The short-term side-effects of b-agonists are well known (mostly tremor and palpitations). The main side-effect of anticholinergic therapy is a dry mouth. Some patients find that inhaled medication makes them cough. Theo-phylline treatment carries dangers of theophylline toxicity if high doses are given or if the patient is given other drugs which interact with theophyllines. b-Agonists and anticholinergic treatment have been used for decades without any reports of significant cumulative side-effects. Long-acting b-agonists have also been evaluated in COPD without any major concerns about patient safety.
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