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Triple inhaled therapy best for COPD

Triple inhaled therapy - two bronchodilators and a steroid - is the best treatment for COPD say researchers who are calling for the development of a triple inhaler.

Data from the INSPIRE trial, comparing salmeterol/fluticasone with tiotropium in 1,323 patients with severe COPD found exacerbation rates were similar between the two groups.

But the nature of the exacerbations seemed to differ between the two groups. Patients who suffered an exacerbation while using salmeterol/fluticasone were more likely to need antibiotics while thos eon tiotropium tended to be treated with steroids.

Study leader Professor Jadwiga Wedzicha, head of respiratory medicine at the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London, said: 'This is possibly the most interesting result of all - that these drugs have different and possibly synergistic clinical activity.'

The results, first reported by Pulse last September, have now been published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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