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Safety and tolerability of inhalational anticholinergics in COPD

Authors Sharafkhaneh A, Majid H, Gross N

Received 13 July 2012

Accepted for publication 30 October 2012

Published 8 March 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 49—55


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Amir Sharafkhaneh,1,2 Hashir Majid,3 Nicholas J Gross4

1Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Houston, USA; 2Sleep Disorders Center, Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, USA; 3Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan; 4Stritch School of Medicine Illinois, St Francis Hospital, Hartford, USA

Abstract: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. With the significant toll of the disease, more resources have been invested in developing new treatment modalities. Among these medications, inhalational anticholinergics are widely used for the management of stable COPD. The newer agents, with longer half-lives and better safety profiles, have emerged and helped to improve management of COPD patients. The available data from randomized clinical trials support use of these agents. Multiple randomized clinical trials show safety and efficacy of the newer long-acting inhaled anticholinergics, including tiotropium and aclidinium. A recent meta-analysis of tiotropium delivered with Respimat® raised some safety concerns. A large trial, comparing different doses and delivery methods of inhaled tiotropium, is ongoing to determine the effect on mortality. As clinical trials may not comprehensively represent the entire COPD population, caution should be exercised when these agents are used in higher-risk populations, like individuals with cardiac arrhythmias or urinary obstruction. In this publication, we review the safety of inhalational anticholinergics.

Keywords: tiotropium, cardiovascular side effects, arrhythmia, stroke, aclidinium

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