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FDA approves new inhaled spray for COPD

By jeremyc | October 19, 2015

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved olodaterol (brand name Striverdi Respimat) for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Striverdi Respimat is an inhaled spray and comes under the class of drugs known as long-acting beta-adrenergic agonists (LABAs). According to the FDA, the medicine works by keeping the airway muscles relaxed. It is recommended to be taken once a day over a long period of treatment.

COPD is the third biggest cause of death in the US and is often linked to smoking. It involves multiple lung conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Patients may experience symptoms such as chest tightness, coughing, wheezing and others.

Curtis Rosebraugh, director of the Office of Drug Evaluation II in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said, “The availability of this new long-term maintenance medication provides an additional treatment options for the millions of Americans who suffer with COPD.”

The drug was approved after its safety and efficacy was evaluated with respect to a placebo in over 3,100 COPD patients. Those who used the medicine reported improved lung function.

The FDA noted that Striverdi Respimat is linked to certain side effects, common ones including runny nose, coughs, upper respiratory tract infections and dizziness. It has also not approved the medication for asthma and has warned that asthma patients must not use the drug, as it raising the risk of asthma-related death. In addition, Striverdi Respimat is not to be used for treating suddenly occurring breathing problems, and for treating rapidly-progressing COPD, as it may lead to heart problems and blockage or narrowing of the airways.

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