Tiotropium (SPIRIVA®) in mild COPD: Is it worth it?

Lina Mahmoud, Hannah Ng, Jade Roberts


Purpose:Tiotropium (SPIRIVA®) is used in the treatment of moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in patients with persistent dyspnea despite using a short acting bronchodilator (SABD).This paper explores the role of tiotropium in the treatment of mild COPD. Methods:The Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Pubmed, and Clinicaltrials.gov were searched on February 2018.We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated tiotropium in patients with mild COPD.Three authors assessed studies for eligibility. Outcomes included symptoms, quality of life, exercise duration, lung function, COPD exacerbations and hospitalizations, and serious adverse events. Results: Three RCTs were selected as the best available evidence. Based on the results of the main trial, quality of life and symptoms were improved with tiotropium as compared to placebo with a difference between groups at 24 months to be 1.2 (95% CI: 0.5 to 1.9; p=0.0011) using the COPD Assessment test (CAT) score. Frequency of acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) requiring hospitalization was reduced by 10.3% (28.9% with tiotropium vs 39.2% with placebo) in patients receiving tiotropium. One RCT reported no statistically significant difference in exercise duration (27 ± 27 secs) in the tiotropium group vs 50 ± 21 secs in the placebo group; (p=0.4153). Oropharyngeal discomfort was more common with tiotropium (number needed to harm of 12) compared to placebo. Conclusions: Evidence suggests that tiotropium may reduce COPD exacerbations and hospitalizations and improve quality of life in patients with mild COPD.There is an increased risk of oropharyngeal discomfort with tiotropium.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15273/dmj.Vol46No1.9827


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