On April 30, 2014, The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new bronchodilator called umeclidinium (brand name is Incruse™ Ellipta™). This dry powder medication is approved for once-daily maintenance treatment for patients with COPD including both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The approved dose is 62.5 mcg. The approval was based on study results in over 2,500 patients with COPD and follows approval of this medication in Canada and Europe.
This medication belongs to the class of bronchodilators called a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) and is similar to the once daily tiotropium (brand name: Spiriva™ HandiHaler™) and twice daily aclidinium (brand name: Tudorza™ Pressair™). As these three LAMA medications are the same class, you should only use of these bronchodilators at a time.
GlaxoSmithKline, the pharmaceutical company that makes Incruse™ Ellipta™, reported that the most common side effects are nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, cough, and joint pain. The company warned that the medication should not be used if you have narrow-angle glaucoma or have problems with urination. GlaxoSmithKline plans to launch the medication in the US toward the end of 2014.
Donald A. Mahler, M.D. is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire. He works as a pulmonary physician at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, NH, where he is Director of Respiratory Services.