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The efficacy and safety of triple inhaled treatment in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis using Bayesian methods

Authors Kwak M, Kim E, Jang EJ, Kim HJ, Lee C

Received 27 July 2015

Accepted for publication 14 September 2015

Published 3 November 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 2365—2376

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S93191

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Professor Hsiao-Chi Chuang

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Min-Sun Kwak,1 Eunyoung Kim,2 Eun Jin Jang,3 Hyun Jung Kim,4 Chang-Hoon Lee5

1Department of Internal Medicine, Healthcare Research Institute, Healthcare System Gangnam Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 2Department of Statistics, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Republic of Korea; 3Department of Information Statistics, Andong National University, Andong, Republic of Korea; 4Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea; 5Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Purpose: Although tiotropium (TIO) and inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/long-acting β-agonists are frequently prescribed together, the efficacy of “triple therapy” has not been scientifically demonstrated. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis using Bayesian methods to compare triple therapy and TIO monotherapy.
Methods: We searched the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases for randomized controlled trials comparing the efficacy and safety of triple therapy and TIO monotherapy in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We conducted a meta-analysis to compare the effectiveness and safety of triple therapy and TIO monotherapy using Bayesian random effects models.
Results: Seven trials were included, and the risk of bias in the majority of the studies was acceptable. There were no statistically significant differences in the incidence of death and acute exacerbation of disease in the triple therapy and TIO monotherapy groups. Triple therapy improved the prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second (mean difference [MD], 63.68 mL; 95% credible interval [CrI], 45.29–82.73), and patients receiving triple therapy showed more improvement in St George Respiratory Questionnaire scores (MD, -3.11 points; 95% CrI, -6.00 to -0.80) than patients receiving TIO monotherapy. However, both of these differences were lower than the minimal clinically important difference (MCID). No excessive adverse effects were reported in triple therapy group.
Conclusion: Triple therapy with TIO and ICSs/long-acting β-agonists was only slightly more efficacious than TIO monotherapy in treating patients with COPD. Further investigations into the efficacy of new inhaled drugs are needed.

Keywords: inhaled long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs), inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs), inhaled long-acting β2-agonists (LABAs), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

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