Doxycycline for outpatient-treated acute exacerbations of COPD: does it offers any additional value?
Despite its accepted role, a number of controversies persist regarding the use of antibiotics for exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The adequate selection of patients, the identification of biomarkers for treatment response, the adequacy to disease and exacerbation severities or the short-term impact on the exacerbation outcome in different settings remain some of the aspects under current debate (1,2). One specific topic that warrants investigation is the potential long-term impact of antibiotic prescription during exacerbations, specifically on the prevention of subsequent exacerbations. The question about whether a specific treatment during the exacerbation can have an impact on the long term preventing future acute episodes is intriguing. Beyond the potential rationale behind, the topic results to be not easy to face, since a number of factors associated with subsequent exacerbations or with re-admissions after an index event are well-known (3).