Tsang, K. W. and Roberts, P. and Read, R. C. and Kees, Frieder and Wilson, R. and Cole, P. J.
The concentrations of clarithromycin and its 14-hydroxy metabolite in sputum of patients with bronchiectasis following single dose oral administration.
The Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy 33 (2), pp. 289-297.
Clarithromycin and its metabolite, 14-hydroxy-clarithromycin are active against a wide range of respiratory pathogens. Antibiotics generally penetrate poorly into respiratory secretions which may therefore continue to harbour bacteria following bronchial infection. We have studied sputum and serum concentrations of clarithromycin and 14-hydroxy-clarithromycin in eight patients with idiopathic bronchiectasis without infective exacerbations (five male, three female; mean age 53.3 years). Oral single dose administration of 250 or 500 mg clarithromycin, separated by at least 6 days, was given to each patient. Serum and sputum samples were collected (the latter by physiotherapy at 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 24 and 0, 4, 8 and 24 h respectively after administration of each dose. Serum sol phase was obtained by high speed centrifugation and concentrations of clarithromycin and 14-hydroxy-clarithromycin were determined by high performance liquid chromatography. Serum Cmax for clarithromycin and 14-hydroxy-clarithromycin were 1.20 mg/L (3 h) and 0.37 mg/L (3.1 h) for clarithromycin (250 mg)) and were 2.78 mg/L (2.5 h) and 0.68 mg/L (2.6 h) for clarithromycin (500 mg) respectively. Sputum Cmax for clarithromycin and 14-hydroxy-clarithromycin were 0.52 mg/L (5 h) and 0.30 mg/L (5.5 h) for clarithromycin (250 mg) and were 1.59 mg/L (5 h) and 0.47 mg/L (5.5 h) for clarithromycin (500 mg) respectively. The sputum/serum percentage ratios at Cmax (sputum) for clarithromycin and 14-hydroxy-clarithromycin were 74.3% and 113.9% (250 mg) and 94.7% and 99.9% (500 mg) respectively. We conclude that oral administration of clarithromycin to patients with bronchiectasis results in rapid penetration into respiratory mucus with persistent drug concentrations that exceed its MIC for many respiratory pathogens.