Dual bronchodilator therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: evidence for the efficacy and Safety of fixed dose combination treatments in the setting of recent guideline updates

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Recent updates to the GOLD guidelines emphasize the use of combination LABA and LAMA bronchodilators for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with persistent dyspnea despite monotherapy or frequent exacerbations despite LAMA monotherapy. There are several commercially available LABA/LAMA fixed dose combination inhalers, which are likely to become the principle therapy for many patients with COPD.

Recent findings

In the last 4 years, there have been a number of large clinical trials evaluating the efficacy and safety of combined LAMA and LABA bronchodilators. LAMA/LABA fixed dose combination therapies have consistently demonstrated clinically significant improvements to airway obstruction, dyspnea, and quality of life whenever compared with placebo, and more modest improvements compared with bronchodilator monotherapies and combined bronchodilator/inhaled corticosteroid therapy.

Summary

New guidelines emphasize combination bronchodilators as a mainstay of therapy for many patients with symptomatic COPD and there are several new combination bronchodilator therapies available to patients. It is important for physicians and patients to understand the range and degree of expected clinical effects and the safety profiles of these new medications.

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