Letters Inhaled corticosteroids for COPD

Risk-benefit profile of inhaled corticosteroids in COPD is still unclear

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8360 (Published 20 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8360
  1. Ricky D Turgeon, pharmacy resident1,
  2. Aaron M Tejani, researcher2
  1. 1Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 1M9
  2. 2Therapeutics Initiative (UBC), Vancouver, BC, Canada
  1. ricky.turgeon{at}vch.ca

Park and colleagues’ review acknowledges the harms associated with using inhaled corticosteroids for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).1 To help clinicians make informed decisions, we wish to clarify the absolute benefits and harms.

Estimates of benefit were less optimistic in an up-to-date and comprehensive Cochrane review,2 partly because of Park and colleagues’ unconventional derivation of the number needed …

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