Effects of combined treatment with glycopyrrolate and albuterol in acute exacerbation of asthma

Ann Emerg Med. 1994 Feb;23(2):270-4. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(94)70039-7.


Study objective: Recent reports suggest that glycopyrrolate is as effective as metaproterenol in the treatment of acute bronchospasm. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the addition of a single aerosolized dose of glycopyrrolate to an albuterol regimen results in a greater improvement in pulmonary function than treatment with an albuterol regimen alone in patients with acute asthma.

Design: Prospective, randomized, double-blinded, controlled study. All patients received a total of three aerosol treatments and 60 mg solumedrol IV push. Patients were randomized to receive 2 mg aerosolized glycopyrrolate (combination therapy) or aerosolized placebo (control) in addition to their first 2.5 mg albuterol aerosol treatment. Both groups received 2.5 mg aerosolized albuterol alone for the next two treatments.

Setting: An urban teaching hospital emergency department.

Participants: One hundred twenty-five patients with acute exacerbation of asthma were entered into the study.

Main results: There was no difference in pretreatment forced expiratory volume (one second) (FEV1) between the control group and the glycopyrrolate group. Asthmatic patients receiving combination therapy had less of a change in FEV1 (52%) than did control patients (82%, P < .05).

Conclusion: The combination of glycopyrrolate and albuterol does not appear to be beneficial over albuterol alone in treating patients with acute exacerbation of asthma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adult
  • Aerosols
  • Albuterol / administration & dosage
  • Albuterol / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Glycopyrrolate / administration & dosage
  • Glycopyrrolate / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Methylprednisolone Hemisuccinate / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Aerosols
  • Drug Combinations
  • Methylprednisolone Hemisuccinate
  • Albuterol
  • Glycopyrrolate