Drugs. 2021 Nov 3. doi: 10.1007/s40265-021-01616-9. Online ahead of print.
Phosphodiesterase (PDE) 4 inhibitors prevent the metabolism of cyclic adenosine monophosphate, thereby reducing inflammation. Inhaled PDE4 inhibitors aim to restrict systemic drug exposure to enhance the potential for clinical benefits (in the lungs) versus adverse events (systemically). The orally administered PDE4 inhibitor roflumilast reduces exacerbation rates in the subgroup of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients with a history of exacerbations and the presence of chronic bronchitis, but can cause PDE4 related adverse effects due to systemic exposure. CHF6001 is an inhaled PDE4 inhibitor, while inhaled ensifentrine is an inhibitor of both PDE3 and PDE4; antagonism of PDE3 facilitates smooth muscle relaxation and hence bronchodilation. These inhaled PDE inhibitors have both reported positive findings from early phase clinical trials, and have been well tolerated. Longer term trials are needed to firmly establish the clinical benefits of these drugs.