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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Good news for COPDers regarding Combivent

By now most COPDers have learned that Combivent inhaler is to be phased out. Inn fact, I wrote about it here. It will be phased out with seven other asthma meds due to the fact it was hard for the company, and not very cost effective, to come up with a non CFC version of its inhaler. This has left many COPDers dependent on the inhaler concerned.

In all the studies I've seen Spiriva is much more effective in improving lung function than Atrovent, and HFA albuterol inhalers are still available. Since Atrovent and Albuterol are the key components in the Combivent inhaler, it pretty much seemed the Combivent phase out was going to be accepted.

Yet, in the medical world, where patients get accustomed to their medicine, and may even have a tendency to rely on older medicines they are comfortable with as opposed to readily accepting newer and better medicines, the phase out was not occurring without strife and anxiety.

So a new inhaler without the CFC component in the propellant (CFC is known to harm the ozone) called Respimat® inhaler has been created and is currently undergoing studies. A recent study shows that Respimat is safe and works equally well as Combivent, at least according to the 1209 COPD patients who participated in the study and were given the actual medicine.

So perhaps this medicine will soon be approved by the FDA and provide yet another option for the thousands who have COPD or asthma and loved their Combivent.

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