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Clinical Investigations: SMOKING/COPD |

Analysis of Inhaled Corticosteroid and Oral Theophylline Use Among Patients With Stable COPD from 1987 to 1995*

Amy E. Van Andel, DVM, MPH; Colin Reisner, MD, FCCP; Shailendra S. Menjoge, PhD; Ted J. Witek, DrPH
Author and Funding Information

*From Clinical Research and Biometrics, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Ridgefield, CT.



Chest. 1999;115(3):703-707. doi:10.1378/chest.115.3.703
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Study objective: To document temporal usage trends for commonly used respiratory medications in patients with COPD.

Design: We retrospectively evaluated baseline concomitant medications of 3,720 patients with COPD enrolled in 10 bronchodilator clinical trials from 1987 to 1995. The proportion of patients in each trial using inhaled corticosteroids, inhaled β-adrenergics, inhaled anticholinergics, oral theophylline, and oral corticosteroids was analyzed using the Cochran-Armitage trend test.

Patients: All patients had stable, moderate-to-severe COPD without evidence of asthma or atopy. Reversibility to β-agonists was not a requirement.

Results: The percentage of patients using inhaled corticosteroids increased significantly over time (p < 0.001) from 13.2% in 1987 to 41.4% in 1995. The percentage of patients receiving oral theophylline decreased significantly (p < 0.001) over this same time interval (63.4 to 29.0%). In addition, the percentage of patients using oral corticosteroids and the percentage using oral β-adrenergics decreased moderately (p < 0.05) (30.1 to 16.4% and 11.7 to 4.5%, respectively); the percentage of patients using inhaled anticholinergics increased slowly (p < 0.05) (48.2 to 53.8%). The percentage of patients receiving inhaled β-adrenergics did not significantly (p > 0.05) change.

Conclusions: The observed changes in use of inhaled corticosteroids and theophylline were not likely related to differences in disease severity or other patient characteristics in the evaluated trials, but related to changing prescribing and COPD management practices.

Abbreviations: CCS = corticosteroids

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