Preliminary results from a double-blind, randomised, multicentre trial among 660 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) show that budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort: AstraZeneca) plus tiotropium (Spiriva™: Boehringer Ingelheim Limited) significantly improves disease control and patients’ quality of life.1,2
The study known as CLIMB, compared 12 weeks treatment with budesonide/formoterol (400/12 mcg one inhalation twice-daily) plus tiotropium (18 µg one inhalation once daily) vs. tiotropium alone plus placebo.
“Combined inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) and long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) therapy with budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort) is indicated for COPD patients with a forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) < 50% predicted normal and a history of repeated exacerbations",3 explained Professor Tobias Welte, the international coordinating investigator of the CLIMB study. "While budesonide/formoterol combination is commonly used together with tiotropium for the management of patients with severe COPD, CLIMB is the first study to evaluate the therapeutic effect of combining budesonide/formoterol with tiotropium. The results of the study confirmed that this triple therapy regimen has a key role to play in the management of patients with COPD," he continued.
CLIMB showed that tiotropium plus budesonide/formoterol combination versus tiotropium alone:
– reduced the rate of severe exacerbations by 62% (p