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Review: methylxanthines are not effective for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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 Q In patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), what is the effectiveness of the addition of methylxanthines to standard treatments?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★☆☆ IM/Ambulatory care ★★★★★☆☆ Internal medicine ★★★★★☆☆ Respirology ★★★★★☆☆ Emergency medicine ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

the Cochrane Airways Review Group COPD trials register {March 2003}* (assembled from searches of Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and CINAHL), bibliographies of relevant studies, and authors.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared methylxanthines (oral theophylline, intravenous aminophylline, or intravenous doxofylline) with placebo for acute exacerbations of COPD; treatment occurred in the emergency department (ED) or immediately after admission to hospital; and patients had confirmed COPD with an exacerbation that required presentation to an ED, acute care setting, or hospital. Studies were assessed for methodological quality using the …

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  • * Information provided by author.

  • For correspondence: Dr R G Barr, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

  • Sources of funding: National Institutes of Health; Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar Award; Canadian Institute of Health Research.