Treatment with Daxas, a drug that is being developed to treat emphysema and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), also reduces allergen-induced asthmatic reactions, new research indicates.
The drug, whose generic name is roflumilast, is taken once a day orally. It works by blocking pro-inflammatory signaling in the body.
As reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology for August, Dr. Philip G. Bardin, from Monash University and Medical Centre in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues conducted a study to gauge the effect of roflumilast on the airway response to allergens in 23 patients with mild Asthma.
Compared to when the participants were given an inactive placebo, treatment with roflumilast reduced the early drop in lung function after allergen challenge by 25 to 28 percent, depending on the dose.
The reduction in the late effects of the allergen on breathing were even more pronounced - 27 to 43 percent.
Roflumilast was well tolerated and was not associated with any serious adverse effects, the report indicates.
“These data suggest that roflumilast shows promise as an oral, once-daily, steroid-free treatment for asthma,” the researchers state. “Additional studies to determine the clinical benefits of roflumilast in Asthma and COPD are needed.”
SOURCE: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, August 2005.
Revision date: June 20, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD