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The evolving role of tiotropium in asthma

Authors McIvor ER, McIvor RA

Received 27 April 2017

Accepted for publication 5 July 2017

Published 14 August 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 231—236

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JAA.S140577

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Luis Garcia-Marcos


Emma R McIvor,1 R Andrew McIvor2

1Queen’s University, Belfast, UK; 2Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


Abstract: Tiotropium is a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) that exerts its bronchodilatory effect by blocking endogenous acetylcholine receptors in the airways. Its safety and efficacy are well established for the treatment of COPD, and it is now being recognized for its role in improving lung function and control in asthma. This review discusses the evolving role of tiotropium delivered by the Respimat® in patients across the range of asthma severities and ages, and provides an overview of safety and efficacy data. Tiotropium is the only LAMA currently approved for the treatment of asthma, and evidence from a large-scale clinical trial program, including several Phase III studies in adults, has demonstrated that tiotropium improves lung function and asthma control, with a safety profile comparable with that of placebo. Clinical trials in adolescent patients (aged 12–17 years) have also shown improvements in lung function and trends toward improved asthma control. Of note, the efficacy and safety profiles are consistent regardless of baseline characteristics and phenotype. Given the large and growing body of evidence, it is likely that as clinical experience with tiotropium increases, this treatment may possibly emerge as the key choice for add-on therapy to inhaled corticosteroids/long-acting β2-agonists, and in patients who do not tolerate long-acting bronchodilators or other medications, in the future.

Keywords: tiotropium, anticholinergics, asthma, efficacy

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