ATS: Nebulized Bronchodilator Measures Up to Inhaled Powder for COPD

May 20, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nebulized formoterol (Perforomist) appears to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as effectively as the dry-powder formulation (Foradil), researchers said here.

SAN FRANCISCO, May 20 -- Nebulized formoterol (Perforomist) appears to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as effectively as the dry-powder formulation (Foradil), researchers said here.

In the pivotal trial that led to FDA approval of nebulized formoterol on May 11, the two formulations yielded similar lung function improvements on all measures, reported Nicholas Gross, M.D., of the Hines VA Hospital in Chicago, and colleagues.

But, the nebulized long-acting beta2-agonist may be more convenient and less expensive for older patients, Dr. Gross said here at the American Thoracic Society meeting.

"It fills a gap and from all we've seen so far it's very safe and effective," he said. "Until recently, nebulized treatment for COPD was limited to short-acting bronchodilators requiring multiple administrations."

The double-blind study included 351 patients with moderate-to-severe COPD who were randomized to twice daily dosing of 20 ?g of nebulized formoterol, 12 ?g of formoterol given via a dry-powder inhaler, or placebo.

All patients were over age 40 (mean age 62.8); about half were current smokers (52%).

After a run-in period and 12 weeks of treatment, the researchers found:

  • Significantly better lung function, as measured by the primary efficacy endpoint of forced expiratory volume in one second, with nebulized formoterol than with placebo (standardized FEV1 AUC 1.51 versus 1.33 L, P