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Nebulized formoterol: a review of clinical efficacy and safety in COPD

Authors Gross N, Donohue JF

Published 28 June 2010 Volume 2010:5 Pages 223—232


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Nicholas J Gross1, James F Donohue2

1Hines VA Hospital, Stritch Loyola School of Medicine, Hines, IL, USA; 2University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Abstract: A nebulized formulation of formoterol, Perforomist®, 20 μg/2 ml, has been available since 2007 for the maintenance treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We review the safety and efficacy data obtained during its development. In a dose-finding study, formoterol inhalation solution (FFIS) was similar to the formoterol originator, Foradil® 12 μg DPI (FA) in patients with COPD. In a 12-week efficacy study, FFIS manifested a rapid onset of action and FEV1 peak, AUC0–12, and trough levels similar to FA. No loss of efficacy, tachyphylaxis, was observed over 12 weeks of regular administration. In placebo-controlled studies in COPD patients receiving maintenance tiotropium, the addition of FFIS significantly augmented bronchodilation over the 6-week treatment duration, signifying that nebulized formoterol can further improve lung function in patients who are receiving tiotropium without an observed increase in adverse reactions. The safety profile of FFIS during 12-week and 1-year studies revealed adverse events that were similar to those of placebo and FA. Cardiac rhythm studies, including frequent ECGs and Holter monitoring, did not indicate any increase in rate or rhythm disturbances greater than placebo or FA. We conclude that maintenance use of Perforomist® is appropriate for patients with COPD who require or prefer a nebulizer for management of their disease.

Keywords: long-acting bronchodilator, β-agonist, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary emphysema, Perforomist®, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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