5 New Developments in Asthma/COPD research

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Asthma and COPD are two chronic respiratory conditions that scientists continue to research. Here are some of the most recent studies to offer promising developments.

New inhaler for COPD

The FDA announced their approval of a new inhaler drug for the long-term treatment of COPD. It’s called Breo Ellipta and is also approved for COPD exacerbations.Researchers combined two different drugs, an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta2 adrenergic agonist (LABA). They found that the drug reduced inflammation in the lungs and relaxes muscles in the airway, which improves airflow and prevents wheezing.

New exercise-induced asthma guidelines

The American Thoracic Society recently published new clinical practice guidelines for the management of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). Use a short-acting beta-agonist before working out, and for those who need more, use a daily inhaled corticosteroid or leukotriene receptor agonist or a mast cell stabilizer.

Allergies worsen COPD

People with COPD and allergies have higher levels of respiratory symptoms and are more prone to COPD exacerbations. Researchers looked at two groups of people with COPD. Some had allergies and some did not. They found that those with allergies were more prone to wheezing, chronic cough and phlegm, and an increased risk of COPD exacerbations.

Pregnant smokers taking vitamin C could protect baby

Women should not smoke while pregnant because it can do harm to the baby’s lungs and leave it prone to wheezing and asthma. But, if a woman is unable to stop smoking while pregnant, one study found that taking vitamin C could improve the baby’s lung function and prevent wheezing in its first year.

Antifungal treatment could help asthmatics

New research suggests that asthmatics with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) could benefit from oral antifungal treatments. The antifungal treatment, itraconazole, was used in combination with traditional asthma therapy, and had a 60 percent response rate.