New drug-combo therapy more beneficial for patients with severe COPD

December 29th, 2007 - 1:02 pm ICT by admin  


Washington, Dec 29 (ANI): A new study has found that patients with severe Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) might benefit more from a new therapy that combines salmeterol and fluticasone [SFC] rather than the standard treatment with tiotropium.

The study was the first to directly compare the two different treatment approaches.

Although we found no difference in the overall rate of exacerbations between treatment groups, SFC treatment was associated with better health status, fewer patient withdrawals, and a lower mortality rate than occurred during tiotropium therapy, said Jadwiga Wedzicha, M.D., of the Royal Free & University College Medical School in London, lead author of the study.

For the study, researchers enrolled 1,323 patients with severe COPD and randomised them to receive one of two treatments, either SFC or tiotropium, for two years.

They looked at the number and type of exacerbations. They also used a standardised questionnaire, St. Georges Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), to evaluate the overall respiratory conditions of the patients lung function and how long people remained in the study.

Researchers did not find a statistical difference in the number of exacerbations but they did find differences regarding the health status of the patients.

Results showed that treating people with the new therapy improved health status, lowered mortality rate and reduced fewer withdrawals than people treated with the standard procedure.

This finding provides indirect evidence that these treatments affect apparently similar patients in different ways that affect clinical judgment. This difference warrants further study to determine the factors that affect therapeutic choice, Dr. Wedzicha said.

The SGRQ also showed that there was a statistically significant improvement in the overall respiratory function and quality of life of patients who underwent the new treatment as compared to the standard treatment.

The most interesting part, according to researchers, was the significant reduction in mortality rates observed with the new treatment. Overall, there was more than a 50 percent reduction.

The study is published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. (ANI)

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