PLoS One 2013; 8: e75221
Researchers from the UK caution that inhaled corticosteroids ICS are being overused in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD, in light of a lack of solid evidence for their efficacy, limited guideline support, and growing concerns over their association with pneumonia.
Patrick White Kings College London and colleagues analyzed data from general practices on 2458 patients with COPD between December 2009 and November 2010.
At that time, the current 2009 guidelines from the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease GOLD stated that ICS should only be used to prevent exacerbations in patients with severe disease and a history of frequent disease.
Among the 1749 patients with spirometry-confirmed disease, 59.8% were prescribed inhaled medication in accordance with this guidance, 8.6% were undertreated, and 37.7% were overtreated for their GOLD stage. And, of the 659 overtreated patients, 96.2% of those without concomitant asthma were overtreated with an ICS.