Roflumilast in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: evidence from large trials.
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Feb;11(3):441-9
Authors: Cazzola M, Picciolo S, Matera MG
Importance of the field: Chronic inflammation plays a central role in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Suppression of the inflammatory response is a logical approach to the treatment of COPD. Corticosteroids are highly effective as an anti-inflammatory treatment, but patients with COPD are poorly responsive to these drugs. The phosphodiesterase (PDE)-4 isoenzyme is a major therapeutic target in COPD because its inhibition increases intracellular cAMP concentrations, which ultimately results in reduction of cellular inflammatory activity. At present roflumilast is the most advanced PDE-4 inhibitor undergoing clinical trials for COPD. Areas covered in this review: In this paper, we describe the importance of roflumilast as an anti-inflammatory drug and critically review the results of four large trials with roflumilast in COPD (NCT00297102, NCT00297115, NCT00313209, NCT00424268). What the reader will gain: An unbiased description of trials that have explored the therapeutic effects of roflumilast in COPD. Take home message: At the moment, roflumilast should only be considered as a second-line treatment, and the exact indication remains to be determined. Apparently, it should be reserved for patients who have frequent exacerbations despite treatment with inhaled bronchodilators. However, considering the high risk of adverse events induced by this drug, the published evidence seems to indicate limiting its use to the treatment of patients suffering from very severe COPD.
PMID: 20102307 [PubMed - in process]