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How safe are anticholinergics in patients with COPD?

Mark J Hew, Piersante Sestini and Louis B Irving
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (9): 468-469.
Published online: 4 May 2009

Guidance for clinicians on how to interpret conflicting evidence from recent studies

Patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have profound functional impairment and increased mortality.1 Inhaled bronchodilators, including the anticholinergic agents tiotropium bromide and ipratropium bromide, relieve symptoms and improve lung function and quality of life. Tiotropium also reduces COPD exacerbations and hospitalisations.2

  • Mark J Hew1
  • Piersante Sestini2
  • Louis B Irving1

  • 1 Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Ospedale Le Scotte, Istituto di Tisiologia e Malattie dell’ Apparato Respiratorio, Università degli Studi di Siena, Siena, Italy.

Correspondence: Mark.Hew@mh.org.au

Competing interests:

Mark Hew received travel assistance from AstraZeneca and Altana to attend three conferences in 2004–2005. Louis Irving has in the past received support from GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Boehringer Ingelheim to attend American and European Respiratory Society meetings and industry-supported educational meetings in Australia.

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