On April 30, 2008 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Advair Discus 250/50 for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The drug is now approved for the reduction of exacerbations in COPD patients with a history of exacerbations.
In 2003 Advair 250/50 was approved for maintenance in patients whose COPD was associated with chronic bronchitis. The April 30 approval expanded this qualified group of patients to include those whose COPD is associated with emphysema.
Advair is the only FDA approved treatment to reduce COPD exacerbations. Seventy-seven percent of COPD patients report experiencing at least one exacerbation in the last year.
The reduction of exacerbations is a key component of managing the disease.
Two medicines combine to improve lung function and reduce exacerbations in Advair; an inhaled corticosteroid (fluticasone propionate), and a long acting beta-agonist (salmeterol). Advair 250/50 is the only approved strength for COPD in the United States.