Use of inhaled anticholinergic agents in obstructive airway disease

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75 Scopus citations


In the last 2 decades, anticholinergic agents have been generally regarded as the first-choice bronchodilator therapy in the routine management of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and, to a lesser extent, asthma. Anticholinergics are particularly important bronchodilators in COPD, because the vagal tone appears to be the only reversible component of airflow limitation in COPD. The inhaled anticholinergics approved for clinical use are synthetic quaternary ammonium congeners of atropine, and include ipratropium bromide, oxitropium bromide, and tiotropium bromide. This article reviews the most current evidence for inhaled anticholinergics in obstructive airway disease and summarizes outcomes reported in randomized controlled trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-851
Number of pages19
JournalRespiratory care
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Anticholinergic
  • Antimuscarinic
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Ipratropium
  • Muscarinic receptor
  • Oxitropium
  • Tiotropium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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