Observational studies suggest that beta-blockers may reduce the risk of exacerbations and death in patients with moderate or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but these findings have not been confirmed in randomized trials.
.. There was no significant between-group difference in the median time until the first exacerbation, which was 202 days in the metoprolol group and 222 days in the placebo group (hazard ratio for metoprolol vs. placebo, 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.84 to 1.32; P=0.66). Metoprolol was associated with a higher risk of exacerbation leading to hospitalization (hazard ratio, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.29 to 2.83). The frequency of side effects that were possibly related to metoprolol was similar in the two groups, as was the overall rate of nonrespiratory serious adverse events. During the treatment period, there were 11 deaths in the metoprolol group and 5 in the placebo group.
Among patients with moderate or severe COPD who did not have an established indication for beta-blocker use, the time until the first COPD exacerbation was similar in the metoprolol group and the placebo group. Hospitalization for exacerbation was more common among the patients treated with metoprolol.