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Nebulized formoterol: a review of clinical efficacy and safety in COPD.

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  • 1Hines VA Hospital, Stritch Loyola School of Medicine, Hines, IL 60141, USA.


A nebulized formulation of formoterol, Perforomist, 20 microg/2 ml, has been available since 2007 for the maintenance treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We review the safety and efficacy data obtained during its development. In a dose-finding study, formoterol inhalation solution (FFIS) was similar to the formoterol originator, Foradil 12 microg DPI (FA) in patients with COPD. In a 12-week efficacy study, FFIS manifested a rapid onset of action and FEV(1) peak, AUC(0-12), and trough levels similar to FA. No loss of efficacy, tachyphylaxis, was observed over 12 weeks of regular administration. In placebo-controlled studies in COPD patients receiving maintenance tiotropium, the addition of FFIS significantly augmented bronchodilation over the 6-week treatment duration, signifying that nebulized formoterol can further improve lung function in patients who are receiving tiotropium without an observed increase in adverse reactions. The safety profile of FFIS during 12-week and 1-year studies revealed adverse events that were similar to those of placebo and FA. Cardiac rhythm studies, including frequent ECGs and Holter monitoring, did not indicate any increase in rate or rhythm disturbances greater than placebo or FA. We conclude that maintenance use of Perforomist is appropriate for patients with COPD who require or prefer a nebulizer for management of their disease.


Perforomist®; chronic bronchitis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; long-acting bronchodilator; pulmonary emphysema; β-agonist

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