A new chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drug called indacaterol (Onbrez) has proved as effective in trials as the gold standard tiotropium (Spiriva) in improving lung function, according to researchers.
They also found the drug was superior in reducing shortness of breath, lowering use of reliever medication and improving capacity for day-to-day activities.
The 12-week INTENSITY trial compared indacaterol (150mcg) with tiotropium (18mcg) in 1,589 COPD patients.
Jane Scullion, consultant respiratory nurse at the University Hospitals of Leicester, said: “Shortness of breath, the most common symptom associated with COPD, can hugely impact the quality of life of patients and prevent them from participating in everyday activities.
“Studies such as the INTENSITY trial, showing the positive benefits of more recently licensed medications, that reduce the impact of symptoms in our patients, are to be welcomed to aid our current treatment regimens and to allow us to start to make a difference to this disabling disease.”