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Review: β-agonists plus ipratropium bromide improve airflow obstruction in adults with acute asthma

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 QUESTION: Is the addition of inhaled ipratropium bromide to β-agonist therapy effective in the emergency treatment of adults with acute asthma?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline (1966 to January 1997), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1980–97), CINAHL (1982 to 1997), Biological Abstracts on CD (1990 to 1997), the Cochrane Library, Current Contents (1996 to August 1997), and bibliographies of relevant papers and by contacting the manufacturer of ipratropium.

Study selection

Published and unpublished studies in English, French, and Italian were selected if they were randomised, placebo-controlled trials that assessed the use of ipratropium in addition to β-agonists (administered by inhaler or wet nebuliser) compared with β-agonist therapy alone in adult patients with acute asthma presenting to a hospital emergency department (ED) …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr S D Aaron, Ottawa General Hospital, Room LM-17, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada. FAX 613-737-8141.

  • * Data provided by author.