The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Safety of Inhaled Corticosteroids in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Subscribers: Log in to read full article.  Not a subscriber?  Subscribe or purchase article.
Revised 6/22/10: The last sentence in the Efficacy paragraph should say, “…budesonide/formoterol…” (not budesonide/salmeterol).

Two combinations of an inhaled corticosteroid with an inhaled long-acting beta2-agonist are approved by the FDA for use in patients with COPD: fluticasone/salmeterol (Advair Diskus) and budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort). A Medical Letter reader has questioned the safety of using corticosteroid inhalers in patients with this disorder. No single-agent inhaled corticosteroid inhaler is approved for this indication.

STANDARD TREATMENT — Patients with mild, intermittent symptoms of COPD are generally treated with inhaled bronchodilators, usually a short-acting beta2-agonist such as albuterol (Proventil, and others), a short-acting anticholinergic such as ipratropium (Atrovent HFA, and others), or sometimes both (Combivent). When symptoms become more severe or persistent, many experts prescribe a long-acting beta2-agonist such as salmeterol ... more      

The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

Would you like to read the rest of this article?  Gain access below.

Subscriptions to The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics include:
  • Print version published and mailed biweekly (26 issues/year)
  • Unlimited online access to current and past issues (1988 - present)
  • Mobile App for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire
  • FREE online per issue CME/CE
Purchase this article:
Title: Safety of Inhaled Corticosteroids in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Article code: 1339b
 Electronic, downloadable article - $45
Gain access through your organization
Ask your librarian to consider an Institutional Subscription to The Medical Letter.
Recommend to your librarian