I treat some cases of late-onset asthma with antibiotics, even though most doctors do not. Late-onset asthma is diagnosed when a person develops asthma after puberty that starts like an infection in the lungs and never leaves. I do not feel that late-onset asthma is caused by allergy or that allergy injections help control late-onset asthma.

Most physicians prescribe cortisone-type inhalers and when the inhalers stop working, they prescribe cortisone-type pills. Cortisone never cures asthma and the present treatment of people with late-onset with cortisone-type drugs can shorten their lives and increase their chances of suffering osteoporosis, obesity, and high blood pressure.

Ten years ago, David Hahn of the University of Wisconsin published a study showing that long-acting erythromycin antibiotics, such a Zithromax and Biaxin, can cure some cases of late-onset asthma. Most physicians ignored him, even though he has published four very good studies showing that antibiotics help control or cure late-onset asthma. This month's issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has an article by Dr. Richard Martin of the University of Colorado, showing that chlamydia and mycoplasma are found in the lungs of people with late-onset asthma. Practicing physicians cannot culture chlamydia or mycoplasma because the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is not available to them. Long-term treatment with Biaxin or minocycline antibiotics can help control and cure some patients with late-onset asthma.

Richard Martin: J Allergy and Clinical immunology April, 2001

Checked 8/9/05

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