FDA Approves New COPD Drug

Patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) now have a new option in terms of long-term symptom management. On July 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new drug for COPD called Tudorza Pressair. Also known in the medical community as aclidinium bromide, it is made by Forest Pharmaceuticals in St. Louis, Missouri. This medication is designed to improve airflow to enhance your overall quality of life.

One of the main complications of COPD is bronchospasm, which causes constriction within the airways of the lungs. The goal of Tudorza Pressair is to relax airway muscles to reduce constriction. Patients who take this medication may be able to breathe easier because their airways will function better.

Tudorza Pressair comes in the form of a long-acting inhaler that utilizes a dry powder agent to disperse the medication directly to the lungs. It is taken twice a day to increase airflow during the day as well as during sleep at night. Patients are likely to experience fewer coughing spells, chest tightness and wheezing when they use this medication as directed.

According to the FDA, 1,276 patients went through clinical trials for this new medication. All patients were at least 40 years of age and had already been diagnosed with COPD. In addition, all the patients were smokers for over 10 years. It was important for the study to concentrate on smokers in the study because long-term cigarette smoking is the most common cause of this lung disease.

The FDA’s approval will make Tudorza Pressair available to patients with severe symptoms of COPD. Combined with oxygen therapy, patients will be better able to manage their chronic symptoms and carry on with normal everyday activities. While Tudorza Pressair can help open up the airways, many patients still have trouble taking in oxygen. The goal of oxygen therapy is to increase your blood oxygen levels to improve your energy and overall well-being.

The Tudorza Pressair inhaler is a preventive treatment that is designed for daily use. It is not a rescue inhaler, and should not be used as such. Emergency medical treatment is required if your COPD symptoms are so severe that you can’t breathe. Symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing and excessive cough. Talk to your doctor about having a beta-agonist bronchodilator on hand for breathing emergencies in addition to Tudorza Pressair.

It is important that COPD patients discuss new medications and potential side effects with their doctors. While the FDA deems Tudorza Pressair as a safe inhaler for COPD, there are a few side effects to be aware of. Some of the most common side effects include nasal irritation and headache. Serious, but rare effects include glaucoma, urinary retention and worsening of bronchospasms.
COPD is a complicated lung disease that can get worse overtime. It is marked by breathing difficulties that can eventually cause emphysema and bronchitis. Long-term treatment is required to help you breathe better so you can lead a better life. Untreated COPD can lead to further decreased lung function, heart disease and even death. The World Health Organization estimates that 64 million people currently have COPD worldwide.

Reference:
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm313052.htm

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