Table 1—

Anxiolytic drug therapy in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: summary of the published randomised trials

First author [Ref.]Study designInterventionMeasurement instrumentsResults
Argyropoulou 53Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial (n = 16)Buspirone (20 mg) versus placebo for 2 weeksAnxiety: Symptom Check-List-90-RReduced anxiety and depression
Exercise capacity: 6MWD and WRmax achieved during incremental cycle ergometer testingIncreased 6MWD and WRmax
Singh 54Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial (n = 11)Buspirone (30–60 mg) versus placebo for 6 weeksAnxiety: State–Trait Anxiety InventoryNo significant differences in either exercise capacity or anxiety scores
Exercise capacity: 12MWD and WRmax achieved during incremental cycle ergometer testing
Silvertooth 55Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial (n = 19)Citalopram (20–40 mg) versus placebo for 12 weeksAnxiety: Hamilton Anxiety Rating ScaleNo differences between groups; however, citalopram tended to be more effective than placebo in patients with mild-to-moderate psychological symptoms
Borson 56Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial (n = 30)Nortriptyline (increased over first 4 weeks to target dose of 1 mg·kg−1) versus placebo for 12 weeksAnxiety: Patient-Rated Anxiety ScaleReduced anxiety
  • Numbers of patients shown are those completing the trial. 6MWD: 6-min walking distance; WRmax: maximum work-rate; 12MWD: 12-min walking distance.