COPD Archives - PulmCCM
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COPD Articles

Oct 312014
 
Safe to stop inhaled steroids in COPD (and start more expensive drugs)?

Olodaterol People with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often have persistent dyspnea or exacerbations despite the use of a single controller inhaler. (Controller inhalers for COPD most often include combination inhaled corticosteroid/long-acting beta agonists like Advair, Dulera and Symbicort [ICS/LABAs] and the long-acting anticholinergic agent Spiriva/tiotropium). These patients often take both a combination ICS/LABA and Spiriva, so-called [… read more]

Sep 052014
 
New 2014 Pulmonary Hypertension guidelines released

The American College of Chest Physicians (unaffiliated with PulmCCM) published its new consensus guidelines in August 2014 for the drug treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). They’re free to view on the Chest website, and well worth a look. Remember that pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is but one small subset (“Group 1″) of the much larger [… read more]

Jun 272014
 
Azithromycin for COPD exacerbations: 2014 Update

Azithromycin to Prevent COPD Exacerbations: What’s New? By Abhishek Biswas, MD Multiple previous studies have suggested likely benefits from using azithromycin as an immunomodulator for cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, diffuse panbronchiolitis, post-transplant obliterative bronchiolitis and COPD. This month, a new Cochrane analysis and clinical review in JAMA concludes that “continuous macrolide antibiotic use for prophylaxis [is] associated with a [… read more]

May 032014
 
N-acetylcysteine for COPD: another trial shows benefit (PANTHEON)

Image: pipingrock.com Can N-acetylcysteine help prevent exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)? Another randomized trial says yes. N-acetylcysteine, or NAC, is a nutritional supplement with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. After ingestion, N-acetylcysteine is metabolized into glutathione, a key antioxidant with effects throughout the body. In the lungs, glutathione deficiency (common in alcoholics) is linked [… read more]

Apr 182014
 
Steroids did not improve outcomes in severe COPD exacerbations (RCT)

Image: 1800petmeds Systemic steroids in COPD exacerbations requiring ventilator support: Are we treating our patients, or ourselves? By Muhammad Adrish, MD Acute exacerbations of COPD are a major cause of hospitalizations, and are associated with more rapid decline in lung function and reduced survival. Because COPD exacerbations are associated with increased inflammatory responses, corticosteroids have [… read more]

Mar 162014
 
Beta blockers safe for most patients with asthma or COPD?

Beta-Blockers: Safe (and Effective?) for Most Patients with Asthma, COPD Once upon a time in 1964, it was noted that propranolol, a nonselective beta-blocker, could precipitate severe bronchospasm in patients with asthma, especially at high doses. Additional small studies showed propranolol and other nonselective beta blockers could increase airway resistance. British guidelines advise avoiding beta [… read more]

Feb 112014
 
Vitamin D: no relationship to COPD exacerbations

After a stupefying amount of research on vitamin D — with 70 vitamin D studies published in PubMed in January 2014 alone — there is no consistent signal tying vitamin D supplementation to improvement in any health condition. A recent “futility analysis” (a form of meta-analysis) of 40 randomized trials suggests vitamin D does not [… read more]

Feb 012014
 
Spiriva and heart attack risk: new safety kerfuffle

Last year, PulmCCM reported on the TIOSPIR safety trial comparing the Spiriva dry-powder HandiHaler against the Respimat mist-delivery device. TIOSPIR showed no difference in all-cause mortality or composite cardiovascular risk endpoints between either Spiriva preparation. But this week, a group of drug safety researchers report their granular analysis of TIOSPIR data shows the Respimat device [… read more]

Nov 062013
 
Olodaterol, a new once-daily LABA, proven effective for COPD

Olodaterol Olodaterol, a new once-daily inhaled long-acting beta agonist, improved lung function and exercise capacity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in two randomized trials (n=199) presented by Gregory Feldman et al at the Chest 2013 meeting in Chicago. The new once-daily LABA olodaterol will reportedly be marketed by Boehringer Ingelheim under the trade name Striverdi [… read more]

Oct 312013
 
Breo Ellipta (vilanterol/fluticasone) matches Advair in RCT

Breo Ellipta (GlaxoSmithKline) is the first FDA-approved combination product with a once-daily long acting beta agonist (vilanterol) and inhaled corticosteroid (fluticasone). Additional once daily combination ICS/LABA and LABA/antimuscarinics are expected to launch over the next decade, increasing the options for treatment of asthma and COPD. GSK got good news in the October Chest, with the publication [… read more]

Oct 312013
 
Indacaterol vs Tiotropium: Tie on FEV1; Spiriva wins on exacerbations

Once-daily long-acting beta agonist indacaterol (Arcapta Neohaler) went head to head against tiotropium (Spiriva) in a randomized trial among 3,444 patients with severe COPD, funded by indacaterol makers Novartis. Indacaterol, approved in 2011 as a treatment for COPD, was deemed noninferior to tiotropium according to the prespecified criteria of the trial, bronchodilating almost identically (a [… read more]

Oct 162013
 
Spiriva Respimat inhaler as safe as HandiHaler (TIOSPIR)

Tiotropium: Safe In Either Form Tiotropium (Spiriva) comes in two devices: the Respimat in Europe delivers a mist, while the Handihaler in the U.S. delivers a dry powder. The Respimat has been bronchodilating under a dark cloud in Europe for the past 2 years, since a BMJ meta-analysis suggested there was a 52% increased risk of [… read more]

Oct 062013
 
Pulmonary rehabilitation: no benefit at one year, even with extended Rx? (Review)

Pulmonary Rehabilitation: No Benefit After 12 Months Light, Infrequent Workouts Don’t Sustain Fitness Gains Pulmonary rehabilitation (“pulmonary rehab”) is a dressed-up name for what are essentially supervised exercise programs for people living with chronic lung disease. Although pulmonary rehab programs often include multidimensional support (nutrition, education, breathing exercises and psychological counseling), it’s the exercise that produces [… read more]

Sep 132013
 
Mild weight gain after quitting smoking outweighed by cessation's benefits

Weight Gain After Quitting Smoking Usually Mild, Harmless Nicotine is an anorexigen, or appetite suppressant. This “benefit” of cigarette smoking is no secret, certainly not to teenage girls, who in surveys report smoking to stay thin. Even among women smokers over age 40, more than half said they would not quit smoking if it meant they would [… read more]

Aug 032013
 
Oral N-acetylcysteine (NAC) reduces COPD exacerbations in RCT

image: Vitacost N-acetylcysteine (NAC) Improves COPD Outcomes Oxidative stress (imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants) is part of the story of how COPD causes symptoms of cough and shortness of breath. Cigarette smoke is the main source of oxidation damage in the lungs leading to COPD, but even after they quit smoking, people with COPD still [… read more]

Jul 182013
 
Biomarkers help predict COPD exacerbations

Biomarkers Predict COPD Exacerbations (Sort Of) In addition to daily breathlessness, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often experience exacerbations of shortness of breath and coughing. Those with more severe COPD tend to have more frequent and severe exacerbations, lower enjoyment of life, and more rapid loss of lung function. The strongest predictor of [… read more]

Jul 052013
 
In COPD exacerbations, 5 days steroids seem as good as 14 (REDUCE trial)

For COPD Exacerbations, 5 Days Corticosteroids As Good as 2+ Weeks COPD exacerbations — worsening of shortness of breath and cough, often requiring medical treatment — are a major problem for many people living with COPD. People with moderate or severe emphysema and chronic bronchitis (together called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) experience an average of [… read more]

Jun 022013
 
How to prevent COPD exacerbations

How to Prevent Acute COPD Exacerbations Acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are a major problem for many people living with COPD. Acute exacerbations or attacks occur more often in people with more severe COPD (about 1-2 per year), and these disease flares may either signal or cause a more rapid progression of [… read more]

May 162013
 
FDA approves Breo Ellipta, a new once-daily COPD inhaler treatment

FDA Approves Breo Ellipta, Once-Daily LABA/ICS for COPD The FDA approved the new drug Breo Ellipta as a once-daily inhaled therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Breo Ellipta includes the corticosteroid fluticasone, and vilanterol — a once-daily long acting beta agonist — in a combination dry powder inhaler. This was the FDA’s first approval [… read more]

Apr 252013
 
Pulse oximetry as time machine: Lag times confuse doctors, complicate intubations (EMCrit)

image: wikimedia Pulse Oximetry: The 30-Second Time Machine Why does it seem to take so long to re-oxygenate your crashing patient? Because your pulse oximeter is lying to you, no matter how good it is. Telescopes show us how a star looked millions or billions of years ago; pulse oximeters create a similar, though tiny [… read more]