The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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1339
Safety of Inhaled Corticosteroids in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
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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      

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Title: Safety of Inhaled Corticosteroids in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Article code: 1339b
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