[Combination of inhaled salmeterol/fluticasone and tiotropium in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a randomised controlled trial]

Li-Zhou Fang, Xiao Liang, Jian-Qing Zhang, Ling Liu, Wei-Ping Fu, Zhi-Huan Zhao, Lu-Ming Dai
Chinese Journal of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases 2008, 31 (11): 811-4

OBJECTIVE: To observe the efficacy of combination therapy with inhaled salmeterol/fluticasone and tiotropium in reducing the frequency of acute episodes of symptom exacerbation and improving lung function and health status in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

METHODS: One hundred and twenty-six patients (M/F: 92/34) with COPD were treated in a randomised, parallel-group, controlled study with salmeterol/fluticasone (50/250 microg) twice daily and tiotropium 18 microg once daily (n = 33, M/F: 23/10); salmeterol/fluticasone (50/250 microg) twice daily (n = 32, M/F: 24/8); or tiotropium 18 microg once daily (n = 32, M/F: 23/9) for 12 months. Patients in the blank control group (n = 29, M/F: 22/7) did not receive any inhaled anticholinergic drugs, long-acting beta(2) agonists or glucocorticoid therapy. Intention-to-treat analysis (n = 161) and per-protocol analysis (n = 126, age 45 - 71 years) were performed.

RESULTS: Three active treatments significantly improved symptoms and health status. The use of rescue medication in the combination group [1 (0 - 7) time, 95% CI] was significantly decreased compared with those in the blank group [2 (0 - 29) times], salmeterol/fluticasone alone [2 (0 - 13) times], tiotropium alone [1 (0 - 11) time], F = 4.914, P < 0.01. The frequency of exacerbations in the combination group was (0.7 +/- 0.5) time, significantly lower than that in the blank group [(1.5 +/- 0.9) times], salmeterol/fluticasone alone [(1.2 +/- 0.6) times], and tiotropium alone [(1.1 +/- 0.5) times], F = 8.513, P < 0.01. The FEV(1) in the combination group after the trial was (1.19 +/- 0.03) L, significantly improved compared to that before treatment (1.09 +/- 0.04) L, a 9.5% increase, which was greater than the blank (0.9%), tiotropium alone (8.2%) and salmeterol/fluticasone alone (6.3%), t = -5.024 to -15.58, P < 0.01.

CONCLUSION: Combination therapy with salmeterol/fluticasone and tiotropium leads to better control of symptoms and improved lung function, with no greater risk of side-effects, as compared to salmeterol/fluticasone or tiotropium alone in the treatment of COPD.

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