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Comparative efficacy of inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta agonist combinations in preventing COPD exacerbations: a Bayesian network meta-analysis

Authors Oba Y, Lone N

Received 27 February 2014

Accepted for publication 24 March 2014

Published 12 May 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 469—479

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S48492

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Yuji Oba, Nazir A Lone

University of Missouri, School of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Environmental Medicine, Columbia, MO, USA

Background: A combination therapy with inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) and a long-acting beta agonist (LABA) is recommended in severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients experiencing frequent exacerbations. Currently, there are five ICS/LABA combination products available on the market. The purpose of this study was to systematically review the efficacy of various ICS/LABA combinations with a network meta-analysis.
Methods: Several databases and manufacturer's websites were searched for relevant clinical trials. Randomized control trials, at least 12 weeks duration, comparing an ICS/LABA combination with active control or placebo were included. Moderate and severe exacerbations were chosen as the outcome assessment criteria. The primary analyses were conducted with a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method.
Results: Most of the ICS/LABA combinations reduced moderate-to-severe exacerbations as compared with placebo and LABA, but none of them reduced severe exacerbations. However, many studies excluded patients receiving long-term oxygen therapy. Moderate-dose ICS was as effective as high-dose ICS in reducing exacerbations when combined with LABA.
Conclusion: ICS/LABA combinations had a class effect with regard to the prevention of COPD exacerbations. Moderate-dose ICS/LABA combination therapy would be sufficient for COPD patients when indicated. The efficacy of ICS/LABA combination therapy appeared modest and had no impact in reducing severe exacerbations. Further studies are needed to evaluate the efficacy of ICS/LABA combination therapy in severely affected COPD patients requiring long-term oxygen therapy.

Keywords: combination therapy


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