A new Cochrane review on the effectiveness of prolonged antibiotics was published today

The review highlighted the paucity of data in bronchiectasis, identifying few trials and only 1157 patients studied across the 18 eligible trials. Nevertheless the study found a significant reduction in the frequency of exacerbations in patients treated with long term antibiotics (including macrolides, oral antibiotics and inhaled antibiotics). Of note, the study also suggested that hospital admissions are reduced (50 for every 1000 patients treated). This is a very important finding supporting the use of long term antibiotics.

The review highlights the limited data available, and uncertainty over the optimal patient population in which to use the treatments. Excessive use of prolonged antibiotics will increase antibiotic resistance and puts patients at risk of adverse events.

Read more here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26270620