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COPD treatment, indacaterol (Onbrez Breezhaler), launched this week

By News team

Indacaterol, a new treatment for adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was launched this week by Novartis under the brand name Onbrez Breezhaler.

According to Novartis, the product is the first new COPD treatment to be launched for eight years — and the only 24-hour once-daily beta agonist available to treat the condition.

It comes in the form of hard capsules each containing either 150µg or 300µg of indacaterol inhalation powder, and the summary of product characteristics includes illustrated instructions for the administration of the medicine using the Onbrez Breezhaler device.

Peak serum concentrations of indacaterol are reached approximately 15 minutes after inhalation, with a steady-state concentration reached within 12 to 14 days. The effective half-life of the drug is 40–52 hours.

None of the side effects reported during clinical trials occurred at a frequency of one in 10 or above, but a number of common side effects (=1/100 to <1/10) were reported, ranging from cough, headache and sinusitis to ischaemic heart disease and diabetes mellitus.

Indacaterol should be used with caution in patients with cardiovascular disorders and should only be used during pregnancy if the expected benefits outweigh the potential risks, which include inhibition of labour, the SPC advises.

The drug has not been shown to cause interactions with other co-prescribed medicines, but it should not be used concomitantly with other long-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonists or with beta-adrenergic blockers.

Caution should be exercised with the concomitant use of indacaterol and products that may cause hypokalaemia, such as steroids, methylxanthine derivatives and non-potassium-sparing diuretics.

Product information

Action Long-acting beta-2 adrenergic agonist

Dose The contents of one 150µg capsule a day, inhaled using the Onbrez Breezhaler. The dose should be administered at the same time each day, regardless of missed doses. Increasing the dose to one 300µg capsule a day has been shown to reduce breathlessness, but the increase should only be made on medical advice, and 300µg is the maximum recommended daily dose.

Cost 30 x 150/300µg capsules plus one inhaler, £29.26

See also

Indacaterol available on NHS in Scotland

NPC logoKey licensing studies for indacaterol in COPD published


Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11021046

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  • Onbrez Breezhaler

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