Efficacy and safety of ipratropium bromide/albuterol compared with albuterol in patients with moderate-to-severe asthma: A randomized controlled trial

James F. Donohue, Robert Wise, William W. Busse, Sandra Garfinkel, Valentina B. Zubek, Mo Ghafouri, Raymond C. Manuel, Rozsa Schlenker-Herceg, Eugene R. Bleecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Many patients with asthma require frequent rescue medication for acute symptoms despite appropriate controller therapies. Thus, determining the most effective relief regimen is important in the management of more severe asthma. This study's objective was to evaluate whether ipratropium bromide/albuterol metered-dose inhaler (CVT-MDI) provides more effective acute relief of bronchospasm in moderate-to-severe asthma than albuterol hydrofluoroalkaline (ALB-HFA) alone after 4 weeks. Methods: In this double-blind, crossover study, patients who had been diagnosed with asthma for ≥1 year were randomized to two sequences of study medication "as needed" for symptom relief (1-7 day washout before second 4-week treatment period): CVT-MDI/ALB-HFA or ALB-HFA/CVT-MDI. On days 1 and 29 of each sequence, 6-hour serial spirometry was performed after administration of the study drug. Co-primary endpoints were FEV1 area under the curve (AUC0-6) and peak (post-dose) forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) response (change from test day baseline) after 4 weeks. The effects of "as needed" treatment with ALB-HFA/CVT-MDI were analyzed using mixed effect model repeated measures (MMRM). Results: A total of 226 patients, ≥18 years old, with inadequately controlled, moderate-to-severe asthma were randomized. The study met both co-primary endpoints demonstrating a statistically significant treatment benefit of CVT-MDI versus ALB-HFA. FEV1 AUC0-6h response was 167 ml for ALB-HFA, 252 ml for CVT-MDI (p < 0.0001); peak FEV1 response was 357 ml for ALB-HFA, 434 ml for CVT-MDI (p < 0.0001). Adverse events were comparable across groups. Conclusions: CVT-MDI significantly improved acute bronchodilation over ALB-HFA alone after 4 weeks of "as-needed" use for symptom relief, with a similar safety profile. This suggests additive bronchodilator effects of β2-agonist and anticholinergic treatment in moderate-to-severe, symptomatic asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number65
JournalBMC Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute symptom relief
  • Albuterol hydrofluoroalkaline
  • Anticholinergic/β-agonist
  • As-needed
  • Bronchodilation
  • Ipratropium bromide
  • Ipratropium bromide/albuterol metered-dose inhaler
  • Moderate-to-severe asthma
  • Randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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