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ICS withdrawal

Posted on: 4 Aug 2017

Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) have a role in the treatment of COPD but only in a limited segment of the population with COPD. They are not recommended in the treatment of patients with COPD at low risk of exacerbation; guidelines reserve their use for high-risk patients and those with features of asthma.

For low-risk patients currently prescribed an ICS, it may actually be possible to withdraw their ICS without compromising control of their COPD. This ‘Desktop helper’, produced by the International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG), provides practical guidance for clinicians on identifying patients who may benefit from an ICS and withdrawing ICS treatment from those in whom it is not appropriate. The handy algorithm details how and when to withdraw ICS treatment, including recommendations for follow-up and review, as well as a convenient dose switch table.


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The Primary Care Respiratory Academy has been developed and is produced by Cogora, the publisher of Pulse, Nursing in Practice, Healthcare Leader, Management in Practice and The Pharmacist working in partnership with PCRS.

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