A new drug developed by GlaxoSmithKline Plc. and Theravance Inc. proves to be promising in treating serious lung conditions. The Food and Drug Administration reviewed the new drug, Breo, and stated that the overall safety is consistent with similar drugs used to treat COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This lung condition includes other medical issues including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and is related to smoking. As this disease has increased in prevalence and severity in the aging population, pharmaceutical companies have taken the opportunity to advance drugs that may reduce symptoms. Breo is an inhaled treatment that consists of a corticosteroid, fluticasone furoate to reduce inflammation, and a long-acting beta-agonist (LABA) that helps to open airways and improve breathing. The drug joins similar ones on the market, including Spiriva, Symbicort, and Advair. The FDA’s positive initial reviews of Breo, despite some concerns about pneumonia related to its use in higher doses, indicate that it may soon be a useful treatment for those with COPD.
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