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Effect of add-on therapy of tiotropium in COPD treated with theophylline

Authors Kawayama T, Hoshino T, Ichiki M, Tsuda T, Kinoshita M, Takata S, Koga T, Iwanaga T, Aizawa H

Published 7 March 2008 Volume 2008:3(1) Pages 137—147


Tomotaka Kawayama1, Tomoaki Hoshino1, Masao Ichiki2, Toru Tsuda3, Masaharu Kinoshita4, Shohei Takata5, Takeharu Koga1, Tomoaki Iwanaga1, Hisamichi Aizawa1, Kurume COPD Study Group*

1Department of Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan; 2Division of Respiratory Medicine, National Hospital Organization Kyushu Medical Center, Fukuoka, Japan; 3Tsuda Hospital, Kitakyushu, Japan; 4Nagata Hospital, Yanagawa, Japan; 5National Hospital Organization Fukuoka-Higashi Medical Center, Fukuoka, Japan

Background: Although combination therapy with bronchodilators is recommended for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there is insufficient evidence for the efficacy of some combinations of long-acting bronchodilators.

Objective: We investigated the effects of a combination therapy with tiotropium and theophylline in COPD patients.

Methods: In a 12-week, open-labeled, parallel-group randomized study, pulmonary functions and dyspnea scores were compared between the combination and theophylline alone therapy at baseline, and 4 and 8 weeks after randomization in COPD.

Results: Sixty-one COPD patients completed the trial (31 combination therapy, 30 theophylline alone; mean age 70 years; 58 males; mean dyspnea score 2.0 and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 1.5 L [62.5% predicted]). FEV1 in the combination group, but not in the theophylline alone, was significantly increased at 4 (1.56 ± 0.13 L, p < 0.001) and 8 weeks (1.60 ± 0.13 L, p < 0.001) from the baseline (1.40 ± 0.12 L). In the combination group, but not the theophylline alone group, the dyspnea score was significantly improved after 4 (p < 0.01) and 8 weeks (p < 0.05) compared with baseline. In 17 patients who did not receive theophylline at screening, treatment with 4 or 8 weeks of theophylline alone did not improve dyspnea score or FEV1.

Conclusion: Addition of tiotropium therapy to theophylline treatment can improve dyspnea and pulmonary function in COPD. Although this study did not assess whether there was any benefit of adding theophylline to patients treated with tiotropium, tiotropium can be a useful addition in COPD already treated with theophylline.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, long acting anticholinergics agent, tiotropium, slow release theophylline, combination therapy

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