial sinuses, Chlamydia pneumoniae nasopharyngeal culture, and C. pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae serology). Minocycline use was associated with a 30% reduction in mean daily prednisone use compared with placebo (8.8 mg versus 14.4 mg, respectively; p = 0.02). Pulmonary function testing showed improvement in forced vital capacity (FVC; percent predicted; p = 0.03) and improvement in actual FVC and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (percent predicted) approached statistical significance (p = 0.05 and 0.08, respectively). Minocycline treatment was associated with significant improvement in asthma symptoms brought on by environmental triggers (p = 0.01). This preliminary study of minocycline therapy showed oral steroid–sparing properties for those with moderate persistent and severe persistent asthma.
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Keywords: Asthma; Chlamydia pneumoniae; Mycoplasma pneumoniae; corticosteroid; immunoglobulin E; minocycline; oral prednisone; tetracycline

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Allergy and Asthma Research, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York

Publication date: 2008-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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