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Editorial: Which bronchodilator in COPD? || FREE PAPER ||

Authors Richard Russell, Dave Singh

Published 15 July 2007 Volume 2007:2(2) Pages 93—94

Richard Russell1, Dave Singh2

1Wexham Park Hospital, Berkshire, UK; 2Northwest Lung Research Centre, South Manchester University Hospitals Trust, Manchester, UK

Abstract: There have been few developments in the pharmacotherapy of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that have been so eagerly awaited as that of a long acting anticholinergic compound. For the first time there was a treatment available which was designed with COPD specifically in mind. This was not an asthma treatment that had been tried in COPD with more hope than expectation. Tiotropium has now been available in Europe for 5 years and in the US for 3. Has this drug lived up to the expectations with which it was greeted?

In this edition of the International Journal of COPD we publish two papers which review the data for the efficacy of Tiotropium and compare its effects with long acting beta-agonists. The analysis of Rice and colleagues (2007) clearly demonstrates that Tiotropium is an effective bronchodilator in COPD patients. Peak and trough forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) measurements were significantly increased and these changes were sustained throughout the study periods (up to 1 year). Exacerbations of COPD are of great importance to patients, medical staff and medical funding bodies. The finding of a reduction in exacerbation rate and hospital admissions is thus of significance.

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