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Q: I heard about a new drug approved to treat COPD. What can you tell me about it?
A: The FDA recently (2012) approved TudorzaPressair (aclidinium bromide inhaler) for the long-term maintenance treatment of bronchospasm (narrowing of the airways in the lung) associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including bronchitis and emphysema. TudorzaPressair is a long-acting anticholinergic (antimuscarinic) drug that when inhaled works by helping to open the airways in the lungs, assisting people with COPD to breathe.
It is used by inhalation twice a day, but is not indicated for acute use as a rescue medication to treat sudden breathing problems and is not recommended for people younger than 18 years of age. The most common side effects of TudorzaPressair include headache, inflammation of the nasal passage, and cough.
COPD is a serious lung disease that makes breathing difficult. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Symptoms can include chest tightness, chronic cough and excessive phlegm.
An estimated 24 million Americans suffer from this disorder, with more than 50 percent younger than age 65.
Richard P. Hoffmann, Pharm.D., has been a pharmacist for more than 40 years. Write to 2960 E. Coventry Court, Hernando, FL 34442.