The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved roflumilast, a pill taken daily to decrease the frequency of flare-ups (exacerbations) or worsening of symptoms from severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
COPD is a serious lung disease that makes breathing difficult. Symptoms can include breathlessness, chronic cough, and excessive phlegm. An exacerbation can last up to several weeks and result in lung function decline, increased risk of death, and may be associated with severe anxiety.
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.
Roflumilast, a new drug class for the treatment of COPD, is an inhibitor of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE-4). It is indicated for people with severe COPD to treat the symptoms of cough and excess mucus linked to bronchitis. Roflumilast is not intended to treat another form of COPD which involves primary emphysema.More »