Table 5

Effect of commonly used medications on important clinical outcomes in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

FEV1Lung volumeDyspnoeaHRQoLAEExercise enduranceDisease modifier by FEV1MortalitySide-effects
Short-acting β‐agonistsYes (A)Yes (B)Yes (A)NANAYes (B)NANASome
Ipratropium bromideYes (A)Yes (B)Yes (A)No (B)Yes (B)Yes (B)NoNASome
Long-acting β‐agonistsYes (A)Yes (A)Yes (A)Yes (A)Yes (A)Yes (B)NoNAMinimal
TiotropiumYes (A)Yes (A)Yes (A)Yes (A)Yes (A)Yes (B)NANAMinimal
Inhaled corticosteroidsYes (A)NAYes (B)Yes (A)Yes (A)NANoNASome
TheophyllineYes (A)Yes (B)Yes (A)Yes (B)NAYes (B)NANAImportant
  • FEV1: forced expiratory volume in one second

  • HRQoL: health-related quality of life

  • AE: exacerbation of COPD

  • NA: evidence not available

  • GOLD grade levels are indicated in brackets (see text for explanation)