Single Dose of Tiotropium Improves the 6-Minute Walk Distance in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a single dose of tiotropium on the exercise capacity of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. The study was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over study. Forty-four stable COPD patients with moderate to severe airway obstruction were selected according to the GOLD criteria. The regular anticholinergic therapies of the patients were interrupted one week before the test. In the morning hours of the first day, half the group was given one capsule (18 mcg) of tiotropium and the other half was given placebo as inhalation using the HandiHaler® device. Before and 120 min after the medication, the 6-min walk test was performed. Oxygen saturation, modified Borg dyspnea ratings, blood pressure, and heart rate were recorded before and after the test. The same procedure was repeated at the same time on the third day but this time the patients were given placebo if they used tiotropium on the first day and vice versa. Before using tiotropium or placebo there was no difference between 6-min walk distances. The 6-min walk distance after the use of tiotropium (429.3 ± 70.6 m) was significantly longer than that after the use of placebo (414.7 ± 74.6 m). The changes in Borg dyspnea ratings and arterial oxygen saturation values with tiotropium and placebo use were not significant. We conclude that exercise capacity might be improved by using a single-dose tiotropium inhalation in moderate to severe COPD patients.

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