This study aims to compare the effects of single inhaler triple therapy comprised of inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs), long-acting β2-agonists (LABAs), and long-acting muscarinic receptor antagonists (LAMAs) with dual therapies comprised of either LABA/LAMA, ICS/LABA or separate ICS/LABA plus LAMA triple therapy.
The Pubmed, Embase, and Cochrane databases were searched up to October 31st 2018. Only randomized controlled trials were included in the meta-analysis. The primary outcome was the rate of moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations.
Seven studies fulfilling the inclusion criteria were included in the meta-analysis. Single inhaler triple therapy was associated with a significantly lower risk of COPD exacerbation compared with LABA/LAMA (rate ratio, 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.55 to 0.87, I 2 =85%), and ICS/LABA (rate ratio, 0.81; 95% CI 0.73 to 0.89, I 2 =29%) dual therapy. Single inhaler triple therapy led to a more significant improvement in lung function and quality of life compared with LABA/LAMA and ICS/LABA dual therapy. Single inhaler triple therapy was associated with a higher risk of pneumonia compared with LABA/LAMA (risk ratio, 1.38, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.67, I 2 =0) dual therapy.