Medicine (Baltimore). 2023 Sep 22;102(38):e35032. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000035032.
Transdermal tulobuterol, a long-acting beta agonist in a transdermal form, is available in some countries, including Japan, Korea, and China. It may provide an alternative treatment option for the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in patients who are unable to effectively use inhalers, such as those with acute stroke. This study examined the short-term outcomes of transdermal tulobuterol in patients hospitalized with acute stroke and underlying COPD. Using the Diagnosis Procedure Combination database, a national inpatient database in Japan, we identified patients with stroke and underlying COPD who were hospitalized between July 2010 and March 2021. We performed propensity-score overlap weighting to compare in-hospital death, COPD exacerbation, pneumonia, and cardiac complications between patients who initiated transdermal tulobuterol within 2 days of admission and those who did not use it during hospitalization. Of the 1878 eligible patients, 189 received transdermal tulobuterol within 2 days of admission. After adjusting for baseline variables, transdermal tulobuterol was not associated with a reduction in in-hospital death (18.3% vs 16.1%; odds ratio, 1.17; 95% confidence interval, 0.72-1.90). Additionally, we observed no significant difference in COPD exacerbation, pneumonia, and cardiac complications between both groups. Transdermal tulobuterol was not associated with improving short-term outcomes in patients with acute stroke and underlying COPD. Our study does not support the routine use of transdermal tulobuterol in this patient group. However, further research investigating the long-term efficacy of transdermal tulobuterol in patients with stroke and underlying COPD could help establish its role for the management of these patients.