According to a recent study, short-term and long-term use of salbutamol appeared to be associated with increased short- and long-term exacerbation of COPD. The researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of reliever salbutamol 90-?g use in 810 patients with moderate to severe COPD. The patients were enrolled in a clinical trial designed to compare twice-daily budesonide/formoterol 320/9 ?g and formoterol 9 ?g. Both groups of patients were provided salbutamol 90 ?g.
The researchers assessed first occurrence of reliever use as a predictor of short-term exacerbation risk of COPD. The scientists categorized low reliever use as more than four inhalations per day, medium use as more than 10 inhalations per day, and high use as more than 20 inhalations per day. The long-term exacerbation risk within 3 months and 12 months of the study using measures of inhalations per day was also analyzed.
In the short-term analysis, 692 patients reached the low threshold of reliever use, 351 patients reached the medium threshold, and 91 patients reached the high threshold. For the long-term analysis, 234 patients reached the low threshold of reliever use, 351 patients reached the medium threshold, and 91 patients reached the high threshold.
According to Healio, the researchers reported a significant short-term exacerbation risk for patients with medium and high reliever use in the budesonide/formoterol group and the formoterol group compared with the control group. Patients in the high reliever use group had a 135% increased exacerbation rate between months 3 and 12 of the study, compared with a 67% exacerbation rate in the medium use group and 21% in the low reliever use group.
The researchers note that all reliever-use groups, patients taking budesonide/formoterol had lower short- and long-term exacerbation rates.
“These data suggest that short-acting beta 2-agonist [SABA] use is an important and practical outcome for assessing both current control and future risk in patients with COPD,” says researcher Christine R. Jenkins, MD, MBBS. “Additional clinical trials and effectiveness studies of COPD patients with different disease severity and exacerbation history are needed to validate SABA use as a predictor of exacerbations in both clinical trials and in clinical practice.”