I've written often on my blogs how asthmatics yearn for a once-a-day asthma medicine. While not approved for asthma, Indacaterol (Novartis) is a long acting beta adrenergic similar to salmetorol (Serevent) that has been approved for use by COPD patients in Europe.
A recent study published at Pubmed.gov concluded that "Once-daily treatment with 150 μg indacaterol had a significant and clinically relevant bronchodilator effect over 24 h post-dose and improved health status and dyspnoea to a greater extent than twice-daily 50 μg salmeterol. Indacaterol should prove a useful additional treatment for patients with COPD."
I think one of the main advantages of such a medicine is that it would greatly improve compliance with the medicine, making it much more likely the patient will actually take his medicines. You just wake up, take your one puff, and your done for the day. No more thinking about your asthma medicines.
Asthma experts have determined that if an asthmatic requries a long acting beta adrenergic like Serevent or Novartis the patient should also be on an inhaled corticosteroid to control inflammation. These meds would then work together to control asthma.
So while Novartis and Serevent might work well to improve lung function in COPD patients, they are not recommended as a top line treatment for asthma.
However, this new medicine gives us hope that some day soon such a once-a-day medicine might soon be available, if an inhaled corticosteroid can be manufactured that lasts 24 hours. A combination inhaler with both these meds might be gold for us asthmatics.
Now it's also important to note that Novartis has not been approved for sale in the U.S. I find that the FDA is quite a bit stricter releasing medicines to the U.S. market than other countries. Yet soon this might be an option for American COPD patients as well as those in Europe.
And hopefully soon we asthmatics will have our once-a-day asthma medicine. Let's keep our fingers crossed.