Long-term effects of inhaled anticholinergic drug on lung function, dyspnea, and exercise capacity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Intern Med. 1996 Oct;35(10):772-8. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.35.772.


To investigate the long-term effects of the inhaled anticholinergic bronchodilator, oxitropium bromide (OTB), on lung function, exercise capacity, and dyspnea in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), spirometry and symptom-limited exercise testing before and 1, 6, and 12 months after the regular use of OTB (600 micrograms/day) were performed in 12 patients with the use of OTB (mean age 69.9 +/- 3.1 years; FEV1/FVC 53.3 +/- 1.6%) as well as in 12 control patients who were not treated with OTB (Mean age 68.8 +/- 2.8 years; FEV1/FVC 52.6 +/- 1.9%). The dyspnea was evaluated by the slope of the regression line between Borg scale and oxygen uptake (Vo2) during exercise (Borg scale slope: BSS). At 1, 6, and 12 months after the start of OTB, the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and the exercise capacity (maximal Vo2) were greater than the pretreatment values and the dyspnea index (BSS) was significantly improved compared with the pretreatment value, while these parameters slightly worsened in the control patients over one year. In conclusion, the chronic use of an inhaled anticholinergic bronchodilator may provide beneficial improvements in expiratory flow rate, exercise performance, and dyspnea in mild to moderate COPD patients over one year.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aged
  • Cholinergic Antagonists / administration & dosage*
  • Dyspnea / drug therapy*
  • Dyspnea / physiopathology
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Tolerance / drug effects*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / drug therapy
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Scopolamine Derivatives / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cholinergic Antagonists
  • Scopolamine Derivatives
  • oxitropium