Nebulized arformoterol in patients with COPD: A 12-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo- and active-controlled trial

Rudolf A. Baumgartner, Nicola A. Hanania, William J. Calhoun, Steven A. Sahn, Kenneth Sciarappa, John P. Hanrahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and tolerability of nebulized arformoterol tartrate (a selective, long-acting β2-adretlergic agonist that is the [R,R] isomer of formoterol) and salmeterol xinafoate versus placebo in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Methods: This 12-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo- and active-controlled trial was conducted at 60 centers across the United States. Male and female patients aged ≥35 years with physician-diagnosed COPD received arformoterol (15 μg BID, 25 μg BID, or 50 μg QD via nebulizer), saleterol (42 μg BID via metered dose inhaler), or placebo. Pulmonary function was assessed by spirotnetry; dyspnea, by the Transitional Dyspnea Index (TDI); and health status, by the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). Adverse events (AEs) were assessed by site personnel at all clinic visits (screening, first dose at week 0, and at weeks 3, 6, 9, 12, and follow-up). COPD exacerbations were defined as worsening respiratory status requiring a change in medication or an unscheduled provider visit. Results: A total of 717 patients received study medication.The demographic composition of all treatment arms was similar. The mean age was 62.9 years, 58% were men, and mean baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) was 1.2 L (41% predicted). Mean improvement in trough FEV1 over 12 weeks was significantly greater with all 3 arfortttoterol doses (15 μg BID, +16.9%; 25 μg BID, +18.9%;,50 μg QD, +14.9%) and for salmeterol (+17.4%) relative to placebo (+6.0%; P < 0.001). There were significantly greater improvements in the mean percentage change in FEV1 AUC0-12h from the predose value over 12 weeks (15 μg BID, 12.7%, 25 μg BID, 13.9%, 50 μg QD, 18.9%; salmeterol, 9.8%) versus placebo (2.7%; P ≤ 0.001); all doses of arfortnoterol were statistically different from salmeterol for this end point (P ≤ 0.024). At week 12, TDI focal scores were significantly greater with all arformoterol doses compared with placebo (mean [95% CI]: 15 μg BID, 0.97 [0.25-1.69]; 25 μg BID, 1.08 [0.3-1.86]; 50 μg QD, 1.04 [0.32-1.771), suggesting treatment-associated improvement in dyspnea, however, the difference between salmeterol and placebo was not statistically significant (0.36 [-0.40 to 1.12]). Improvements in health status, as measured using SGRQ total scores, were -2.6 to -3.6 U in the arforinoterol groups, -4.4 U for saltneterol, and -1.2 U for placebo; 95% CI of differences versus placebo suggested significant improvement for the arfortnoterol 25 μg BID and salmeterol groups. There was a similar frequency of AEs and COPD exacerbations across all groups, including placebo. Conclusions: In this trial, patients with moderate tosevere COPD administered nebulized arformoterol over 12 weeks were observed to have significant and sustained improvements in airway function and dyspnea compared with placebo. The results also suggest that all doses of arforrnoterol, including the lowest dose (15 μg BID), were effective. Overall, nebulized arformoterol was well tolerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-278
Number of pages18
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • inhalation solution
  • long-acting β-agonists
  • lung function
  • placebo-controlled
  • symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Nebulized arformoterol in patients with COPD: A 12-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo- and active-controlled trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this