Tiotropium bromide, used for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been found to be successful in treating adults whose asthma is not well-controlled on low doses of inhaled corticosteroids ICS), according to a study presented at the Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society, Barcelona.

According to the study, supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), adding tiotropium bromide to low doses of ICS is more effective at controlling asthma than is doubling ICS alone and as effective as adding salmeterol.

Increasing ICS or supplementing them with long-acting beta agonists like salmeterol are the two preferred treatment options for treating poorly controlled asthma in adults, but both treatments have risks and do not improve symptoms for all patients.

“Tiotropium relaxes smooth muscle in the airways through a different mechanism than do beta agonists and thus may help people who do not respond well to currently recommended treatments,” said study lead Stephen Peters, MD, PhD, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC.

The results of the study, conducted by the NHLBI’s Asthma Clinical Research Network, were published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine

Source: NHLBI.