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Salmeterol Reduces Dyspnea and Improves Lung Function in Patients With COPD

Alejandra Ramirez-Venegas; Joseph Ward; Timothy Lentine; Donald A. Mahler
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH.


1997 by the American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 1997;112(2):336-340. doi:10.1378/chest.112.2.336
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Abstract

Study objective: To investigate the short-term effects of inhaled salmeterol on the perception of dyspnea and lung function in patients with COPD

Design: Double-blind, crossover, randomized trial comparing inhaled salmeterol and inhaled placebo over 4 h.

Setting: Pulmonary function laboratory at university medical center.

Patients: Sixteen patients with symptomatic COPD and at least 200-mL increase in FEV1 after inhalation of two puffs (180 µg) of albuterol.

Interventions: Visit 1 was used for familiarization. At visits 2 and 3 (2 to 3 days apart), patients inhaled either two puffs of salmeterol (42 µg) or placebo.

Measurements and results: Lung function and dyspnea were measured at 0.5, 2, and 4 h after inhalation of the study medication. Dyspnea was measured by the −5 to +5 category scale at rest and by the 0 to 10 category-ratio scale while breathing through inspiratory resistances of 5, 15, and 30 cm H2O/L/s. Age was 66±8 years (mean±SD). FEV1 was 0.97±0.331 (51±13% predicted). There were significantly higher values for FEV1 and FVC (at all time periods) and lower values for functional residual capacity (at all time periods) and residual volume (at 4 h) with salmeterol than with placebo. There were significantly lower dyspnea ratings on the −5 to +5 category scale (p=0.03 at 2 h and p=0.02 at 4 h) and for the mean dyspnea scores during resistive breathing with salmeterol compared with placebo (p=0.002).

Conclusions: Inhaled salmeterol reduced dyspnea, increased airflow, and reduced hyperinflation over 4 h in patients with symptomatic COPD.


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