The MASTER Study
The MASTER study is a new initiative to promote appropriate use of low-dose long-term macrolide antibiotics such as azithromycin, clarithromycin, roxithromycin and erythromycin in the management of respiratory diseases such as asthma, COPD and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. Although these drugs are effective, it is not clear for how long the treatment should be continued. Guidelines recommend a treatment duration of 6-12 months. They also recommend a drug break each year. The MASTER study is investigating whether it is possible to stop these drugs permanently or at least temporarily after undergoing a certain period of treatment.
We are looking for participants who are currently taking azithromycin, clarithromycin, roxithromycin or erythromycin for the treatment of asthma, COPD or bronchiectasis for at least six months. Participants will be randomised to one of the two study groups. Participants in both groups will stop the current macrolide during the Australian summer season as we anticipate that the summer season would be the best time to try medication withdrawal in respiratory diseases. After stopping the current macrolide, group 1 will start an equivalent macrolide which will be azithromycin, and group 2 will start an identical placebo.
The main highlights of the MASTER study include:
- A telehealth-based study: all assessments and follow-ups are completed over the phone
- No travel required
- Allocated medications will be mailed to the participants’ home address free of charge
- Flexible interview schedule to suit the participants’ convenience
For a detailed description of the MASTER study including eligibility criteria, please read our participant information sheet.