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Tuesday 01 October 2002

Acute effects of higher than customary doses of salmeterol and salbutamol in patients with acute exacerbation of COPD.

By: Cazzola M, Califano C, Di Perna F, D'Amato M, Terzano C, Matera MG, D'Amato G, Marsico SA.

Respir Med 2002 Oct;96(10):790-5

Worsening of underlying bronchospasm may be associated with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). As airway obstruction becomes more severe, the therapeutic option is to add salbutamol, but not salmeterol, as needed to cause rapid relief of bronchospasm. Unfortunately the most effective dosage of beta2-agonists may increase above that recommended during acute exacerbations. In this study, we compared the acute effects of higher than customary doses of salmeterol and salbutamol in 20 patients with acute exacerbation of COPD. A dose-response curve to salmeterol pMDI, 25 microg/puff or salbutamol pMDI, 100 microg/puff, was constructed using 1, 1, and 2 puff' i.e., a total cumulative dose of 100 microg salmeterol or 400 microg salbutamol on 2 consecutive days. After baseline measurements, dose increments were given at 30-min intervals with measurements being made 25 min after each dose. Hear rate (HR) and pulse-oximetry (SpO2) measurements were then taken. Both salmeterol and salbutamol induced a larg and significant (P < 0.05) dose-dependent increase in FEV1 [mean differences from baseline (L) = after 100 microg salmeterol 0.174 (95% CI: 0.112 to 0.237); after 400 microg salbutamol: 0.165 (95% CI: 0.080 to 0.249)], in IC [mean differences from baseline (L) = after 100 microg salmeterol: 0.332 (95% CI: 0.165 to 0.499); after 400 microg salbutamol: 0.281 (95% CI: 0.107 to 0.456)] (Fig. 2), and in FVC mean differences from baseline (L) = after 100 microg salmeterol: 0.224 (95% CI: 0.117 to 0.331); after 400 microg salbutamol: 0.242 (95% CI: 0.090 to 0.395)]. There was no significant difference between the FEV1 values (P=0.418), the ICvalues (P=0.585), and the FVCvalue (P=0.610) after 100 microg salmeterol and 400 microg salbutamol. HR [mean differences from baseline (beats/min) = after 100 microg salmeterol: 3.15 (95% CI: -0.65 to 6.96); after 400 microg salbutamol: 2.30 (95% CI: -0.91 to 5.51)] and SpO2 [mean differences from baseline (%) = after 100 microg salmeterol: -0.20 (95% CI: -1.00 to 0.60); after 400 microg salbutamol: -0.11 (95% CI: -1.00 to 0.79)] did not change significantly from baseline (P > 0.05). These data indicate that salmeterol is effective and safe in the treatment of acute exacerbation of COPD and support its use in this clinical condition.

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