Most people with COPD are on some form of long acting bronchodilator – and quite often in Australia, they’re on both a beta agonist and an anticholinergic. Which one of the two is actually better in preventing exacerbations?
The study is slightly different to how Australian patients are often treated – as mentioned above, patients here are often on both agents (along with an inhaled corticosteroid), whereas the study randomised the patients to either one. In any case, it looks like tiotropium may be doing most of the work, as it reduced the time to first exacerbation, and reduced the number of exacerbations over all.
Looking at the GOLD guidelines, they suggest that choosing between the bronchodilators is based on patient response – I guess there’s one more reason now to lean towards tiotropium.
Check out the study here.
After you’ve read the above, go update yourself on COPD – the two places to go are the international GOLD guidelines (which have a great little At-A-Glance reference), as well as the local Australian made COPD-X guidelines.
image Neil T