Utibron Neohaler Approved for COPD

Two Different Bronchodilators in one inhaler – Utibron Neohaler –  approved for COPD On October 29, 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a new inhaler called Utibron Neohaler for treatment of those with COPD. It is a combination inhaler containing two active ingredients: indacaterol (a long-acting beta2 agonist [called a LABA]) and glycopyrrolate (a long-acting muscarinic antagonist [called a LAMA]). These two medications work in different ways to open the breathing tubes (airways) to make it easier for those with COPD to breathe. The medications are supplied in a capsule containing dry powder for inhalation using the Neohaler. It is approved for use twice a day 1 2 hours apart. It is the third dual bronchodilator combination inhaler approved in the US. The other two medications are Anoro Ellipta (also a dry powder) and Stiolto Respimat ( a fine mist). Both of these medications are used once daily in the morning. Studies show that two bronchodilator medications in a single inhaler are more effective in opening the breathing tubes (improving breathing tests) and relieving shortness of breath than one bronchodilator. It is expected that dual bronchodilators will be used more widely to relieve shortness of breath and improve health-related quality of life in those with COPD. My comment: Many physicians have been treating those with COPD with a combination of different  inhaled medications for some time. In the past, this required two different inhalers and, as a result, two separate co-payments for the individual. There are now three different dual bronchodilators available  in a single inhaler (Anoro, Stiolto, and Utibron) that provide treatment options for the unmet needs of individuals with COPD. I encourage you to discuss this information with your health care provider.

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.