The clinical implications of triple therapy in fixed-dose combination in COPD: from the trial to the patient

Arch Bronconeumol. 2020 Apr;56(4):242-248. doi: 10.1016/j.arbr.2020.02.002. Epub 2020 Feb 27.


The emergence of a fixed-dose combination (FDC) of a long-acting ß2-agonist (LABA), a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA), and an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) in a single inhalation device has changed the approach to inhaled therapy. Although clinical trials describe the efficacy and safety of these FDCs, their use in daily clinical practice can present challenges for the clinician in two specific scenarios. In patients who are already receiving triple therapy via different devices, switching to FDCs could confer benefits by reducing critical errors in the management of inhalers, improving therapeutic adherence, and lowering costs, while maintaining the same clinical efficacy. In patients who are not receiving triple therapy in different devices and who require a change in treatment, triple therapy FDC has shown benefits in clinical trials. Although methodological differences among the trials advise against direct comparison, clinical results show good efficacy, but also considerable variability, and a number of clinical outcomes have yet to be explored. In the future, trials must be developed to complete clinical efficacy data. Real-world efficacy trials are needed, and studies must be designed to determine the profile of patients who present a greater therapeutic response to each FDC in order to pave the way towards more personalized treatment.

Keywords: COPD; Clinical effectiveness; EPOC; Eficacia clínica; Triple terapia; Triple therapy.

Publication types

  • Review