Published online: November 2017
Large clinical trials have shown that adding the agent tiotropium to asthma patients’ maintenance therapy has benefits on lung function and asthma control. Because allergies (e.g. to pollen or dust mites) can be a trigger for asthma in many patients, Casale and colleagues explored whether these beneficial effects were influenced by the patients’ allergic status.
In an article recently published in The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology: In Practice, these authors investigated groups of patients of differing allergic status. They did this using markers collected at the start of the studies or based on the doctor’s judgment of the patient’s allergic status. The markers measured whether levels of blood IgE (the antibody responsible for allergies) and eosinophils (inflammatory cells associated with allergies) were high, indicating allergy, or low, suggesting no allergies. They then assessed the outcome measures that were used in the original trials to see whether allergy status influenced the tiotropium results.
Tiotropium improved lung function and asthma control, and reduced the risk of asthma attacks compared with placebo, in patients with high and low levels of allergic markers.
These findings are important as they suggest that tiotropium is an effective add-on treatment option for asthma patients irrespective of their allergic status.
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.