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      Effect of Erdosteine on COPD Exacerbations in COPD Patients with Moderate Airflow Limitation

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          The RESTORE study, a multi-national randomized, placebo-controlled study, showed that erdosteine – a muco-active antioxidant that modulates bacterial adhesiveness – reduced the rate and duration of exacerbations in moderate and severe COPD with a history of exacerbations. How much benefit patients with less severe disease experience when taking this drug remains unclear.


          This post hoc analysis of the 254 RESTORE participants with spirometrically-defined moderate COPD (post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV 1] 50‒79% predicted) examined exacerbation rate and duration, time to first exacerbation, and exacerbation-free time. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and comparisons between treatment groups used Wilcoxon rank-sum tests, Mann–Whitney U-tests, or log rank tests.


          Patients with moderate COPD received erdosteine 300 mg twice daily (n=126) or placebo (n=128) added to usual COPD therapy for 12 months. During this time, there were 53 exacerbations in the erdosteine group and 74 in the placebo group, with 42.1% and 57.8% of patients, respectively, experiencing an exacerbation. There was a 47% reduction in the mean exacerbation rate with erdosteine compared to placebo (0.27 vs 0.51 exacerbations per-patient per-year, respectively, P=0.003), and a 58.3% reduction in the mild exacerbation rate (0.23 vs 0.53 mild exacerbations per-patient per-year, P=0.001). Mean duration of exacerbations was 26% shorter in erdosteine-treated patients (9.1 vs 12.3 days for placebo, P=0.022), with significant reductions in the duration of mild and moderate-to-severe exacerbations. Mean time to first exacerbation was prolonged by 7.7% (182 days for erdosteine vs 169 days for placebo, P<0.001) and the mean exacerbation-free time was increased by 51 days (279 days for erdosteine vs 228 days for placebo; P<0.001).


          These results indicate that adding erdosteine to usual COPD maintenance therapy reduces the number of mild, and duration of all, exacerbations in patients with moderate COPD and a history of exacerbations.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Tiotropium versus salmeterol for the prevention of exacerbations of COPD.

          Treatment guidelines recommend the use of inhaled long-acting bronchodilators to alleviate symptoms and reduce the risk of exacerbations in patients with moderate-to-very-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but do not specify whether a long-acting anticholinergic drug or a β(2)-agonist is the preferred agent. We investigated whether the anticholinergic drug tiotropium is superior to the β(2)-agonist salmeterol in preventing exacerbations of COPD. In a 1-year, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel-group trial, we compared the effect of treatment with 18 μg of tiotropium once daily with that of 50 μg of salmeterol twice daily on the incidence of moderate or severe exacerbations in patients with moderate-to-very-severe COPD and a history of exacerbations in the preceding year. A total of 7376 patients were randomly assigned to and treated with tiotropium (3707 patients) or salmeterol (3669 patients). Tiotropium, as compared with salmeterol, increased the time to the first exacerbation (187 days vs. 145 days), with a 17% reduction in risk (hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.77 to 0.90; P<0.001). Tiotropium also increased the time to the first severe exacerbation (hazard ratio, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.61 to 0.85; P<0.001), reduced the annual number of moderate or severe exacerbations (0.64 vs. 0.72; rate ratio, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.96; P=0.002), and reduced the annual number of severe exacerbations (0.09 vs. 0.13; rate ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.66 to 0.82; P<0.001). Overall, the incidence of serious adverse events and of adverse events leading to the discontinuation of treatment was similar in the two study groups. There were 64 deaths (1.7%) in the tiotropium group and 78 (2.1%) in the salmeterol group. These results show that, in patients with moderate-to-very-severe COPD, tiotropium is more effective than salmeterol in preventing exacerbations. (Funded by Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer; number, NCT00563381.).
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            Clinical Significance of Symptoms in Smokers with Preserved Pulmonary Function.

            Currently, the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requires a ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) to forced vital capacity (FVC) of less than 0.70 as assessed by spirometry after bronchodilator use. However, many smokers who do not meet this definition have respiratory symptoms.
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              Long-term erythromycin therapy is associated with decreased chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations.

              Frequent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations are a major cause of hospital admission and mortality and are associated with increased airway inflammation. Macrolides have airway antiinflammatory actions and may reduce the incidence of COPD exacerbations. To determine whether regular therapy with macrolides reduces exacerbation frequency. We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of erythromycin administered at 250 mg twice daily to patients with COPD over 12 months, with primary outcome variable being the number of moderate and/or severe exacerbations (treated with systemic steroids, treated with antibiotics, or hospitalized). We randomized 109 outpatients: 69 (63%) males, 52 (48%) current smokers, mean (SD) age 67.2 (8.6) years, FEV1 1.32 (0.53) L, FEV1% predicted 50 (18)%. Thirty-eight (35%) of the patients had three or more exacerbations in the year before recruitment, with no differences between treatment groups. There were a total of 206 moderate to severe exacerbations: 125 occurred in the placebo arm. Ten in the placebo group and nine in the macrolide group withdrew. Generalized linear modeling showed that the rate ratio for exacerbations for the macrolide-treated patients compared with placebo-treated patients was 0.648 (95% confidence interval: 0.489, 0.859; P = 0.003) and that these patients had shorter duration exacerbations compared with placebo. There were no differences between the macrolide and placebo arms in terms of stable FEV1, sputum IL-6, IL-8, myeloperoxidase, bacterial flora, serum C-reactive protein, or serum IL-6 or in changes in these parameters from baseline to first exacerbation over the 1-year study period. Macrolide therapy was associated with a significant reduction in exacerbations compared with placebo and may be useful in decreasing the excessive disease burden in this important patient population. Clinical trial registered with (NCT 00147667).

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                02 December 2019
                : 14
                : 2733-2744
                [1 ]Department of Medicine, Clinical Sciences Centre, University Hospital Aintree , Liverpool, UK
                [2 ]Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College , London, UK
                [3 ]Lung Unit, National Centre for Respiratory Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmacoepidemiology , Verona, Italy
                [4 ]Pulmonology Department, Cough Centre, Careggi University Hospital , Firenze, Italy
                [5 ]Department of Systems Medicine, Chair of Respiratory Medicine, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ , Rome, Italy
                [6 ]Medical and Surgical Department, University of Bologna , Bologna, Italy
                [7 ]Medical Affairs Department, Edmond Pharma , Paderno, Italy
                [8 ]Respiratory Division, National Heart And Lung Institute, Imperial College London , London, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Peter MA Calverley Department of Medicine, University Hospital Aintree , Lower Lane, Liverpool, Merseyside, UKTel +44 1515295886Fax +44 1515295888 Email

                Dr Pozzii passed away on 9th July, 2019

                © 2019 Calverley et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 3, References: 41, Pages: 12
                Clinical Trial Report


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