Review: antibiotics have a slight beneficial effect on acute bronchitis
QUESTION: In patients with acute bronchitis, do antibiotic drugs reduce sputum production, cough, or days off work?
English language studies were identified in Medline (1966 to April 1998) using the terms drug therapy, bronchitis, and acute disease; the reference lists of relevant articles were reviewed, and experts in the field were contacted.
Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials that compared antibiotics with placebo in patients who had acute bronchitis, but no history of chronic lung disease or pneumonia; treatment was given for ≥5 days; and effect sizes could be calculated from the data presented.
Data were extracted on sample size, …