A study recently published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology showed that inhaled tiotropium is a safe and effective therapy for adolescents with moderate to severe asthma. The study conducted by researchers at the Hospital Central de las Fuerzas Armadas in Uruguay and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Chile, and is entitled “Tiotropium for the treatment of adolescents with moderate to severe symptomatic asthma: a systematic review with meta-analysis.”
Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory lung disease characterized by airflow obstruction that causes wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. The respiratory disorder is estimated to affect 27 million individuals in the United States.
Tiotropium is a long-acting bronchodilator used in the management of pulmonary diseases. Its safety and efficacy in the treatment of asthma in adolescents is, however, not well established.
In the study, researchers conducted a systematic review of placebo-controlled, randomized trials based on the use of inhaled tiotropium in adolescents experiencing moderate to severe asthma. In total, three studies were considered, comprising 895 patients aged 12 to 18 years. The primary outcome was defined as improvements in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), an important measure of pulmonary function.
Researchers found that tiotropium therapy was associated with a significant improvement in FEV1 in comparison to patients under a placebo treatment. In addition, tiotropium was also found to reduce the number of patients experiencing a worse asthma exacerbation or episode, and also the number of patients with at least one exacerbation in comparison to patients in the placebo group. The team found no significant differences between tiotropium therapy and placebo in terms of rescue medication use, withdrawals, adverse events and serious adverse events. Tiotropium has been administered in doses of 2.5 or 5.0 μg once daily, with both drug regimens yielding similar clinical outcomes.
The research team concluded that tiotropium is well-tolerated by asthma patients and it could be considered an effective additional therapy in adolescents with moderate to severe asthma.
“This systematic review of tiotropium for adolescents with symptomatic moderate to severe asthma suggests that tiotropium administered via an inhaler is well tolerated and efficacious as an addition to maintenance treatment with [inhaled corticosteroids] or [inhaled corticosteroids] plus [long-acting beta agonist],” concluded the research team according to a news release. “Available data do not suggest an advantage of the 5 µg once-daily dose compared with the 2.5 µg once-daily dose.”
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