Table. 2—

Reduction in exacerbations with pharmacotherapy in selected clinical trials

First author [Ref.]DrugDoseTrial durationReduction in exacerbations %
Seemungal [28]Erythromycin250 mg every 12 h1 yr35
Sethi [32]Moxifloxacin400 mg·day−1 for 5 days every 2 months1 yr25 (46#)
Calverley [40]Fluticasone500 μg every 12 h3 yrs18
Kardos [60]Fluticasone500 μg every 12 h1 yr35
Szafranski [38]Budesonide320 μg every 12 h1 yr15
Calverley [40]Salmeterol50 μg every 12 h3 yr15
Stockley [76]Salmeterol50 μg every 12 h1 yr30
Dusser [45]Tiotropium18 μg·day−11 yr27
Barr [46]Tiotropium18 μg·day−14 yrs14+
Hubbard [59]BFC320 μg every 12 h1 yr25
Calverley [40]FSC500/50 μg every 12 h3 yrs25
Ferguson [63]FSC250/50 μg every 12 h1 yr30.5
Zheng [69]Carbocysteine1500 mg·day−11 yr25%
Decramer [68]NAC600 mg·day−13 yrs1 (21§)
  • BFC: budesonide/formoterol combination; FSC: fluticasone/salmeterol combination; NAC: N-acetylcysteine. #: in patients with purulent or mucopurulent sputum at baseline; : not compared with placebo, but with salmetrol alone in patients with forced expiratory volume in 1 s <50% pred; +: not compared with placebo, but with control group of usual medication; §: results in patients not treated with inhaled corticosteroids. As an example, a reduction in 25% means that in patients with 4 exacerbations per year, the frequency would reduce to 3 episodes per year.