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Comparative efficacy of inhaled medications (ICS/LABA, LAMA, LAMA/LABA and SAMA) for COPD: a systematic review and network meta-analysis

Authors Abdul Aziz MI, Tan LE, Wu DB, Pearce F, Chua GSW, Lin L, Tan PT, Ng K

Received 8 May 2018

Accepted for publication 22 August 2018

Published 9 October 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 3203—3231


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Mohamed Ismail Abdul Aziz,1,* Ling Eng Tan,1,* David Bin-Chia Wu,1 Fiona Pearce,1 Gerald Seng Wee Chua,2 Liang Lin,1 Ping-Tee Tan,1 Kwong Ng1

1Agency for Care Effectiveness, Ministry of Health, Singapore; 2Division of Medicine, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, Singapore

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: To assess the comparative efficacy of short-acting muscarinic antagonists (SAMAs), long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs), LAMA in combination with long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs; LAMA/LABAs) and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in combination with LABA (ICS/LABAs) for the maintenance treatment of COPD.
Materials and methods: We systematically reviewed 74 randomized controlled trials (74,832 participants) published up to 15 November 2017, which compared any of the interventions (SAMA [ipratropium], LAMA [aclidinium, glycopyrronium, tiotropium, umeclidinium], LAMA/LABA [aclidinium/formoterol, indacaterol/glycopyrronium, tiotropium/olodaterol, umeclidinium/vilanterol] and ICS/LABA [fluticasone/vilanterol, budesonide/formoterol, salmeterol/fluticasone]) with each other or with placebo. A random-effects network meta-analysis combining direct and indirect evidence was conducted to examine the change from baseline in trough FEV1, transition dyspnea index, St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire and frequency of adverse events at weeks 12 and 24.
Results: Inconsistency models were not statistically significant for all outcomes. LAMAs, LAMA/LABAs and ICS/LABAs led to a significantly greater improvement in trough FEV1 compared with placebo and SAMA monotherapy at weeks 12 and 24. All LAMA/LABAs, except aclidinium/formoterol, were statistically significantly better than LAMA monotherapy and ICS/LABAs in improving trough FEV1. Among the LAMAs, umeclidinium showed statistically significant improvement in trough FEV1 at week 12 compared to tiotropium and glycopyrronium, but the results were not clinically significant. LAMA/LABAs had the highest probabilities of being ranked the best agents in FEV1 improvement. Similar trends were observed for the transition dyspnea index and St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire outcomes. There were no significant differences in the incidences of adverse events among all treatment options.
Conclusion: LAMA/LABA showed the greatest improvement in trough FEV1 at weeks 12 and 24 compared with the other inhaled drug classes, while SAMA showed the least improvement. There were no significant differences among the LAMAs and LAMA/LABAs within their respective classes.

Keywords: anticholinergics, muscarinic antagonists, frequentist meta-analysis, mixed treatment comparison, indirect treatment comparison, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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