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Asthma

Why is She on Antibiotics for Weeks?

05/27/2010

Question:

My friend keeps getting lung infections, almost 2 times to 3 times a month and she has asthma. What would cause a lung infection that bad that she is on antibiotic for weeks?

Answer:

There are many possible causes for recurrent respiratory infections. In patients with asthma, the infections may trigger asthma flare-ups or exacerbations. Because asthma can be associated with increased secretions in the airways, asthma may make it more difficult to clear an infection, and it is possible that having asthmatic airways could thus predispose someone to recurrent or persistent episodes of infection.

Patients who have recurrent or persistent lung infections may have other problems, including but not limited to immune deficiencies, chronic bronchitis, smoking-related lung disease, structural abnormalities of the airways, or infections which are not being completely treated with the antibiotics that are being prescribed. Your friend's doctor should be able to discuss these possibilities with her in detail and evaluate for them if necessary.

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Response by:

Jennifer  McCallister, MD Jennifer McCallister, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University