The role of beta-blockers in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Expert review of respiratory medicine, 2017; doi:10.1080/17476348.2018.1419869

Authors: Leitao Filho Fernando Sergio, Alotaibi Nawaf M, Yamasaki Kei, Ngan David A, Sin Don D

Affiliation: University of British Columbia, Canada; University of British Columbia, Canada; King Saud University, Saudi Arabia; University of British Columbia, Canada; University of British Columbia, Canada (show more (1))

Abstract: INTRODUCTION: The use of beta-blockers in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is controversial, primarily due to concerns that they may worsen lung function and attenuate bronchodilator response. Areas covered: This review summarizes the reasons for and against the use of beta-blockers in COPD by evaluating the literature on the effects of these drugs on lung function, exacerbation rate, and mortality. The safety of beta-blockers in COPD patients with concomitant heart failure, an entity that is not always distinguishable from COPD exacerbations, is also explored. Expert commentary: The use of cardioselective beta-blockers appears safe in the management of cardiac comorbidities associated with COPD and may lower exacerbation and mortality risk. There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the safety of beta-blockers in patients with acute heart failure, acute respiratory failure or sepsis, entities that could occur simultaneously with COPD exacerbations. However, randomized controlled trials are still lacking to confirm these results.

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