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Long-term Mucolytic Therapy Useful in Patients with More Severe COPD

KEY POINT

While many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) do not need oral mucolytic therapy, use of agents such as N-acetylcysteine is likely cost-effective in the subgroup of patients with frequent or prolonged acute exacerbations. Overall, perhaps, the most acute need in COPD patients is for better research.

SOURCES

Snow V et al. Evidence base for management of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Ann Intern Med. 2001;134:595–9.

Bach PB et al. Management of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a summary and appraisal of published evidence. Ann Intern Med. 2001;134: 600- 20.

Poole PJ, Black PN. Oral mucolytic drugs for exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: systematic review. BMJ. 2001;322:1271–6.

Ekberg-Jansson A et al. Preventing exacerbations of chronic bronchitis and COPD [editorial]. BMJ. 2001;322:1259–61.

Grandjean EM et al. Cost-effectiveness analysis of oral N-acetylcysteine as a preventive treatment in chronic bronchitis. Pharmacol Res. 2000;42:39–50.