Tiotropium Improves Quality-of-life for Patients
SAN DIEGO—Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
experienced improvement in quality-of-life measures after 9 months of treatment with
tiotropium bromide inhalation powder (Spiriva HandiHaler), according to data
presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference.
In this 9-month, randomized, doubleblind, placebo-controlled study called
TIPHON (Tiotropium: Influence on the Perception of the Improvement in Routine Activities Objectified by a Numerical Scale), investigators used the Saint George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) to assess quality-of-life measures among 554 patients with
COPD who were randomized to either tiotropium or placebo. The questionnaire
consists of 3 components—social, physical, and psychological—that are rated on
a scale of 0 to 100. Patients were also evaluated using the visually simplified respiratory questionnaire (VSRQ), examination by a physician, and measures of lung function such
as forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC),
inspiratory capacity, slow vital capacity, and forced inspiratory volume in 1 second
(FIV1). At the end of 9 months, 59.1% of patients in the treatment group had a >4-
point improvement on the SGRQ compared with 48.2% of those taking placebo.
In addition, patients in the tiotropium group had a higher mean VSRQ score and
had improvement in all measures of lung function compared with the placebo group.
“COPD is a slowly progressive disease that is associated with significant disability,”
said Andre-Bernard Tonnel, MD, of the Service de Pneumologie et Immuno-
Allergologie Centre Hospitalier Regional et Universitaire de Lille Boulevard J.
Leclereq, Lille, France. “The TIPHON study results are encouraging because
they show that tiotropium provides clinically significant improvements in healthrelated
quality-of-life measures for patients with COPD.” The incidence of adverse events was
similar in the tiotropium and placebo groups. Tiotropium is indicated for the
long-term, once-daily maintenance treatment of bronchospasm associated with
COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.—R.M.